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  #1  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:37 AM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Default I Suck At Interviewing

I'm getting them in the door now at least; haven't had any no-call-no-shows this time around, and have actually had several contact me to cancel ahead of time, which was nice. Furthermore I'm actually having them call me/email me back to say that they haven't chosen me and that they are choosing somewhere closer to where they work, so at least that's still progress for me.

But I still think I suck at interviewing. I'm not managing to "hook" them...and I have a feeling that they're really going for cheaper care. I REFUSE to charge less. I will NOT work for less than what I charge right now...it would be stupid. And what I charge is not unreasonable either, so yeah.

SO anyway. I want to know what I can do to improve my interviewing skillz. Yes, I spelled it with a z on purpose. How do you guys interview...what do you talk about when you're just trying to hook them? I've been going over my handbook but think that's overkill when they aren't sold on me yet. So what do I talk about? we tour my house and then sit in the playroom or the kitchen to talk. I always give them a chance to ask questions after I've presented my stuff. Am I supposed to offer them a drink (Water or something)? Hellllp...I have four weeks to get at least two new full-time clients or I will have to quit and get a job outside the hours (and in fact, I am applying for one today that's I'm sure to get hired for (call center) so that we have a safety net). I've had tons of interest but no one wants me
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:53 AM
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I don't know. Sometimes I think the minute they pull up they already know that they are not going to sign up. I find that either they are serious and looking for care or they are wasting my time before they even come in.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:21 AM
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Don't charge less. You're getting them in for interviews so the price didn't turn them away from coming so that's a good sign. You are telling them your price BEFORE the interview right? If you aren't, I would start doing that. It IS a waste of time for you and them otherwise, IMO.

Here are some things to think through, of course I'm not accusing you of anything since I don't know! :P

Does your house appear very clean?
Does your play space and nap space appear organized, clean, calming, engaging?
Does your house smell fresh (I am ALWAYS afraid of this... I think sometimes my house doesn't always smell wonderful and have to battle this alot. Diapers, dog, shoes, mildew, burnt pan, etc...)

Do you act confident but agreeable, friendly?
Do you have good interactions with the kids?
Do you give the kids an interesting toy or activity to do while you're talking to parents? (If they're not too shy of course).

I have an aquarium that kids always like. I keep bloodworm cubes in the freezer and it's always a hit. I ask the kid if they would like to feed the fish and I say do you want to feed them WORMMMMSSS? This always intrigues the parents too! And I tell the kid, okay, follow me let's go get them from the freezer, that's right, worms in the freezer! Then I ask them if I can pick them up and then I hold the kid up so they can see my plop the worms in. The worms melt and break apart and it's really neat to watch. The parents are always right there watching too! Then I talk to the kid aobut the fish, how many fish are there? Can you count them? See the red worms? Mmm, the fish love them, they're like candy! Do you want to eat worms? No way, yucky!

I point out all our wooden toys, I show them where the kids eat at their low tables since I do not use high chairs (Montessori influence). I talk about how I serve organic when possible, a few key items like milk, eggs, meat. I show them a sample menu brochure.

I find that interviews are MUCH harder if the parent does NOT bring their child with them. It's harder to show them why you're great. But when the child DOES come with, these interviews I feel like were a slam dunk.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:36 AM
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Thanks, glenechogirl. The first question people ask around here is rate so yes I tell them before hand. Otherwise you're absolutely right that it's just not worth it.

I wish I had an aquarium; that sounds like a great tactic! (Actually I really want a nice big one...someday...someday...)

I have lately been interviewing mostly tiny babies so they are usually here and it's easy to be good with them ("Oh, can I hold him? Oh, my goodness, he's so squishy; I love newborns! Hi sweetie!" etc). If the child is old enough (2+) I usually pull out playdough to entertain them and my own. I do the interviews in my playroom so we're surrounded by all the cool toys. Older infants I pull out some of the neat baby toys and arrange them on the floor.

My space can use some work, and I've been making progress...it's hard with 1)no money and 2) very little time and 3) dcks who won't leave artwork here :P.

The house is usually super clean before an interview, though since I have kids of my own there are always toys out by the time the interview starts.

I SO wish I had the time/space/money to implement more Montessori influences...I love Montessori.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:05 AM
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Sorry Silver. It's tough for sure and unfortunately our area dictates much of the business and income we get.

I could only suggest before you hold the baby you could say, "Oh, let me go wash my hands first!" lol But that's about it. Sounds like you're a great interviewer and don't suck at all. It's just tough.

