Tips for Candidates

We take great pride in providing a free, supportive and personal service to help find the right opportunities for every candidate.

We are committed to helping you find a new childcare position that will help you grow professionally and personally. If you are looking for a new position within a Nursery setting on a permanent or part time basis then Fourfold Recruitment Ltd can help you. We aim to match you effectively to the best position within our portfolio of childcare settings that we have established through networking and word of mouth recommendations.

Fourfold Recruitment is committed to providing friendly and helpful support in searching for the right job for you. Below are some tips that might help you in your job search.

Give employers a good impression of yourself when they look through your social media accounts.

Some employers will use social media to check people’s profiles before offering them a job – there are no laws against doing this and so the best thing for you to do is make sure that whatever they find when they search for you will not put them off. Help yourself by:

  • Making your profile on sites such as Google+, Facebook and Instagram restricted to just your friends. All of these sites have pages that allow you to set your privacy settings.
  • For some sites, such as Twitter, you might be less keen to only allow your friends to follow but you should make sure that anything that is open to the public is suitable.
  • There should be no bad language, references to alcohol or drugs and any opinions expressed should not be offensive to others – if in doubt, don’t post it (or delete it if it is too late).
  • Be aware of any photographs you are in that might be visible to the public – think about whether they are photos you would mind a potential employer seeing.
  • Remember that things on social media sites stay on there – there have been cases where people have lost their jobs over things they posted when they were much younger. With your public profiles, don’t forget to scroll down to check for anything unsuitable.
  • LinkedIn is the social media site used by professionals – it is now possible for anyone aged 13+ to set up a LinkedIn account – where you can put information about your skills and experience, similar to what you include on your CV. It can be a good way to network with people who work in the type of job you want, but remember it’s not suitable for updates relating to your social life – keep it professional.

Your CV is your key to the door of opportunities.

  • Make your CV a maximum of two A4 sides long – if your CV is too long, the employer won’t have time to read it. You might not need bullet points for all the summer holiday jobs you had, just dates you worked at places & job title
  • Spell check it & spell check it again, read it through after taking a break from looking at it to check it is comprehensible.
  • Include your contact details, address, telephone numbers & email address
  • Keep the design simple, use a font size no smaller than 10 and use a normal, clear font for e.g Ariel orTimes Roman.
  • Use simple, plain and positive language with clear and concise content – don’t waffle!
  • Make sure your CV is laid out in a way that is easy to read and nice to look at. Look at our ‘standard CV template’ online and then add your own small touches to make yours different.
  • It’s important to be honest – don’t make things up to make yourself sound better – most potential employers will utilise available references
  • Ask a friend to proof read it, a fresh pair of eyes can be a great help & see things that you may have missed.
  • Please do ask us if you would like feedback on your CV, this is a free service & we would be happy to help suggest any changes we think might help your application

What to do before an interview.

Being invited to an interview is a good achievement in itself so you should feel proud a company wants to invest their time in meeting you. Although an interview can seem a daunting experience the more you relax & try to enjoy the experience the better you will do & the more of the real you the company will see.

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!

The interviewer has asked to see you based on the information you provided in your CV. Print off your CV & talk it through to yourself. Feel comfortable going through your work experience & best achievements. Also maybe the less positive aspects, for e.g why you left a previous job after a couple of months etc. The interviewers wants to still see you based on this information but it’s a good idea to practise explaining all aspects of your CV.

It’s really important that you research the nursery you are interviewing at. You will most probably be asked what you know about the nursery and the company . Looking at a company’s website is the important essential first step to doing your research. Ask yourself questions such as: how long have they been open for? how many children do they have in their setting? how big is their team etc so you not only have the information to answer their questions but you also are able to make a decision about whether you want to work there. If you can download the nursery OFSTED report for the nursery that would also be a great document to help you research the nursery .

Always arrive early, about ten minutes early is perfect, any earlier & you may be an inconvenience. Always take care to fully prepare your route, allow plenty of time for public transport. If you are unsure of a nurseries location please do contact us.

Look the part

It is essential that you look smart, tidy and well presented. Working in a nursery setting means you are likely to seen by parents. Often, as part of a second interview (sometimes the first) you may be asked to take part in a trial with the children. It is important that you dress in practical clothing so that you can play and interact easily with the children i.e. trousers (usually black or navy) and flat shoes.

Things to keep in mind during the interview.

During the inteview

  • Make sure you smile, and are polite to everyone.
  • A sign many interviewers are looking for is confidence & a good way to show this is to look people in the eye.
  • Speak clearly and always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Never use rude, offensive or swear words. If a bad word pops out by mistake, apologise immediately.
  • Having the right attitude can make all the difference in an interview. Above all, employers are looking for candidates who show a willingness to learn and have enthusiasm.


