You have to travel on an official trip and cannot take your baby along. Back home there is nobody to take care of the little one as your partner is also working. Under these circumstances, how can you leave your baby at home? It is then you remember the online advertisement on nannies. You decide to call them for an interview, but do not know what to ask because this is the first time you will be leaving your baby alone. Obviously, you do not want to take any chances.
Before hiring a nanny to your infant, it is crucial to ask several questions, including some uncomfortable ones. Good interview questions can provide insights into the nanny’s skills and demeanor. To make the job easy for you, MomJunction has listed out the nanny interview questions that you may ask before you hire.
Nanny Interview Structure:
It is good to be prepared for the interview with the right questions arranged in the right format. We have compiled a structure of five sections each with their individual questions:
- Doing the background check
- Knowing the nanny personally
- Professional details
- Reliability and emergency preparedness
- Salary and long-term dependability
Let’s see the questions you can ask under each section.
Doing the background check:
A background check helps you form your first impressions about the nanny. In this very first step, you quiz the references about the nanny’s overall credibility. Speak with as many friends and relatives as you can. If you stumbled upon the nanny online, then check with familiar people if they know the lady. Here are the questions for the nanny’s references.
[ Read: How To Choose A Good Daycare ]
- How did you learn about this nanny? You would like to know how the reference first heard of the nanny. Was the reference the first person she worked with or did she have prior experience?
- How long did she work with you? It is important to know this since the longer the nanny worked with a reference, the better can be the feedback.
- Did the children ever complain about the nanny? Children often complain about the person looking after them, but most adults neglect or playfully chide the kids for being fussy. However, it is essential to know if the children ever had any gripe about their nanny. Complaints help you comprehend the conduct of the nanny and conclude her probable temperament around children.
- Was there any untoward incident? You do not have to creep the other person out! You just want to know if something unfavorable occurred in the house when the nanny was in charge. For example, did she char the chicken she was baking for the children? Does she have a penchant to snack the cookies in the pantry? It helps you know if the nanny is reliable and trustworthy.
- What was the salary you paid? It helps you arrive at a number that you can use as a base for your salary negotiation with the nanny.
Knowing the nanny personally
You are done with the background check, and the nanny is in front of you for the interview. You must start with questions that help understand her personality. Ask her for a CV, but it is okay if she does not have one since you can learn all about her through the following questions.
- Why did you choose this as a career? A simple question that becomes a starting point to line up your subsequent questions. It also lets you know if she is a full-time nanny or if she does it during her free time.
- What is the best part about being a nanny? See how the lady responds. Her body language can suggest how passionate she is about her work.
- Is there something you dislike about your work? Some nannies may be uncomfortable about speaking about her dislikes. However, a good nanny will not shy away from speaking her mind. After all, there are pros and cons in every profession and nanny work is no exception.
- Tell me about your family: A question about where she came from, about her parents, and whether she has children of her own. If she doesn’t, then do not fret. Nannies can be good at their work even without having children of her own.
- What is the best thing about being with children? It lets you assess whether she innately loves children or her love is only professionally motivated. The latter is not a deal breaker, but it is always good to know, isn’t it?
- Tell me an experience when a child annoyed you? You can speak a lot on this topic. You can share your experiences babysitting a child and how you got vexed. And this helps the prospective nanny open up about hers.
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- What do children like about you the most? See how candid she gets here. An experienced nanny will have a lot of things to share in its answer.
- What qualities make an ideal parent? Remember, nannies are full-time babysitters and do not replace parents. Parents still need to fulfill their duties. Nannies could have views about an ideal parent but may fear to share it for the risk of losing the employment. Give her a chance to express herself with this question, and she would be delighted that someone asked that.
- What if a child refuses to obey your authority? It is a hypothetical situation; a case study of a sort where you would like to learn a nanny’s disposition in such circumstances.
- Are you comfortable with pets around? Relevant if you have pets at home or if your children love feeding birds in the balcony or the garden.
- Do you have any dietary preference, beliefs, and medical requirements? It helps you know the personal preferences and choice of the nanny, and whether she has any particular needs or expectations. Also, it is critical to know if she has any medical problems for which she takes medicines.
It is all about the details on the professional front and the overall skills of the nanny.
- What is your total work experience? Only count the overall experience of nannying the children. You can ask the number of hours if the nanny can tell you that.
- Are you currently working anywhere? If the nanny is hired somewhere, then you can ask the reason for leaving the current employer. If she wishes to work part-time, you can ask how she intends to manage her schedule.
- What are your educational qualifications? Ask about her highest qualification and a few questions about where she studied.
- Have you done any specific nanny course? A professional certification is a bonus since it indicates that the nanny is serious about her work.
- How do you discipline children at work? How does she manage difficult children? What rules does she place on them when she is around? A good nanny ensures she is always a step ahead of unruly and reckless children.
- What is the longest you have taken care of a child? A point to know when you intend to employ her for a long stretch. A full-time nanny should not have any qualms about the extent of her employment duration.
- Do you specialize in nannying children of a particular age group? Children behave differently at various stages of life. A nanny may feel that she is best suited for kids of a certain age.
- Can you cook, change diapers, potty train, and help children with homework? It will be nice if she can do all these things.
[ Read: Daycare Vs Stay-At-Home Parenting ]
- How do you keep children busy? Ask her about the activities and games she is aware of, and how does she keep hyperactive kids under control.
