Tell me about your experience working with kids
How to Say You Work Good With Kids for a Job Interview | Work
By Lisa McQuerrey Updated June 29, 2018
Employers that provide children’s services, like schools, daycare centers, recreational facilities and sports facilities, prefer to hire employees who understand and communicate well with kids. While education related to early childhood development, education or childcare is a plus, so are skills like responsibility, patience and a playful sense of humor.
Describe Work Experience
Highlight all of your experience working with children, providing detailed descriptions of the specific work you’ve done with kids. This approach demonstrates your enthusiasm for the work and your ability to connect with kids.
I had the opportunity to interact with amazingly talented kids at a summer theater camp program. We worked together on stage design, dialect coaching and dramatic technique. It was incredibly rewarding as a coach and counselor to watch some of the shy kids blossom over the summer.
Discuss Why You Enjoy Helping Kids
Share what you enjoy about working with kids in addition to defining your professional experience. The interviewer can read your work history on your resume, but it’s how you talk about your love of children that will grab attention. For example, if you’re interviewing for a teaching position, discuss your philosophy on teaching in a diverse classroom. Let your comments show that you see children as individuals and you strive to make a difference for each one.
Every child is different, and part of what I love about my job is that I get to help each one discover his own strengths and talents and nurture those traits through my educational approach.
Mention Relevant Personal Qualities
Outline the personal traits that make you good with children and link them to the specific job you are applying for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a recreation center manager position, talk about your favorite leisure activities and play up your energy level, upbeat personality and how you put special twists on games and activities to make them more interesting and inclusive.
I hated picking teams when I was a kid, so to avoid hurt feelings, when I manage recreation leagues, we run a four-square scramble to choose teams. It’s fun, there’s no exclusion and everyone’s on even ground.
Explain Teaching Style
Emphasize your ability to be responsible, reliable, authoritative, yet fair. Working well with children isn't just a matter of connecting with them, it's also about ensuring a safe environment, following a curriculum when called for, and providing guidance, instruction and support. Be prepared to answer behavioral-style interview questions about how you behaved in past workplace scenarios. These might include a question like, “Describe a time an introverted child refused to engage. How did you handle it?”
Be prepared to answer behavioral-style interview questions about how you behaved in past classroom or workplace scenarios. For instance, you might be asked to describe a time you helped a reluctant, introverted child engage in activities.
- Salisbury University: Interview Answers to Tough Questions
- The Scottish Government: Working With Children
- Arizona Human Resources: Structure Behavioral Interviews
- Be prepared to answer behavioral-style interview questions about how you behaved in past workplace scenarios. These might include a question like, “Describe a time an introverted child refused to engage. How did you handle it?”
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.
Why do I like to work with kids?
by Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services, Port Melbourne
As an educational and developmental psychologist, I am often asked by friends, family, and parents, why I have chosen to work with children.
When I get asked this question, my immediate thought is: why wouldn’t I like to work with kids?!
I love it! There are thousands of reasons why I think helping children and their families is the best job in the world, but I will focus on my top four.
1. Working with kids is fun!
I love that no single day at work is the same! Children come to see me for counselling for many different reasons. Even though sometimes the underlying difficulties are similar, the counselling approach for each child is always different. This is because we don’t only focus on the difficulties the child is having, we focus on the child’s strengths, and we also take into consideration their age, personality, what they like to do/play, and so on.
2. I learn from the children I’m working with every day!
I admire children’s:
- Endless energy
3. Children motivate me to be a better person.
Children make me a more knowledgeable person: Children are, by nature, very curious. With all the questions they ask, I constantly find myself looking for answers on books and on the internet.
Children make me a well-informed person: As kids often expect for me to know exactly what they are talking about, I also have to keep up-to-date on current affairs, as well as on the latest video games, cartoons, and coolest apps for iPads and phones.
Children make me a healthier person: I am a firm believer of leading by example, therefore I follow a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods and keeping active (which comes in very handy when I need to keep up with them!).
