I have a series of interviews for new staff this week. In the young female demographic that makes up the majority of Early Childhood Educators maternity leaves are an ever present reality. I joke that when someone comes to my office and asks me "Do you have a minute" while closing the office
door behind them.....I yell "No, No I do not......while yanking the door open and ushering them out before they say....."I am having a baby!".... Honestly just joking - what most of them don't know is that I have usually guessed before they tell me and I am always genuinely happy for them.
Boy do I have some stories to tell about some of the people we have interviewed in the past..... seriously crazy people......one incident involved the candidate breaking into the seniors centre next door and getting stuck in their yard in the pouring rain.....security guards etc. etc... needless to say she was not the successful candidate.
Or the one who when asked "Please describe your philosophical beliefs about child care".....said nothing .... for like minutes... and then asked "Is that like my philosophy?" to which I answered "Yes" while trying not to catch the eye of any of my staff in the room knowing there was some eye rolling going on. More silence ..... then she said "Wow that is a tough question" to which I said "Would you like to come back to it at the end" to which she said "Sure, that would be great I am sure I will remember it by then".... also not a successful candidate.
Or the one who said in answer to the final interview question "If you were the successful candidate can you anticipate any barriers for yourself in successfully performing your job duties in this position?" said "Yes"......um ok.... "what might they be?" I asked...... "I don't actually have my ECE certificate anymore - it lapsed 5 years ago". I do wonder what she is doing now?
So many more stories - it almost makes interviewing fun, never knowing what doozy is coming next.....When I start skipping questions on the interview form the staff in the room know the candidate in the hot seat is toast - sometimes you just know it isn't going to happen - so why waste everyones time? Sometimes we can hardly contain the fits of laughter until the candidate is a safe distance away.
I actually find interviewing stressful - there are alot of people counting on me (and my fellow committee) to make the best and right decision. This is no small job and the team work is busy and intense so not only do they need to know their stuff with the children they need to fit well with the team. And be able to communicate effectively with a broad range of parents. Some can look SO good on paper and be just hopeless in the classroom and the reverse can be true which is why we put our top candidates into the classroom for a few hours before we offer the job. It's an expense that has saved a pile of money and heartache in the long run.
So today we are looking for 3 staff - we have 8 candidates..... we are hopeful that by this time tomorrow we have someone (or 2) who have that "It" factor, that common sense and all round super woman powers that will make them the perfect new employee..... nothing lesss than the best will do!