As a parent about to start searching for a nanny, you might find yourself overwhelmed with many different questions. This post will be the first of a series of three post and aims to help you succeed in this process. We will be covering the basics; how to conduct a successful nanny interview, your legal responsibilities when employing a nanny and some tips on how to manage your nanny so that the beginning of your relationship is smooth and successful!

With two decades of experience in placing nannies, we know how challenging it can be for parents to find the perfect carer for their child. There are many important things to think about: the nanny’s experience and qualifications, whether the personality of the nanny is suitable for the family (and viceversa!), her approach to childcare or how the nanny interacts with your children.

The decision to employ a candidate also involves your child – it is important they like each other and they get along! It can be unsettling for children to meet all the potential candidates you are considering; we find that the best approach is only to introduce those candidates with a strong possibility of getting the position. Some of our parents introduce the prospective nanny to the children briefly after their initial interview, when they feel certain the candidate has potential! If everything has gone well, a second interview day can be booked during which they can spend longer with your little one and you can see how they interact together.

Take time to prepare the interview with your nanny

A successful nanny interview should be both structured and detailed: we suggest preparing your questions along with a list of key criteria to make each candidate interview straightforward and consistent. Some areas to think about are:

    • Ensure the nanny has a clear understanding of your family profile and provide full details of the position: for example – working schedule, salary, duties
    • Find out as much about your candidates as you can – learn about their background and why they are working as a nanny. What are their expectations of the job? Why do they want to work with children?
    • Assess whether their method of educating children matches your parenting style: Is important you have similar views on things like how to discipline children, their thoughts on a balanced diet and how to handle moments of stress and children’s tantrums.
    • Ensure you read about their work experience and education in detail, and note down questions to ask: Pay attention to things like how long have they stayed with their previous families, whether there are gaps in their employment, what activities have they done with previous employers, how much was their salary on the latest position and what was the reason for finishing her employment with past employers.

So, what actual questions can you ask your nanny during the interview?

Research shows that an employer makes a decision about a candidate very quickly, often in the first 3 minutes of an interview. We truly believe that it is important to assess your future nanny in a much more detailed way! Allow approximately 45 minutes for your interview and obtain as much information from the candidate as possible. We have listed some questions here that will help to make the interview process easier for you:

  • Please tell me about you and your family background
  • Tell me about your childhood
  • What did you enjoy most about your school/college days?
  • Why have you chosen this profession?
  • What do you enjoy most about this profession?
  • What are your strengths in working with children?
  • Are you currently employed? If so, specify reasons for leaving this position
  • Tell me about your previous work experience.
  • Have you ever been unemployed and if so, what was the reason?
  • What are your expectations for your next position?
  • What kind of activities would you do with the children on a day-to-day basis?
  • How would you keep the children occupied on a rainy day?
  • What meals would you prepare for the children?
  • Could you help my child with weaning, table manners, potty training, reading and writing etc?
  • Are you trained in First Aid? What would you do in the following situations: (a) cut (b) a burn (c) a blow to the head (d) choking (e) high fever?
  • How would you deal with behavioural issues?
  • Are you happy to babysit? Would you expect to be paid extra for this?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that can have an impact on your work?
  • Do you hold a clean driving licence?
  • Do you have a car? (enquire about child equipment for the car)
  • Does your motor vehicle insurance cover having your employers’ children in your car?
  • Do you smoke?
  • How much notice would you need to give to your present employer?
  • How soon would you be able to start work?
  • What salary are you seeking?

We hope this information is useful! Keep an eye on our next two post to get as much information as possible to assist you in this process. And if you have a question or if we can be of any help you can always call Hopes and Dreams Nanny and Babysitting Agency on 02078339388.