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    Katie Lewis

    What to ask in a nanny interview

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    Interviewing, screening and selecting potential nanny candidates can be a daunting task, but it is an important part of finding a nanny that is a good fit with your family.

     

    There is a lot to consider when hiring a nanny. Interviewing, screening and selecting potential nanny candidates can be a daunting task, but it is an important part of finding a nanny that is a good fit with your family.

    Try to use open-ended questions that will prompt for informative answers, such as questions starting with: What? When? Why? How? Where? Or tell me about… This will avoid getting yes and no answers.

    1. Experience and background: Look for a nanny who has experience working in a position similar to what you are hiring them for. Finding someone who has experience working with multiple families will ensure they are familiar with adjusting to the needs of your family. Ask for a resume and have them include at least three family references. Sample questions should include:
    • Tell me about your educational background.
    • Do you have any formal early childhood development or childcare training?
    • How long have you been a nanny?

    2. Nanny and philosophy/approach: Make sure a nanny’s philosophy about childcare is in line with yours. Discipline is an area that needs to be discussed up front to avoid any differences of opinion on how children should be disciplined. You need to know your candidate is in the field for all the right reasons, and enjoys children. Important questions to ask are:

    • Why did you choose a nanny career?
    • Why do you like being a nanny?
    • What do you think are the qualities needed to be a good nanny?

    3.    Your requirements: Make sure the nanny’s approach to work lines up with your own requirements. Your ideal candidate should be someone who has similar values, goals and work ethic to your own. Key questions should include:

    • Are you familiar with the neighborhood?
    • What is your philosophy on food and snacks?
    • What is your flexibility with scheduling?

    4.    Additional considerations: Give the candidates some time to spend with your child in home. We also suggest families schedule a working interview with finalist candidates. Are they attentive? Do they keep your children engaged? Your observations matter a great deal when you finally make decision. A few good questions are:  

    • Are they comfortable holding and/or speaking to your child?
    • Was the nanny pleasant and have a positive and upbeat personality?
    • Are you able to communicate easily and effectively with each other?

    Doing your homework and asking questions that are important to you and your family will make selecting the nanny that much easier. If you allow these questions to guide your interview process, you will find a great match in no time at all.

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