The truth is cruel – ideal nannies do not exist. However, you can find the governess closest to your personal vision. To make things easier, we have prepared questions to ask her before making a decision. You can ask them in any order.
What questions to ask the nanny by phone
The phone conversation should be short and cover key issues. Its purpose is to check whether the respondent meets the criteria and whether it is worth dating.
1. I am looking for a nanny who will take care of… (insert basic information such as child’s age, hours of operation, address). It suits you?
Be sure to ask this question. Even if you specified the requirements in the ad, it is worth checking if everything is clear. If the future governess does not live up to expectations and at the same time tries to convince you that the selection criteria are meaningless, tell her that she is not suitable for you.
2. What are your financial expectations?
If you ask a question now, you can avoid problems in the future. Do not expect that the payment will decrease after the negotiations. State the maximum amount you are willing to pay and find out how much an extra hour in the evening or weekend will cost. Determine the payment period – once a month or depending on the number of hours worked. When a nanny agrees to pay below market average, try to find out why. One of them is a protracted job search, because the woman is “new” in this business or is known to employers in a negative way.
3. Where do you live?
By asking this question, you will be able to determine the time spent by the nanny on the road, the chance of possible delays and how quickly she will get to you in an emergency.
4. Do you have experience?
It’s good when you have experience, but remember – caring for your own child, brothers / sisters is not the same. Of course, the fact that the respondent has children suggests that he has practical knowledge, but this does not mean that they are suitable for professional activities. For example, it is not known what kind of patience a woman has and how she applies educational methods. When you have experience, ask the nanny to provide you with several phone numbers of former wards.
Questions to ask a nanny during an interview
1. How long did they work and how did they take care of them?
This is one of the important questions to ask. Listen patiently to the story and draw your own conclusions. Write down the dates and names, then look at the note and make sure the notes form a cohesive whole. Remember, some people have trouble reproducing accurate data from memory, so keep that in mind. If the nanny changed jobs or residence frequently, find out why.
2. Tell us about your responsibilities in your past family. What did you do all day at work?
The nanny will talk all day with details, which will allow you to find out the real scope of her duties and about cooperation with former employers. You will get to know a woman better – how she amuses the child, does it, whether she takes into account the wishes of the baby.
3. What are you doing now?
The answer brings a lot of important information. For example, if she finishes her studies, she will probably soon begin searching for a position in her profession, abandoning her old activity. Have you recently sent your toddler to kindergarten? Most likely, she will need not rare “days off”, as constant colds are possible. Is there a child she plans to take care of while working? We advise you to abandon such an idea, even if they are the weather. Put yourself in her place. What do you do when students fight? Whom do you blame – a baby from a strange family or your baby?
4. How long have you been looking for a job?
If within a few weeks, be sure to find out why, because good nannies are in great demand. Pay attention to the information received, it is quite possible that the nanny was not satisfied with the time of employment and the agency did not have suitable offers.
5. How did the previous collaboration end?
One of the most promising answers is “the child went to kindergarten.” However, there may be some bad news as well. For example, that the employer delayed wages or hurt self-esteem. If the phrase “I have been unlucky lately” or “I come across exploiters” was heard, this may indicate that the people who hired her are unhappy with her help. There is a high probability of a repeat of the situation.
6. What is important to you?
The candidate may say that he would like to work in a clean room. This means that conflicts can arise if the order in the house is not well maintained. Perhaps the nanny appreciates fixed hours, which is difficult to achieve when you often stay late at the office.
7. What are your shortcomings?
Ask a question with the addition – “because everyone has them.” Of course, most talk about overzealousness, inability to rest, or endless love for all living things. There will also be those who talk about their real weaknesses, such as frequent lateness, which some employers are willing to turn a blind eye to. In the course of a conversation, inappropriate confessions may be heard, such as “I can’t control myself when I’m angry” or “I am sometimes inattentive.” Such statements indicate that a person made a mistake with the choice of position.
8. What are your advantages?
Ask this question when there are no objections to the candidate, but for some reason doubts remain. Usually, a person talks about the benefits without thinking.
9. What is your education?
If the governess is a nurse, pediatrician or psychologist by education, then of course, this can be considered a good asset. However, remember that a child first of all needs an attentive and caring adult. In addition, there are nannies who believe that their education allows them to put their opinions above the requests of their parents and they promote their educational measures without permission.
10. Do you agree, in addition to looking after, to iron clothes, cook food …?
Such a question asked will save you from misunderstandings, tell your chosen one about additional responsibilities. At the same time, you must understand that too many additional cases negatively affect the care of the ward due to lack of time.
11. Do you smoke?
The only correct answer is “no”. If the candidate says she quit, ask how much time has passed. There is a risk that the bad habit will return at any moment.
12. How do you feel about alcohol?
Most people drink alcohol from time to time. People who don’t have a problem with it answer honestly, “Sometimes I drink beer on the weekends or on holidays.” The statement “I never drink alcohol” sounds more often not from abstainers (there are very few of them), but from a person who has serious problems. Before drawing conclusions, ask about the reason for the abstinence, and then find out from former employers if there were any situations when the nanny was regularly excused from work for various reasons. This can be a warning sign of alcohol addiction.
13. What are your expectations for the holidays?
Specify in detail if there are any plans or requirements regarding the vacation. Does she think that her vacation should be paid, if so, what amount does she expect – full from the trip or partial. The answer is not decisive when choosing, the only exception is the circumstance when the planned vacation lasts too long – more than a month.
14. Describe the most difficult situation that happened
Difficult circumstances are an integral part of any work. Sometimes stories about them can show the strengths or weaknesses of a person. An example is the situation when a child is hysterical, begging for chocolate, and the nanny at this time patiently waits for him to calm down and calmly reminds him of his parents’ order – no more than one chocolate bar a day. It is a bad sign if the nanny reports a situation where they had to call their parents from work because she could not calm the ward.
15. Have you ever hit a child?
Feel free to ask this question, especially since some nannies openly admit it or say that physical punishment has never hurt anyone.
16. What will you do if the baby refuses to eat / sleep / fulfill the request?
Ask a question about the reaction to the behavior that is most typical for your crumbs. The answer will allow you to explore educational methods. Keep in mind that if your methods are very different from the standard ways to calm or put to sleep, the nanny may not live up to expectations, especially if she is elderly and has previously worked with a group of young children. In this case, ask her if she agrees to follow the rules presented. Some people need time to adapt, only after a while you will be able to assess whether the promise is being kept. There are also nannies who prefer to act on their own and consider this the most correct. Think carefully whether such a governess suits you.
Questions asked to the nanny at the interview should be spoken calmly and confidently, in addition, do not be afraid to embarrass or offend. A conscientious person answers without hesitation and long pauses.