What Should You Look for in a Nanny?

February 16th, 2016 by

nanny job interview questions

The process of looking for a nanny can be daunting for even the most organized parents. You sift through resumes, wondering if each new nanny is the one who will fit in perfectly with your family. After careful consideration, you pick out several to interview, but that brings on a new challenge: How does one conduct a nanny job interview?

If you don’t have experience conducting nanny interviews, it can be a little uncomfortable. Because a nanny’s workplace is in your home, finding the right candidate is of utmost importance. At the very least, he or she should be experienced, trustworthy, reliable, and able to develop a good rapport with your children. These aren’t the only qualities to look for, of course, but every family has different priorities and expectations for their childcare providers.

Before the interview, be sure to clearly identify your family’s priorities. Is it important for your nanny to have a working knowledge of child development research? Should she be calm and nurturing, or fun-loving and energetic, or a mix of both? Does she need a bachelor’s or master’s degree? Do you want her to be more of a mother’s helper or have full childrearing responsibilities? Does she need to be able to cook or do housework in addition to taking care of the kids? Should she be able to teach the children? These are only a few sample questions to consider; your family’s individual needs will determine the rest.

It’s helpful to write out a list of exactly the responsibilities, duties, and expectations that the nanny will need to fulfill. That way, you’ll have something to reference when meeting candidates. Alternatively, we’ve included a downloadable checklist with this post that lists commonly desired nanny traits and qualities, as well as an extensive list of nanny job interview questions.

Every family is different, so naturally every family’s needs will be different. Remember, the perfect nanny for your neighbors might not be the perfect nanny for you!

What Else Do Families Look for in Nannies?

We recommend only meeting with nannies who have long-term, verifiable references; this is for your children’s safety as well as your own peace of mind. One way to be certain prospective nannies have good references is to use a nanny agency. At the Nanny Authority, each candidate’s references are checked before we refer them to families.

Many families want nannies who are safety-conscious, loving, enthusiastic, and always on-time (if not early). The most sought-after nannies tend to be reliable and flexible in schedule—a necessity for busy parents. They should also be good communicators with both children and parents, as well as creative, practical, healthy, and able to discipline children along whatever guidelines the parents set.

Suggested Nanny Job Interview Questions

You can find a comprehensive list of nanny job interview questions on our site, or you can download this easy checklist, which contains commonly sought-after nanny characteristics as well as suggested questions to ask during the interview.

Still concerned about your search? Contact us today to find out how we can help!