nursery nurse job interview questions.


When applying for a job as a nursery nurse, it's important to remember that in addition to providing an up-to-date CV, all applicants must be prepared for an interview, even if they've worked in this field before.

Those returning after a career break or a gap year ought to refresh themselves as to new trends and look back on what they have learnt previously. Advice and information on what to expect in an interview for an early years teaching job will help avoid any embarrassing situations and help to nail the job most desired.

Some general tips for successful interviews are given below, along with what kind of questions can be expected - and what kind of answers it helps to have prepared. If you haven't landed an interview yet, see our guide on how to find a nursery nurse job.

Nursery nurse interview tips.

Those applicants lucky enough to have reached the interview phase have already impressed their prospective employer with a well-written CV: the next step is to create a good impression by coming prepared and enthusiastic.

All applicants for a teaching position would do well to consider their appearance at an interview. It's advisable to dress smart, but appropriately for the position: changing nappies, finger painting and modelling clay are all part of the average day, so think clean and practical, rather than more suited to a night out in the local wine bar.

Applicants should ask themselves the full reasons why they want the job, and the right answer ought to be a good reflection of someone trustworthy, caring and responsible. The ideal interviewee should come across as flexible, organised and knowledgeable about current trends in early years education.

Our recruiters in the care sector highlight their top tips for interview preparation here:

Example interview questions.

  • Why do you want to work with children?
  • How would you encourage self-confidence and independence in the children?
  • What would you do if a parent complained their child was covered in paint after messy play?
  • How would plan inclusive activities that encourage inclusive, constructive play?
  • How would you approach making learning a fun, engaging experience?
  • How would you make sure that all the children in your care are safe and all necessary measure to maintain their safety are maintained and reviewed?
  • How can you work as a team?
  • What will you bring to the nursery?

Using the right terminology.

Aspiring nursery teachers ought to be well-informed about health and safety standards, able to articulate how they would promote equal opportunities amongst the children, and be up-to-date on current policies and regulations. 

Those applying for nursery nurse jobs are required to know what is meant by The Children's Act and be able to use and understand terms like staff-child ratios, floor space, inspections and parental roles, not only in their answers but in the kind of questions they ask the interviewers.

In addition, applicants should be aware of - and be able to discuss - concepts like the keyworker system, Ofsted inspections, foundation stage curriculum and early learning goals.

Before the interview, it's advisable to read up thoroughly on new thinking and developments in early years education and ensure this is reflected in any answers given.