Knowing what to ask of a prospective childcarer can be tough. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Check out these essential nanny interview questions.
Picking the right person to take care of your child can be really tough — particularly if it’s your first time doing it.
Finding the right nanny interview questions to ask is all about learning exactly what you need to know to make the right choice.
Before we dive into our list of questions that might be useful to you as you get ready for your interview, we’ll take you through how to prepare for the meeting.
In this article: 📝
- How should I prepare for a nanny interview?
- What questions do you ask in a nanny interview?
- What are 3 qualities that most parents are looking for in a nanny?
- Questions to ask: the nanny interview
How should I prepare for a nanny interview?
You’ve gone through the resumes, decided on your shortlist, and set up the interviews.
The most important thing you want to know is whether you will get on with this person and whether you’ll feel comfortable leaving your kid in their hands.
You’ll pick up a lot of that instinctively from being in the same room as you get talking to them — and the ideal is always to get to a point where you have a free flow of conversation.
So while you don’t have to write down pages and pages of questions that you need to check off, it can help to have what you want to ask ahead of time.
What questions do you ask in a nanny interview?
The great thing is that whether your potential nannies have been referred to you or you’ve found them on an online platform, chances are you already know a great deal about them.
As HR expert Dr. John Sullivan says in this Harvard Business Review piece, career websites have taken the “mystique and mystery” out of interviews.
Basically, by the time they get their foot in your door, you’ve already come into contact with their profile, which tells you a lot about their experience, education, and background.
But while that’s great if you’re hiring someone in your IT or accounting department, an online profile is certainly not the end of the story when it comes to hiring someone to care for your child.
So what we suggest is that you spend a little time on the getting to know you questions that speak to their experience — both as a nanny and other positions that may be relevant — and then move on to questions that will teach you more about their approach.
The goal is to be able to tell whether they’re a good fit for you and your kids.
Ultimately, the job of being a nanny means getting quite intimately involved with the family you work with.
That means you all really have to like each other and feel comfortable being in each other’s lives — up close and personal.
What are 3 qualities that most parents are looking for in a nanny?
While we all might be looking for different traits, we’d say these are the top three that you can’t do without:
1. Good communication
Leaving your little one in someone else’s care can be nerve-racking.
Good communication between you and your caregiver will help calm your fears.
It also helps them understand exactly what’s expected of them so that you can make your journey together as seamless as possible.
No doubt, you have a busy schedule.
So it’s important that they can be depended on to be somewhere when they say they’re going to be there.
(And, of course, you’d try to do the same for them!)
3. A love of children
This may sound incredibly obvious, but it’s most certainly worth putting on this list.
Do they really, truly want to be hanging out with kids all day?
Questions to ask: the nanny interview
So, what are good interview questions to ask a nanny?
These interview questions for nanny prospects can be mixed and matched according to what you need in your life and your unique situation.
First up, there’s the age-old interview question:
- Why should we hire you as a nanny? Know that this is a tough one to answer but an important one to ask. It may help to ask in another way. Here are some alternative options:
- Why would you like this job?
- Do you think we’d make a good match?
Then it’s time to dig a little deeper:
Questions about whether they’re a good fit
- What made you want to get involved in childcare?
- What is your basic approach to caring for kids?
- What is your favorite thing about working with kids?
- Describe the perfect kid-friendly hangout.
- What do you think the hardest part of caring for kids is?
- What do you do when meltdowns happen?
- What’s your favorite age to work with?
- What would you do in an emergency?
- What are you prepared to do (and not do)? (Think laundry, cleaning, cooking, birthday party organizing.)
- What are your thoughts on spanking/smacking?
- What are your thoughts on “good behavior” and “bad behavior”?
- What would you do if my kids lied to you?
- How important is play for kids?
- Can I call you in a pinch?
- What would you do if my child was mean to another kid on a playground?
- What are your thoughts on screen time?
If you have a tiny baby, it’s important to ask questions that relate to their experience caring for an infant.
- What is your experience caring for babies?
- Do you have experience with bottle feeding?
- What would you do if my baby won’t stop crying?
- Do you have experience with diaper changing?
- Do you have experience with introducing a little one to solids?
- Are you willing to stay overnight if I need you?
- When do you think it’s important to seek medical care for a baby?
- Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
- Tell me about your family.
- What are some of your passions?
- Do you work another job or have other responsibilities in your life?
- Are you from the area? If not, do you know much about it?
- Do you drive? If not, how do you get around the area?
Education and training-related questions
- What experience do you have in childcare?
- Do you have any post-secondary education that’s relevant to this position?
- How long have you been working with kids?
- What ages have you worked with before?
- What job experience do you think has prepared you for this position?
- Do you have a first aid certification? If not, would you be prepared to get one?
- Do you have any other qualifications that make you a good fit? (If they have a degree in English literature, for example, they may be able to help out with homework.)
- Do you have experience cooking and preparing meals?
- Describe a good lunch-time meal.
- What sort of activities would you want to organize for my kids?
Finally, end off with:
- Do you have any questions for me?
And there you have it! If you’d like to share your experience — or find out more about what other mamas have asked — join us on Peanut.
All the best finding the perfect match.