Top tips to prepare for your interview

Research the company you've applied for:

A common question in interviews evolve around what you know about the company. Make sure to research things such as; the company’s values, news and recent events that may have occurred, future goals and the company’s history. Not only does this show that you have a genuine interest in the job, but also it will boost your confidence knowing that you have some knowledge behind you.

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The actual role VS what you expect:

Make sure to read through the job specification thoroughly. ‘What do you expect you will be doing in this role?’  is also a common question asked in interviews to gage how interested someone is in the job, and it’s good to be prepared with an answer. 

Not only that, no one wants to start a job and then realise it’s not what they expected to be doing shortly after! 

Questions for the interview:

‘ Do you have anything you want to ask us’ – the question that is asked at the end of most interviews. This question gives you the opportunity to show how keen you are, and also to scope out whether this is the right job for you. Some questions you may want to ask are ‘Is there any chance of progression’, ‘what are the performance expectations over the first 12 months,’ ‘what are the company’s future goals,’ and ‘what are the most common career paths in this department.’


What do I need to take with me to my interview?

1.  ID – You are required to take some form of ID with you to your interview.  A driving license (full or provisional), Passport, VISA, National ID Card, or Birth Certificate are all acceptable. Please note, if you arrive without any form of ID your interview will not go ahead.

2. Right to Work documentation  Please bring to your interview original documentation which evidences your Right to Work in the UK (RTW).  RTW consists of:

  • Your Passport or
  • Your Birth Certificate plus evidence of your National Insurance (NI) number (your NI Card, a P45, a P60, a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a recent pay slip

If you are not a British citizen, you will be required to provide the relevant Right to Work documents as defined by the Home Office.  Our Compliance Officers will be able to provide you with more information upon request.

3. Proof of address – To accompany your RTW documentation please also bring to your interview two original documents which evidence your current address.  We can accept: 

  • A Bank statement/Building Society statement/Credit Card statement which is dated within three months of your interview date
  • A Gas/Electricity/Water/Benefit statement/HMRC letter which is dated within three months of your interview date
  • A Mortgage statement/Council Tax statement/P45/P60 which is dated within twelve months of your interview date
  • A valid photocard driving license (full or provisional)

4. Proof of bank account – Please bring a bank statement or bank card for the account we would pay your salary in to if you are successfully offered a position with us.

5. Name change documentation  If you have changed your name, please ensure you bring to your interview any original supporting documentation which evidences this.  For example, a Deed Poll certificate, an Adoption certificate or a Marriage certificate.

6. DBS certificate – If you have an Enhanced DBS certificate for the Children’s Workforce with barred list check, please bring the certificate to your interview. 

7. Qualifications – If you have applied for a position which requires a qualification, please bring to your interview your original qualification certificate/s.  If you have applied for a Qualified Practitioner role at level 3 or above and you registered for your qualification after September 2014, please bring to your interview your Maths and English qualification certificates (GSCE grade C or above, Functional Skills level 2 or above, or equivalent) as well as your Early Years qualification certificate. If you have a qualification which was awarded outside of the UK and you have an Early Years Naric / Statement of Comparability for the Early Years Sector (SOCEYS), please bring your Naric certificate to your interview. 

If you have any questions about the above, please contact your Recruitment Coordinator prior to your interview.

If I have lived abroad, will this impact my application?

If you have lived abroad for a period of twelve months or more in the last five years you will be required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from the Embassy/Police Force of the country in which you resided if we offer you a position with us.  Our Recruitment and Compliance Team can provide you with guidance to support you to apply for this document if you are offered a position and you do not already have one.

What will happen at my interview?

Your interview will take place in the nursery setting with a member of the nursery management team.  If you have applied for a position at Head Office, your interview will take place at Head Office unless otherwise advised in your confirmation email.

Your interviewer will take copies of your supporting documentation (listed above).  You will be asked to share your knowledge and relevant experience through a series of questions.   You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have; we consider the interview a great opportunity for you to find out more about Childbase and our ethos as much as it is an opportunity for us to get to know you.

If you have applied for an Apprenticeship, you will be asked to complete a short on-line assessment as part of the interview process.

If you have applied for a position as a Business Administrator you will be asked to sit a practical admin test, and if you have applied for a position as a Cook or Kitchen Assistant you may spend some time in the kitchen.

How long will my interview last?

You should allow up to 1.5-2 hours for your interview, unless otherwise advised in your confirmation email.

What should I wear to my interview?

If you are interviewing for a role at one  of our nurseries, please wear something which is smart but practical, clean and comfortable.  Jeans, skirts shorter than knee-length and high heeled shoes/boots would not be deemed suitable.   

If you are interviewing for a position working directly with the children your interview is likely to include a play session, and if you are interviewing for a role in the kitchen you will spend some time in the kitchen.  For this reason, please remove jewellery before your interview.

If you are coming straight from work you are welcome to come in your work uniform.

What happens after my interview?

We will let you know the outcome of your interview as soon as we can.  If we have a number of interviews arranged it may take us a week or two before we can make a decision and provide you with feedback.  You will usually be advised by phone if you are successful and by email if you are unsuccessful.

If I am successful at interview, how quickly can I start?

If you are offered a position with us your application will be progressed through our Safer Recruitment and Compliance process before we can agree a start date with you.  As part of our Compliance process we must have all of the below on file for you in order for you to start work:

  • A satisfactory Childbase Enhanced DBS check

  • A minimum of two satisfactory references; one of these must be from your current/most recent employer/place of study

  • Satisfactory references from all childcare/early years positions you have held in the last three years (including places of study)

  • A completed Childbase application form

  • A medical questionnaire and where relevant, assessment, confirming your fitness for the role

  • Satisfactory RTW documentation and sufficient proof of address documentation

  • A full and valid qualification certificate (if relevant to the post) with accompanying Maths and English qualification certificates, where appropriate

  • A Statement of Comparability for the Early Years Sector (SOCEYS) for overseas qualifications, if relevant

  • Overseas Police Clearance/s /Certificate/s of Good Conduct, if relevant

  • Completed new starter paperwork along with evidence of the bank account we will pay your salary in to

Until all of the above are on file for you any offer of employment will be conditional.  You will be notified as soon as your personnel file has been verified by our HR Team so we can agree a start date for you which will take in to account any notice period you may have with your current employer.

If you have any questions or queries before your interview please do not hesitate to contact your Recruiter. Please call our main switchboard on 01908 211699 and ask to speak to the Recruitment Team.

Congratulations once more on securing an interview. We wish you the very best of luck.


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