i need help for my interview - common interview questions

Feeling nervous about an interview? Wondering what questions you will get asked, writing a resume, what to wear? Share your thoughts or get advice before your interview.
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niki
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i need help for my interview - common interview questions

Post by niki » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:29 am

i need to prepare for my interview as this is my second interview. At my first interview with an agency i cound not explained some questions they asked me about like what did you like working in the child care? i was totally blank. please help me how to answer some common interview questions about childcare. i have recently completed certificate iii in children's services. i really need a job.


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Lorina
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by Lorina » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Hi Niki,

Sometimes it can be very nerve racking when going for your interview... I completely understand how you must feel. There are a few scenario based questions that you could be asked such as: how would you deal with a crying child? if a child hits another child what would you do? how would you manage a parent complaint? etc... These are all common questions that lets the interviewer assess how well you handle each of the situations.

I do have some information about the best way to go about handling an interview however I will post it up this evening...

Don't worry we will get you through it!

Cheers :geek:,
L.A


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fchaudari76
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by fchaudari76 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:18 pm

Nikki - first and foremost, relax in interviews, I know its hard but just think of it as a chat with some people rather than an interview.
I used to get all worked up and nervous about them but now I don't at all, its not worth the stress and the stress usually causes you to forget things or stammer etc

Usually most industries have a pretty similar set of questions they will ask you. So if you have done one interview you may get asked the same questions at your second, but now you can prepare & think of what u will say before
you may get asked some of the following questions

1. Tell us about yourself - pretty vague, i mean where does one start...well i pretty much say I was raised in the UK, I always had a science background but doing work etc during hols i realised i enjoyed teaching and then realised i loved being around little children so thats when i made the effort to do my Montessori Dip etc etc. Im married, i have no kids and have worked both in Oz & overseas.
If they ask more details eg, oh where overseas did u work then I elaborate

2. How well do you work in a team? or Why is teamwork so important?
Again you say you work well with others and its important esp in a childcare setting as the room has to run as smoothly as possible so that the kids routine etc is not disturbed so its very important for the GL & assistant to work together & know what each is doing/planning

3. What are your strengths & weaknesses? LOVE this question haha
well mention your strengths, can be anything eg i say my strength is my ability to be able to work with people from varied backgrounds as well as teach a variety of children, I am friendly and find it easy to break barriers with parents and make them feel comfortable.
my weakness is i challange myself too much and push myself to see how much i can achieve and i am very particular about organisation
find something where your weakness is actually a strength but u make it sound like a shortfall...its weird but its just one of the questions that EVERYONE gets asked, even my husband got asked it and he works for a mining company, though in a management role so prob why he got asked it too!

4. Give us an example of how you would deal with conflict? this could be conflict with a parent or colleague... just give an example... dont have one? make one up.
say u stayed calm and resolved the issue by listening to the other persons concerns etc

5. How would you deal with a child who is not listening/misbehaving/being difficult?
Again if u have done your cert III u may be going to interviews for an assistant, if so i would say I would ask the GL what discipline strategies she uses and follow those. Personally I would get down to the childs level & talk to them and if they are not listening or willing to do as they are told I would sit them to one side for a few minutes and then talk to them again about the behaviour. If the problem has involved that child doing something to another I would ask (depending on age) them to say sorry or (younger kids) give them a hug


6. What will you do if you saw a child coming to the centre with bruises etc on him?

Gather evidence ---> show it to GL ... if GL doesnt take it seriously go to Director
if you are the GL go straight to DIrector with your evidence

7. They may ask about other scenarios so just think about what you would do in that situation and answer them. The answers are usually very logical and just common sense


Another important thing is to go prepared with your questions
I make a list and have them with me so I am not thinking about it when they ask me "do you have any questions"
Depending on what info they have given you here are some things u may want to ask
1. How many hours will i be working
2. What is the wage
3. Do shift times change week to week, term to term? eg I used to work 7-3pm one term but the next I was 8-4
4. What are my responsibilities as assistant/GL etc
5. Do you have a uniform? do you provide them or do i pay for them
6. Do you have a training provider you use if i wish to do my DIploma?
7. Do you provide first aid and CPR training when mine expires? (a lot of centres will have someone come to the centre to do this with the workers)
8. Is it ok if I call or email you should I have any more questions?
9. When will you be making a decison about this position? or When can I expect to hear back from you?
10. Can you show me around the centre


It is amazing how many people never ask to look around. SOOOOO many times the Director has gone Wow you are the only applicant who has asked that. Ask, it makes you look interested and ask questions as you look around or make comments, what a bright cheery room etc it will make you stand out in the interviewers mind, which gives you an edge

I never go to interviews overly formally dressed. Its childcare I like to look a tad cheerfully dressed! so usually just a nice shirt or top, not black or a drab colour and trousers or black jeans with flat shoes.
I do not recommend rocking up in a power suit with 4 inch heels, that screams corporate not childcare to me.