- Are you comfortable babysitting additional children? There could be times when you may have a relative’s child stopping over at your place or friends of your children having a night stay. It is important that the nanny is okay with these situations.
- Do you have any special reference to share? If there is someone whose child she nannied quite well and that parent can share some strong words of recommendation.
Reliability and emergency preparedness:
Your nanny is going to be with your child most of the time. It is important that she is dependable and adept at handling complex situations.
- Are you comfortable monitoring children outdoors? The nanny may have to accompany the child outdoors to parks or malls or pick the little one from school. Find out if the nanny is okay with doing these activities and does not intend to work indoors alone.
- How far do you live and how do you commute? Since she may travel to your place every day, it is useful to know the time taken by her to commute and the mode of transportation.
- Can you travel with the child, if ever needed? There could be times when you would expect the nanny to go out of town with the child. The lady could feel that she didn’t sign up for it. Better know her choice before packing your child’s bag.
- How do you regulate television watching and internet surfing for children? Television and the internet are the new toys for modern children. However, unlike real toys, it is essential to control these forms of entertainment. Check with the nanny if she has some tricks up her sleeve to prevent overexposure of your children to the TV and the worldwide web.
- Have you ever faced an emergency situation with a child? Be casual yet inquisitive while asking this question. You would like to know how composed and quick-thinker the nanny is when a circumstance goes into a crunch.
- Can you perform first aid? A good nanny will know first aid. It is the minimum emergency skill that is expected to be known by the caretaker. A nanny should ideally know how to help a child who is choking.
- Do you know swimming? Not a deal breaker, but an apt inquiry if you have a swimming pool at home or your children visit the local pool and beach for swimming lessons.
- Can you perform CPR? It is an advanced skill and is most likely to be known by the lady if she has done a professional course in nannying. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation where a person under cardiac arrest is resuscitated. It also includes mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in which the rescuer artificially ventilates an individual who has stopped breathing.
[ Read: How To Choose A Good Babysitter ]
- Do you have a driver’s license? Driving license is imperative if you expect the nanny to drive the family car and use it to pick or drop the children.
- Do you have a life or health insurance? There could be a circumstance where the nanny may injure herself or may suffer a grave medical problem. If she has a life or health insurance things can be a lot easier for you as an employer.
Salary and long-term dependability
Here you come to the topics of money, dependability, and adherence to work.
- What are your salary expectations? It is better to be straight with the question and ask her what she expects. Of course, you may negotiate or use the salary knowledge you obtained from the nanny reference you spoke at the beginning.
- Do you expect a bonus? Maybe she wishes to be paid extra for any additional work. Get a clarity on such terms to avoid a misunderstanding later.
- Do you expect an advance payment? Some nannies may expect a percentage of their fee to be reimbursed in advance.
- How much extra allowance will do? If the nanny has to go outdoors or travel with your child, then she needs extra cash in her purse. Ask if she wants an extra monthly allowance or whenever the situation arises.
- Do you mind paying from your pocket once in a while? In some cases, the lady may have to pay from her pocket and then claim a reimbursement from you.
- What mode of payment do you prefer? If she prefers cash, then you may have to print a receipt for a record. If it is digital payment, then it gets a lot easier to maintain records.
- How many leaves do you expect? She is an employee, and like any other, she would like to have some days off. Discuss her leaves and arrive at a consensus on this topic.
- Will you send a replacement if you fall ill? Just in case if she is unable to make it, will she be able to arrange a trustworthy and reliable temporary replacement.
- Do you have any pending legal cases? An honest question to be on the safer side. If she has court hearings, then it could mean she will be missing work for some days.
- Can I expect you to be back at short notice? Here you would like to know how soon can she resume work with you after finishing a tenure at your place.
[ Read: Questions To Ask Child’s Pediatrician ]
If you think the nanny is ideal for the job, then you can cover other aspects of her work.
Here is what you talk after you shook hands and chose the nanny for the position:
- Start date: The day she officially joins as your child’s nanny.
- The number of daily working hours: The total hours you expect her to work per day.
- Medical issues of children: Share details of any medical condition that your child suffers and how the nanny can stay prepared for it. You can train the nanny if necessary if the child has special requirements.
- For instance, if your baby has asthma, then you can show the correct way of using an inhaler.
- Rules of the family: It includes everything from the family’s dietary preference to the routine you follow. It is essential she adheres to it for a smooth flow of work.
- Use of household equipment or items: You may permit her to use the kitchen to cook her meals or may allow her to use the car for personal errands during working hours. Be clear about the authorizations so that there is no misunderstanding.
- Visits by her friends or family members: Decide whether you feel comfortable letting the nanny’s well-wishers visit her while she is at your place.
- Leaves and salary: Of course you asked her before, but be affirmative one more time.
If she is okay with the agreement and signs on the dotted line, you proceed to collect the necessary documents.
Documents You Need From The Nanny:
- Identity proof
- Address proof
- Medical certificate
- Employment record if associated with a nanny company
- Police verification certificate if available
[ Read: How To Take Care Of Infant ]
Asking the right questions and having all the necessary documents are going to keep your mind at ease when you leave you children in the care and company of the nanny. Remember, questions to ask a nanny can vary or can be modified depending on the age of the child and if he has some special requirements. Feel free to add to the list to have a more thorough analysis of the nanny.
How did you hire your nanny? Let us know in the comment section.
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