Suggested Interview Questions

 

Many of our families, at the beginning of their nanny search, will ask us for guidance regarding their interviews. We often hear, “What sorts of questions should we ask a nanny candidate?” We are pleased to share a selection of interview questions that we find lead to fruitful and informative conversations between families and nannies during initial meetings. It would be beneficial to take time before your first interview to review your job description and your family’s needs and think of any questions specific to your position that you might like to pose to candidates.

When interviews are going well, they often turn into conversations rather than volleys of questions back and forth. Below, we’ve also included some more specific discussion topics and things you might want to share with a potential nanny during their interview.

If you forget to ask something, we are happy to assist you in setting up a time for a second meeting or phone call with a candidate, or we can connect with them on your behalf to pose any additional questions.

General Questions

  • How did you start working with children?
  • What ages of children have you worked with, and for how long?
  • How long was your last nanny position? Why did you leave?
  • Are you CPR and first-aid certified? If not, are you willing to obtain those certifications?
  • Have you ever traveled with a family domestically or internationally? Would you be flexible to travel with our family?
  • Are you flexible to live-in during the summers?
  • Are you able to swim? Are you able to drive?
  • Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English?

Questions Related to Parent Communication

  • How do you typically approach communication with parents?
  • Do you keep a journal regarding the activities of the children in your charge? Would you be comfortable doing that for our family?
  • How comfortable are you giving us daily reports about the child/children?
  • Are you comfortable emailing/texting?

Infant-Related Questions

  • What have your past duties been related to infant care?
  • Do you have experience with umbilical cord care?
  • Are you comfortable with all aspects of bottle-feeding (for breast milk or formula)?
  • Are you knowledgeable about baby carrying and burping techniques?
  • Do you have experience with sleep, nap, and activity scheduling for newborns?
  • Do you have experience transitioning infants from milk to solid foods?
  • What sorts of activities do you do with infants in your care?
  • Are you comfortable with baby-wearing?
  • Are you comfortable cutting an infant’s fingernails and toenails?
  • Would you be comfortable reading any books we suggest related to infant care?
  • Can you describe how you would handle an infant having blood in their stool?
  • Can you describe how you would handle an infant beginning to cry in the night?

Toddler-Related Questions

  • What have your past duties been related to toddler care?
  • Can you describe how you set limits for toddlers?
  • Can you describe how you would handle a toddler beginning to tantrum in the park, in the grocery store, etc.?
  • Do you have experience potty training toddlers?
  • What kinds of activities would you do during the day with a toddler?
  • What is your favorite song to sing with children?
  • Do you have experience transitioning toddlers into half- or full-day school programs?
  • Do you play any instruments? Can you begin teaching our children those instruments?
  • What is your favorite thing to do with children in our city?

School-Aged Child Related Questions

  • Can you help with homework? If so, what subjects?
  • What was your favorite project you worked on with the children in your last family?
  • Do you play any instruments? Can you teach our children those instruments?
  • What is your favorite thing to do with children in our city?
  • How would you encourage a child to do their chores?
  • How would you encourage a child to do their homework?
  • How would you coach a child through a disappointment (not getting onto a sports team, or having a fight with a friend)?

Questions Related to Children with Special Needs

  • Do you have experience caring for children on the Autism spectrum?
  • Do you have experience caring for children with language delays?
  • Do you have experience caring for children with physical impairments?
  • Do you have experience caring for children with allergies?
  • Do you have experience caring for children with diabetes?
  • Do you have experience caring for children with ADD/ADHD?

Family and Job-Related Details to Discuss

  • The interests and personality traits of yourselves, your children, and the nanny you are interviewing
  • Any special needs your children may have, including dietary considerations
  • Your children’s educational and social goals
  • Modes of discipline and parenting styles
  • Your occupations and work hours
  • The hours/days of the position
  • How frequently you, or your family, travel and the requirements therein for the nanny
  • Any expectations your family has of a nanny outside of childcare duties (purchasing children’s clothing/toys, light housekeeping)
  • Policies for chauffeuring the children to/from activities, and policies regarding use of vehicles
  • Your family’s expectations about the nanny’s role in the family
  • Meal planning and cooking, and who is expected to coordinate meals
  • Pets in the home, and who is responsible for their care
  • If your family is planning to relocate or move in the near future
  • What your home is like, what the neighborhood is like, and what activities your children are involved in in the area
  • Accommodations for live-in positions (where the room is located, if there is a private bathroom, etc.)
  • Any temporary layoffs (ex., the child goes to summer camp for a month each year)
  • Benefits offered (health insurance, vacation, paid holidays, etc.), including which holidays the nanny will have off and any holidays when the nanny might be asked to work

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