A Dozen Things to Talk About During a Nanny Interview

Posted on by admin | in Nannies

For both nannies and parents, the interviewing process can be an awkward one. Even parents who work in human resources and interview job candidates for a living find that interviewing nannies for positions inside of their private homes is a much different and more personal experience. Likewise, since nannies typically stay with families for a minimum of one year and often longer, when it comes to interviewing for a new nanny position they’re often out of practice and extremely nervous.

When parents and nannies begin the interview process, it’s not unusual for both parties to have a hard time getting the ball rolling and asking the important questions that will allow them to determine if they would be a good nanny/employer match.

Whether you’re a nanny or a parent seeking to hire a nanny, be sure that these 12 topics are discussed during your nanny interview.

1. Job duties and responsibilities. Both the parents and the nanny should have a clear understanding of what the nanny position entails. Be as specific as possible to ensure that there is no misunderstanding of expectations. Discuss the specific daily duties, tasks and responsibilities and the intensity of care the parents expect the nanny to provide. Things like children’s meal preparation, grocery shopping, laundry, transportation and what type of educational, social, physical and intellectual activities will be acceptable should be discussed.

2. Availability. The parents and nanny should discuss the potential start dates and how long the trial period, if any, will last. Any potential conflicts, like upcoming planned vacations, should also be discussed.

3. Schedule. The nanny’s daily and weekly schedule should be discussed. If the parents require flexibility or occasional evening and weekend coverage, that too should be discussed.

4. Experience. The nanny’s childcare experience should be discussed, as well as the family’s prior experience with daycare and/or household help. If the parents have a child with high or special needs, they should inquire as to the nanny’s experience in those areas. 

5. Education. The nanny’s education, including any specialized training and certifications, should be discussed during the interview. All nannies should have current first aid and CPR certification at a bare minimum. 

6. Motives. The parents should be able to articulate why they’re interested in nanny care and the nanny should be able to articulate why she’s opted to work as a nanny rather than in another childcare position.

7. Family life. The lifestyle of both the family and the nanny should be discussed to ensure compatibility. Nannies and families must be able to respect each other’s lifestyle for there to be a successful match.

8. Parenting philosophy. While the nanny should always heed to the parent’s parenting philosophy, the closer that the parenting styles of the nanny and parents match, the better the nanny/employer relationship will be. If a family is super laidback and a nanny is extremely regimented, there will have to be mutual respect and support of each childrearing style for the relationship to thrive.

10. Discipline style. The nanny and parents should discuss what discipline style they adhere to. From time-out to taking away privileges, there are a host of discipline practices. While a nanny should discipline the children in the way the parents ask, a nanny should never physically discipline the children.

11. Nanny cams. Most nannies don’t mind if the parents wish to have a nanny cam, provided they know about it upfront. If a nanny later discovers the family has a nanny cam, however, feelings of distrust and betrayal may follow. Parents should be cautioned that if they feel the need to have a nanny cam due to concerns about their children’s safety, they should address those concerns immediately.

12. Salary. Once the nanny and parents have an interest in working together, salary should be discussed. The salary offered or requested should be clearly presented in gross or net terms. Base hourly rate, overtime rate, vacation pay, sick time, holidays and other benefits, and tax responsibilities should also be discussed.

Once the parents and nanny have an expressed interest in working together, a verbal job offer is typically made. Once that is accepted, a written offer, along with a written work agreement that outlines the expectations of both parties and details the duties, responsibilities, schedule and salary package is presented and negotiated until both parties find it mutually acceptable.

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