The interview is a time to not only get to know what the family needs, but also to stand out and allow the family to get to know you and what you can bring to the table. One of the ways to do this is by finding the commonalities that you all share, then expanding on them. You may be wondering how do you find out what you all have in common, so here are some ways to figure it out:

1. Reread the Job Posting

While rereading, think about what drew you to this posting. Was it the fact that they were in need of a crafty child care provider with preschool experience? Was it because they were in need of a child care provider that believes in following the flow of the children and gentle parenting? Whatever it was that drew you to the posting and made you think, “THIS Is the job for me” is the place to start when finding common ground with the family.

Families are looking for you. Apply to jobs. CTAFamilies are looking for you. Apply to jobs. CTA

A well-written job posting will include some important information about the family. However, not all job postings include helpful information needed to determine if you have anything in common. If that’s the case, ask key questions to the family to see if an interview is even worth your time. Some questions may include:

  • What are you looking for in a child care provider?
  • How would you describe your parenting style?
  • What is most important for you when it comes to the care of your child or children?

2. Prepare Talking Points and Questions For the Interview

When preparing for the interview, think about what’s most important: the children.

The Child’s Health and Happiness

Expressing your passion to ensure the health and happiness of the children in your care is a great place to start. The health of children is especially important during this time when COVID is such a huge factor.

  • How can you do your best to protect children?
  • What protocols do you take to do your best to protect yourself?
  • Also, ask parents what they find most important to navigating our new norm. This can get the conversation started and help you to find where you all align.

Parenting and Caregiving Styles

Next, if you know of some other commonalities from the job post or during your initial conversations, take time to expand on those. Let them know how you can add to and enhance what they already have established. For example:

  • Some families believe in gentle parenting
  • Some want a child-led environment
  • Some parents prefer someone to come in and have structured lessons with their children
  • Some encourage a lot of outdoor time
  • Some parents just want to ensure that their child is in good hands

Whatever they express is important to them, ensure that you understand their perspective. Asking them questions like:

  • What does that mean to you?
  • How do you currently use this on a daily basis?
  • What’s the most important aspect of this concept?

Understanding their perspective is important in understanding them. After hearing their opinions you can then talk about what you believe and bring to the table.

The simplest way to find child care jobs near you. Search jobs. CTAThe simplest way to find child care jobs near you. Search jobs. CTA

3. Continue The Conversation

Find local activities or resources that you can introduce the parents to that will enhance your time with the children, and come ready to talk about them during the interview. This can show that you are very interested and have spent time discovering ways to engage their child in new activities and/or knowledge and skills. For example:

  • Parents who prioritize child-led activities, may like the idea of their child attending libraries that host exploratory playgroups.
  • Parents that encourage more outdoor time may like the idea of you finding nearby parks, aquariums, zoos, and playgrounds.
  • Parents that want more structured learning may appreciate samples of lesson plans using resources within the community.

Ensure that after you present any of the ideas to parents, you include them by asking how do you feel about that, what are your thoughts on this, or have you all been to any of these? Asking these questions can show that you are ready and willing to be a team player.

In short, finding the commonalities between you and the family can set the foundation for a strong and healthy relationship from the start. It does take a little extra time for this level of preparation, but that time helps you to build confidence in your delivery and show up as the expert you are. Parents that see the beauty in having a confident, resourceful, team player will walk away feeling like they absolutely need you to work with them.

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