Interview Questions for Prospective Nannies

Finding the right nanny is critical to make your share-care efficient and supportive.

We recommend doing an initial phone-screen, followed by an on-site interview.

If everything checks, we strongly encourage you to follow-up with reference-checks.

Here is a list of questions:

Phone Screen

Start with your background and a timeline of the process:
– Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?
– Are you willing to work with taxes withheld?
– Are you able to do a share? Are you ok having 2 employers?
– What is your experience caring for children? (dates, responsibilities, child age, why left)
– Are you physically able to care for 2 infants / toddlers?
– What hours are you available to work?
– Are you flexible on start and end times from day to day?
– What number of total hours per week do you want?
– What is your salary range?
– Are you comfortable with us working from home?
– Can you give me the names and numbers of your references?
– Do you smoke?
– Do you have CPR / First Aid certification? Can you give me the certificate numbers?
– Are you Trustline certified?
– Do you have a CA drivers license?
– How would you be getting to work? How far is your commute?
– Are you up to date on your vaccines and flu shots? Can you show us documentation?
– Have you had a negative TB test? Can you show us documentation?
– What is your education? Can we verify it?
– Do you have any training in early childhood education or development?
– Do you have experience working in a formal setting like a daycare or preschool?
– Do you have experience working in a share care or with multiples?
– Do you have pets?
– Do you have any nursing or other medical experience?
– What languages do you speak?
– How soon are you available / how soon do you want to start work?

Onsite Interview

Format

– Welcome: Introduce everyone, offer snack/beverage, give quick tour of house
– Observation: Give nanny babies to hold/play with. Ask her to change a diaper or feed a bottle (if both families are ok with that)
– Warm up: Parents give backgrounds (where grew up, went to school, how long in Bay Area, what we do for work, etc), ask nanny her background
– Interview questions: Below
– Nanny questions
– Closing: Make a copy of ID. Ask for email address to send work history / reference form. Ask about timeline. Tell next steps (finish 4-5 in person interviews, decide on 2 finalists, check references, do trial, 2nd interview will be draft contract and we will ask you to bring TB / flu / vaccines / trustline / cpr / first aid documentation).

Interview Questions

Note: Some of this content, especially reviewing your work history, might be repeated from the phone interview, but I want to make sure both families get to hear about that from you.

General experience

1. How did you get started in the childcare field?
2. Why do you like being a nanny?

Attitude toward children

3. Tell us about the easiest child you ever took care of.
4. Tell us about the most challenging child you ever took care of.
5. How do you nurture a child?

Relationship with parents

6. Do you think all your former employers would all give you a positive reference? Why or why not?
7. In nannies’ relationships with parents there are inevitably difficult situations that come up which can be hard to talk about. Can you tell me about those you have experienced? How did you talk about them and how were they resolved?

Safety

8. Were there ever any emergency situations that came up when you were taking care of kids? If so, can you tell me about it?
9. What are the steps you take to ensure the safety of babies this age at home? When you are out in the city?

Expectations

10. Were there any things about your last job you would like replicated in your next work situation? Are there things you do not want to have?
11. What should we know about you to make sure you are comfortable in our home?

Childcare knowledge

12. Tell us about how you would introduce solids?
13. What are some needs of a baby at this age?
How do you help children keep predictable routines of eating, sleeping, playing, etc.? Especially with sharecare/multiples?

Are you willing and able to fulfill these responsibilities?

_ Drive children
_ Attend classes with children
_ Provide overnight care (nice to have vs. must have)
_ Supervise children at all times
_ Prepare bottles
_ Plan/prepare healthy meals when children start eating solid food
_ Dress children/bathe children as needed (though parents plan to do regular daily bathing)
_ Establish regular nap schedule
_ Put children to bed if parents get home late
_ Keep a list of any child-related supplies we need to buy
_ Potty train the children
_ Perform housework related to childcare like laundry, cleaning up, and washing bottles
_ Teach children good social manners
_ Play with children indoors and outdoors (weather permitting)
_ Plan and lead educational activities including reading
_ Maintain daily journal of nap times/feedings/important events
_ Communicate with parents about any issues
_ Administer medicine as needed
_ Send 1-2 texts/photos each day to update parents on what children are doing
_ Stay overnight / on weekends (as needed/nice to have)

Additional questions

– Are you willing to care for my child if he/she is sick?
– Do you swim?
– Please tell us what special requests you have. For example, do you have any dietary restrictions? Are there religious holidays you want to observe? Do you have vacation or travel plans?
– What additional duties did you perform in your previous jobs? (e.g., errands, laundry, dishes, cooking)
– What were the arrangements you had with your last employer in terms of hours, benefits, pay, vacation, etc.?
– Did you miss any work for illnesses? How often and why? Do you have any health issues that would limit your ability to do your job? Did you help find someone else to cover for you?
– What would be your expectation if we were to have another child?

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