How to Interview a Childcarer: Questions Checklist
There's a lot to consider when hiring a childcarer. Good thing we at Care.com know a thing or two about this sort of thing! Use our checklist of interview questions to help make you find the perfect fit.
1. Background questions
- How long have you been caring for children, and how old were they?
- Are you qualified or trained in childcare or early years?
- What is your favourite age to care for and why?
- Do you have other work or life experience that you can bring that will help you do this job well?
- Are you trained in first aid? Would you be willing to take refresher classes if necessary?
- What is your education level?
- What is/was your most recent position? What is/was your typical daily routine with that family?
- Why are you looking to leave? Why are you no longer working there?
- What were some of the best things about your previous job(s)?
- What were the worst things?
- Are you looking to stay long-term with a family, or are you planning on finding another career or job in the next year?
- Can you please provide references?
2. Job questions
- How flexible is your schedule, if we occasionally need you to arrive early or stay late?
- Are you also willing to cook/do light housework/take care of our family pet? Ask about any assistance you need.
- Are there any activities or responsibilities that you won’t do?
- Do you swim/play sports or musical instruments/like arts and crafts? Ask about any activities that are important to you.
- How many children are you comfortable looking after? (especially important for play dates, visits from relatives, etc.)
3. Personality questions
- What do you like best about being a babysitter/nanny/childminder?
- What do you find most challenging?
- Do you prefer more or less structure in your day? What do you think works best for children?
- What are some strategies you've used to create a great team with the families you supported?
- Have you had negative work situations? If so, what have you learned from them?
- What is your view of disciplining a child and what should be the carer’s role?
- How have you handled difficult situations like a baby crying uncontrollably or a child talking back?
- What are you most proud of when it comes to your job?
- Do you view your personality as flexible and easy to adapt to change, or do you need more structure and the ability to plan ahead? (especially important if your family has an inconsistent schedule)
4. Good fit questions
You also may want to make sure the childcarer you hire is comfortable with who you are as a family. There are some topics you can be upfront about with your candidates that are specific to your household to avoid potential problems. For instance, if a family member:
- maintains a strict diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.).
- follows certain religious or cultural practices.
- has special needs concerns, like autism or ADHD.
- has particular medication needs.
- is going through a tough time at school, personally, or professionally.
You can probably tell by the applicant's reaction, if she/he is a good fit for your family. They may not know the details of certain practices, but look to see if they are open to learning about them and respecting your wishes.
5. Questions you CAN ask
Here are questions that you are allowed to ask when interviewing applicants:
- Are you over the age of 18?
- Can you legally work in the UK? Make sure that you check their ID.
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Explain the circumstances. Let the carer know that you will be requesting a DBS (CRB) check.
- We are looking to hire someone for a long-term position. Is there any reason that you know of now that may preclude you from working for us full-time over the next few years?
- Our children have a lot of energy or require carrying. Are you comfortable with the physical demands of the job?
6. Questions you CANNOT ask
By law, you are not allowed to ask job applicants about the following:
- Exact age
- Race/ethnic background
- Religious views
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status/plans on becoming pregnant
- If the candidate has been arrested.
Also add your own questions: Customise your checklist with other concerns important to you and your family. We at Care.com wish you luck with the interviews!
Leave a comment
Create a free account with Care.com and join our community today.