Interviewing Babysitters or Nannies? One Mom Shares Her Top Questions to Ask

Marjorie Bogart
Feb. 26, 2018

One mom divulges her top interview questions, as part of the Care.com Interview Series

Want to apply for a job as a sitter or nanny, but worried about the interview process? Don't fret! Let real mom Shraddha Patel help you prepare by revealing the inside scoop on what moms really look for in a nanny or sitter. After successfully hiring two nannies through Care.com, the Chai Mommas blogger shares the questions she's perfected when selecting a nanny for her family -- including the skills she looks for.


Sample Interview Questions:

  • Can you give me a brief summary of your previous educational and work experiences?

  • What was your best past position and why?

  • How would you describe your character?

  • What about your personality makes you a great fit for this position?

  • Would you consider yourself to be a team player?

  • What are your biggest strengths? Things you can improve upon?

  • Do you feel like you’re a good communicator?

  • If we ever did/said something that you really didn’t agree with, what would you do?

  • What is the most challenging thing that you faced in a previous position? How did you handle or resolve the issue?

  • How do you handle things that frustrate you?

  • How would you comfort a child?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • How many sick days did you take off in your last position?

  • Do you have any pets?


Skills to Have:

  • Infant and child CPR, plus basic first aid and safety training

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Efficiency with time management

  • Being clean, tidy and organized

  • Child development training

  • Being a good listener

  • Able to multitask and think ahead

Learn more about Patel and how to impress moms like her in our full interview below -- and find out why having a phone charger handy can make all the difference!

 

Tell us about you, your family and your blog.

Hi, my name is Shraddha Patel and I joke that I'm the queen of my house... c'mon, I'm the only girl! Home equals my handsome, hardworking better half + my clever, cutie son Jai + another bouncing baby boy who's making his grand entrance this fall. I'm a working mom and love my job, since it allows me to be challenged mentally in ways that I realized I needed and which I thrive from. Three friends and I created Chai Mommas, a blog where we write from our personal experiences as we go through our adventures in the fun and crazy world of mommyhood.

 

What type of personality makes the best impression on you?

An honest, patient, kind and responsible personality makes an impression. Personalities that are creative, energetic and playful are also high on my list, since my little guy needs someone who can keep up and keep him interested!

 

Can you tell us about an interview that went poorly?

One in particular. She was about an hour or more late and never called/texted to let us know (punctuality and communication are obviously not important). She didn't pick up her phone either when we called to check on her status (apparently, she left her charger at home and the phone might die...shows lack of preparation). She called once she parked in our neighborhood only to be completely lost (again, lack of being prepared... tells me you just don't care enough about this opportunity). She didn't have GPS, but more concerning is that she never asked for directions or looked them up herself in preparation for the interview.

 

How can a candidate impress you?

A candidate can first impress me by having the right experience, child care training and solid references (one bad one and she's disqualified!). If I call her for an in-person interview, being punctual, clean and groomed (if she's tidy then I figure she'll keep my son and my home clean too!) are really important too. I also take mental notes about how well she has communicated throughout the entire interview process, from the first contact made via email, text or phone to following up after an in-person meeting and everything in between.

Shraddha Patel is a working mother of one boy (soon to be two!). She is a Southern Virginia girl at heart, but currently resides with her family in Southern California. She helped found Chai Mommas and blogs there with her three friends about everything from motherhood to kid-friendly recipes to women's health issues. You can also find Patel on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo used with permission by Shraddha Patel.

Get even more interview help in our Care.com Interview Series: 6 Babysitter Interview Tips from Moms »

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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