Originally posted here.
Interviewing for a new nanny job doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared. The family will ask questions so they can get to know you, your experience, education and what you might have to offer them. The answers you give to their questions will be important, but keep in mind that the nanny job interview should not be a 1-way street.
It is in your best interest to ask the parents questions that will help you find out if this family is a good fit for you. Considering accepting a position without enough information to make an educated decision may result in an unhappy work environment.
Here are 4 important types of questions to ask during a nanny interview:
1. Parenting Style: There are many different ‘parenting styles’ in practice today and it is important to know the parents beliefs about what their child’s daily routine, activities will be as well as what the families discipline style is. Asking these types of questions will help you decide if the family’s parenting style is one you can work with.
2. Hours, Schedule and Compensation: Obviously you will want to ask about the days and hours the family will want you to work. You need to know the schedule they are looking to fill to see if you can accommodate their needs. It is also important to ask what the pay is along with other benefits offered like health insurance reimbursements, paid time off, reimbursement for driving and expenses and how you will be paid. You are a professional and it is important confirm that the family you are interviewing with is willing to create a work agreement and to pay you legally.
3. Medical Conditions: As a potential caregiver, you will want to fully understand any medical conditions or allergies the child might have. It is also important to understand how involved in the support of the condition the parents would want you to be. Will they expect you to take the child to MD appointments or therapy? Will you be administering special medication that will require training? Keep in mind that this child will be in your care and you need to feel comfortable managing any medical conditions or allergies. If it is a job that you are truly interested in pursuing, doing a little research before an interview can be very helpful while discussing the medical condition and it makes a great impression!
4. Parental Expectations: It is easy to become so excited during the interview process about a potential position that you assume you understand what the parent will be expecting of you. However, it is unwise to take any job without fully understanding what the parents see as your role in the family. What will the job duties will be outside of caring for the children? What does the child’s routine look like? Do the children have outside activities? Will the nanny use her care for transportation to activities or is there a car that the nanny uses? How do the parents want to keep communication open?.
Asking questions during a nanny job interview not only helps you understand the family better but shows that you are outgoing, informed and a professional. You will be working side-by-side with this family, therefore you need to be aware of how the family home operates before you say ‘yes’ to the job.
INA members Marcia Hall and Sheri Lopez contributed this article.