10 Questions to Ask in a Nanny Interview

It takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes a good nanny can be just enough!

Hiring a nanny is never an easy choice. It is either a part of a well-thought plan or a desperate measure. In either case, the process to choose one shouldn’t be in haste. You will be handing over your baby to someone else for quite some time. This decision requires proper planning and implementation. 

Fortunately, these days you will have ample resources available to hire a nanny. Still, the process can be a daunting one. After the first step of screening their resumes, the next step would be to meet in person and prepare a thought-through set of nanny interview questions.

Especially, if you are keeping a nanny for the first time, you might be a bit anxious and confused as to what all you should know before hiring a nanny.

1. Experience

This is the most important one among the nanny interview questions. Knowing about her past experiences and how long she has worked at one place will give you an idea about her quality of work. Having some experience with children is a must, especially if your baby is small. If this is the first time she is working, at least she should be a mother so that she has the experience of managing her children. Also, ask about her experience at the places she has worked before and what things she liked or didn’t like.

2. References checks

If their CV or the interview was perfect according to you, still, doing reference checks is so important. So, for nanny interview questions, ask about the contact details (phone, email) of their previous employers so that you can call and talk to them. And do make sure that you talk to at least the last employer if not all.

3. Skills other than babysitting

Of course, you will be hiring a nanny for taking care of your child, but she might or might not have other skills such as cooking for everyone, cleaning, and cooking baby food. It will be your call about what you want from the nanny, but it will be a good idea to be clear in your head while you are jotting down the nanny interview questions and then ask accordingly. For example, people hire a nanny who also does other house chores like cleaning and cooking; whereas, there are also families who keep a nanny solely for the baby and would have someone else take care of other chores.

4. Know about their expectations for day-to-day activities

In reference to the above question, it will be good to know what is the nanny’s expectations are so that there are no disagreements later on. Nanny interview questions are as basic as their meals, for example, if they expect food or will they get their own, how will they take care of the commute, their living in or out situations, etc.

5. Educational qualifications

This will totally depend on your requirements. What is the level of education you would want to have in your nanny? How much would it matter? Does she speak your language well? What if your potential nanny has the bare minimum education but has a great camaraderie with kids or comes with great feedback? Especially for children with special needs, you would want to know if they have any training or certification. Your nanny interview questions must include at least some basic knowledge about their literacy, as they will be interacting for a major part of the day with your kids. Also, if they are educated enough, you can also ask if they will be comfortable helping kids with homework or not.

6. Legal documents

Documents such as government-issued ID, a passport, or any other related essential documents are mandatory to possess. This will confirm their authenticity and credibility. Do not let this loose. If they are showing training or certifications in their CV, it will be good to see their supporting documents too. In countries where there are immigrants applying for the position, you need to ensure that they have solid paperwork and visa documents in place. Some families also prefer that the nanny signs a contract, especially if they are coming through an agency. In that case, you need to know and understand the terms and conditions to be fair for both parties. When you are asking the nanny interview questions all these things should be discussed.

7. Clarity about days off

The last thing you want is to hire a nanny and then get calls asking for unplanned leaves. Since it entails caring for a baby, sometimes even in your absence, this kind of situation might become tricky and stressful. So it is imperative to ask about their expectation for leaves. Whether you want weekly, or weekends, it should be openly discussed when you ask nanny interview questions.

8. Pay

Salary expectations are generally kept last on the list of nanny interview questions. However, they are one of the most important things to be discussed. Your whole criteria for hiring them or them joining you can depend on this. It will be beneficial to openly discuss their expectations and seek any room for negotiation. Keeping a nanny on their expected salary is totally your call or theirs to deny, but keep in mind to not bring them down too much from their expectations as this can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction.

9. Ready for Trial Session

This one is a personal choice. If you want a trial before actually hiring one, you can include this to ask in the nanny interview questions. For a day or two you can see their way of working and their general attitude around children. Personally, I feel any employee will give their best during the trial days when they know they are being judged thoroughly and their job depends on this. We all have been there! Still, if you see any major red flags during the trial period then it is really helpful for your decision-making. Not all nannies will be okay with trial sessions so it will be good to ask during the nanny interview.

10. Kid’s age-specific question

It is possible that the nanny has experience in handling certain age groups of children that are different from the age of your children. So, in the nanny interview questions, you can ask specific questions pertaining to your child. For example, if the nanny has only been with babies, how will she entertain toddlers? How much screen time is okay for children according to her? If she has to take kids to the park how will she manage them?

Ultimately, you want an employee who is good at her job but at the same time a caregiver who will be a big support in nurturing and loving your baby. Neither the job nor the process to find the perfect person is easy. But with the right preparedness and instincts, you will undoubtedly find the right fit.

All the best!

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