Nanny Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Finding childcare can be a lengthy and overwhelming process. The thought of inviting a stranger into your home, introducing them to your children, and hiring them to take care of them can be incredibly stressful.

Therefore, you will need to make sure that whoever you choose is the right fit for both you and your family. Keep in mind that this person will be a part of your children's everyday lives for months, if not years to come.

When compiling your list of potential nannies to interview for the position, you will need to create a series of questions to help you choose the right person for the job.

Asking the right questions will give you a better understanding of your future employee. It can also help you reach a well-informed decision regarding the person you are inviting into your home.

Here you will properly learn how to prepare and conduct an interview with potential candidates. Do not feel as though you have to limit your line of questioning. When it comes to finding the right person to look after your little ones, there’s no such thing as being overly cautious.

Looking for a job? These position are hiring now near you:

  1. Nanny
  2. Family Nanny
  3. Nanny/Housekeeper
  4. Personal Nanny
  5. Live-Out Nanny

What Is a Nanny How Are They Different from a Babysitter?

Oftentimes, people believe that the terms nanny and babysitter are interchangeable. Though both occupations have the similar overall task of childcare, there are some distinct differences between them.

For starters, a nanny or caregiver is a person who is paid to work as a full-time household employee. This means that their employment will most likely be based on a salary.

Nannies are also often involved with the overall development and well-being of the child or children. Occasionally, a family with working parents might even need a nanny to live with them at their residence.

For example, if the parent is a police detective, doctor, or any other on-call professional, they might need to leave at a moment's notice.

If you choose to hire a nanny, you will need to clearly define what you expect them to do during their work hours.

You see, nannies can be divided into subcategories. This all depends on the task they are assigned. For example, you can have a nanny that lives with the family full time, one that works full-time, yet lives outside of the family residence, or one that not only cares for the children but they are also part-time housekeepers.

On the other hand, babysitters are more of a part-time position, where they are given a fixed rate and mainly set their focus on the child's well-being for a short amount of time during the day or week. You can think of them as independent contractors.

Generally, a babysitter takes care of the children while the parent or legal guardian is within a reasonable distance and easy to reach over the phone should an emergency arise.

Even though both occupations circulate around the children's overall well-being, you as a parent will need to define which tasks and responsibilities you need your childcare employee to perform.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Nanny

Once you have decided which tasks you would like your nanny to do, the next step is to comb through your list of potential candidates carefully. As soon as you have chosen your top applicants, you will need to draft a list of questions to help you choose the right person for the job.

The first step to take after choosing your favorite applicants includes conducting a brief phone interview. This will help you gain a better grasp of the potential candidate. Remember to be very clear with the person you are interviewing.

Describe your family, the hours, and important details they must know about, such as any disabilities or medical needs they need to be aware of.

If possible, try to find a neutral location to have your first meeting, like a bookstore or a coffee shop. However, given the current pandemic, your initial meeting might have to be via video.

Keep in mind that this meeting will also serve as a way for you and the potential employee to learn about one another. When choosing a caregiver, you will want to feel comfortable with the person you invite into your home.

When conducting your interview, be sure to follow legal guidelines and avoid asking any questions in regards to the following:

  • Age

  • Citizenship

  • Gender

  • Disability

  • Education

  • Family

  • Financial status

Please keep in mind that all of these inquiries are acceptable before the interviewing process.

Before hitting them with the hard questions, try taking a simpler approach by breaking the ice and calming nerves. Here is a list of some common questions to ask that won’t overwhelm the applicants:

  1. Tell me about yourself. Why did you choose to pursue a career in childcare?

    Though it may seem like a simple thing to ask, this question can help you, as an employer, gain a little bit of insight from your prospective employee. This allows them to openly express themselves and tell you why they have chosen this path.

  2. Why do you want this job? What are you looking to gain from this experience?

    It is one of the most fundamental questions you can ask any potential candidate, but it is also the most telling.

    Asking them why they are seeking employment by you, will show you just how well-prepared they are for the interview. It will also show you whether their values align with yours.

  3. Have you ever worked as a nanny before, or anything related to childcare? What ages are you comfortable working with? What was your experience?

    It might seem redundant to ask these questions, given that their resume already depicts their past experiences.

    However, this will give you a more in-depth understanding of their work and how it carried it out.

    Knowing what ages your prospective nanny is comfortable working with is also very important. You want to ensure that they are capable of handling any situation regarding your children.

  4. Are you certified in First Aid and CPR?

    Anyone you’re considering to hire for this position must be actively certified in case of an emergency. You never know when the situation might call for it, and it would be beneficial for both you and your family.

  5. What hours can you work? Are these hours flexible should we need you to come outside of your expected time?

    Keep in mind that there might be instances when you need your nanny to arrive earlier, or leave later than expected.

    Make sure that when you interview the applicants, they understand this and are willing to make the necessary changes should the situation arise.

    If that is not the case, respect their answer and move on to the next question. Remember not to base your decision on a single answer.

  6. Do you have a reliable method of transportation?

    This is a very valid question given the situation. As an employer, you must be certain that your employee can arrive at work on time. You also need to know whether they will be able to drive your children should the situation call for it.

  7. How far is your commute?

    Even if this is seemingly the perfect candidate, you need to ensure that their commute is within a reasonable distance. Having them close will benefit you especially if you need them to arrive quickly. You should ensure that it is not too much of a hassle for them to reach your residence.

  8. What is your view on discipline? How would you best handle a situation that calls for disciplinary actions?

    Though this might seem like an uncomfortable topic to discuss during an interview, you and your prospective nanny need to be on the same page.

    Let them know your views on this subject right away, and what you believe is an acceptable or unacceptable form of action.

  9. Are there any tasks or responsibilities you are not comfortable with?

    This question will help you determine what the candidate's boundaries are, including what they might be willing or unwilling to do during their work hours. Make sure that they understand that you are willing to respect their space and boundaries.

  10. What has been the most challenging situation you have had to face as a nanny? How did you handle it?

    It is crucial for you to know how each prospective nanny will manage a given task, and how well they work under pressure.

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Answer the Interviewee’s Questions

Once you have completed your questions, allow the interviewee the chance to ask any questions they may have about the position or even about your family.

Remember to collect any necessary documentation, credentials, or certifications you may need. Take the time to ask for at least three references or letters of recommendation.

References are an excellent way to compare notes between their former employers and what you’ve gathered during the interview.

Final Thoughts

During this process, you should also consider setting up a trial run with your top candidate. Doing this will give you the chance to see the dynamic between them and your children.

Remember to choose a neutral location until you feel comfortable and confident enough about your decision.

If you are satisfied with your choice, offer them the job as soon as possible. Let them know that you will be keeping in touch to discuss the details of the position, and their contract further.