Nanny Interviewing: Helpful Questions to Ask Nanny

Interviewing a nanny is out of the comfort zone of many parents. Knowing what to ask during the interview can help to gain insight into the person you’re considering hiring as a nanny. The more you know about your nanny candidate, the more informed and educated your hiring decision can be.

1.     Why do you want to work as a nanny?

Working as a nanny takes more than having a love for children. Try to get a sense of why the candidate is pursing work as a nanny. Ask follow up questions including:

o    What are your skills?

o    What is your experience?

o    What draws you to the in-home environment?

2.     What have you done with the children in your care?

Knowing what candidates have done, not what they think they would do, can provide you with insight into how they engage children.

o    How did you respond when a child had a temper tantrum?

o    Can you tell me how you handled naps, eating and toilet training in your last position?

o    Can you tell me about an emergency situation you had to handle?

3.     What did you do when a child wouldn’t listen to you?

Asking a candidate to recap things she’s done can give you an accurate picture of how she handles different situations.

o    Can you tell me about a time when a child wouldn’t stop crying?

o    How did you respond when your previous charge refused to nap?

4.     Can you provide me with a list of references?

References can provide insight into the candidate based on past experiences with the candidate.

o    Can I have the contact information for your previous employer?

o    Can you provide me with a reference from a non-family member in your community?

5.     Are you willing to consent to a background screening?

When conducting your nanny search, don’t bypass background screening. Gathering as much information as you can about a candidate will help you to make an educated and informed hiring decision.

o    Are you registered with TrustLine (California) or any other state agencies that require nannies to be registered?

o    Will you consent to having a background check done?


6.     Why did you leave your last position?

Knowing the circumstances surrounding how a nanny’s recent jobs have ended may enable you to identify any employment trends.

o    Can you tell me something you really enjoyed about your last job?

o    Can you tell me something that bothered you about your last job?

o    How did you communicate with former employers?

7.     Can you do this job?

Knowing if a candidate can perform the duties and fulfill the responsibilities you’ve lined out is essential.

o    Are there any commitments that would keep you from being able to do this job?

o    Is there anything that would prevent you from fulfilling the duties and responsibilities I’ve outlined?

o    Do you have any concerns about this job?

o    How long are you willing to commit to this job for?

8.     Why should I hire you?

Provide your candidate with an opportunity to share why she thinks she may be the right nanny for your family.

o    What separates you from your nanny peers?

o    Why you think we’d be a good match?

o    Why should I trust you with my children?

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