Originally Posted by DizzyDora
I have never had to interview for new staff in my 7 years so this is all a bit new. I have a list of possible questions but is there anything glaringly obvious I need to ask?
Have you already advertised for the job?
You are usually expected to state on the advertisment that all candidates will be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau (this hopefully deters those that are not suitable to apply).
Then the same application form is sent out, this way everyone is on a level playing field and is treated equally, and it much easier to see what applicants are offering for the position.
The list of questions could be endless and very different for different positions, settings and environments. It depends on the position and what you are expecting of the candidate. If you are wanting them to do a lot of physical work such as packing the setting up daily, or playing outside - how do they feel about the cold in January? If you all have to chip in with everything - cleaning the premises, all taking turns to make snacks, going on regular courses, having evening meetings - are they willing? Have they got suitable childcare? - as they will be expected to be at work on time to maintain ratios. Are they willing to cover for colleagues/do extra hours? stay behind (for a reasonable time) to chat to a parent if they have concerns about their child?
All this needs to go in their contract, so they know what they are signing up to?
You can get advice from your Early Years Advisor who will put you in touch with their business section, who can email you forms and advice from you first advertising to your interviews - which should treat candidates equally and fairly. I think the PLA also offer this service to members.
When I interview, I always make sure I have a senior colleague (sometimes an advisor will sit in). This ensures everyone is treated fairly and equally, and if they ask for feedback or a reason why (when not getting the position) you have chosen one candidate over then, when they feel they are the better candidate, you know (and have no doubts) that procedures were followed.
When you get down to 2-3 candidates who you think are suitable (once CRB'd), you can invite them into the session (with a member of staff close by) to see how they relate towards children and staff. As manager, you may make the final decision, but you have other colleagues personality and characters to take into account. I always tell the candidate that the probational period is there for them as well as us - after all they may think they like children - until they work with them on a regular basis.
As you say, hopefully we don't have to recruit that often. It doesn't matter if the process takes a little longer if you get the right candidate. Draw a list of suitable questions with your deputy and take her in with you. As long as you make the candidate feel relaxed (as you possibly can) you can both ask questions - she may be your senco and have a different slant on something.
I'm certain others will reply with questions that they never forget to ask - after certain experiences. Just when you think you've covered it all - something else comes along!
Good luck with your interviewing.