4. Helping children (and their families) is the most rewarding job I can think of!
When I ride my bike back home after a long day at work, I like to think of the children I saw during the day. I think about the progress they have made, how I can help them further, and I hope that when they leave my office, they feel better, stronger, empowered, and happier.
Knowing that my job is to help kids achieve their full potential and to help them feel happier and better about themselves, brings a huge smile to my face and helps me sleep better at night!
How can we help?
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(*As of 24th July, 2019.)
- Private and confidential: We are a private service so you will receive 100% independent and confidential advice.
- Child and adolescent experts: We only work with school age children, teenagers and parents.
- Education and school experts: We will help you navigate the school system to get the best possible results for your child.
- Qualified and experienced: We only employ psychologists with a master degree or higher and experience working in schools.
- Fast appointments: We don't keep a waiting list and see most new clients within 7 days.
- Convenient location: We are in Middle Park with easy access from many parts of Melbourne and unrestricted street parking.
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How to talk about your work experience
You can be asked almost anything at an interview, but one question is sure to come up, and that will be a question about your work experience. We know how to answer it in a way that will get you the job.
We are talking specifically, we put the emphasis on efficiency
You yourself understand why information about where, when and by whom you worked is extremely important for the employer: without this information it is difficult to understand what scale of tasks you can perform . How to answer such a question? Recruiters asked by Superjob to explain how best to be a job seeker in this situation say that the main thing in the answer is honesty. “Don’t lie about the experience, because it’s up to you to work. Honesty and openness of the applicant for an interview is always attractive,” comment the recruitment managers.
Tell us what companies you worked for, what tasks you performed, what you achieved. Just be extremely specific: give facts that testify to the effectiveness of your activities, rely on specific digital indicators (if sales increased by 30% with your help, this figure must be announced!).
If you don't have experience, don't get lost!
It is more difficult to answer this question for those who have little or no work experience yet. But even in this situation, you can look like an attractive candidate.
First of all, remember: if you were invited for an interview, it means that they already know your resume and the recruiter was not embarrassed by the lack of work experience. A talented graduate with glowing eyes is glad to be hired by many companies. So, the chance to get a job is not as small as it seems. But one way or another, you have to talk about experience anyway. What can you say?
Talk about what helped you take your first steps in the profession - about the internship, about the practice at the enterprise, and finally about volunteering. And in this case, it makes sense to mention your high learning ability and motivation, confirming this with examples. “I helped a charitable foundation as a volunteer. Not only went to hospitals for children, but also wrote small notes about it for social networks. Thanks to this work, it became clear to me what a Facebook post should be like in order to attract attention, ”a recruiter who is looking for an intelligent SMM manager expects such a story from you.
Long-term work in brief
The situation is opposite if the candidate has a very impressive experience. When two decades of active work are behind you, you can talk about working days for hours. Is it only necessary?
In this case, it is not worth retelling your working biography in detail. The recruiter is already familiar with your resume and understands that he is not a beginner. It is better to focus on those of your knowledge, skills and abilities that will be relevant in this particular position. “Tell in essence what your experience will be useful for the company,” recruiters advise.
“As I understood from the job description, you need a specialist with a good knowledge of production technology. I have been working in this area for seven years now and I can guarantee that all the rules of the technological process are observed, ”is a great start to a story about yourself for an experienced specialist.
Experience in this case is your strength, a competitive advantage over other candidates - this should be emphasized.
You will succeed! Good luck with your job placement!
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The question about previous work experience is sure to be heard by every job seeker at the interview. However, not everyone knows that you can talk about experience in different ways, and yet this is often the decisive factor in the recruiter's decision. What to focus on, where it is better to remain silent, and what to do if there is no experience at all - in the material of the project "Work".
For the HR manager, the answer to the question about previous work experience serves as a guideline in order to understand what kind of work a potential employee can be guaranteed to perform, and what tasks he should not be trusted with. Therefore, it is not worth listing dozens of ex-employer companies if the experience gained in them does not affect the current situation in any way. When talking about experience, it is important to focus on efficiency and list all the facts that point to achievements.
