Interviewing a nanny – top tips

Today I thought I would share some of my top tips for interviewing a nanny!

The initial meeting between yourself and a candidate is SO important.
This person could potentially be looking after your little ones, so it is vital that you gather as much info from her as possible to ensure that she would be suitable for the role.
The relationship between a family and nanny is not just professional, you are inviting her into your home and your lives so it is also personal.
How can you ensure a good match and positive relationship?

You need to clearly describe the role and your expectations.

  • Discuss working hours and any extra hours you may require such as weekends, babysitting etc.
  • Make her aware of the net pay and if accommodation is provided.
  • Explain in detail her duties and give her an idea of the routine you would like kept.
    Is this routine strict or is there some flexibility? Does she have freedom to plan the days and activities with the kids?
  • If your nanny is going to travel with you, discuss any duties and hours that may change during this time.
  • Similarly discuss what will be required during the school holidays.
  • Discuss your house rules
    i.e. if live in then is she able to friend to visit/stay (male/female)
    Also discuss the house rules for when she is working
    i.e screen time for the children, no arts and crafts if the living room, use of phone whilst at work etc

Honestly, you can’t be too thorough at this point. It is best that everybody is clear on what is to be expected.
You can read about the typical duties of a nanny here.

Talk about the kids.

If you are interviewing a nanny this goes without saying no?
Tell the nanny about your children but also give her the opportunity to ask questions!

  • Discuss the personalities and characteristics of each child individually
  • Talk about their afterschool schedule and any activities they go to.
    What are their favourite games and activities to do at home?
  • Are there any habits that you are trying to reinforce or break?
    Be honest, if your child is a bit difficult at dinner time let her know and advise of methods you find work with that child.
    Is your child particularly energetic and finds it hard to sleep at bedtime? How do you deal with this?
    Let’s be honest, all children can be difficult at times. The nanny should be prepared and know how to handle any situations that arise.
  • Discuss any special dietary, allergy and medical requirements.
    This is very important. We advise making a list of important names, numbers and addresses
    i.e doctors, grandparents, activities, friends that live nearby, sos medical services etc.

Find out about her.

  • Ask the nanny a lot of questions about her previous positions.
    How old were the children, what were her main responsibilities, what did she enjoy about the job, is there anything she found challenging.
  • How would she structure the day?
  • What games and activities could she suggest to introduce / further the English language in a fun way?
  • Is she comfortable taking the children to activities outside of the house?
    Is she confident on public transport / driving?
  • Ask about her view on discipline and how she would encourage positive behaviour.

What to look out for

  • Was the candidate punctual?
  • Did she come prepared (questions, copies of references / CV) ?
  • Has the candidate asked a lot of questions about the children and the role?
  • Has she been realistic about the position and her capabilities?
  • Did you feel comfortable around her and was she easy to communicate with?
  • When interviewing a nanny, it is also important to see how she interacts with the children.
    Does she get down to their level? Is she able to communicate with them in a fun way? Are the children responsive to her?
    Kids are generally pretty good judges of character so be sure to ask their feedback…there is no doubt they will be honest!

If you want to find out more about how to structure the interview and get some more ideas of questions to ask, this article is great!

When you are interviewing a nanny try to create an open line of communication, be honest about what the job entails, ensure she feels comfortable coming to you and discussing any issues she may have.
Remember this person is going to be spending a lot of time with you as well as your children, therefore you should feel comfortable talking openly with her and having her around.


interviewing a nanny