Nanny Interview Questions
Hiring a nanny to care for your children is a huge decision that requires thoughtfulness and diligence to find the best fit. Preparing insightful interview questions and having thoughtful discussions with candidates is key to assessing if they have the skills, experience, judgement and sensibilities aligned with your family’s needs.
When developing your list of nanny interview questions, ensure you cover critical topics like their background, child care philosophies, qualities, scenarios and personal attributes. A mix of standard childcare questions and those tailored to your family will paint a vivid picture of each candidate.
Questions about their professional experience and credentials:
- How long have you worked as a nanny? This reveals extensive experience.
- Do you have any childcare qualifications or training? Look for solid educational background.
- Why did you decide to become a nanny? Shows motivations and passion.
- How many families have you worked with as a nanny? Variety of experience is good
Getting a solid handle on their experience, training and reasoning for nannying gives critical insight.
Questions to ask about their approach to childcare:
- What does a typical day look like for you as a nanny? Reveals schedule and activities.
- What qualities do you think make a good nanny? Displays values and priorities.
- What is your approach to discipline and setting boundaries? Judges techniques and judgement.
- Describe some favourite activities you like to do with children. Assesses interests and engagement.
Their responses will reveal their style of interacting, caring for and fostering development in children. Look for patient, attentive and thoughtful approaches.
- If my child was struggling with sharing a toy, how would you handle it? Tests conflict resolution skills.
- How do you handle fussy eating at mealtimes? Reveals flexibility and creativity.
- How would you comfort a child who fell and scraped their knee? Looks for compassionate caregiving.
Hypotheticals show how they might care for your children. Seek sensible approaches emphasising empathy, communication and nurturing developmental lessons.
Questions about matching families:
- What do you look for in a family when deciding if it’s a good fit? Indicates priorities in family matching.
- What kind of household have you worked best in previously? Reveals preferences to see if you match.
Look for those wanting communicative, warm families with similar values. Share your family dynamic to see if it aligns with what they seek.
Personality and interest questions:
- Why did you decide to become a nanny? Looks for motivations and passion.
- What are your hobbies and interests outside of nannying? Provides well-rounded picture of them.
- Can you describe your family and background? Offers perspective into their life.
- Have you taken any courses in child care? Would you be willing to take classes if presented with the opportunity?
Questions to Ask Yourself after the interview
During the face-to-face chat, make note of more than just the applicant’s responses to your queries. Jot down your initial impressions after the interview and check your gut feeling. If there’s ever a time to trust your instincts, it’s when making choices about childcare.
Here are a few extra things to ponder when judging if a childminder candidate would be a good fit for your child and for your family.
Does this possible nanny engage well with my little one?
If the candidate makes it through your preliminary screening process, an important step of the childminder interview should include some face time with your baby. Does the applicant seem patient, caring and attentive? Are they comfortable holding and playing with your youngster? It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if your baby is crying or seems disinterested (she may have some stranger anxiety) – what’s more telling is how the candidate handles the situation.
Did the nanny ask suitable questions?
An applicant’s questions are another way to gauge whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your family. No questions (or comments) at all can also be telling.
Did we have good chemistry?
You don’t have to become best mates, but you do want to feel you can talk about potentially touchy subjects. For this relationship to work, you’ll need to be in constant contact, so a good childminder should be as comfortable with you as they are with your baby. Are they easy to talk to? Did they have a sense of humour? Did it seem like they would tell you all about your little one’s antics?
Did the nanny have good communication skills?
Poor communication skills, not making eye contact or disagreeing with your rules should raise red flags. Notice if they smile and talk when they talk to you, as well as your child. These verbal and non-verbal clues indicate whether or not you have found a childminder who is warm, can communicate well and has experience.
Do they seem reliable?
Being late for the interview (even with a good excuse) may be a sign that they’ll have trouble sticking to a schedule.
Offer some suggestions and see how well they listen and incorporate your feedback. If you still feel comfortable and confident in the childminder’s ability once the trial period is over, make them an offer!
While childcare expertise is crucial, you also want a nanny becoming part of your family to have an amiable personality and good values. Pose some personal questions to assess that.
Incorporating questions like these during your nanny interviews will allow you to thoroughly assess candidates’ credentials, philosophies, judgement, experience and sensibilities. By preparing and asking thoughtful, robust questions, reviewing responses carefully and trusting your instincts, you can identify the ideal nanny for your family.
With diligence and care during the interview process, you will gain peace of mind knowing your children are being cared for safely and lovingly.
We have also written a guide on how to find the perfect nanny, which may also help you when choosing the right nanny for you and your family.