How To Interview A Nanny

Two adults sitting at a table discussing

Deciding on the right nanny to hire is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. The interview process is the key to success. A well-planned interview gives you the information you need to make the right decision.

Finding your candidates

  • Create your profile. Make a job description with what you need your nanny to do on a daily basis. Be sure to include any additional duties, like laundry. 
  • Find your nanny candidates. Reach out to nannies and have nannies reach out to you on Nanny Lane.

Starting with a phone interview

Schedule a 30-minute phone interview with your top candidates. Phone interviews allow you to introduce your family and confirm the candidate’s qualifications for the role. 

Together, walk through the job description. Confirm the nanny understands the hours and salary.

Next, ask questions to give you a better idea of whether the candidates can meet your basic needs. 

  • How much nannying experience do you have?
  • Do you have your vaccines? (Covid, flu, whooping cough, etc)
  • Are you CPR and first aid certified, or willing to complete the training?
  • Do you have any degrees or certifications related to nannying?
  • What is your education level?
  • Do you speak any other languages fluently?
  • Do you have a driver’s license and/or vehicle? (if relevant for your position)
  • What household chores do you feel comfortable doing?

After the phone interviews, contact the references for the nannies you are interested in. Then, narrow down your list to 3-4 nannies that you would like to interview in person. 

Moving to an in-person interview

Once you have your list of top candidates, it’s time to schedule an in-person interview. 

Where to interview a nanny

Many families choose to conduct in-person interviews in their homes. You’ll get to show the nanny their potential workplace and let them meet your children. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can opt for a public interview in a coffee shop or similar location.

Plan for at least an hour. Start the interview with an overview of your hiring process:

What to ask in a nanny interview

This is your time to learn more about your nanny. Ask open-ended questions. Take in the nanny's thoughts and also watch for body language and demeanor. Be sure to include plenty of time for the nanny to ask their own questions.

Asking about their experience

By asking the right questions, you can see if their description of themselves matches their experiences. 

  • Tell me about the best and worst parts of your previous position. Why did you leave your last position?
  • Have you ever had to deal with an emergency situation? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever worked with a family whose approach you disagreed with? How did you respond?
  • How many years of experience do you have with this age group?
  • What was your typical day with past families? What responsibilities did you have?

Include your job requirements in your questions so you know if the nanny fits the bill. An easy way to check if the nanny can handle the job responsibilities is by asking questions like:

  • We mentioned that we’re looking for a nanny who is able to administer medication. Can you tell me about a time you did this in a previous role?
  • We need a nanny who can monitor homework time. How do you help kids stay on track?
  • As our nanny, you’d be handling daycare drop-offs. What are your strategies for an easy goodbye?

Approaching different child care scenarios 

Ask the nanny questions about their approach to child care. