24 Interview Questions for Full-Time Nannies

These twenty-four questions will give you a head start on interview questions to help you make an informed decision.

You need a nanny to help with the kids and through referrals, online job boards, or an agency, you have a few candidates to interview. Great, right!? So, what questions should you ask to understand if the applicant is the right fit for your family? These twenty-four questions will give you a head start on interview questions to help you make an informed decision.

woman holding baby

Background Information

Applicants may be nervous during the interview, so it’s often beneficial to start with basic background questions. This allows you to restate the requirements for your job and begin with easy to answer questions.

  1. Are you 16 years of age or older? Are you legally eligible to work in the United States?
  2. Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony and/or a misdemeanor? Have you ever been the subject of a substantiated complaint of child or sexual abuse?
  3. Are you comfortable completing a background check? What about drug screens?
  4. Do you have a driver’s license, reliable vehicle, and auto insurance? Have you ever had a moving or driving related violation or traffic accident (including tickets)?
  5. Do you have any medical condition that could affect your ability to care for children? Do you have any diet restrictions? Are you comfortable with the physical demands of the position?
  6. Are you current on the common vaccinations? Are you willing to get Pertussis, meningitis, and flu shots?
  7. Do you have a checking account? Are you open to direct deposit payments?
  8. Are you available during the days and times needed for the position?
  9. Do you have a second obligation (part time job, college, or another childcare commitment)?
  10. How long would you be interested in this position? What is the longest you have stayed with a family or employer?

Young mother and kids tasting biscuits in kitchenChildcare Experience

It is helpful to share information about your family and the children before diving into child experience questions. Explain how you see the nanny fitting into the current structure and schedule of the family as well as share some insights on the personalities of the children. Then, use open ended questions to learn about the candidate’s experience.

  1. Do you have formal nanny training from a licensed organization (such as Amslee Institute’s Advanced Certification)? Do you have CPR and First Aid Certification? Do you know how to swim? Are you certified in life saving? Are you open to taking childcare classes?
  2. Can you share your previous nanny experience? Do you have overnight experience? What age children have you cared for? Can you describe each childcare position? Are you able to share documentation for the childcare work experience and/or do you have 3 to 5 professional references?
  3. Are you available to care for a child that is ill? Can you share a time you cared for a child that was ill?
  4. Tell me about a time you had to handle an urgent childcare issue (illness, injury, other). What happened and how did you manage the situation?
  5. What was your typical daily routine at your last childcare position?
  6. What is your favorite ages to care for and why?

Grandmother and granddaughter making fresh jam in kitchenFit with Your Family

Finding a great fit will be important for success with a nanny. The parents, nanny, and all children need to be comfortable. Here are a few questions to help you understand if the connection feels right.

  1. What is your working style? What’s an example of a style difference you had with a parent and how did you manage it?
  2. What would you do if my child disobeyed your request or was not listening to instructions?
  3. Can you share a time you handled a difficult situation like a baby crying uncontrollably or a child having a temper tantrum?
  4. What type of activities would you do with the child(ren)? What experiences do you have providing educational activities? Do you have experience helping with homework?
  5. Are you willing and able to cook meals? What type of meals can you cook? How would you feel about sitting down with the family for meals with phones and technology turned off?
  6. Would you be willing to travel and help the Family during vacations? Do you have a current passport?
  7. Are you willing and able to do housekeeping chores (laundry, clean kitchen, dust, vacuuming, mop floors)?
  8. Are you comfortable with a nanny contract?

Hiring a nanny and welcoming them into your home requires trust and a personal connection. Take the time to check references and complete a background check and then you’ll have the confidence to hire someone who can really help with the day to day of caring of your children.

To learn more about nanny contracts and get free templates, visit www.amsleeinstitute.com/courses.

5 Questions to Ask Your Nanny

How can you learn their strengths and get insights that help you feel more confident they are the right person to care for your children?

young girl playing with dr toysWhen hiring a Nanny, you know the basic requirements and ask about their experiences. Hearing stories about how they interact with children and what ages they have cared for is a great way to learn about their skills. But how can you learn their strengths and get insights that help you feel more confident they are the right person to care for your children? Here are 5 questions to help.

1. Tell me about a time you had to handle an emergency. With this question, you can learn about a Nanny’s ability to manage the unexpected. If they’ve never been in an emergency, then it’s likely they are early in their career and you should be accessible while they care for your kids. If they can share an emergency experience and communicate they handled it as well as can be expected, they may be ready to care for your children when you are out of town.

2. Are you willing to get a flu shot? Vaccinations benefit the young and elderly as they are most at risk to have serious consequences if they get ill. According to Time, at least 30 children have died from this season’s flu (http://time.com/5113281/flu-death-toll-children-2018/). A flu shot may not benefit a healthy adult as much, but a Nanny’s willingness to get vaccinated to reduce exposure to the children in their care is an important insight.

3. Do you have any pictures of the children you have cared for on your social media? Ideally, the answer is No to protect the privacy of the children. Only the family should post photos of their children. However, if the Nanny pulls out their phone and shows you photos, ask them if they have received the parents or guardians’ permission prior to posting. Some families may be comfortable with the Nanny sharing photos.

4. What training and certifications have you completed? An investment to develop professionally can identify those committed to providing the highest level of childcare. CPR and First Aid certification is often a requirement with an Amslee® Certification and lifeguard training as highly desired.

girls playing in sand5. Tell me about a time a child wouldn’t listen to you. What was the situation and how did you respond? With this question, you can get a better idea of how a Nanny manages stress and their approach to discipline. Did they send the child to their room for a time out; did they take a different approach and offer a reward; or did they delay and leave the matter for the parents? There is no right answer to this question, just make sure the response is appropriate and that it would be consistent with how the child is managed by others including the parents, daycare workers, and/or teachers at school.

These questions are designed to gain insights into a Nanny’s approach and perspectives when caring for children. After asking the standard interview questions and these 5 specific questions, you may be ready to hire a Nanny. To help, Amslee Institute offers a free online class on Nanny Employment Contracts (Work Agreements) with templates you can download and modify to fit your position. These resources can be found at www.AmsleeInstitute.com/courses

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