Questions to ask a nanny in an interview

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Juggle Street at 21/8/2020

When hiring a new nanny, whether it's the first time you're doing so, or you need to replace your current nanny, you may feel stressed or nervous when making your final decision. After all, you want to make sure your children are in the best hands when you're away. To make the decision-making process easier for yourself, it's important to ask the potential nanny the right questions during the interview. Here are some tips on how to structure your interview and what questions to ask.

1. Basic questions about them and their experience

First, it's always good to start off with general questions about why they want the position. It's a pretty standard question, but sometimes it can raise red flags.

Next, you'll want to know more about the experience of the nanny. For example, ask how many kids the nanny has looked after before, including what ages, and how many years they've been in the business for. You may also want to ask general information about their experience outside of looking after children too, as this could give you some insight into their personality.

2. Education and Training

Understanding what kind of training your nanny candidate has had is also very important, especially if you have a young infant or child with special needs. You'll want to ask questions such as:

  • Do you have any formal education or certifications in early childhood or childcare?
  • Do you have experience with special needs children?
  • Do you have CPR or first aid training?

3. Dig into their experience a little bit more

At this point, if the answers the nanny has given you have already raised red flags, you could end the interview early. If you're still interested, however, start asking more in-depth questions about the nanny's previous positions and experience. Ask why they left their previous position and also ask for references. If you have a baby, be sure to ask if the nanny has experience preparing bottles, changing diapers, introducing babies to solids, etc.

If your kids have allergies ask if they have had previous experience with children who have strict dietary requirements. Another important question to ask is if they have had experience administering medicine or have ever been involved in a life-threatening situation.

For these questions, it's important to ask for the nanny to elaborate and give examples. It's easy enough for applicants to say "yes" to these questions even if they haven't had this experience—asking for examples will help you separate out the fibbers.

4. Specific questions about how they would work with your children

These questions should be open-ended, allowing the nanny to put into their own words how they would look after your kids. Ask about their flexibility when it comes to schedules, how much they're willing to do in the house (e.g. cooking, cleaning), how they would deal with tantrums, how they would schedule the children's time, and how they would discipline your kids.

These are all extremely important things to know when you're trying to find a nanny. You should also ask about the nanny's personal interests and what they do in their free time. You may be surprised just how much their personal life can influence your decision on whether to hire them or not.