Take certified copies of all your docs and quals (Blue Card, First Aid, CPR, Cert III & any other relavent docs) with you so you can leave them there if they want them, always a bonus! again its good for them to keep on record even if you dont get the job, if a position opens up they have everything on file so they may not waste time with interviewing someone else and may just call u

Another thing i ALWAYS do is either call the next day or send an email (usually it is an email) thanking them for taking the time to meet me and again say how lovely the centre was and I look forward to hearing from them in the near future....again this sets you apart ... you are not just another resume another person you are the person who asked to look around and sent the thank you email...these things do matter and sometimes its these little things that will bag you the job rather than the interview answers, because you may answer well but so may someone else but they may not do these other things, who would i give the job to well you because of the eagerness of you wanting to look around the centre and your courtesy of the thank you call/email

If they havent called u back within the timeframe they give u dont be afraid to call them and ask. I just called a centre today to ask and she said she had some unforseen delays and i would def know by the end of the week

ermmm i think thats all :lol: sorry its a bit long but i hope its helped! Its 10years worth of knowledge and its always helped me. Ive never got to the interview stage & not been offered a job

another good thing to do down the line is get your resume professionally written, I had mine done 5 years ago, i am cheeky now and just add on things myself rather than paying the person to do it but my resume is well very professional and again stands out from the crowd...not worth doing until u have a decent amount of work experience under your belt

Good Luck

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catchmeifucan
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by catchmeifucan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:34 pm

wow fefe...thats a lot of knowledge you had passed on.. :clap:

Also Niki, check out this article written by L.A: Preparing for Interview

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fchaudari76
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by fchaudari76 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:36 pm

oh yeah if a question is long ...or has like 2 parts answer the 1st part and just ask them to repeat the 2nd bit again or sometimes i get them to just read it again to me... it gives me time to think about the answer. I still do that and prefer doing that than just answering without being sure I am answering what they actually asked me

sorry about the thesis above lol, just looked at it and its looooooong!

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Lorina
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by Lorina » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:41 pm

Hi NIki,

I don't think you'll be needing anymore advice as Fefe gave you everything you need (Fefe :thumbup: , great post!)...

Like Fefe suggested it is important to relax and be calm during an interview. Even if you are feeling a little nervous, it's ok because whoever doing the interview will know... Alot of times during the beginning of an interview they will just ask you about yourself and general chit chat before getting into the questions. I guess that strays the nerves and gets them to understand the type of person you are.

Normally when I go for a job interview I take a folder with my resume, first aid, qualifications, certificate (from attending professional development workshops), references and work samples. Work samples are basically samples of what I've done in previous centers. Like photos of room setup, displays, observation record, evaluations etc... I find that it always helps when they can actually see what you are capable of doing. I know that you probably think that you can just fake the work samples and say that you did it but if you explain it and talk about it during the interview when they are looking through the folder, I find it really puts you on show... There is only so much you can say but if you actually got evidence of what you do well then that's great!

I understand that you have completed your certificate 3... It's ok if you don't have work samples, just an idea I wanted to throw in!

Honestly I think that's the only idea that I'd like to add... :think:

I really wish you the best of luck and please let us know how it went!

BTW catchmeifucan: nice catch...I completely forgot about the article I wrote.. :mrgreen:

Cheers :geek:,
L.A

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fchaudari76
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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by fchaudari76 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:27 pm

love the work samples idea.
may use that in the future

another question i got asked a few times was

What qualities do you have that could add to our centre? in my case my Montessori training sets me apart and I say my experience from working overseas and having a lot of experience with multicultural environments is something i can add + i am always cheerful and happy + i am a very calm person and dont stress about things and get along with everyone regardless of age / background etc

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by zizity » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 pm

I am a new member of this forum. I have completed my cert III and looking for job. I sent out 15 resumes and got 3 interviews. I failed 2 and waiting for the third's result. The first childcare centre gave me feedback that I failed because they got another Diploma who has lot of experiences while I have none. The second childcare centre did not reply my email asking them that why I failed. All interview questions were ok for me accept for the question below:

What will you do if you see your colleagues not nice with parents and children?

I met this question at 2 interviews. Actually I did not know how to reply to this question. I just said that firsly I would try to talk with that colleagues and if it does not work, she does not change her manner with parents and children I will talk to Room leader or straight away to Director.

