Write down these questions for your next nanny interview!
The interview phase of hiring a nanny is an important one, often involving more than one step. Parents will typically perform a pre-screen of the nanny, phone interviews and finally a meet and greet interview. While some interview questions can easily be done over the phone, the most important ones must be done in person. You want to ensure that you can trust this individual with your children, so read body language and ask plenty of open-ended questions. To help out parents we’ve created a list of nanny interview questions. And while this may seem like many questions, it’s okay. When it comes to your childcare there is no such thing as too many questions.
Begin with these general questions:
Where do you live? And how long will it take you to get to work? If your nanny must commute long distances she’s more likely to be late, especially in the case of bad weather.
Can you stay late? If you have to stay late at work frequently, it’s important to know that your nanny is flexible. If your nanny has important obligations such as a night job, classes or a child of her own she won’t be able to be as flexible and may not be a good fit for you. Remember, this all depends on your typical work schedule.
Do you have any health problems? Yes, this is a personal question – but it’s okay to ask. You will be leaving your children in her care, so it’s important to know of any potential problems like asthma, seizures, migraines or anything else that may affect her ability to properly care for your children.
Do you smoke? You may be okay with hiring a smoker, but you may want to set some rules in place. For instance, you may not want her to smoke around the children or she may need to go outside to smoke. If you do hire a smoker, you should also inform her that she cannot leave any cigarettes or lighters in reach of children.
Do you have children of your own? While this is not a deal breaker, it’s something to consider. Your nanny may have a young child that needs care as well, or she may not be able to come in if her children are sick. In addition, she may need to bring her children with her on occasion. Be sure to think this through before hiring a nanny with children.
Questions to ask if you have children from birth to 2 years:
How will you deal with a crying baby? You want to know that your nanny can deal with a crying baby. Ensure that she won’t just let the baby cry. Instead, ask her how she intends to handle the crying baby. Will she check to ensure the baby isn’t wet, needs food, is cold, ect.
What do you see as your primary responsibility for children this young? This allows you to get a sense of how responsible your nanny is.
How will you engage with a child this young? Will your nanny play appropriate games? Will she soothe the child? You want to see what she believes to be the most important aspect of caring for a child this age – and how she intends to interact with them.
Questions to ask if you have children ages 2 to 3:
How will you deal with a temper tantrum in public? At home? You want to know how your nanny intends to discipline your child. Will she hit or spank? Will she put the child in time-out? Will she take away toys?
How do you feel about toilet training? Children as this age are typically in the process of toilet training and you need to know how your nanny feels about this. Will she oblige with the process? If so, will she do it the way you are? Is she comfortable training girls, boys, or both?
How do you feel about playing outdoors? Your child may love to play outdoors and you need to know your nanny will be comfortable with this. If so, will she let your children play in the backyard? Will she take them to a park? Does she think outdoor play is important?
Questions to ask if you have children ages 3 to 5:
What method of discipline do you use? Children 3 to 5 need different methods of discipline and you need to be comfortable with her method. In addition, you might want to ask her if she will discipline the children your way for consistency.
What TV shows will you let them watch? Your children likely have favorite TV shows that they will want to watch. Is your nanny comfortable letting them watch the TV? What type of shows will she allow them to watch? Will she stick with your TV rules when your gone?
Are you willing to take your children on play dates? Parents, and children, love to interact with others their own age. How does your nanny feel about taking your children to the park, on play dates, activities and other groups?
Are you willing to supervise your children’s friends? Often times a child’s friends will want to come over, at least on occasion. Will your nanny allow this? If so, how does she intend to deal with multiple children? Will she charge extra for this?
Once you’ve completed the interview with your nanny, give her an opportunity to ask any questions. Your nanny may have some concerns, general questions or anxieties about the job – be sure to address them. Good luck in your search and remember, hiring a nanny is no easy process. However, these questions can help ease any trepidation you may have.