By: A Local Nanny
I have been nannying for about five years now. Over the years, I have certainly had some interesting and memorable experiences. Nannying has been such a rewarding and truly amazing experience; I love getting to know each family and getting to see how different each child’s individual personality is. I have worked with four families over the past few years, and it is safe to say I have been through the interview process quite a bit. Along the way, I have picked up on a few tips that make the interview process go more smoothly for both the applicant as well as the family.
1. Decide What Your Family Needs: It is important to sit down, go through your weekly schedule, and organize an outline for likely hours you will need your nanny. This way, you and your nanny will be on the same page right off the bat. This will also avoid the problem of your nanny claiming to be available and then changing their mind. If the hours are explicitly stated during the interview, the applicant can review this right from the start to see if they can fulfill this role.
2. Create a Budget Your Family is Comfortable with: I have had interviewers ask me what I was expecting for pay and this made me a little uncomfortable. I have found that this feeling is common and most the time, applicants do not want to ask for money outright. Therefore, have a range to offer your applicant during the interview and then discuss how this works for the two of you until you are able to come to an agreement. This is a much more structured and controlled way of handling payment that both you and your nanny will be more comfortable with.
3. Hold the Interview Outside of Your Home: Not only is it safer to hold the interview in a public place, but this is also a more neutral and relaxed setting. If the interview was held in your home, it would automatically put the interviewee a little more on edge and which may make them not act completely themselves. In a public setting, the applicant will not feel as intimidated and, therefore, you will be able to see more of their true personality.
4. Bring a Checklist: You may think the questions are simple and easy to remember; however, during the interview you may get caught up in the conversation and forget to ask a question that is very important to you and your hiring decision. You do not want to hire someone and then remember you did not ask a crucial question and have to go back on your decision.
5. Check References: In my experience, I have found that references are extremely important—maybe even more important than the interview itself. Be sure to ask your applicant for references from their previous nannying jobs. When your applicant provides you with references, it implies that they left the previous family on good terms and has a good professional relationship with them. Therefore, the applicant providing the reference alone is a great sign. However, be sure to contact these references to find out more about who your applicant is and learn about their nannying style.
6. Go With Your Gut: Your gut instincts tend to be right; make sure to listen to them when going through the interview process. You will be sure to run into applicants who you just don’t have a great feeling about and that is completely okay. Listen to what your mind is telling you and follow your instincts. You know your child and your family best; therefore, you know who will work best with your family.