You have a shortlist of nanny applicants and ready to move to the next stage: the interview process. Now, it's time to prepare for the interview. Don't know how and where to start? We are here to guide you. We have outlined an interview checklist as well as what to expect during the nanny interview.
Preparing for the Nanny Interview: What to Expect
A nanny interview usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour. It is not enough to cover everything you would wish to know, hence, a formal interview structure is important so you can ensure that the essential points are covered and discussed.
We do not recommend to have your child present for the initial interview so you can fully focus with getting to know the nanny. While it is also important for you to see how your child interacts with a potential nanny, we suggest you either let them in the interview towards the end or when you have already decided on which one to hire, or schedule a trial day where you let them meet each other before the actual babysitting.
Suggested Nanny Interview Structure
First try to make casual talk to help the nanny be more at ease with you. This will result in more responsiveness and candor when it comes to addressing your questions.
Once you are both at ease, explain how the interview is going to flow so that the applicant will know what to expect as well.
- Ask the potential nanny to tell someting about herself/himself and what she/he is looking for in a job
- Go through the nanny's application in detail: skills, relevant certifications, past job experiences
- Run through a list of questions relating to the nanny's abilities as a childcarer such as her views on discipline and suggested activities for the children
- Tell the nanny about your family and children
- Tell the nanny about the position and your guidelines
- Encourage her to ask questions
- Refrain from asking: race or ethnic background, religious views, sexual orientation, marital status/plans on becoming pregnant, disability and arrest record.
Your Nanny Checklist
1. Get to know the nanny first.
You can start the interview by asking basic background questions such as:
- How long have you been babysitting? If this is your first time, what made you decide to get into this type of job
- What are the children's ages of those you have cared for?
- Do you have an age preference when it comes to caring for children?
- Are there any past job experiences that enhanced in strengthening your career?
2. Go through the nanny's application: training and education, past job experiences, skills.
Training and education
- Are you trained in CPR? Do you have first aid training for babies and children certification?
- Have you taken childcare classes?
- Add questions relevant to your child's specific needs, such as secondary languages and medical conditions
Read through 8 Smart Tips in Hiring the Perfect Nanny or Babysitter.
Previous job experience
Discuss their work history (and call references before making an offer)
- Tell us about your most recent job. What worked and what didn't?
- If there were gaps between employment experiences, what did you do during those times?
- How did you handle difficult situations? (Cite examples like a child throwing a tantrum.)
- Have you ever had a childcare emergency? How did you respond?
- How do you see yourself in three years - still in this industry? (This will allow you to guage if the applicant is looking for a long-term position or not.)
3. Find out her abilities as a childcarer, her views on discipline, suggested activities for children, and questions relating to her own background.
- What do you think are the best and challenging experiences in being a nanny?
- Do you prefer more or less structure in your day?
- What do you think works best when partnering with parents to help raise their child?
- What is your view of disciplining a child? What do you think should be the nanny's role?
4. Orient her about the available position and your child.
If a nanny applicant meets your job requirements, you can now discuss the most important part: your child and the position she is filling out.
Get into the nitty-gritty of the job description and your requirements. Include salary and wages, hourly rate, benefits, and any other extra compensation you are willing to pay for if she is willing to take on added responsibilities.
This is the time to see if her expectations match what you can offer. Ask questions like:
- How flexible is your schedule?
- Are you willing to do additional chores? If so, what is your additional rate?
- Do you play sports, play musical instruments, or have any specific hobbies that you can do as an activity for my child?
- Are there any activities or responsibilties that you can't do or prefer not to?
5. Encourage her to ask questions.
Remind the potential nanny it's the perfect time to ask things that you weren't able to cover during the interview.
6. Set expectations.
Once you feel the interview is enough for you to decide, let her know what to expect: when she should hear back from you, if you prefer to have a trial day, or if you have a final decision.
Hire the Right Nanny for Your Child
Did you love her answers? It's time to bring in the kids (or schedule a trial day). Were you a little less than convinced? Don't settle. Interview the next candidate, you will find the right nanny for your child eventually.
At Tiny Steps, we make it easy and simple for you. See How it Works. To find the best match, come up with your own criteria first so you have a basis when screening profiles. Join our community today.
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