“The question about experience is not asked for the applicant to brag about where he worked, but in order to understand how he worked and how his activities influenced the success of the former company,” says recruitment specialist Alena Batayeva . – It is important for me to see specifics and real indicators, such as an increase in sales or production, the number of new customers, expansion of activities, the number of new projects, etc. An employee could receive all these merits both in one organization, having worked there for several years, and in different ones. The essence of the question will not change from this.
Therefore, both in the resume and in the live interview, recruiters recommend that applicants voice as many numbers as possible. “Increased sales by 20 percent and collaborated with retail chains in five regions” sounds much more convincing than just “working in sales”.
If the applicant was previously lucky enough to work in a company with a big name, and not in an unknown individual entrepreneur, then most likely he will not forget to mention this at the interview. This move is correct, since the reputation of the former employer can add a couple of pluses to the overall impression of the employee. However, here it is also worth adhering to the first rule and do not forget to voice your achievements at the previous place of work.
“Certainly, the name of the company can “hook” the recruiter's attention,” says HR trainer Maxim Levchenko . – But many applicants believe that having voiced a “fashion brand”, you can not worry about anything else - and in vain. As in any other situation, the recruiter will look at what you have achieved in this organization. At the same time, it is important to take into account that the louder the name of the employer, the higher its requirements for employees, and therefore you need to be prepared for the fact that they will expect much better results from you than from a specialist of the same profile who previously worked in an unknown company. .
It is strictly not recommended to embellish your professional achievements in a well-known company and ascribe to yourself merits that were not really there. Since this information is not difficult to verify, this kind of deception will not only guarantee refusal, but also significantly damage the reputation.
“It makes no sense to lie about work experience, since it is not difficult to check the accuracy of information, and even more so in large organizations,” says Alena Batayeva. – But even if they take your word for it, you will have to work in the future, and the complexity of the tasks will be set precisely on the basis of previous experience. Today, applicants embellish their merits very often. As a result, the company believes that it has found a good specialist, but in fact he does not have even half of the skills that he announced at the interview. And it’s good if such an unfortunate worker turns out to be at least trainable.”
When a candidate has a very impressive many years of work experience behind him, you can talk about it for a long time. However, according to the HRs, there is no point in long stories. It is much better if the specialist focuses on those competencies and areas of knowledge that are suitable for the position. Everything else is completely optional.
“Applicants like to talk about previous jobs, sometimes this column takes up 90 percent of the resume,” says recruitment specialist Irina Shadrina . - However, a business document is not a personal diary, so neither in a resume nor in an interview should you try to tell about everything that happened to you at work over the past ten years. You need to focus on those competencies that will be in demand and relevant for the position you are applying for. But often the employee manages to work in completely different and not related industries, while at the interview he tries to mention each of them. It's too much. The only thing that is important for companies to understand is what kind of experience will be useful and applicable in practice at the moment. ”
Candidates who do not yet have work experience may be confused by this question. However, do not get lost - if you were invited for an interview, then the situation is no longer hopeless.
“Today, many companies are ready to accept graduates without experience, so the situation is in your hands,” says Maxim Levchenko. – In fact, experience is a relative concept, and often a graduate who actively participated in student practice and is interested in his profession will be in a better position than a specialist with ten years of experience in one enterprise, for whom the word “work” is associated with hard labor . Therefore, tell us about everything that may be directly related to your future profession: about internships, interesting cases in practice, about what interests you and what you would like to learn in the company. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The employer must see the enthusiasm, burning eyes and genuine interest in the work. If you manage to come across as an interested and trainable candidate, then you can be considered accepted.
Let's summarize: a competent description of previous work experience is one of the main advantages of a candidate in employment, which many people neglect. To interest a recruiter, there is no need to go into detail about all the companies in which you had a chance to work. The main emphasis should be placed on real achievements, confirmed by figures and facts, as well as on those competencies, knowledge and personal qualities that will be useful in a new job.
Photo: Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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