Your nanny interview questions set an early tone for the relationship you build with your nanny. Your nanny will play a vital role in the lives of your children and your entire family. The interview is an important step in finding the right caregiver for your child.
NannyPay values and supports strong working relationships between nannies and families. In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps you should take when interviewing a nanny, and provide a list of nanny interview questions you should ask to help you make the best decision for your family.
Step 1: Consider your pre-nanny interview questions
In order to shortlist candidates who might be the right fit for the role, it’s important to know what you are looking for in a nanny. Create a list of your pre-nanny interview questions and go over them with applicants who look strong on paper. You will want to confirm that anyone you interview can work the schedule you require, handle the responsibilities you need covered, and meet any education/specialty/values you are seeking in a nanny.
Step 2: Confirm documentation
Before you invest time in going through nanny interview questions with a candidate, it’s important to check that they hold the certifications to confirm they will be a safe caregiver. Ask to see their Working With Children Check (or your state’s equivalent), find out if they have or are willing to get a First Aid & CPR certification, and discuss any of your other requirements with them.
Step 3: Meet your (potential) nanny
When you meet with a nanny, take the time to get to know them and ask them about themselves and their work with children (use some of our nanny interview questions below!). Pay close attention to their demeanor and communication skills, as these are important indicators of how they will interact with your family.
Step 4: Observe them with your child
If possible, allow the nanny an opportunity to engage with your child during the interview. This will allow you to observe their interaction, but do remember that we cannot expect to see an instant strong connection right away. Consider their approach with your child and how it will suit your family.
Step 5: Check references
After going through the nanny interview questions with your nanny, it’s vital to check references. This is an opportunity to get extra insight into the nanny’s personality and work ethic, and can help you understand how to build a positive working relationship with them.
10 NANNY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
With these steps in mind, let’s arm you with 10 nanny interview questions you should think about asking when you are considering a candidate:
- What is your experience with children? (Discuss ages they’ve cared for and how they gained that experience – nanny roles, childcare centres, casual interactions with kids, raising their own children?)
- What do you enjoy about working with children? (Do they love their work or is it just a paycheck to them? Do they mention things that your role will provide for them?)
- What is your approach to caring for children? (What is their discipline style? What is their focus when it comes to learning and development? Listen for the balance you’re seeking between knowledge, aligned values, and willingness to support you in your parenting choices.)
- What resources have you used to develop your knowledge of childcare? (Have they learned through formal education or professional development? Do they use resources such as books, articles, podcasts? How do they keep up with the latest recommendations?)
- Have you ever had to deal with an emergency or challenging situation? How did you handle it? (Children sometimes have accidents, it can’t be avoided, but if the nanny has faced one did they respond appropriately? If they haven’t had a typical emergency, what they saw as challenging will give you insight into their experience and way of dealing things.)
- Have you worked with previous families through *insert current or upcoming phase for your family here*? (Are you in the sleep settling, toilet training, school starting, teen angst period of your children’s lives? Find out whether the nanny has been through it before and what their approach is.)
- How do you view your role as a nanny? (This might indicate their focus when it comes to the children or their approach to fitting into a household. Some nannies seek a very personal relationship while others prefer more formal boundaries. Some nannies prefer to follow the parents’ lead while others prefer to ‘take charge’. You want to find the right fit for you.)
- What are you seeking in your next role? (It’s so important to fit the right fit in a nanny role, and influences how long a nanny/family relationship lasts.)
- Are there interests of yours that you enjoy sharing with children? (This shows an interest in your prospective nanny as a person and gives you an idea of how they might add to your children’s lives.)
- Are you happy to support us with *insert household task here*? (A nanny’s primary focus will always be the children, but often families have additional things they want help with. Discuss these early to make sure it’s going to work.)
By asking these nanny interview questions (in a way that comes naturally to you), you can get a better understanding of a candidate’s experience, approach to child care, and compatability with your family’s needs. It’s not only the answers they give, but their overall engagement with you that will help you to see what they would be like to have in your home.