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Myron Morris, O.R. Business Manager and Dr. Audrey Winer, Pediatrician

7 Interviewing Tips for Parents

Interviewing nannies is a multistep process. While it starts with our staff prescreening candidates and only presenting to you those nannies who are qualified to fill your position, it ends with you personally interviewing those nannies you are interested in for hiring consideration.

The interview process provides an opportunity for you to gather information about a potential nanny. The more information you gather the more educated and informed your hiring decision will be.

While it can be awkward to ask a potential caregiver pointed questions about her experience, child care philosophy and family background, doing so is important and our nannies are prepared to answer most any question that you may ask.

As you interview a potential nanny, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use the telephone interview to go over the basics. A telephone interview provides you an opportunity to share more about the position and learn more about the caregiver’s qualifications and interest in the job. You can use the telephone interview to weed out any candidates that don’t seem like a good fit.
  2. Hold your first in person meeting in our office or in a public space. We encourage parents to conduct the first in person interview without the children present in a public space, like a coffee shop or in the comfort of our office. Doing so allows you to better focus on learning more about the candidate.
  3. Take notes. Create a folder for each candidate. Store the information we provide in each candidate’s folder along with a few blank pages of paper. Take notes during the phone and in person interview and write your overall thoughts about each candidate after your interaction.
  4. Ask open-ended questions. Rather than asking yes or no questions, ask open ended questions like “Tell me about your nanny experience” to glean additional information and insight. Use open-ended questions to ask follow-up questions when you don’t feel like you’re getting enough information.
  5. Phrase questions to address what a candidate has done, not what she would do. Instead of asking “How would you spend the day with my child?” ask a nanny candidate “How did you spend a typical day when caring for your previous charge?” When you phrase questions based on past experiences, you’re more likely to glean information that points to a candidate’s typical patterns of behavior.
  6. Encourage the candidate to ask questions. Parents and nannies work together as a team, so it’s important that nannies also gather as much information as they can to determine if a job and family is the right fit. Asking candidates if they have any questions for you can open the door to learning more about your family and your childcare needs.
  7. Gauge your connection. Even the best nanny isn’t the right nanny for every family. When interviewing a nanny, it’s important to consider how you feel about the candidate. It’s important to choose a nanny that you’re comfortable being around and whose personality, morals and lifestyle complements your family.

Interviewing can be stressful for both parents and nannies. Even parents who are skilled interviewers can be uneasy interviewing a candidate for a household position. For nannies, being in the limelight can be a bit uncomfortable. As a result, during the interview it will take a few minutes to warm up.

Once you’ve decided on a favorite candidate or two, we encourage you to hold a working interview to get a sense of how the nanny would fit into your family’s life. During a working interview the nanny should be compensated her normal hourly rate for her time. Most working interviews last from one to three days.

Need help with the interview process? Contact one of our placement specialists for resources to help you hold a successful interview. We can provide sample questions and additional tips to help you make the most of your interviews.


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