Choosing a nanny is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. After all, nothing matters more than the health, safety, and well-being of your children. If you’ve never hired help before, though, you may be wondering how to narrow down all the seemingly qualified candidates. Thankfully, you can do just that by asking a few simple questions during the initial interview.
What are their qualifications:
A candidate’s resume should tell you all you need to know about his or her education and job experience. When it comes to specific skills and qualifications, though, the best way to gauge them is by asking. While every parent has different preferences, it’s generally wise to look for a nanny who is patient, playful, creative, and energetic. To get a better sense of their qualifications, you can ask:
- How long have you been caring for children, and how old were they?
- What is your favorite age to care for and why?
- Do you have other work or life experience that will help you do this job well?
- Are you trained in CPR? Have you taken classes in childcare? Would you be willing to take classes if necessary?
- What were some of the best and/or worst things about your previous job?
Can they accommodate the needs of your household?
When interviewing, you’ll want to look for nannies who best fit your needs. It’s important to consider your nanny’s flexibility for last minute schedule changes, what they are willing to help out with around the home, if they have any particular hobbies or areas of interest that will allow them to connect with your children, and so on.
- How flexible is your schedule, if we occasionally need you to arrive early or stay late?
- Are you willing to cook/do light housework/take care of pets? (Ask about any assistance you need.)
- Are there any activities or responsibilities that you won’t do?
- Do you swim/play sports or musical instruments/like arts & crafts? (ask about any activities that are important to you)
- How many kids are you comfortable watching? (Especially important for play dates, visits from relatives, etc.)
- Do you have special needs experience?
Are they the right personality fit?
Your nanny will undoubtedly have previous experience, but are her character traits suitable to your family? To ensure they are the perfect fit, you’ll want to consider asking about their views on discipline, how they handle challenges as they arise and what it is that draws them to this line of work.
- What do you like best about being a nanny?
- What do you find most challenging?
- What is your view of disciplining a child, and what should be the nanny’s role?
- How have you handled difficult situations like a baby crying uncontrollably or a child talking back?
- What are you most proud of when it comes to your job?
- Do you view your personality as flexible and easy to roll with change, or do you need more structure and the ability to plan ahead?