Interview Pack: Nursery Assistant

Rosie Ramirez

31 August 2018    |    read

Qualifications Qualifications are not only based on diplomas, certificates or degrees, but also on skills qualifying the candidate to excel in the position. The skills should be relevant to the positions, and if the candidate provides a skill that is impressive but not relevant, it is not a qualifying skill. Here, hard and soft skills are equally important. Working with children can be difficult and the candidate has to have a passion for children and their development. “Which skill would you say qualifies you for this job?” “What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve on it/ overcome it?” “Why did you get into this line of work?” Achievements Discussion of professional achievements can put the candidate at ease and calm their nerves. It can give you a sense of where their skills lie and how they tie into the vacant position. “What are you most proud of achieving, and why?” “Tell me about a moment in your previous nursery that you are proud of, or most happy about (with regard to a moment with a child).” Challenges They Faced Overcoming challenges in the workplace isn’t industry specific. This question suits every interview as it will give you a good sense of the candidates’ ability to solve problems and make decisions. “Tell me about a challenge you faced in your previous employment. How did you overcome it?” “Discuss a time in which you had to confront a parent about their child’s behavior” Time Management Time management is an essential skill for every level of employee to have. Excellent time management allows the candidate to fully manage their resources, while being flexible and still producing quality work. These employees won’t panic in a situation that will require extra time and attention, as they would have allowed themselves time to focus on a crisis, if and when it arises. “We know that things can get crazy with the children. How do you manage to get to all your tasks, while also paying attention to the needs of the children?” “How do you handle difficult students?” Communication Communicating with children can be challenging, but fun. Knowing how to communicate with children is extremely important, as they can sometimes struggle to explain what they want. “Has there been a moment when communicating with a child that you had difficulty understanding them? How did you overcome that?” “How would you communicate with a misbehaving child to focus on the task at hand?” “How important is communication between you and the parents of your students?” Company Culture Asking questions related to your company culture will make it easy to judge if the candidate will fit in well with your company or not. “Tell me more about you” “Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?” “What do you enjoy the most about working with young children?” “What defines success for you as a preschool teacher?”

Qualifications

Qualifications are not only based on diplomas, certificates or degrees, but also on skills qualifying the candidate to excel in the position. The skills should be relevant to the positions, and if the candidate provides a skill that is impressive but not relevant, it is not a qualifying skill.

Here, hard and soft skills are equally important. Working with children can be difficult and the candidate has to have a passion for children and their development.

  • “Which skill would you say qualifies you for this job?”
  • “What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve on it/ overcome it?”
  • “Why did you get into this line of work?”

Achievements

Discussion of professional achievements can put the candidate at ease and calm their nerves. It can give you a sense of where their skills lie and how they tie into the vacant position.

  • “What are you most proud of achieving, and why?”
  • “Tell me about a moment in your previous nursery that you are proud of, or most happy about (with regard to a moment with a child).”

Challenges They Faced

Overcoming challenges in the workplace isn’t industry specific. This question suits every interview as it will give you a good sense of the candidates’ ability to solve problems and make decisions.

  • “Tell me about a challenge you faced in your previous employment. How did you overcome it?”
  • “Discuss a time in which you had to confront a parent about their child’s behavior”

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill for every level of employee to have. Excellent time management allows the candidate to fully manage their resources, while being flexible and still producing quality work. These employees won’t panic in a situation that will require extra time and attention, as they would have allowed themselves time to focus on a crisis, if and when it arises.

  • “We know that things can get crazy with the children. How do you manage to get to all your tasks, while also paying attention to the needs of the children?”
  • “How do you handle difficult students?”

Communication

Communicating with children can be challenging, but fun. Knowing how to communicate with children is extremely important, as they can sometimes struggle to explain what they want.

  • “Has there been a moment when communicating with a child that you had difficulty understanding them? How did you overcome that?”
  • “How would you communicate with a misbehaving child to focus on the task at hand?”
    “How important is communication between you and the parents of your students?”

Company Culture

Asking questions related to your company culture will make it easy to judge if the candidate will fit in well with your company or not.

  • “Tell me more about you”
  • “Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?”
  • “What do you enjoy the most about working with young children?”
  • “What defines success for you as a preschool teacher?”

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How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

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Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: 1. Cost of living This is by far the biggest benefit of being in Brisbane; housing and office space are so much more within the price range of a business that’s just starting. This has allowed us to bootstrap to a considerable size without using external funding. 2. Transport This may sound like a small thing. The best advice we got when we were starting our business was “it takes a lot of shoe leather”, meaning we’d spend a lot of time on our feet talking to anyone who’ll meet with us. Driving around Brisbane is so much better than other capital cities. It’s affordable enough, and nothing is too far away. Despite what philosopher Alain de Botton might say about the Riverside Expressway, it’s one of my favourite features of the city. Because Brisbane’s not that big, we can justify having an office outside of the inner city where rent is a bit cheaper, without feeling like we are out of the loop. 3. BCC Brisbane City Council is making a very concerted effort for the future of the city to be digital. I was lucky enough to receive the Lord Mayor’s budding entrepreneur grant and have heard Cr Quirk talk about the city’s plan for the future and I’m excited about growing a business here. 4. Business community There are a number of great communities around start-ups really getting some traction in Brisbane such as River City Labs and iLab. But the other great thing about the city is how many innovative business people are willing to talk to you and lend a hand – which is particularly good for a B2B business! 5. Talent Brisbane has two great technology courses at QUT and UQ, which makes it much easier to attract and retain young talent to help build and grow our business. It’s a much tougher market for employers in other capital cities, especially those with only one technology-focused university. I’d recommend Brisbane as a great place to start a business for anyone considering starting out. The team at Brisbane Marketing & Digital Brisbane have a lot of support available to you on top of the many other benefits.

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

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About the author

Rosie Ramirez

Our team's goal is to provide practical advice for business owners and managers across industries.

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How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: […]

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

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