How many dcks do you have so far? How many of your own? If I ever hear of anyone moving to your area or working over there needing someone I will for sure refer you!
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:06 AM
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I like to always use a vanilla/lavendar kind of smell in my home. Psychologists have studied those scents and found that vanilla is a comfort smell for women, and lavendar (and pumpkin) does the same for men. (It can't hurt, right) If I can, I will bake a loaf of bread in the bread maker as well, so the house has a nice homey smell.

I also clean like crazy before, and set out age appropriate toys for the child who will be attending in our living room so we can interview easier.

Otherwise, I show them the whole house, my kids rooms included (people are curious), the playrooms, and the outdoor play area. I also give examples of the work that we do and emphasize healthy meals.

I agree with the op that you should not lower your rates. Actually, you might want to think about raising them. There is a psychological component that people associate spending more with better quality. I do organic and all natural meals and snacks, and a preschool prep program, so my rates are a little higher ($175/week) because of the cost of business (includes zoo pass, science center pass, rec outlets pass, etc), and when people inquire about my rates I am sure to tell them everything that entails.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:07 AM
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How do you dress? I always make a point to wear slacks (not sweats, leggings or jeans) and a button up shirt. Business casual. I put on a little make up and do my hair. I want clients to think I have pride in my appearance because that translates into pride in the other areas of my life too.

I always have a clean home. I mop and vacuum before an interview and clean the windows that the kids have access to put fingerprints on.

I offer coffee or water but nobody to date has taken me up on it.

I sit on a blanket on the floor with the kids (baby or toddler). I want to seem like I'm easy going and willing to get down and dirty.

I always make a point not to negotiate terms. If they say, "We don't want to pay when we don't attend" I say, "I know that everyone has to work their budget for themselves. I know not every daycare is for every family and I'm sure there is one out there with the policies that would work for you. These are the policies that work for me, and, at the risk of sounding prideful, I don't have trouble filling my spots with these policies." I also make sure I mention others interviewing for the spot. I want them to think I am in high demand and that they WANT their baby here.

I always tell them they get a 1/2 hour. At the 30 minute mark I do say, "We'll have to wrap it up now, as I have another interview in 5 minutes. I really appreciate you coming today and enjoyed our interview. If you feel this is where you'd like to place your child then contact me shortly and we can work out another interview to fill out paperwork and answer any other questions you have." Even if I don't have another interview I say this. Again, I want them to think I am in demand.

HTH!!
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AnneCordelia View Post
How do you dress? I always make a point to wear slacks (not sweats, leggings or jeans) and a button up shirt. Business casual. I put on a little make up and do my hair. I want clients to think I have pride in my appearance because that translates into pride in the other areas of my life too.

I always have a clean home. I mop and vacuum before an interview and clean the windows that the kids have access to put fingerprints on.

I offer coffee or water but nobody to date has taken me up on it.

I sit on a blanket on the floor with the kids (baby or toddler). I want to seem like I'm easy going and willing to get down and dirty.

I always make a point not to negotiate terms. If they say, "We don't want to pay when we don't attend" I say, "I know that everyone has to work their budget for themselves. I know not every daycare is for every family and I'm sure there is one out there with the policies that would work for you. These are the policies that work for me, and, at the risk of sounding prideful, I don't have trouble filling my spots with these policies." I also make sure I mention others interviewing for the spot. I want them to think I am in high demand and that they WANT their baby here.

I always tell them they get a 1/2 hour. At the 30 minute mark I do say, "We'll have to wrap it up now, as I have another interview in 5 minutes. I really appreciate you coming today and enjoyed our interview. If you feel this is where you'd like to place your child then contact me shortly and we can work out another interview to fill out paperwork and answer any other questions you have." Even if I don't have another interview I say this. Again, I want them to think I am in demand.

HTH!!
I agree with the perception that you are in high demand. I always let parents know that I am interviewing several families (which is usually the case anyway when a spot is available), and I tell them that I will get back to them in a week or so after I have interviewed all of the families and have made my choice.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:47 AM
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glenechogirl, I have two kids of my own and have 2/3 daycare kids leaving me at the end of the month, so I'll have 3 open spots. Frankly, depending on how close you are to Polaris (and you Sunshinemama) you might get contacted my my current dcf :P Thank you very much for the offer

Anne and Sunshine, those are good bits of advice. I need a script and a teleprompter, lol. Maybe I'll mix up some cookie dough and pop it in the freezer to bake just before families come...

