logo AyiConnect Staff, Jan 09, 2024
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How to Interview a Nanny? Important Nanny Interview Questions to Ask


When seeking caregivers, the next stage after streamlining your candidates is to conduct phone interviews or face-to-face interviews with prospective candidates.

Most parents will begin with a phone interview before deciding whether or not to invite the nanny over. So what happens when you interview a caregiver or nanny over the phone or a video call, and the interview isn't as good as you expected. Does it mean the caregiver is unqualified?

Many people might be quick to conclude that a nanny or caregiver is unqualified because of a bad interview. 

However, before you conclude, it is crucial not to judge a book by its cover. It is also essential to find out whether or not the nanny faced any challenges in the interview process.

For instance, if you have an interview with a Chinese or other foreign nannies, communication might be a problem, especially if you speak fast and are not fluent in English. You might throw them off and put them at a loss. However, if you were to talk gently, you would find out that they become more confident and respond better because they can understand you better.

Important Nanny Interview Questions to Ask

Hiring a nanny for child care is an important decision. The in-person interview process allows you to get to know candidates and determine if they would be a good fit for your family. When interviewing potential nannies, make sure to ask the right questions to assess their qualifications, experience, and approach to childcare. Here are some of the most important nanny interview questions to ask. You can also tailor the questions based on the job description.

Work Experience and Training

Asking about a nanny's work history helps you understand their level of experience. Look for candidates with several years of professional nanny experience, education, and relevant certifications. Here are some questions for background check:

  • How many years of childcare experience do you have? What ages have you worked with?
  • What education or certifications do you have in childcare or early childhood development?
  • What types of families have you worked for in the past? What were your responsibilities in those roles?
  • Are you CPR and First Aid certified?

Approach to Childcare and Discipline

A nanny's childcare philosophy should align with your own. Get a sense of how they would engage with your kids, handle discipline, and approach learning. Make sure their methods fit your family.

  • How would you describe your approach to childcare and interacting with children?
  • How do you handle discipline and behavioral challenges with children?
  • What activities and learning experiences would you provide children under your care?
  • How would you handle issues like feeding, naps, and potty training?

Availability and Flexibility

Discuss schedule and availability upfront. Consider your family's needs for a full-time or part-time nanny. Ask about flexibility for occasions when you may need extra help.

  • What is your availability? Are you looking for a full-time position or part-time?
  • How flexible is your schedule? Are you available for occasional nights or weekends?
  • Are you comfortable with travel or overnights if needed?
  • Do you have any planned vacations or time off coming up?
  • Would you be willing to work extra hours?

Causes of Bad Interview Experiences with A Good Nanny

Even when interviewing a qualified, experienced nanny who would be a great fit for your family, sometimes the interview can go poorly. There are a few common reasons that good nanny candidates may not present as well in the interview context.

1. Poor understanding of Interview Language

If you are interviewing a caregiver in a language that isn't their first language, the chances are that they will not understand you correctly. Even if they do, they might not express their responses properly. For instance, if you are interviewing a Chinese or Spanish nanny for your kids, bear in mind that they might not be fluent in English. If you can speak their first language, interview them in the language they're comfortable with, as it would help them express themselves better.

2. Lack of Experience with Phone/Video Interviews

Some nannies/caregivers are not familiar with holding interviews over the phone or video calls. It might make them feel nervous or distracted during the conversation. However, they would likely face a face-to-face interview.

But how would you know whether the problem is the medium of communication or the person? You will know it by asking questions that will spur them to make responses. Ask them situational questions, such as explaining what they would do with a child or elderly in a given situation, and gauge their replies. You can also ask them to share their experiences working as nannies/caregivers. You'll most likely find them relaxing and communicating better with you.

3. Anxiety

We all have those moments when we're before an interview panel or a prospective client, and we suddenly get tongue-tied. You know what you ought to say, and you prepared well for the meeting, but anxiety creeps in like a thief in the night, and you become a stuttering mess.  

Nannies feel this way, too, and a caregiver might perform poorly at an interview because they are anxious and not for lack of skill or experience.

One way to know an experienced nanny is through their resume, work experience, and references. If these things look promising, you should consider inviting the nanny over for a face-to-face interview or observation. You can ask them to look after your kid and elderly for a short while and observe their interactions. 

Not everyone is great at interviews, and your nanny could be one such person. 

What to Do if Your Nanny/Caregiver Does Poorly at An Interview?

If you're curious enough to think that there might be more to the nanny candidate despite a bad interview, the chances are that there's more.

You can ask them what problems they faced with the initial interview, enquire about language barriers, and also help them to feel relaxed.

Finally, you can give them a one-on-one trial after checking out their references, identification, and other relevant details. 

There's nothing wrong with handing an interviewee a second chance if you think they would do better. If you have a hunch, go with it. 

Who knows? You might find the best nanny/caregiver you ever had when you exercise a little patience and become more considerate. Many have been in such situations, and they are happy they made the right decision.

Don't forget that a book is much more than what its cover holds.

AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can post a free job to engage with them through self-service or use concierge service. For self-service, you can even join in the discussion. The concierge service can provide another option to ensure successful matches for busy families who don't have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out at ayiconnection.com