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Old 03-03-2014, 12:32 PM
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Default Interviews

I'm a naturally shy person, and have two interviews this upcoming Saturday.

What advice would you give me to make everything comfortable between the parents and I? I think I'm experiencing the start-up nerves. Lol
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:42 PM
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I totally understand. I am more of an introverted person and I remember being really nervous for my first interviews with potential families.. I still get a little nervous sometimes.

Here's my advice:

1. Smile and ask questions.. even if they are not related to their child. Like, ask them where they are from, how long they've lived here, etc. Just make friendly conversation.

2. Be organized! I always have all the forms all printed out and ready to go. I make sure I have at least 3 copies of my policies (so each parent can have one as well as myself when going through them together) and a meeting checklist. My meeting checklist is nice because it helps me not to forget anything (it's like a cheat sheet for me to look at) and I think it gives a good impression to the parents.

3. Be yourself! You're obviously a nice, friendly person if you like working with kids. So what if you're a little quiet!.. your true personality will still shine through.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
I totally understand. I am more of an introverted person and I remember being really nervous for my first interviews with potential families.. I still get a little nervous sometimes.

Here's my advice:

1. Smile and ask questions.. even if they are not related to their child. Like, ask them where they are from, how long they've lived here, etc. Just make friendly conversation.

2. Be organized! I always have all the forms all printed out and ready to go. I make sure I have at least 3 copies of my policies (so each parent can have one as well as myself when going through them together) and a meeting checklist. My meeting checklist is nice because it helps me not to forget anything (it's like a cheat sheet for me to look at) and I think it gives a good impression to the parents.

3. Be yourself! You're obviously a nice, friendly person if you like working with kids. So what if you're a little quiet!.. your true personality will still shine through.

Good luck!!
Great advice!

I also never thought about a meeting checklist. I wouldn't even know where to begin. Lol
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
I totally understand. I am more of an introverted person and I remember being really nervous for my first interviews with potential families.. I still get a little nervous sometimes.

Here's my advice:

1. Smile and ask questions.. even if they are not related to their child. Like, ask them where they are from, how long they've lived here, etc. Just make friendly conversation.

2. Be organized! I always have all the forms all printed out and ready to go. I make sure I have at least 3 copies of my policies (so each parent can have one as well as myself when going through them together) and a meeting checklist. My meeting checklist is nice because it helps me not to forget anything (it's like a cheat sheet for me to look at) and I think it gives a good impression to the parents.

3. Be yourself! You're obviously a nice, friendly person if you like working with kids. So what if you're a little quiet!.. your true personality will still shine through.

Good luck!!
I love the idea of a meeting checklist!
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2014, 07:54 PM
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OMG share the checklist please!! What a great idea I'm SO doing that now!!
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2014, 08:29 PM
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OMG share the checklist please!! What a great idea I'm SO doing that now!!
Yes, please share!
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:36 PM
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No matter how nervous you may feel......act confident.

Try and be as business-like as possible while smiling and being friendly.

Use phrases like "Our policy is..." instead of "I prefer this or that"

Dress casually, but smartly. It's hard for a maybe business suit executive to think of their daycare provider as a professional if she's dressed in an ill-fitting t-shirt and Sponge Bob pj bottoms and slippers (Not saying you would!!)

Have your contract and handbook pretty much memorized. You will be better prepared for questions.

If you don't feel the family would be a good fit and yet they seem eager.....smile broadly and tell them you have several more interviews and will be choosing which family you will take by such-and-such date. That gives you an out ....and takes the wind out of the sails of the parents who think they are doing you a favor and "hiring" you.

The more you interview, the easier it gets. I don't blink an eye after nearly 30 years. I was terrified for my first ones!

You'll do great!
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:09 AM
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I would love to see the meeting checklist as well!
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
OMG share the checklist please!! What a great idea I'm SO doing that now!!
THIS!

I agree with all previous advice.

I go through my handbook topic by topic, give them a tour, a brief run down of our daily schedule, show them my current newsletter, menu and facebook page (lots of photos!) discuss my enrollment process (1 initial interview, second to sign paperwork and chat again, discuss schedule and rates and then *I* finish the interview.