  • Don’t let nerves get the better of you. Everyone suffers from nerves in one form or another, but learning to keep them in check will really help when it comes to interviewing. Try and ensure you appear interested in what is said at all times.
  • Being nervous about a job interview is actually a positive thing, as it proves that it matters to you and will give you some adrenalin, so don’t completely discourage it. Try to keep your nerves from interfering with how you perform by taking deep breaths and remembering that the interviewer is only human and has fears and insecurities just like you.
  • Really try & be yourself. Employers want to see the real you – but remember you’re there to be assessed on your suitability for a particular role, so it’s important to remain professional, polite and engaged at all times.


  • A must during an interview is to be positive. Never speak negatively about previous employers, children or agencies. This is absolutely essential.
  • Employers are looking for people who not only have the qualifications they need, but also have strong personal skills, including an ability to communicate, positive attitude and a good work ethic. Being able to show an employer that you have these skills will boost your chances of successful.


Make sure you really understand the EYFS. You can research & brush up on this online for e.g early-years-foundation-stage-eyfs. The EYFS is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and provides them with a broad range of skills and knowledge. Make sure you really understand the EYFS – you will be asked questions on this in your interview.

Body Language

  • They say actions speak louder than words and this is often the case in an interview situation. While you may be saying all the right things verbally, if your non-verbal communication does not mirror this then you are not likely to get a good response.
  • An interviewer’s perception of you will start as soon as you walk into the room so keep your posture straight, shoulders back and remember to smile. Shake hands firmly and purposely with the other person but not too powerfully, and make plenty of eye contact, without staring. It’s all about creating a natural balance.
  • It is important not to fidget during the interview as it is distracting and will also give the game away that you are nervous. Something more positive to do with your hands is to use them to add emphasis to speech – hand gestures can be a great form of communication as long as they are used in moderation. When not using gestures keep your hands in your lap or rest them on the arms of your chair, drawing them across your body will look too defensive. Another effective way of showing that you are keen and alert is to nod your head & maintain eye contact & to smile.

Finishing your interview.

When the interview is over thank the interviewer for their time and shake their hand. Leave them with an impression that will make them want to call you back. Ask the interviewer what happens next and whether any action is required from you.

Don’t ask the interviewer how they think the interview went. You won’t get immediate feedback and it will not reflect well on you. Interviewers will understand you being nervous but you will appear far more confident and self-assured if at the end of the interview if you shake their hand, thank them for seeing you and tell them you look forward to hearing from them.

Sample General Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself.

Don’t be tempted to give a short response – use this time to introduce yourself to the employer in the best possible light. Your response to this should be well rehearsed, confident and relevant. Don’t reel off your life history maybe focus on things that relate to the job you’re going for. Include some impressive achievements – awards you have received, competitions won, leading a school club or society, volunteering activities or charity fundraising. Talk about how enthusiastic you are about the job and the organisation – do your research beforehand so you know what to say.

What do you know about the company/organisation?

Many employers want to see if you have researched the company you are applying to. For those that have, it shows that you are interested in the role and are someone that prepares for things. However, when you don’t, you look unprepared and like you might not really want the job.

Why do you want this job?

Your answer should reinforce why you are a good fit for the job and convey your enthusiasm for the role. You could mention the good match between your skills and what the job requires – including what you will bring to the company

What are your key skills/strengths?

Focus on what you know they are looking for, even if it has only been a small part of what you have done to date. Take another look at the job advert and download the job description from the company website, work through it carefully and think about how your experience and skills meet their requirements.

What are your weaknesses?

Nobody is perfect and everyone can identify areas for improvement. However, when thinking about yours, make sure they are relevant to a professional context:

Don’t tell your interviewer about weaknesses within your personal life, it is more appropriate to think about professional areas that you know you need to develop, or that teachers/tutors or even your parents have singled out for improvement.

Remember to acknowledge that improving on your ‘weaknesses’ is important to you and, where possible, show how you are working to develop them. For example, you might be someone who is shy, but you purposefully make an effort to talk to people as you recognise this is an issue.

Do you have any questions?

Most interviews will end with the interviewer asking you this. As a rule, it is good to ask your interviewers a question or two as it shows an interest. Here are some questions you might consider asking: this shows that you are keen and again creates a good impression.

How many people are in the team I may be working in? What’s the best thing about working here?

Sample Childcare Questions

  • Why do you like working with children?
  • Can you give me an example of an activity you think works well with children?
  • How would you handle it if children in your care started fighting or a child needs reminding about behaviour?
  • If a child was being left out of a group activity whilst you were looking after them what would you do? How would you get the other children to include them?
  • How could set out the room in the nursery for the day? How would this differ for the different ages of the children?
  • Have you ever had any ideas about how a room should be set out differently and if so what were they and what changes were made?
  • Do you have a preference regarding the age of the children you will work with or are you flexible?
  • How would you establish and maintain relationships with the parents of the children in your care?
  • Can you tell me about the four principles of EYFS?
  • What is important about observing children when they are playing?
  • Do you have any hobbies or special interests outside of work that might be of interest?