Interviewing a Nanny

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I am very fortunate to be able to work from home.  From a professional perspective, it most certainly has its benefits and drawbacks.  From a mommy perspective, it has allowed me to spend significantly more time with my kiddos.  After all, when I was commuting to an office, I was spending 3+ hours a day sitting in traffic.

When I returned to work after my youngest was born, I was very eager to keep him close so I could continue to breastfeed him rather than have to pump.  While I was able to successfully pump at work for a while with my first two, I ended up having to stop much sooner than I would have liked because I could never pump when I needed to.  If I could keep him at home with me, I wouldn’t have to bother pumping and could feed him when needed.

My job requires my full attention and can be demanding at times.  I also respect that the privilege of working from home does not mean that I can use it as an excuse to not put my children in childcare.  I’m sure that there are many people out there that watching their children while their work works for them, however, I am not one of them.  Because of my childcare needs and my desire to continue to breastfeed my son for as long as possible, my husband and I decided that hiring a nanny was the best option for us.

Interviewing a Nanny can be a daunting task.  It took us a few tries to finally find the right nanny that connected well with all of my children for a variety of reasons didn’t end up parting ways after a few weeks or months.  With each new nanny and subsequent nanny search, we learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.  Take advantage of all of the lessons I’ve learned with the following guide on How to Hire a Nanny

Carefully Craft Your Nanny Help Wanted Ad

  1. Provide a brief description of your children and their ages
  2. Describe what you’re looking for and be specific about the help you want
  3. Explain what the hours will be.  Give a realistic picture of what you need
  4. Tell them you want a 6-month minimum commitment (this will help weed out the people just looking for a summer gig)
  5. Be up front about the wage

Select the Top Applicants

  1. Review all of the applications.  Mark those that seem like they could be a good fit
  2. Send them an email with additional details about your children and the specific help you need.  Reiterate the hours and wages.  Ask them to confirm that it seems like a good fit for them and to email you back with suggested times to schedule a phone interview.  This helps confirm their interest, sets expectations and demonstrates that they can follow through with a simple task.

Nanny Interview Questions

Nanny Interview QuestionsAsking the right questions during the interview process is critical to truly get to know your candidate and assessing if they are the right fit for your family.  It’s important to not get caught ending the conversation early because you can’t think of a good question to ask.

Enter your email address below and we’ll send you our Nanny Interview Questions Guide.  This comprehensive list is packed with questions that will help you ask the right questions to authentically evaluate your nanny candidates.

The Phone Interview

  1. Schedule 15-minute phone interviews with each one you are interested in
    1. Pay attention to how they interact with you during this scheduling process
    2. Download the Nanny Interview Questions Guide above, which is packed full of probing questions to help you really get to know the person you are hiring to care for your children.
    3. Begin laying the groundwork for setting your expectations
    4. Prepare the structure of the interview prior to your first meeting.  I recommend:
      1. Thank them for their interest and setting aside some time to meet with you.
      2. Lay out how the interview will go so that they know what to expect. (I’ll tell you about us, you’ll tell us about you, we’ll have some questions for you, we’ll leave time for any questions you have for us, finally we’ll discuss next steps)
      3. Begin by telling them about the position, yourself, and your children.  Provide a brief description about each of your children.
      4. Ask them to tell you about themselves (see Introductory Question on the Nanny Interview Guide).  *Bonus points if they incorporate anything that you have told them about your family into their introduction.
      5. Ask them a series of questions
      6. Invite them to ask any questions that they have for you
      7. Close the phone interview by providing them with a timeframe for when they can expect to hear from you.  It is a good practice to let them know one way or another.  Let them know how to reach you if they have any additional questions.

The In-Person Interview

Nanny Interview

  1. Select the top 2-3 candidates to interview in person
  2. Allow them to meet and interact with your children.  Pay attention to how they engage with them.  Do they get down to their level?  If the child is nervous, do they allow the child some time and space to become more comfortable?  Do they do anything to connect with the child(ren)?
  3. Re-review the Nanny Interview Questions Guide and ask additional questions
  4. Do not make an offer on the spot
  5. Determine your top candidate and Check References
  6. Decide on your new nanny
    1. Remember a yes is a yes, a no is a no and a maybe is a no.  These are your children.
  7. Call and make the offer and lay out your expectations so they are crystal clear from day 1
    1. Allow them time to consider your offer if they ask for it
    2. Arrange a starting day and time
    3. Ask them to bring any necessary paperwork.  Ex: driver’s license, insurance card, SS card

Starting Day

  1. Plan on spending an hour to several hours with them allowing everyone to get comfortable
    1. Tour of them home and important considerations
    2. Consider having them join you in your typical routine (ie school pickups, sports drop offs)
  2. Set the tone for your relationship
    1. Engage in friendly conversation – while they are your employee, you want them to develop a relationship with you and your children.
    2. Spell out how you will provide them feedback and make it abundantly clear that you want them to ask for guidance and expectations.

Your Ongoing Relationship

  1. Provide them with regular feedback on their performance and make suggestions for how they can improve
  2. If you are unhappy about something that they did or happened while your child(ren) were under his/her care, address it politely and professionally and clearly explain what you would have wanted to happen.

Selecting the right person to care for the most important people in your life is not an easy task.  While the above guide should help you considerably along the way, always remember to trust your gut.  While no single person will be 100% perfect, if something doesn’t feel quite right, they are probably not the right person for your family.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post.  Be sure to sign up for my mailing list and be among the first to get access to all of the great posts and information from The Crafty Organized Mom! When you sign up, we’ll send you a very useful Family Meeting Guide + Printable Family Meeting Agenda.  Find out how Family Meetings have saved my sanity!


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2 thoughts on “Interviewing a Nanny

  • April 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm
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    This is a super helpful list! I have been thinking about hiring a nanny a few days a week to help out while I work from home and I will definitely use these tips to get me started. Thanks for posting it!

    oscoey.com

    Reply
    • April 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm
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      I’m glad you found it helpful Jennifer! Good luck on your nanny search!

      Reply

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