How to interview a prospective nanny
How to interview a prospective nanny
At Top Notch Nannies we know that few decisions you make are as important as a nanny, and conducting interviews to fill this all-important role can be a demanding process. We have a few tips up our sleeve, so here’s our guide to interviewing your prospective nanny.
Start with a plan
Many parents find it easier to do their first in-person meeting without the children present. This gives them a chance to focus on their potential employee without distractions. It also means you don’t have to invite a stranger into your home – you can eliminate all but one or two candidates before introducing them to your little ones. Plan for each interview to last around 45 minutes and ensure they are at least an hour apart which gives you plenty of time if you are running late or you want to spend more time with a fantastic candidate. Have a printed list of questions for each candidate so you can scribble down notes or reminders about things you want to go into in more detail later.
Let your nanny know what she needs to bring:
- Photo ID card or passport
- Any certification (first aid etc) or DBS check material she has
- A CV.
Many nannies will also have video clips of themselves with former charges, pictures of projects they undertook with other families from helping with coursework through to decorating for Christmas etc. Allow time for them to give you a flavour of how they fit into families they’ve worked for before, so don’t schedule your entire 45 minutes for questions and answers.
Things you may wish to bring
- If you have a nanny contract you can take that along (but remember your prospective nanny won’t be able to take in much written information in a 45 minute interview) and be prepared to give your favourite one or two candidates a copy to take away.
- A checklist of key facts you need to cover eg if anybody in your family has dietary needs or special requirements or is facing particular challenges or pressures or has anything major coming up in the year ahead – that includes grown-ups as well as children!
Questions to ask
We divide nanny questions into three major areas. Questions about her, about her experience and about the future. Here are sample questions that may help you create a comprehensive question list:
About your nanny
- Tell us about yourself
- Tell us about your upbringing and family life
- Why did you decide to become a nanny?
About her experience
- Have you always been a nanny? What other work experience do you have?
- What has been your best nanny job so far? What made it so special to you?
- What qualities to you think make a good nanny?
- It looks like you have a career gap on your CV, can you take us through that?
- Are you expecting to have a lifetime’s career in childcare?
- How long to you see yourself staying with our family if you come to us?
- Do you have other career goals?
Nuts and bolts
Of course you can’t get to know somebody in 45 minutes but the answers to these questions should give you a good snapshot of your potential nanny candidates. Then there are the nuts and bolts you need to cover with each candidate – we suggest the following:
- We’ll be doing background checks on anybody we hire – so is there anything you’d like to tell us now? (Please bear in mind that, for example, there are black sheep in most families!)
- Is your DBS check up to date, can you provide us with documentation?
- Do you have a full clean driving licence? Again, a chance for prospective nannies to explain any points they have on their licences.
- What notice period do you need to give in your current role?
This process should give you a real sense of each shortlisted candidate and will have highlighted which of them is just right for your family.