I am wonder if my answer is ok or not? Can any one help me please in case I met this question again in other interviews

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by fchaudari76 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:48 pm

If I see a co worker not being nice with parents or children I would go straight to the Director and report the behaviour giving details etc.
I have been in this position and I went to the Director and spoke to her face-to-face and also gave her what I had witnessed in writing (1 copy, dated and signed to her and the original I kept).
To be honest I do not know if what i did was correct but in my mind it was, I saw a fellow staff member exhibit behaviour that in my opinion was against everything I know and that we are taught as childcare workers so I took it to the top... speaking to her would have done nothing, however had she been reasonable maybe, just maybe, I would have spoken to her first but in this case I knew nothing would come of it

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by Macoola » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:03 pm

zizity wrote: The first childcare centre gave me feedback that I failed because they got another Diploma who has lot of experiences while I have none.
Hello Zizity just thought I would add I am comleting my diploma and when I have finished will have no experience. I have been advised by other child care proffesionals that, if you have no experience, it is best to go for an assistants job first not a GL as it gives you a feel of how a room is run, also once you gain more experience its likely you will eventualy get bumped up to GL if someone leaves!

Hope this helps happy job hunting:)

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by zizity » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:11 pm

fefe76 wrote:If I see a co worker not being nice with parents or children I would go straight to the Director and report the behaviour giving details etc.76
I have been in this position and I went to the Director and spoke to her face-to-face and also gave her what I had witnessed in writing (1 copy, dated and signed to her and the original I kept).
To be honest I do not know if what i did was correct but in my mind it was, I saw a fellow staff member exhibit behaviour that in my opinion was against everything I know and that we are taught as childcare workers so I took it to the top... speaking to her would have done nothing, however had she been reasonable maybe, just maybe, I would have spoken to her first but in this case I knew nothing would come of it
Hi Fefe. Thanks very much for sharing your experience. I think you have done right as you said nothing would come of it if we talk with co worker.
When I replied to the first interview that I would talk to co-worker first, then room leader or straight away to Director, I saw my 3 interviewers were very serious, they noted down without smiling or saying anything. When I met this question again for another interview, I did not know how should I reply, I said " It is a quite difficult question for me". And all of them just laughed, and they told me just say what I would do. I repeated the same anwers again and all of them laughed again, I dont know why there were two different maners to my anwers for the same question.

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by zizity » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Macoola wrote:
zizity wrote: The first childcare centre gave me feedback that I failed because they got another Diploma who has lot of experiences while I have none.
Hello Zizity just thought I would add I am completing my diploma and when I have finished will have no experience. I have been advised by other child care professional that, if you have no experience, it is best to go for an assistants job first not a GL as it gives you a feel of how a room is run, also once you gain more experience its likely you will eventually get bumped up to GL if someone leaves!
Hope this helps happy job hunting:)
Thanks Macoola. Can I ask you what does GL means? Sorry for this silly question. As I a new member and also a new immigrant in Australia for 3 and a half year (I am Vietnamese) and I am still learning a lot a bout everything here. I have quick read to some topics from this website but I still don't understand what GL means.
So far when I am writing this post, I have got 4 interviews in total, 2 failed, waiting for the result of the third one and going to the fourth one on the next Tuesday. I am happy that at least I have got some experiences of some interviews even I failed 2. If the third one and the fourth one is not successful, I am thingking to work for agent to get experience which I dont like so much because I have a little child.
I think it is much easier for you than me to get job since you got Diploma.

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by Macoola » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:15 pm

Oh sorry I should be more specific GL means group leader or room leader assistant is usualy cert 3 quilified and group leader diploma qualified. Oh and you can use being Vietnamese to your advantage as many centre like to include different cultural background and experiences into their programes I am Australian but I am living in Thailand at the moment, I have also been to Vietnam and have lived overseas a few times and at most interviews I have been to even not child care related the interviewer has been interested or impressed by this!!

Hope this helps Macoola:P

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by zizity » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Macoola: Thanks for that. I guessed GL means Group leader but I am not sure because I never think that I will apply for GL Position while I have not got any experience yet in childcare except for a few weeks in placements. I am just looking for Childcare assistantMay / childcare worker.
It is great that you have been in Vietnam, other countries and now in Thailand. You are so lucky:)
I have the fourth interview yesterday. This is the most difficult interview I have ever met because too much Theory questions; Education and care services National law act, ...Regulation, OH & S...I lost my confidence and even forgot things that I should have remembered. It is really different from other interviews, I do not feel comfortable for this interview that why I lost my confidence. Well, I do not hope that I will success for this time. Now I am just waiting for the result from the third interview :sweating:

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Re: i need help for my interview

Post by Macoola » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:25 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated!!

Hope everything goes well and you get the job from your 3rd interview!!:)

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