My rates are as high as I think I can get down here, considering that we don't do field trips or anything (sunshine, I am SO JEALOUS that you guys get to go to the zoo, COSI, rec outlets, etc! I would give so much for that ability). Most people advertise rates under $100 a week in and near this area. There's even a GAHANNA provider on CL advertising for $80 a week! not happy about that...
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:55 AM
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Sunshine, are you near us too? What area? You can PM me if you want, or not tell me at all. :P
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:55 AM
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When I give my tour during the interview that's when I put on my "salesman" hat, every room we walk through I point out how I use it for daycare and talk about the perks and positives about it.

Kitchen: "Here we have the kitchen. The kitchen is always gated off and even then all cabinets and drawers have safety locks. Chemicals are kept high and out of reach. I prepare all meals based and snacks based on the USDA food program and each child has a cup, set of utencils, plate and bowl to match their cubby. The large window allows me a full view of the patio to supervise the kids while serving food while they can play outside" ... etc.

I always smile from ear to ear all throughout the interview and talk in a friendly voice etc. After the interview and since I've already talked about the program I sit down and go through the policies with them. I have a copy of my handbook that they leaf through while I go over the policies in a bulleted list. Other than that I don't think that I do anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:58 AM
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When I give my tour during the interview that's when I put on my "salesman" hat, every room we walk through I point out how I use it for daycare and talk about the perks and positives about it.

Kitchen: "Here we have the kitchen. The kitchen is always gated off and even then all cabinets and drawers have safety locks. Chemicals are kept high and out of reach. I prepare all meals based and snacks based on the USDA food program and each child has a cup, set of utencils, plate and bowl to match their cubby. The large window allows me a full view of the patio to supervise the kids while serving food while they can play outside" ... etc.

I always smile from ear to ear all throughout the interview and talk in a friendly voice etc. After the interview and since I've already talked about the program I sit down and go through the policies with them. I have a copy of my handbook that they leaf through while I go over the policies in a bulleted list. Other than that I don't think that I do anything out of the ordinary.
Ooo I like this...I'm such a nerd, I think I actually am going to write myself a list :P

What policies do you highlight and what might you save for after they've signed up?
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:28 AM
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Ooo I like this...I'm such a nerd, I think I actually am going to write myself a list :P

What policies do you highlight and what might you save for after they've signed up?
I personally don't save anything for after they sign up. I want to make sure I go through them all so that if they ever try to go against one of my policies I can remind them that we went over the policies already and they agreed to them. It doesn't take as long as you'd think with a bulleted list. I say the bulleted list which goes in order as the handbook while I turn the pages in the handbook for them. I make eye contact after reading each to make sure that they understand it. If they squint or furrow their brow it either means they don't understand it or they don't like it ... that's when I pause and discuss it. If they want I email them a parent packet which has a copy of my handbook and contract to look over at home afterwards (saves me paper and ink).

I feel it's important for me to do this because I'm not willing to change any of my policies for any client so if they have an issue with a policy then I make it a point to let them know that it won't work (nicely of course). Most of the time I get a "No it's ok, I understand" and they just go with it but it's a way to make a point that I have the policies for a reason and I'm willing to put my foot down and will enforce them or they should chose someone else. It sets the pace for the future and lets them know that I will be running the show in my daycare. If they sign up then I give them a printed copy of everything and they fill everything out here or they can print everything out at home and fill it out and bring it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:05 PM
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I don't really try to "sell" myself. I feel like when I do I never land the client. Like I tried too hard or something.

I agree with the smell of the home thing. I always go outside to get the mail or something and then walk in just to judge what my house smells like. My house is clean but not obsessive clean. I vac, dust, windows, those things. But I do have toys out etc.

I give the family a quick tour higlighting what we do. Then I let them look through a book with pictures of kiddos doing fun things at my daycare. While they do this I play playdough or a game with the kids, basically I interact with the kids while they look at the photos and my contract.

I ask them if they have questions and then highlight my curriculum, my experience, those things.

And I ALWAYS tell them I have a number of interviews. I explain they have 48 hours to think about their decision, highlighting that I want it to be a good fit for everyone, I dont just take anyone, I really consider schedules, personalities etc. I make it clear that I am not begging for their business, that I want the right kid/family and I want them to stay long term. I tell them that once they call and tell me that they are interested, I will determine from all the interested parties who fits best for my daycare.

