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Should I have my children present at the nanny interview?

September 27, 2010

Dr. Lindsay Heller, The Nanny Doctor

This question is a very common question that I get from new moms. There are many layers to the nanny interview process and many layers of screening candidates that needs to take place.  Your children really don’t need to be present until the very end of the process. Exposing your children needlessly to nannies who may or may not be their next nanny can leave them feeling anxious and uneasy. At first, you may choose to screen nanny candidates out via e-mail. Then you may choose to interview potential nannies over the phone where you continue to narrow your search. After that step, you may choose to Skype with them or meet them at a local coffee shop to see how you feel about them in person.  Once you are pretty sure this candidate is “the one” you can invite them to your house for an in-person interview where they can meet the kids. When you have this meeting, take care not to tell the children this may be their next nanny. Children may either attach themselves immediately or push this potential nanny candidate away if they know that this person may be their next nanny. Instead, have the nanny have a try-out day and tell the kids “Susan” is helping us out today. Watch how the children interact with her and see if it’s a good fit!


5 Responses to Should I have my children present at the nanny interview?

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vanessa w. says:

my kids have been a nightmare any time we’ve interviewed new nannies because they hate change and hate seeing their old nannies leave. we still do working interviews, but more to observe the nanny than the nanny with our kids.

Laura T. says:

I agree that having the kids meet the nanny before hiring her is a good idea, but it can also be hard to identify the type of connection she’ll have with your kids until they’ve been together for a little while – especially if you have shy kids. It takes my kiddos awhile to warm up to people, and they’re always a little stand-offish during the working interviews because they don’t know the nanny yet. So while we still do working interviews, we also heavily rely on how we felt throughout the other interviews.

Taylor H. says:

I think in that scenario it’s more about watching how the nanny tries to engage the kids vs how the kids react to her. If she’s friendly, focused on providing educational play (or whatever your requirements are), etc. and is really trying to get to know your kids, I think that’s a good indicator that she has the potential to be a good nanny.

Robin Bynes says:

I think it’s so important to have the kids meet any nanny you think is a viable candidate. A nanny can look great on paper and fly through an interview with all the right answers, but you can tell pretty quickly by how she interacts with your kids if she’ll actually be a good fit or not.

Joyce E. says:

We do a preliminary email interview, a phone interview, an in-person interview, and then a working interview with all of our potential candidates. So far, that’s been a successful recipe for us!