It’s of course common knowledge that prior to employing a nanny on any basis, it’s of crucial importance to carry out an interview. However, the effectiveness of the interview will only ever come down to the appropriateness of the questions asked – this being where things become entirely less clear for some.
According to the pros at London’s RockMyBaby nanny agency, the biggest problem comes by way of the fact that while families have no problem asking the most basic and obvious questions, many shy away from the more pressing and personal questions which in fact tend to be the most important of all. It’s common for the interviewer to be the party that feels the most pressure and anxiety during the process as while the nanny may have been in the industry for decades, it could be the family’s first ever experience of professional childcare.
This is why it pays to have a comprehensive list of questions established prior to the interview, while at the same time having a good idea of the answers you’re looking for. So to help those approaching the idea for the first time, here’s a quick overview of some of the most important questions to ask a prospective nanny and why:
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nanny?
This is important because you’re looking to establish whether or not they’re in the industry for the right reasons. Some nannies chose their careers because they cannot get enough of caring for kids, others adore living with other families and for some it’s a generations-old family tradition. On the flipside, some become nannies because they have time to kill, need extra money or aren’t qualified to do anything else – these are the applicants to be wary of.
What Do You Think Makes a Good Nanny?
With this question, it’s a case of first coming up with your own list of what you think makes a good nanny, in order to then see if their own views match up with yours. A good nanny needs a certain set of character traits as well as a good amount of experience to really become the best they can be. Regardless of any slight variations between their list and your own, the candidate should at least be able to give you a very detailed description of what makes for a quality childcare professional.
What Are the Duties of a Nanny in Your Opinion?
The necessity of flexibility will for the most part come down to what it is you yourself would like the nanny to be doing. Some take on nannies just to watch over the kids a couple of nights each week, others are more involved in domestic chores and then there are those that will do quite simply anything that’s needed at any time. As such, it’s a case of knowing what it is that you will be needing the nanny to do for your kids and around your home, in order to ensure they are up to the job and willing to comply.
Where Would You Like to See Yourself This Time Next Year?
This again comes down to what it is you need and want, but if you’re on the market for a nanny that’s going to be around for the long term it’s a good idea to establish whether your candidate is in fact planning any sudden career changes. There will always be those nannies that are working simply to fill gaps in their time or because they are waiting for a better offer and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – temp nannies are very valuable resources. But if you yourself are looking for a long-term addition to the family, make sure your future road maps correspond.
What Would a Typical Day Under Your Care Involve?
Last but not least, it’s good to get a sense of exactly what the nanny under consideration considers a normal day in the life of a family like yours. This can be done by asking them outright exactly what would happen were the kids and the home to be left totally under their control for a day or two, which is of course a very realistic possibility. This will give you a good idea of how they prioritise important jobs, balance their workload and generally tick all the right boxes you’re looking for.
This is of course a less-than exhaustive list of questions to ask a prospective nanny, but nonetheless sheds light on just a few of the highly-important questions which are often overlooked by newcomers.