I also find that when I am up against a deadline to fill spots I get desperate. Relax, you will get the right clients. I think your energy and thoughts about the whole process can make a big difference to the families interested.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:32 PM
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Sunshine, are you near us too? What area? You can PM me if you want, or not tell me at all. :P
I am in Powell.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:34 PM
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glenechogirl, I have two kids of my own and have 2/3 daycare kids leaving me at the end of the month, so I'll have 3 open spots. Frankly, depending on how close you are to Polaris (and you Sunshinemama) you might get contacted my my current dcf :P Thank you very much for the offer

Anne and Sunshine, those are good bits of advice. I need a script and a teleprompter, lol. Maybe I'll mix up some cookie dough and pop it in the freezer to bake just before families come...

My rates are as high as I think I can get down here, considering that we don't do field trips or anything (sunshine, I am SO JEALOUS that you guys get to go to the zoo, COSI, rec outlets, etc! I would give so much for that ability). Most people advertise rates under $100 a week in and near this area. There's even a GAHANNA provider on CL advertising for $80 a week! not happy about that...
Well, i only get to go out when I have 4 kids or less (my car can technically fit 5 but not comfortably). I wish we could go out more, I feel stuck inside.

Try the cookie dough! I have done that before too and had parents come in and comment about how nice everything smells
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM
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Thank you so much everyone! I have one interview scheduled tomorrow afternoon and another Wednesday evening. I didn't make such a good phone impression on the one for tomorrow (which I want the family desperately; they sound PERFECT!) because DS started screaming bloody murder as soon as I was on the phone; does that happen to anyone else? Darn baby. I love him, but GAH he has awful timing.

So yeah I'm going to be really trying hard to make the best impressions yet on these two potential clients!! I think with all these tips I have more hope than before...not that I'm going to have major things to change, but every little bit helps.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
When I give my tour during the interview that's when I put on my "salesman" hat, every room we walk through I point out how I use it for daycare and talk about the perks and positives about it.

Kitchen: "Here we have the kitchen. The kitchen is always gated off and even then all cabinets and drawers have safety locks. Chemicals are kept high and out of reach. I prepare all meals based and snacks based on the USDA food program and each child has a cup, set of utencils, plate and bowl to match their cubby. The large window allows me a full view of the patio to supervise the kids while serving food while they can play outside" ... etc.

I always smile from ear to ear all throughout the interview and talk in a friendly voice etc. After the interview and since I've already talked about the program I sit down and go through the policies with them. I have a copy of my handbook that they leaf through while I go over the policies in a bulleted list. Other than that I don't think that I do anything out of the ordinary.
I am much like MV...

I start off with the front room where they walk and and just start a tour of our day. I start off with how we start our morning and then go on from there.

I show them each part of the daycare and let them know what we do while in this part of the daycare.

I sell my program first before I even talk about the money aspects. I let them know all of the perks of my program, what they can expect for their child to learn here and my rules.
I talk about the safety that I will provide for their child each day, including providing healthy meals and a safe place for them to be themselves.

After I give my pitch, I open the communication for any questions they may have.

I do have to say, that maybe one of the reasons you don't feel good at doing them, is becuase you don't have to do them very often....Thats a pretty good thing if you ask me
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:27 PM
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I find that the thing that almost always hooks families into my program is the documentation of our learning. (I'm a Reggio-inspired teacher, so documentation is a huge part of what I do.) I write (near) daily emails to the families and used to attach a one-page journal about some aspect of our day to those emails. They were printed and put into a notebook. Those notebooks were generally the thing that had people signing on the dotted line! Now I do the journaling through a private blog, so it's not quite as accessible to potential families, but I can still show them the older notebooks. Even a slideshow of photos running on the computer gives a great sense of what you value and how your days look. (I did this when I first opened my program, using photos from past teaching experience. I ran it during an open house for parents, and it was a big hit.)
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:58 AM
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I also think what may be a downfall is a contract. I've done interviews and the minute I tell them that I have a contract that needs to be signed, thats it you never hear from them again. Which is fine because thats not a good sign.

also, if only one spouse comes too, makes a difference. Many times its family members who make the decision hard too.

do you do interviews when the kids are home or when no one is home. I always make sure that none of the children are visible (I will do interviews at nap time) or I send my kids upstairs. I tell people that I like to keep the children private till I have paperwork present in my hand, kind of like a confidentiality thing.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:39 PM
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Ok, so maybe this is just me but if a house was SUPER clean I would wonder if you cleaned all day or played with the kids. I make sure to do a great clean the night before and do a normal pickup throughout the day, but I am very honest with clients. I schedule my interviews shortly after my last family leaves so I can still have as much of my time as I can. They know this when they schedule.

