Nanny Interview Questions: What Parents Should Ask & What Nannies Should Expect
Are you interested in hiring a nanny for your family? Or are you a nanny looking for a new position? The process can be time-consuming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! The nanny market these days can be very competitive. Not only is the family interviewing the nanny, but s/he is also interviewing the family!
The average nanny will go on 8-10 interviews when looking for a new position, so families will want to be sure to make the best possible impression by being prepared and knowledgeable of what they’re looking for. Nannies should also be prepared by bringing a list of their own questions to ask. Below, you will find advice on how both families and nannies can ace their interviews.
There are several question categories that should be discussed during the first in-person interview. They are as follows:
- Education and Training
- Childcare Philosophy and Approach
- Daily Schedules and Routines
- Compensation and Logistics
Before the interview, families should make sure they know what they’re looking for. Do you need (and can you afford) a very experienced nanny, or will someone with one or two years of experience suffice for your family? Are you willing to consider a candidate with no nanny experience, or someone who hasn’t worked as a nanny but has worked in another childcare profession (daycare, camp counselor, etc)?
Questions about experience:
- Tell me about your previous childcare experience.
- Why did you decide (or why do you want) to become a nanny?
- How old were the children you’ve cared for in the past?
- Do you have experience with children with special needs/abilities (if applicable)?
Education and Training
These days, many nannies will have college degrees and/or training in areas such as child development, positive discipline, respectful care, nutrition, water safety, and more! Families can always suggest trainings (paid for by the employer, of course!) for their nanny to take if they feel s/he is lacking in certain areas.
Questions about education and training:
- Do you have formal training in Early Childhood Education or a related field?
- Are you CPR/First Aid certified or willing to become certified?
- Would you be willing/interested in taking childcare-related courses to further your knowledge and education?
- How would you handle a situation where a child became sick or injured in your care?
Childcare Philosophy and Approach
It is very important when hiring a nanny that the family find someone who shares their values and childcare philosophy. If the family is extremely laid back and the nanny is very firm and rigid, this will no doubt cause issues. Likewise, if you share similar childcare philosophies but are not on the same page when it comes to your approach in dealing with potential issues, this can be a problem as well.
Questions about philosophy and approach:
- What is your childcare philosophy?
- What is your preferred discipline method with toddlers? Preschoolers? Older children?
- Tell me about your ideal “nanny family”.
- How do you handle conflict with an employer?
- Tell me about a difficult behavioral situation you encountered in the past and how you handled it.
Daily Schedules and Routines
Questions about schedules and routines:
- What would a typical day look like for you with an infant? Toddler? School aged child?
- Are routines important to you? What types of routines/rituals have you used with children in the past?
- How would you keep a child occupied if I were to be around during the day?
- Tell me some of your favorite things to do with children.
Salary and Logistics
Questions about salary and logistics:
- Are you looking for a live-in or live-out position?
- Do you drive? Do you require a car to use during work hours?
- What hourly rate are you hoping for?
- What types of benefits are you looking for?
- Would you bring your lunch or would you prefer we keep food here for you?
- What would you do in a case of bad weather?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you require any special accommodations for your health/physical ability?
- Would you be willing to work overtime and/or travel with our family?
- When are you available to start? Do you have any trips or vacations planned this year?
- Be sure to ask for a resume and a list of references during the interview (a top candidate will have both, and may even have an entire interview portfolio for you to go over).
- If you are comfortable with the nanny, be sure to allow her to interact with your child(ren) in your presence to get a feel for how they may get along.
- Most importantly, trust your gut! If you don’t get the sense that you would be 100% comfortable leaving your child with a candidate, move on to the next person! Your sense of security and your child’s safety is the most important thing!
For more information on how to find, interview, and hire a nanny, check out our blog section and start your search on viathevillage.com!
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