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Questions to ask during interview
By Anne C. on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM EST
I am coming off maternity leave and looking for a new nanny. I am very nervous to bring a new sitter into my family. I have never interviewed a nanny before. Does anyone have any suggestions for interview questions that I should ask?
By Kindra K. on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM EST
Leah: I think much depends on what you are looking for. I start with an application- which I am happy to share. That gives me much of the basics. I am also VERY specific and personal in my "AD" so that has been good that people who are not on the ball typically have not applied. Also the application is detailed (7 pages) and people who aren't interested, won't apply. Those who do, usually you can tell a lot about how they answer different little questions. Anyway, once you have weeded those out based on the application, I think just having a conversation, asking about them, what they are looking for in a job, employer, what they like about the past jobs they have had (childcare or not), and what drives them to want to be a caregiver and work with kids. I have never outlined questions before, but as you read through an application, many will come to mind. Granted, I coach and mentor young attorneys, so I am used to coming up with lines of questions quickly based on a resume or application. Let me know if you need anything.
By Monica R. on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM EST
Hello Kinda.

I used this article from as a reference when I was hiring.

Kinda I would appreciate it if you could share your application with me also because we may either a different nanny who wants taxes taken out or because we move. We had a hard time finding one we really liked it took us over 4 wks but we've been satisfied with the one we have now who has been with us a year now.
By Kindra K. on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 3:45 PM EST
I'm happy to share resources, but you have to send me email addresses through a PM in order for me to send anything- I can't post documents on message boards.
By Gina J. on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM EST
This has been my process:
1st: Review their resume and resources (we start by sharing a few emails on to get to know each others expectations up front.
2nd: The top candidates - invite to come to your home. Start with an interview (i will get to the Qs in a sec). Then if that goes well - introduce them to the kids.
3rd: If the interview goes well - ask them if they can come in for what i call "Paid Training" - it is one day for the hours that you would normally need them. YOu will pay them what the day rate would be. This allow you to observe them, See how they interact with the kids, how do the kids like them, and also allows them to see the environment they will work in (you want them to be happy too!)

As for the interview process:
First i tell them what my needs are and my expectations.
Then i reference items on their resume and ask them to tell me more about that info (their education - where do they see them taking this education; are they interested in a career with kids (or is this just a source of income - those people dont seem to have their heart in it - from my experience); ask them Q's about their last nanny job: why did you leave, what was the most challenging, what was the most rewarding.
Ask them things that you want to know to find out if they are in-sync with your lifestyle: What is your discipline style? Do you have experience potty training - if yes, what are your techniques? What is your philosophy about TV? How would you occupy the time spent with the kids (games, outdoor play, learning activities, reading, etc.)?
Then hopefully you have already been able to access at least a preliminary background check - but you can ask questions associated with that: do you have any driving violations (will you be able to provide me with a current DMV review?); Have you ever received any tickets, arrests, or legal violations?
Do you have any upcoming schedule conflicts, vacations, or required time off?
I have a pool - so i always ask if they can swim and like to swim as this is a huge part our summer life at home.
I have a dog and a turtle - so i always ask that they are comfortable being in that enviro.
I need basic housekeeping help - so i always talk about those needs.
I live in So Cal w/ a Disney pass - so just as a bonus - i ask if they have the pass (as their help at a trip to D-land is valuable to me.)
I always ask them what questions they have for me. If they dont have any - then it shows me that they dont have an investment in this job, or they werent paying attention, or they arent interested. (I know, esp if i was going to work in someones home - i would have a ton of questions for them to make sure i knew what i was getting myself into.)
I feel like when i think i like someone - i spend a lot more time interviewing them and making them fully aware of what my expectations are. I require a resume and references. I have done all of my calls and background checks BEFORE they come in for the paid training. Last step - is if the paid training goes well, i offer them a job. I also let them know that the job offer is pending a 4 week probation period. (I believe it will take at least 2-3 weeks for them to get a routine and feel comfortable.) After that 4 weeks, we will sit down together assess the relationship and move forward accordingly. I also make it clear that i am very upfront with my needs and if i dont like something they will know about it. And that hard work and extra effort will not go unnoticed.
My experience is lay it all out upfront. Dont let things that bother you go - talk to them immediately. But also praise them when they go above and beyond.
Hope this helps!