Hiring a nanny introduces a long-term relationship into the family, so it is essential that the questions asked during the interview process will identify both character and experiential factors.
Answers can reveal a lot about the candidate’s personality
Offering the candidate a tea or coffee will help put them at ease before the interview gets underway. It is preferable to conduct the interview in a private office or sitting room, without children overhearing. Once he or she is comfortable and pleasantries have been exchanged, it is time to delve into the formal interview. Questions to ask a nanny would include, for example, ‘Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background, or what do you love most about the children you come into contact with?’ Focusing on the individual can reveal a lot about their personality.
Other key questions to ask a nanny can include ‘Please tell me a little about yourself,’ or ‘Why did you decide to pursue a career in nannying?’ These questions will allow you to see what personal qualities the nanny has and whether or not they will fit your family's requirements. Asking about previous experience, paid or unpaid, is also essential as it allows you the opportunity to further ascertain if the nanny is right for the role.
Objective questions such as ‘What qualities do you believe are important in a nanny?’ and ‘What do you look for in a family?’ can also build an accurate profile of the candidate.
You may also wish to look further into the candidate’s background, and as such, you may be keen to know about what his or her most enjoyable role has been and what made it so rewarding. Many parents also ask why the candidate is opting to work as a nanny, rather than pursuing a role in a nursery or as a childminder.
The candidate should also expect questions such as ‘Is nannying your long-term career goal?’ and ‘Can you account for the gap in your CV?’ if appropriate.
Detailed background checks are compulsory (agencies such as Little Ones undertake this on your behalf), and the nanny should be given the opportunity to make anything known at this point. He or she should also be asked whether the current qualifications held are accredited, and of course, whether they are in possession of a full, clean driving licence.
First Aid qualifications
Paediatric First Aid qualifications are preferred by many employers, but if the nanny has not yet attained an award, he or she should be asked whether they are prepared to complete a relevant course if offered the role.
Other useful questions can include: ‘What is your opinion on discipline and how would you tackle unwanted behaviour?’
Ending the interview by asking what period of notice the nanny must offer in their current position is a good way to round off the interview. Finally, advising the nanny as to when they can expect to hear the outcome of the interview is good practice.