Interview Tips for Nannies
Dress casual, but neat. Look presentable while giving the impression that you are willing to get down on the floor and play or interact with children.
Hair + make-up are in good order; don’t wear too much perfume and jewelry.
Travel time, if you are lost or delayed (run into traffic) ALWAYS call the family to say you are running late.
Do not arrive too early.
Turn off your cell phone during the interview.
Make sure to show your interest in the children and interact with the children.
Ask to wash your hands before holding infants or small children (parents really appreciate this).
Be sure to show enthusiasm about childcare.
Offer information about your children experience and special training. Have references on hand for the prospective employer, in case they would like to contact your past employers.
No bad-mouthing about previous employers!! Be very polite and personable.
Try to keep interview focused on your strengths as a caregiver.
Do not get side tracked with personal questions (too much about your personal life is not relevant to the job you are applying for).
Ask any questions you may have about the job expectations inquire about a typical days, get a good feel for the job. Remember, you are making a commitment, if you take a job (so make sure it is the right one).
When you decide to go for the interview on a long term basis be aware that every family will be interested in hiring a nanny who can make at least one-year commitment.
Typical Interview Questions
- Why do you want to be a nanny?
- What qualifies you to do this type of work?
- Be prepared to give dates of when you worked and ages of the children you cared for.
- What types of activities do you like to do with children?
- How do you handle a child that is a picky eater?
- How do you handle an emergency situation?
- What do you do when a child is crying? What if the child cries all day?
- How do you handle a child that is misbehaving?
- What do you think a typical day would be like with the children?
- Have you ever toilet trained child? What was your experience like, and what techniques did you use?
- What is your background? Tell us about your family.
- Describe your personality.
- Are you willing to do lots of outside activities?
- Are you comfortable being both a nanny and a housekeeper?
- Are you flexible to occasionally stay a little bit later during the week?
- Are you in good health? Do you smoke?
- Are you a good driver? Any accidents in your past?
- How often do you take vacations? Are you willing to coordinate some vacation with a family vacation, so that family is on vacation at the same time?>
- Describe what your discipline philosophy.
- Describe how you work within parent requirements for child supervision (e.g., children doing chores, limited T.V. time, meal time etc.)
- Are you comfortable with constructive criticism?
- What did you like about your most recent job? What did you not like?
- What is your educational background?
- Have you completed any childcare related courses or do you have any special training?
NOTE: Think carefully and answer their questions as clear as possible.
It is a good idea to prepare few questions in advance so that you are not caught unaware when asked if you have any questions during your interview.
- The family lifestyle.
- What is your work schedule?
- If one or both parents work at home?
- Do you plan to buy a cat? (if you are allergic)
- Job responsibilities and structure: (topics)
- Arranging play dates
- Baby’s laundry
- Children’s room neat and organized
- Toys clean and organized
- Are there any duties in addition to childcare: family laundry, grocery shopping, errands, starting dinner, light housekeeping. Ask for specifics.
- If Live-In
- What accommodations are available for the nanny?
- If the family is providing car, what are the limitations on its use?
- Can friends visit me?
- What are the family expectations during off duty hours? Must the nanny disappear?
- Does the nanny have her own phone? How is the phone bill handled?