"Do you have any questions?"
yes/no

"I am interviewing several other families for the space. I will let you know by email no later than X date. It was wonderful meeting with you and little Susie, thank you for your time."



Fake it till you make it! I am SO SHY, so I feel your pain.

I always change before an interview, little bit of makeup, clean jeans and a nicer blouse. I don't go all out, most parents get that I work with small children.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:37 PM
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Thank you guys so much for everything!
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2014, 08:11 PM
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This is where I am at right now, and this thread has been a huge help! I'm experienced in both having an in home daycare 15 years ago, plus nannying, but now that I have been out of it for three years, it feels new all over again! I'm nervous as I start to set up interviews!
Thanks for all your ideas!
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:02 AM
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Everyone here said it so well! Good luck on Saturday
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2014, 06:21 AM
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I tell the parents up front that we are essentially interviewing each other, so it kind of takes the pressure off both parties. They have to like me and I have to like them for it to work! Keep it casual and relaxed, don't be overly serious or they will be afraid that you'll be "all business" when it comes to their child too. Engage the child right off the bat. Talk to, smile at him throughout the interview. They want to see how you interact with him, not just go over your policies. I have found that my interaction with the child and keeping a casual, relaxed attitude are usually the things that seal the deal.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:24 AM
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I have my folder with handbook, policies, sample menus, a few things I've collected from the internet over the years(fun stuff but relevant to children), plus kind of an intro to my home and childcare history. I show them around my home first(the rooms where the children go), show them the backyard(my playroom is all windows into the backyard so they can see it all clearly. Then we sit on the playroom floor, I interact and play with the child for awhile, maybe 15-30 minutes. Then I hand them the folder, go over a few of the most important things in the handbook, talk about our schedule, what we do each day, emphasize I am NOT a preschool ), tell them to go home, talk, read everything, email or call me with questions.

I'm extremely shy and introverted but do much better one on one or two. And I have to admit, lots of times I have to act like I'm confident and don't need this family. That way I won't stress myself out so much.

One of my newest dcfs(started last May) was referred to me by her boss whose grandchildren I used to take care of. She came, we talked but I was having a quieter day that day so really didn't share too much of what we do. I did give her a list of current dcfs to call as references. She told one of them I wasn't very good at selling myself but was extremely pleased with what this dcm had told her.

IF or when I get another camera(I'm so lost without one)I'm thinking of creating a photo album filled with pictures of the kids involved with activities. That way any potential family can flip through it and see for themselves.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2014, 10:47 AM
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Default Advice

Starting a daycare can be a stressful experience and if you're a shy person, interviews can cause a lot of anxiety. My advice to you is to just be yourself during the interview. Don't worry about trying to be an extroverted person for the interview if it's not who you are. There's nothing wrong with being introverted.

It helps to have a checklist for what you need to do before the interview and a separate checklist for what you need to have on hand for the interview itself.

Keep any paperwork that you are going to be handing out to the parents organized and in the same location. Sometimes it's nice to have folders made up with everything that you need included in them.
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:12 AM
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For interviews, I put up gates where they would typically be (I only do my interviews on Sundays) so families have a better picture of the areas their child will be in.

I greet them, invite them in (ask them to remove their shoes), offer them a seat on the couch, I sit in an opposing recliner and I start by asking them if they had a chance to review the documents I sent them (I always send documents before).

Then I pull out a copy of my parent handbook and illness policy and walk through page by page. I make sure we cover everything. I ask them if they have questions, I discuss our preschool program briefly if applicable to the child (age-wise) and will show some pictures of preschool children doing activities at my childcare.

I again ask if they have any questions. If they don't, I thank them for coming and will be in touch after completing interviews for the position. I try to give them a date I will let them know by (usually its the next day since I do them ALL on Sundays).

If I offer a family the spot and they decline, I move down the list if there are more families I want to offer the spot to. Just be sure you have their contact information when they leave the interview so you can be in contact with them!
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