So, when they come, the house looked great the night before and the floors are swept/counters wiped off etc but there is probably some toy that is out of place. Or a Mr. Pot head laying on the table, or the color crayon basket still sitting on the counter. Things like that. I am normal. I worked 40+ hours a week out of the home. I work 60+ in the home now. I get it. Sometimes my dishes don't get loaded from supper until before the first kid comes. I'm not going to point fingers if you thought your grabbed pants for your little one out of the clean laundry basket but once arrived found a smushed cracker on the butt...I want people to understand that I believe 'life happens'. I have done really well with interviews, not sure if this is why but...you know, milk gets spilled!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:49 PM
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Thank you everyone; I had that interview this afternoon (and just don't seem capable of keeping them short :P but it's just my style I suppose) and it went great. I baked muffins right after lunch for snack this afternoon (mmm, blueberry muffin smell nummy) and made up a fresh batch of playdough for DD, dcb, and the potential new little boy. I think it went well, the new little boy did NOT want to leave (good, right?!) and the baby is super cute and was thrilled to let me hold him. They are hoping for someone that can do some preschool transport and so have one more interview tomorrow with someone that maybe can, but i think mom relaly wants to make them coming here work. even if they don't use me in the end...i feel like I have a better handle on things for all my future interviews.

THANK YOU!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:53 PM
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when I introduce my PHB, I often say. I don't want you to freak out when you see my PHB, however, everything that I have written in there, is because unfortunately someone gave me a reason to have to create and enforce the rule.

I then go on to tell them, that I am extremely flexible with advance notice when possible, but will put my foot down the second I feel I am being taken advantage of. I tell the DCP I am willing to do anything I can for a family, within reason as long as it does not affect the other children, my family or over step my boundaries.

I always tell parents that when they are about to leave, I hope I have been able to answer all of your questions and concerns for you, if not, please feel free to email me or call me. I want you to be secure with your decision when placing your child into care. I never want a parent to ever have that feel of doubt that they just left their child in the wrong place, so there is no such thing as a stupid question. I hope to be in contact with you soon.

I then send a nice follow up email later than night or the next day....... If they don't call me or email me back, then I know they were not meant to be.....
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:56 PM
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Thank you everyone; I had that interview this afternoon (and just don't seem capable of keeping them short :P but it's just my style I suppose) and it went great. I baked muffins right after lunch for snack this afternoon (mmm, blueberry muffin smell nummy) and made up a fresh batch of playdough for DD, dcb, and the potential new little boy. I think it went well, the new little boy did NOT want to leave (good, right?!) and the baby is super cute and was thrilled to let me hold him. They are hoping for someone that can do some preschool transport and so have one more interview tomorrow with someone that maybe can, but i think mom relaly wants to make them coming here work. even if they don't use me in the end...i feel like I have a better handle on things for all my future interviews.

THANK YOU!
mine are always long....about an hour or more..... I have only had one that was a short stay and I knew they were not a good fit from the quickness of the interview.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:41 PM
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i was right! I didn't suck at that interview, I ROCKED!

She called back today and wants to enroll the kiddos!!! they start next week!!! I can't wait, everything is going to be okay!!

so relived.

so happy.

so thankful for this forum to help me through this stuff.

so now a side question...i have another interview scheduled fro this evening; would you call and cancel that? My space is now filled (hurray!)
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
i was right! I didn't suck at that interview, I ROCKED!

She called back today and wants to enroll the kiddos!!! they start next week!!! I can't wait, everything is going to be okay!!

so relived.

so happy.

so thankful for this forum to help me through this stuff.

so now a side question...i have another interview scheduled fro this evening; would you call and cancel that? My space is now filled (hurray!)
OMG Silver I am sooooooooo super excited for you and your family!! I had every bit of confidence in you that you could do it..... Awesome job!!

wish me luck tonight!! I have one too
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:49 PM
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Most of the time they ask me the rate before the interview, if the rate seems fine to them they set up the interview, I have only had 2 people go through with the interview then ask my rate then sign on.
I don't dress any different than I would on a daily basis.
I take them through my house to show them the back yard and just let them know it's all fenced ect. then we head out to the daycare area and let them look around or tell them they can have a seat, then I just give them the contract and go over some of the high lighted stuff, I usually go in about myself, how long I've been married, kids, how long I've done daycare for. They'll usually ask me some question, I ask (if I don't already know) i their child has been in daycare, we usually talk about naps. I try to talk to the child as well and ask them questions. My interviews sometimes last 45 min - an hour, just because I seem to get chatty people.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
i was right! I didn't suck at that interview, I ROCKED!

She called back today and wants to enroll the kiddos!!! they start next week!!! I can't wait, everything is going to be okay!!

so relived.

so happy.

so thankful for this forum to help me through this stuff.

so now a side question...i have another interview scheduled fro this evening; would you call and cancel that? My space is now filled (hurray!)
Yah for you!!!

No, I would not cancel the interview but I would tell the family that you don't have space at this time but that you are in the process of doing a trial period with someone and that you would still love to interview them and put them on your wait list should a spot open up (which could be any time, as we all know how this business works)
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Yah for you!!!

No, I would not cancel the interview but I would tell the family that you don't have space at this time but that you are in the process of doing a trial period with someone and that you would still love to interview them and put them on your wait list should a spot open up (which could be any time, as we all know how this business works)
Thank you! I had decided to go through with it (though timed the way it is the house won't be as clean, but it does smell like dinner :P Mmm, chicken taco chili), but I hadn't thought of those words to say. that's perfect!

I still am in shock over this :P
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:22 PM
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congrats silversabre!!! its such a good feeling when you get a family!!! so happy for you!

good luck to you and me daycare.. i have one tonight too.. MANY blessings
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:24 PM
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thats good advice black cat.. I have to try to remember to always be open to new families, never know when you need to go to that waiting list!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:03 PM
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I agree with the perception that you are in high demand. I always let parents know that I am interviewing several families (which is usually the case anyway when a spot is available), and I tell them that I will get back to them in a week or so after I have interviewed all of the families and have made my choice.
I just got licensed April 15th. I have only interview one client and have posted ads on Craig list every other day. I have told friend and family about my childcare. I would love to know what marketing strategy you use to get more interview. So far Craig list I am getting more scammers emailing me then actual call or real leads. Thanks so much for your help.

Sara
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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Families that have booked with me have told me the reasons why. Most importantly they like organization....in the paperwork I present, to the layout of toys, supplies, first aid, emergency plan. I also go over a sample of meals I serve. They like to hear how much time and effort put into ensuring a healthy meal. I show pictures of the kids on our bounce house, in the sprinkler, at the park. They need visuals! Definitely offer a drink when they sit down to chat. Tour the house first and go over all this stuff first. The handbook should be last.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Thanks, glenechogirl. The first question people ask around here is rate so yes I tell them before hand. Otherwise you're absolutely right that it's just not worth it.

I wish I had an aquarium; that sounds like a great tactic! (Actually I really want a nice big one...someday...someday...)

I have lately been interviewing mostly tiny babies so they are usually here and it's easy to be good with them ("Oh, can I hold him? Oh, my goodness, he's so squishy; I love newborns! Hi sweetie!" etc). If the child is old enough (2+) I usually pull out playdough to entertain them and my own. I do the interviews in my playroom so we're surrounded by all the cool toys. Older infants I pull out some of the neat baby toys and arrange them on the floor.

My space can use some work, and I've been making progress...it's hard with 1)no money and 2) very little time and 3) dcks who won't leave artwork here :P.
*Maybe you can impend a rule about leaving art work at daycare until the end of the week. At the FCC/preschool I worked at, they would hang art work up all week and the kids would take them home on Friday (usually because there was a theme week).

*You could also tell the current parents that you want to make like a binder/portfolio for each child of their work to help preserve it- just get a binder and some plastic cover sheets from the $1 store. You can also promise that at the end of the year (or for the child's birthday) you will give it back to them and have it organized. For bigger or class projects you can take a picture of the child working on it or the finished project they helped build, it's also a great way to chart a child's development. Plus I am sure after a while parent's get overwhelmed trying to find space on their refrigerator for all their kid's work.

*Or you can take pictures of the different arts and crafts you guys do and make a scrapbook to share with new potential clients, you can take a picture of them working on it or just a picture of the finished project.

All that can also teach them about delayed gratification as well as organizing. The children may even love being able to put their own art into their portfolio.

Another thing you could do (if you have parent's permission) is take random pictures of the kids having fun and make a year book or personalized scrap book for each child. You can also make one for yourself to keep that you use that as a marketing tool for inquiring parents and a gift for current parents. Just let the potential daycare parent's know that you did have permission from all the current DK parents to take these pictures and show them at interviews (so they don't think you just take pictures and show them to strangers without their consent).

And yes when I start I plan on offering a small snack (fruit/veggie plate, cheese and crackers) or drink (water, tea, coffee) during interviews. I think it makes everything seem more relaxed and less intimidating for both the parents and you.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:17 PM
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I also have a questionnaire that I made up. I have a few clipboards. i show them one on how i keep track of everyones hours and another our lunches for the weeks. It shows them I am organized. I put the handbook in a report cover and the contract is separate. I feel like it separates it better and keeps it less overwhelming.

the questionairre has really helped keep me on track with my interviews and reminds me to cover major things like my sick policy details or ask the minor things like an infants eating schedule or whether they are fussy... Sometimes the questions aren't real relevant because a lot of things will change to my own routine but it helps me know and remember what to expect and helps people know that I care or understand about their child's cues or custody situation, ect.

I write down a few short words of their responses on things. I think it lets them know that im taking it seriously and their answers and situations are important to me. They seem to like the professionalism and organization. My house is usually pretty tidy. I've had people remark about that. Most providers around here do not do this and just "wing it". In the past I would forget the parent or child's name or something and it helps to have the facts written down for me or questions to refer back to. Also helps me remember to GIVE the tour because i have forgotten that part a couple times.

Plus if they sign on I keep it in the binder with their contract and medical info and I can refer back to the fact that we covered something thoroughly in the interview and you can refer to their response to you in the sick policy, ect wen it is an issue 6 months later despite the fact that you clearly covered it. :d
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
i was right! I didn't suck at that interview, I ROCKED!

She called back today and wants to enroll the kiddos!!! they start next week!!! I can't wait, everything is going to be okay!!

so relived.

so happy.

so thankful for this forum to help me through this stuff.

so now a side question...i have another interview scheduled fro this evening; would you call and cancel that? My space is now filled (hurray!)
I am so happy for you! I think, from everything I have read on here, that you are a fabulous provider! Keep that confidence up, and you will have a waiting list! Everything will be great, and this could be your best family yet!!!
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2013, 10:25 PM
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Gah! I read thorugh this whole thread and then realized it's almost 6 months old
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2013, 10:58 PM
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Gah! I read thorugh this whole thread and then realized it's almost 6 months old
You aren't alone... I did it earlier too! Grrrrrr!
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  #39  
Old 04-26-2013, 09:48 AM
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6 months old--grrr

a tip on the smell thing... I turn my oven down to 170* (lowest it will go) and put some essential oil into a pie tin and leave it cracked. In 15 minutes my entire house smells like heaven. (Lavendar, vanilla, orange oil work best imho) I always do that right before interviews, after dinner and in the morning when I am prepping for the day. Everyone ALWAYS comments on how amazing my house smells.
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  #40  
Old 04-26-2013, 11:57 AM
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I personally don't save anything for after they sign up. I want to make sure I go through them all so that if they ever try to go against one of my policies I can remind them that we went over the policies already and they agreed to them. It doesn't take as long as you'd think with a bulleted list. I say the bulleted list which goes in order as the handbook while I turn the pages in the handbook for them. I make eye contact after reading each to make sure that they understand it. If they squint or furrow their brow it either means they don't understand it or they don't like it ... that's when I pause and discuss it. If they want I email them a parent packet which has a copy of my handbook and contract to look over at home afterwards (saves me paper and ink).

I feel it's important for me to do this because I'm not willing to change any of my policies for any client so if they have an issue with a policy then I make it a point to let them know that it won't work (nicely of course). Most of the time I get a "No it's ok, I understand" and they just go with it but it's a way to make a point that I have the policies for a reason and I'm willing to put my foot down and will enforce them or they should chose someone else. It sets the pace for the future and lets them know that I will be running the show in my daycare. If they sign up then I give them a printed copy of everything and they fill everything out here or they can print everything out at home and fill it out and bring it.
Marina, you go through the policy book even before they decide to enroll their child? I used to give every parent a policy book but mine is 57 pages now and that's a lot of ink and paper! I put mine on my website and have decided to email it to prospective parents so they can read through it before the interview in case they have any questions. It just seems like a waste of time for parents who decide not to enroll, kwim?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:05 PM
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Well, I did see that this is old, but still wanted to reply. I'm not close enough to be any competition, but am not terribly far away from you. My current family lives in Hilliard, but they'll be moving back to my town this June.
I also suck at interviewing. I need to reread this thread every day for awhile to work on confidence.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:17 PM
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Is it rude to bring up old posts??? (I'm new) If it is, please don't hate me lol

Few questions regarding new families, because I'm not licensed yet and will not be interviewing for a while. Trust me, I'll be spending this time wisely building myself up because I too am not very .... bold? lol



What do the rest of you do for prospective clients, interview wise? In order.

Usually someone calls you or emails you, in which case you would call back right?

How different should all of the steps be? Rates over phone or email first, so no time is wasted? Do you email handbook before face to face interview, and then go over it together in person? Do you sign contracts the day of the interview if they agree to, or do you wait so you have time to ask yourself if they are right for you? If you wait til you are sure, then do you have them come back a second time for signing paperwork and contracts? Do you keep the forms online so they can print, fill out and bring with them so they are mostly ready?

What do you go over on phone or email before tour to weed out the flakes besides prices?

What if someone doesn't want a tour?

What do you do with parents who absolutely don't care about you, your home, your policies, or anything else, and just want to know when they can start? (I've heard it happening...)

Sorry, not trying to sound like an idiot, or that I don't know what I'm doing, just trying to be thorough and make sure I wouldn't be doing things wrong or missing something.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:44 PM
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Funny enough, the best interview I've had was very much winged. I didn't have the interview checklist that I so badly wanted and often asked for before my first interview a couple of months ago.

My natural giggly personality sold them. The parents informed me that it just felt right. They just felt really comfortable, and that is what most of these parents are looking for.

I had a phone interview with them before they came through, and interacted with the mother through email before then. I think they appreciated how open I was before the tour. I also had answers to all of their questions.

I honestly feel that at the end of the day you can have everything a child and parent could want in a family childcare home, but if neither of you are "feeling" one another, it won't work out.

I hate the interviewing process, but I'm realizing that all I can do is be me, and if the parents want their child here it's because they really loved what they saw from me, and God knows best.

I hope this helped in some way. I'm new at all of this and have only done 3 interviews.


Annnnnnd I feel stupid for not realizing that this is an old post. Lol
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:02 PM
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I'm glad this was bumped up! It has a lot of great info!! SilverSabre is still here so something worked!!

I'm going to be using some of these tips tomorrow for an interview! And I agree that most people know when they come here whether or not they're going to choose you. I think I have a good shot at my interview tomorrow based on our conversation alone. But I'm sure there's something I could do that could turn them off to my home so I will be sure to try extra hard to hook them! It's for a 9 month old who's coming from a center, doctor encouraged them to find a new daycare after multiple illnesses and bruises. As long as my house is "clean" and I'm nice I think they'd go for me.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:19 AM
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I'm glad this was brought back up, it's a very helpful interview thread
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:41 AM
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LMAO *I'm* Glad it got brought back up because I have an interview tonight!!

I can say that I definitely have the best interviews when I'm candid and myself.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehck_1013 View Post
Is it rude to bring up old posts??? (I'm new) If it is, please don't hate me lol
NO, it is not rude at all to bring up older threads.

A majority of the time, the info is still useful and on a rare occasion the OP will come back and give an update so no worries.....

It's all good!
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  #48  
Old 05-21-2014, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I'm getting them in the door now at least; haven't had any no-call-no-shows this time around, and have actually had several contact me to cancel ahead of time, which was nice. Furthermore I'm actually having them call me/email me back to say that they haven't chosen me and that they are choosing somewhere closer to where they work, so at least that's still progress for me.

But I still think I suck at interviewing. I'm not managing to "hook" them...and I have a feeling that they're really going for cheaper care. I REFUSE to charge less. I will NOT work for less than what I charge right now...it would be stupid. And what I charge is not unreasonable either, so yeah.

SO anyway. I want to know what I can do to improve my interviewing skillz. Yes, I spelled it with a z on purpose. How do you guys interview...what do you talk about when you're just trying to hook them? I've been going over my handbook but think that's overkill when they aren't sold on me yet. So what do I talk about? we tour my house and then sit in the playroom or the kitchen to talk. I always give them a chance to ask questions after I've presented my stuff. Am I supposed to offer them a drink (Water or something)? Hellllp...I have four weeks to get at least two new full-time clients or I will have to quit and get a job outside the hours (and in fact, I am applying for one today that's I'm sure to get hired for (call center) so that we have a safety net). I've had tons of interest but no one wants me
I always super clean my house before interviews, dress in khakis and a collared polo shirt, give them a tour, offer then a drink, then sit down and go over my handbook. I look at them in the eye and smile and ask them what questions they have for me. I don't go on a long rant about my services- I do that in the ad, and if they ask me about them.

If I remember you live in the next town over. I charge 40/day full time.
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