Looking for questions for interviewing nanny applicants? Below are 26 great ones, along with information about the interview process.
Don’t start with face-to-face interviews. Your time is valuable, and you can learn a great deal from a 10-15 minute phone call. Plus, you can screen more applicants with fewer scheduling hassles.
Begin your phone interview by thanking the nanny for applying and briefly reviewing your nanny job description. Next, get the applicant talking with an easy question:
- How did you hear about the position?
To further break the ice and learn more about the applicant, ask a few background-related questions:
- Could you tell me a little about yourself?
- Do you live in the area? If so, for how long?
Now it’s time to talk about child care and, more specifically, their qualifications:
- What attracted you to our job posting?
- What’s your history of working with children? Have you previously nannied or worked in a day care? If so, for how long, and what were the ages of children you cared for?
- Do you have any training in childhood development?
Lastly, ask specific questions about the position:
- We need someone to start [in two weeks]. Can you start then?
- We anticipate paying [$15/hour plus overtime]. Would that be acceptable?
- Are there limitations — holidays, weekends, nights, etc. — as to when you can work?
- We require one personal reference and two work references. Do you have those handy?
In concluding, thank the applicant for his or her time and state when you’ll be making a decision for in-person interviews.
Having completed your phone interviews, it’s time for the all-important face-to-face interview.
When the nanny arrives, seat him or her in a comfortable area of your home. Feel free to offer a beverage and chat about weather or something else. Don’t, however, have your children there. The focus should be on the nanny and not your children, who may interrupt the interview.
Once everyone is situated, take the lead on the interview. Review the nanny job description again, but in more detail. In addition, indicate who your ideal candidate would be — e.g., someone nurturing, loving, energetic, trustworthy, punctual, etc.
Next, start asking questions. Let the interview flow naturally, but focus on determining if the candidate would make a great nanny. To that end, consider asking the following questions:
- Could you tell me more about your experience working with [X]? What was most challenging?
- What do you enjoy about being a nanny?
- How long do you plan on being a nanny? Do you have future plans outside of nanny care (e.g., college or graduate school)?
- What are your thoughts about how [babies/toddlers] should be raised?
- What are your thoughts about disciplining children?
- Do you smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs?
- Do you have any allergies?
- Do you have experience giving medicine to children?
- What activities would you normally do with a [15-month] old?
In addition, be sure to cover all the other important areas of nanny care. For example, consider asking:
- The start date is [Monday]. Is that still okay for you?
- We plan on having a trial period of employment for one month, to see if you’d be a good fit. Would that be okay with you?
- Is the pay rate we mentioned, [$15/hour plus overtime], still acceptable?
- Would you prefer to pay your own taxes, or would you like us to withhold federal income tax from your pay?
- We plan on withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes from your pay. Is that okay with you?
- We plan on having a written nanny contract. Would you be willing to sign one?
- Will you agree to a background check?
- We’ll need to have you fill out an I-9, to ensure you’re legally allowed to work in the U.S. Is that okay with you?
- Are there any employment benefits you would like (e.g., gym membership, health insurance reimbursement, etc.)?
Good luck finding the right nanny. And remember — alway put in place a great nanny contract. It’s the core legal document between you and your nanny, and no smart parent goes without one.