September 1, 2021 — By Wendy Sachs

Getting off on the right foot is always important and that point can start at the interview. A successful and comprehensive in-home job interview is crucial for the long term success of the nanny/family relationship. It sets up expectations, communication paths and much more. Unlike many professional interviews, right from the start, a nanny interview should be very much back and forth with both employer and nanny asking lots of questions and really getting to know each other.

Here are a few tips to finding the perfect fit!

Open-ended questions.
Sure, start out with the basics, but don’t be afraid to ask more. Situational questions are fantastic; they allow you to explore how things may play out in real situations. Brainstorm a list of questions that really explore scenarios that you may encounter in the future.

     Here are a few you can try asking-

  • What would happen if….. (employer is stuck in traffic and a half hour late, baby has a fever, kids are in virtual school for part of the year)
  • How have you handled it when….. (kids have a “snow day”, mom and dad are working from home and baby is crying, toddler draws on the walls with crayon)
  • Tell me about a time…. (you had a conflict with an employer or employee, your job description changed, where you had a success with the kids)

Other important topics.

  • A candid COVID conversation to find out if your risk temperaments match and to be frank and open on how you will handle these issues
  • Detailed questions on childcare issues and be sure to ask each other for theories on discipline, the importance of play, outings, swimming if applicable, and thoughts on further education for nanny.

Nannies and families have an intimate relationship and having similar temperaments, sense of humor and general vibe is important. Share amusing anecdotes about your current nanny or family. Talk about how you prioritize your down time and things you love to do outside of work like travel, hobbies or interests.

Telling questions.

  • Describe your perfect day with the children.
  • What is one book you have read or class you have taken that has deeply influenced you as a parent or nanny?
  • Describe the kids as adults. What personality traits and characteristics will they have?
  • What three words do you think describe the relationship between nanny and parents?

We know that interviewing is stressful! A perfect match is possible but it takes both parties really sharing and exploring feelings, practices and thoughts. Don’t be afraid to do a follow up interview or send an email or schedule a quick phone call if you are feeling uncertain about something said. We are also here to help so feel free to call us with any questions along the way.