10 Nanny Interview Questions About Their Work History

Posted on by admin | in Background Check

When interviewing potential nannies, one of the things you will want to consider is the prior work history of each candidate. Knowing a nanny’s previous employment history will help you decide if the candidate has your desired level of childcare experience, and can also provide insight into any patterns that you need to be aware of, such as the typical amount of time she stays with a family.

During the nanny interview, consider asking these pertinent questions about a candidates’ work history.

  1. Why did you decide to be a nanny? – Knowing the individual’s motivation to enter the field of childcare may give you an idea of their level of commitment to the position and nanny profession. Certain things motivate people to go into a particular career. Some people follow a family tradition, others may just happen to fall into it, while still others feel it’s a calling or something they were born to do.
  2. How long have you been in the childcare field? – Some interviewees will have a childcare background in other related areas, such as a day care provider or nursery school teacher. This additional experience with children could prove to be a plus since the candidate may have experience working with several different types of children and found different ways to handle various situations.
  3. How long have you been a nanny? – Being a nanny requires skills that may not be necessary in other childcare positions, but are critical within a private family setting. When the family and the nanny are both new to the relationship, there is a lot of learning together that takes place. When either the nanny or the family have a lot of experience and the other does not, there is teaching and learning that’s going to occur. Families may not know what’s expected of them if they are new to the situation and the same is true if the nanny is new to the profession. In this case, the one with the most experience will need to help the other adjust to the role. In the case where both nannies and families have experience, it’s really just a matter of making sure personalities and styles mesh together well.
  4. What did you do before you became a nanny? – Previous work history may enhance what the candidate has to offer. If the person has some history that could have a positive impact on your children, you may want to explore that area a little more as it relates to your children.
  5. What are some of the challenges you’ve had in your positions as a nanny? – Everyone has challenges of some sort in their work life. Knowing what challenges your candidates have faced and how they handled them will help you gain some insight into how similar situations may be handled in your home.
  6. What do you like most/least about being a nanny? – There are pros and cons to all jobs. If your applicants are willing to share with you what their views are on this topic you will be better prepared to make a wise decision in hiring the most qualified and dedicated person for the position.
  7. What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment in this career? – It can be difficult to toot one’s own horn, especially on command; yet, it is good to know that the person you are choosing does have some accomplishments under her belt. It can be as simple as getting a fussy child to eat something new or as grand as winning the International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year award, but whatever the feat, it’s good for you to know that your candidates can call up something that they’ve achieved beyond the usual.
  8. Can you share a difficult situation that you now wish you would have handled differently? – Most people experience difficult situations in life and oftentimes the real challenge comes not in the difficulty itself, but rather in how it is handled. Some people do well in the moment and others make blunders, but they are able to see later how they could have done better and thus learn from their mistakes. Asking candidates to share such an experience with you will allow you to see how they manage tough situations.
  9. What do you feel is the most important aspect of this position? – There will be differing views concerning the important aspects of childcare. In reality, there is probably really no “one” specific aspect that is paramount. Several are crucial and checking to see if you and your applicants are on the same page, or at least close to being on the same page, is vital to having a good relationship with your nanny.
  10. What would your previous family say your strongest assets are? – Interviewees should be aware of their assets, and phrasing the question in this way will also give you an idea about the relationship with the former family, if there is one.

A candidate’s work history can provide valuable information and insight into how she works with families, handles challenges, views herself and feels about how others view her. You can learn something about a person’s work ethic and philosophy by digging into past employment relationships. Asking pertinent questions that will give you an idea about how the person will work and relate to you and your children is exceedingly important.

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