Asking the Right Interview Questions of your Nanny Candidates
As you search for a nanny that’s the right fit for your family, it’s important to have a solid set of interview questions on hand. These questions can help you learn more information about the individuals that you’re interviewing to determine if they’re a good fit for your family while filtering out candidates that are not.
As you interview caregivers, consider the following ideas for questions:
How Do You Keep Up with Professional Development?
Ask your potential nanny how they keep up with their professional development. This is a key part of most careers, and childcare is no different. The field is constantly evolving, with new information about child psychology, infant health, and child development being released each year. It’s important that individuals who work with children full time stay aware of these changes and trends, so that they’re best equipped to care for the children they work with. Ideally, a nanny should have several websites she reads regularly or a subscription or two to professional publications.
If You Were Hiring a Nanny, What Would You Look For?
It’s also useful to ask candidates what they would look for if they were in the position of hiring a nanny. This will help you to see what qualities they value and what they would find important for a caregiver for their own children. If the answer to this question is dramatically different than what your family is searching for, you’ll have a clear indicator that you may not be speaking to the right candidate. On the other hand, if they value many of the same qualities that you do, you may have found a good fit.
How’s Your Driving Record?
If your nanny will be driving your children to and from school or to appointments, it’s important that you know about their driving record. Ask about this during the interview, and if you have any suspicions about the information that they give you, request that they provide documentation from the DMV. You don’t want to learn down the road that the “fender bender” they had several years ago was actually a major accident, or that they have more points on their license than you are comfortable with.
What is a Challenging Experience You’ve Had as a Nanny?
It’s natural for job candidates to primarily speak about their successes and the positive experiences that they’ve had while doing their job. After all, they want to be hired and want you to see them in the best light possible. However, it’s also important to speak about some of the negative experiences that they’ve gone through so that you can see how they’ve handled those, as well. If there’s one thing children can be from day to day, it’s challenging, so it simply makes good sense to ask potential caregivers about experiences they’ve had with past charges that helped them to grow as a person or to learn new childcare skills. Keep in mind, however, that what they can tell you may be limited by the terms of their previous contract, especially if they signed a confidentiality agreement with their past employers.
How Do You Handle Discipline?
Every family uses different discipline techniques, and it’s unwise to assume that a hired caregiver will automatically use the same ones that your family does without discussing this issue. Ask during the interview what type of discipline they use, and compare this to your family’s values. Do they use time outs? A reward system? Ask for detailed information so that you can make a decision about what’s best for your family, and if you have any doubts about their methods working well within your family dynamic, it may be wise to pass.
What Do You Most Want to Teach My Child?
This creative question helps you to learn a bit about the nanny’s personality and interests. If they want to teach your child about art and music, liberal arts may be one of their priorities. If they’re looking forward to playing outside and going for walks in the park, they may be more active. This type of question helps you learn a little bit about the candidate’s personality, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a good way to break the ice and dig a little deeper into what makes the individual tick.
As you hire a nanny, spend dedicated time interviewing each candidate. This will allow you to learn as much as you can about them, so that you can find a great fit for your family.