Interviewing for a nanny
Choosing someone to look after your child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. A carefully conducted interview will help you choose the right person for the job. Here are some simple guidelines to help you.
The first things you need to do are:
- make a shortlist from applications received
- talk to each applicant on the phone
- set up interviews, allowing at least one hour for each
- prepare a list of questions and put the same questions to each person
- take notes at each interview to remind you of their answers
Suggested interview questions
Here are some examples of questions you may wish to ask. You may wish to ask about things important to you - perhaps about the nanny’s attitude towards television or sweets.
- how long have you been a nanny?
- why did you become a nanny?
- name six activities that my children might be doing on any day if you were their nanny?
- how would you approach a parent if you were worried about anything?
- what is your experience with children the same age as mine?
- what ages of children have you worked with?
- why do you enjoy working with children?
- what do you think are your strengths when working with children?
- have you undertaken any training in childcare and development?
- what qualifications do you have?
- what are your views on positive discipline strategies?
- are there areas of your work that you plan to improve?
- how might you spend the day with my child?
- why did you leave your last job and why will you be leaving your present position?
- what difficulties have you experienced as a nanny with parents or children and how were they resolved?
- what are your views on families sharing a nanny?
- how many days have you had off sick in the last 12 months?
Further examples of questions to ask can be supplied by nanny agencies.
Does the nanny have any questions for you?
Make sure you offer the nanny the chance to ask you questions. If you already have a nanny and you are interviewing for a replacement, give them a hand-over period with the nanny who is leaving.
Your new nanny may want to speak to somebody about you. If you are employing a nanny for the first time and there is no previous nanny for them to talk to, you can offer them a friend's number to call for a reference.
Details of employment
Once you have chosen your nanny you will need to discuss the following things with them:
- the wage or salary with details about tax and National Insurance
- how payment will be made, monthly or weekly, by cheque or directly into a bank account
- the hours and duties of the job
- when you would want them to start
- holiday entitlements and whether they would be willing to take them at certain times for example to fit with school terms or your annual leave
- the length of probationary period
What do your children think?
It’s important to let your children meet the potential nanny - you don’t need to tell them that this might be their nanny when they’re introduced. Watch how they interact with your child.
It may be a good sign if they pay more attention to them than to you and pay close attention to how your child responds to them.