During the nanny hiring process, asking the right questions can help you best identify the potential nanny’s style and experience. Alongside, this process can also help you pinpoint any details that are specific to your household or environment.
The interview itself should have a natural conversational flow, but it is helpful to have your most essential questions in mind while getting to know each other. The interview questions here are meant to be a guide, but do be sure you create a personalized list for the items that are most important to you.
These basic questions will quickly answer the fundamental experience of your nanny while getting the conversation started:
- How long have you been a nanny?
- Do you have other experiences that have helped you grow as a nanny?
- What age groups have you worked with?
- Do you have a favorite age range that you enjoy?
- Have you taken any childcare classes?
- What other education have you had?
- Have you had training for basic first aid and/or CPR?
- Are you fluent in (insert language) or any other languages?
Previous Work History
While there is a chance that you have chosen to interview a first-time nanny because of their credentials or other criteria that you found useful for your child or situation, if you hadn’t known prior to the interview, the questions under The Basics section will quickly let you know.
On the other hand, for nannies with experience, it is important to understand that previous families may be far different from your own. In this, some processes or answers may have been specific to those situations. This is just something to keep in mind while asking these questions and listening to the answers. If you find something you consider odd or unclear, feel free to dive deeper and get those areas sorted out.
- What was your last position?
- If there was a gap, what did you do during your downtime?
- With your last family, describe your day to day routine.
- What were the best things about your previous family? The worst?
- What was your longest stay with a family? How was it?
- If you have experienced negative situations while on the job how did you handle them? Did these situations create a learning experience?
- What have been your best methods for (insert what fits you best, but things like …handling uncontrollable crying? ..being talked back to by a child?)
- Have you ever had any on the job emergencies? What happened?
- Do you have experience with children who are (insert anything specific to your child here that may be a concern for you)?
From experience, you can flow right into the caregiver’s style and approach to being a nanny. This will give you insight into what you can expect at a core level from your candidate.
- What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
- What are some challenges you face?
- Do you prefer structured days or more of a flexible schedule? Which of these have you seen work best for children?
- What is your approach to working with parents in raising their child?
- When an emergency comes up, how do you handle it?
- When there is an issue with a child, how do you approach the parents about it?
- Do you believe nannies should have a role in discipline? If so, what role?
If you have liked what you have heard and decided to continue the interview, this section is where you will discuss what you are looking for and what requirements you have for the position. These questions are just examples, your questions should be specific to your exact needs.
- Are you willing to cook/clean?
- Can we ask you to come in early/stay late?
- Can you participate in (insert hobby or activity that may be important)?
- Can you help maintain dietary/medical needs for the child?
- Can you help the child with school?
Be sure to add any important questions regarding religion, culture, special needs, physical duties, restrictions, and the like during this part of the interview. This is going to be the area where the final approval or disapproval will occur. If everything is good, time to introduce the kids!
Questions To Avoid
Interviewing a nanny is a job interview. There are basic employee rights that have to be legally complied with, just as with any job. These questions cannot be asked, and even if brought up in conversation cannot be used as a reason to not hire the candidate. These topics include race, ethnicity, age, arrest records, sexual orientation, marital status, questions about becoming pregnant, or disabilities.
Ending It Early
If you decided at any point that the candidate is not right for you, you can politely end it early. It is suggested to get through the entirety of The Basics section (at least) before making the decision. You will have more candidates available to interview and the most important thing is that you find the right nanny for you.
While this is not intended to be the all-inclusive interview question list, this should help you get started in the right direction.
Hiring an established nanny service can help sort out candidates long before the interview process as well. Professional nanny services will have their own strict requirements, have performed background checks, and verified basic safety training needs have been met.
Here at A Nanny For U, for instance, we take great care in making sure we provide matches that are best suited for your needs by getting to know you, as well as the nanny’s we work with.