You need a nanny to help with the kids and through referrals, online job boards, or an agency, you have a few candidates to interview. Great, right!? So, what questions should you ask to understand if the applicant is the right fit for your family? These twenty-four questions will give you a head start on interview questions to help you make an informed decision.
Applicants may be nervous during the interview, so it’s often beneficial to start with basic background questions. This allows you to restate the requirements for your job and begin with easy to answer questions.
- Are you 16 years of age or older? Are you legally eligible to work in the United States?
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony and/or a misdemeanor? Have you ever been the subject of a substantiated complaint of child or sexual abuse?
- Are you comfortable completing a background check? What about drug screens?
- Do you have a driver’s license, reliable vehicle, and auto insurance? Have you ever had a moving or driving-related violation or traffic accident (including tickets)?
- Do you have any medical conditions that could affect your ability to care for children? Do you have any diet restrictions? Are you comfortable with the physical demands of the position?
- Are you current on the common vaccinations? Are you willing to get Pertussis, meningitis, and flu shots?
- Do you have a checking account? Are you open to direct deposit payments?
- Are you available during the days and times needed for the position?
- Do you have a second obligation (part-time job, college, or another childcare commitment)?
- How long would you be interested in this position? What is the longest you have stayed with a family or employer?
It is helpful to share information about your family and the children before diving into child experience questions. Explain how you see the nanny fitting into the current structure and schedule of the family as well as share some insights on the personalities of the children. Then, use open-ended questions to learn about the candidate’s experience.
- Do you have formal nanny training from a licensed organization (such as US Nanny Institute’s Advanced Certification)? Do you have CPR and First Aid Certification? Do you know how to swim? Are you certified in life-saving? Are you open to taking childcare classes?
- Can you share your previous nanny experience? Do you have overnight experience? What age children have you cared for? Can you describe each childcare position? Are you able to share documentation for the childcare work experience and/or do you have 3 to 5 professional references?
- Are you available to care for a child that is ill? Can you share a time you cared for a child that was ill?
- Tell me about a time you had to handle an urgent childcare issue (illness, injury, other). What happened and how did you manage the situation?
- What was your typical daily routine at your last childcare position?
- What is your favorite ages to care for and why?
Fit with Your Family
Finding a great fit will be important for success with a nanny. The parents, nanny, and all children need to be comfortable. Here are a few questions to help you understand if the connection feels right.
- What is your working style? What’s an example of a style difference you had with a parent and how did you manage it?
- What would you do if my child disobeyed your request or was not listening to instructions?
- Can you share a time you handled a difficult situation like a baby crying uncontrollably or a child having a temper tantrum?
- What type of activities would you do with the child(ren)? What experiences do you have providing educational activities? Do you have experience helping with homework?
- Are you willing and able to cook meals? What type of meals can you cook? How would you feel about sitting down with the family for meals with phones and technology turned off?
- Would you be willing to travel and help the Family during vacations? Do you have a current passport?
- Are you willing and able to do housekeeping chores (laundry, clean kitchen, dust, vacuuming, mop floors)?
- Are you comfortable with a nanny contract?
Hiring a nanny and welcoming them into your home requires trust and a personal connection. Take the time to check references and complete a background check and then you’ll have the confidence to hire someone who can really help with the day to day of caring of your children.