Part of being a nanny means that you will have to interview with families and agencies to find just the right fit for your future job. Have you ever been on an interview and felt unprepared or nervous because you have no idea what to expect? Charlotte’s Best Nanny is here to help! We have compiled a list of tips for nannies to use before and during their interview. By following these interview tips you are sure to impress your potential future employers.
Be prepared: It’s important to have as much information on the position your interested in before your interview. You should have a reasonable understanding about the job and its requirements. It’s also a good idea to bring a list of questions that you would like to ask the agency or family you are interviewing with as it shows that you have a genuine interest in the position.
Be punctual: Be on time, or even a few minutes early, for your scheduled interview. Reliability and punctuality are important qualities for a nanny to possess. Arriving late is always a bad first impression, and can ruin your chances before you have even begun the interview.
Be friendly: Make a great first impression by being friendly. Shake hands, introduce yourself, be positive and most importantly smile!
Be polite: As someone who is going to be a direct role model to children, it is important to show you have excellent manners at all times throughout the interview.
Dress appropriately: Your appearance should be clean and professional. Have your hair clean and pulled back off your face. Make sure your nails are short and without bright nail polish. If you have piercings, take them out, and if you have tattoos, make sure they are not very visible. Keep in mind also that you may be meeting the children, therefore make sure what you are wearing is also comfortable and child-friendly.
Be open and communicate: Try your best to not answer questions with a simple yes or no. It’s important to have detailed and thorough answers that allow the agencies or families to really get to know you. Avoid using the words “umm” and “uh”, speak clearly and use appropriate language. Most importantly always tell the truth, as honesty and trust are vital when starting a relationship with a potential employer.
Interact with the children: While interviewing with your potential family, the children may be in attendance with the parents. It’s important to not ignore them. Make eye contact and ask simple questions such as their name and age. Showing your love for their children and a desire to build a relationship with them is what parents want to see when interviewing for a new nanny.
Ask questions: Before the interview, have a list of questions that you would like to ask the agency or family during the interview. If you need help thinking of questions below is a list of topics that would be appropriate to cover:
Job duties: Discuss what will be expected of you as a nanny.
- Is there housework involved or will you only be looking after the children?
- Who is responsible for disciplining the children? What methods will be used?
- What specific things should you do with the children? (examples: art projects, helping with homework, transporting them to and from school etc.)
Working hours: Discuss the amount of hours you will be required to work per week, on which days, and how much flexibility is needed/granted. Talk about your salary, the amount, and how often you will be paid. Also discuss any overtime or babysitting.
- How many hours would be required weekly?
- What would the salary be weekly? Also, how often would you be paid?
- Will there be date night sitting on top of the weekly work hours on occasion?
Holidays: Discuss when the family go on holiday, and if you are required to travel with them or not. You should also discuss your own holidays, if there is a certain period in which the family would like you to take them or if it is flexible. Do not, however, ask for holidays or time off in advance of being hired.
- Would you be required to travel with the family on trips?
- What amount of time is needed for notice of your own trips/vacations planned?
- Would you be paid guaranteed hours even when the family is on vacation and does not require childcare?
Know your answers: Below is a list of frequently asked questions in nanny interviews. Before the interview prepare in your mind how you would answer these questions if they are asked:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why did you decide to work with children?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- What was your last job like?
- What did you enjoy most about your last nanny job?
- What did you dislike most about your last nanny job?
- What do you think children like the best about you?
- What sort of activities did you do with children in your care?
- What do you consider the most challenging part of being a nanny?
- Why do you think you are suited to this nanny job?
- What is your view on discipline?
- How would you handle a temper tantrum?
- What would you do if my child was seriously hurt?
- What would you do if my child has a fever?
Feedback: If you are working with an agency it is important to always give feedback to the agency after an interview with a family. They are there to help you, give you advice, and find a compromise between you and the family.
Written by: Elizabeth