So you’ve decided that an extra pair of hands will make your life easier as you try to juggle career, partner and children. You’ve considered all the options from daycare to live in Au Pair and have decided that hiring a Nanny, either part or full time, is the ideal option for your family.
You know what you are looking for in a Nanny and what the non-negotiables are, and you have a clear idea of the areas you most need help with. So, now the time has come for you to meet the prospective Nannies and you need the right questions to ask that will challenge the candidates to go beyond the standard pre-packaged responses.
We have put together a list of questions that our 20+ years of industry experience have shown us help families select the right Nanny for them:
Background and experience - it’s a good approach to start with the background of the candidate and discuss:
- What drove them to become a Nanny and why they have chosen to continue with the role - you want to hear what motivates them in their role, to ensure that working with you will match this.
- What background do they have - experience in different settings will have given more experience, however limited experience is different roles might highlight the loyalty you desire most. Discuss any professional training they may have in child development and of course their abilities and dedication to help you child with their education.
Skills - take the opportunity to clarify:
- Do they have any first aid training and do they have current certification. Is their driving license clean and is their car well maintained.
- Review if they have any skills that you would like your children to learn such as skiing, painting or even swimming or martial arts.
Their approach - now is the time to assess how they handle themselves in certain situations:
- Have they ever had any experience of working where they had a difficult relationship with other members of the household staff? Ask how they handled the situation and what they would do differently if it happened again.
- Discuss any emergencies they have handled and how they plan to maintain your children’s safety.
- Do they thrive under pressure and structure or are they open to a little chaos and change.
- Are they tough on discipline or take the softer approach.
- Do they emphasis the physical and creative sides to childcare.
- How would they handle rudeness for example and how would they maintain a position of authority.
- Do they see childcare as the sole responsibility of the job or does some household management figure in their working day.
- Are they happy to help with your children’s social life i.e. hosting playdates.
Who they are - you want to ask questions that will allow you to get a real sense of who the candidates are:
- Ask what their previous employer would say were their best and worst characteristics if you spoke to them.
- Ask what the children who they have worked with would best remember about them.
- What was their childhood like and what would they like to see replicated in your children’s lives.
- How would their family and friends describe them?
- How best should a child, of different ages, spend their day?
- Ask how best they feel they can help you and what they have seen as the most important benefit they offered previous parents they have worked with.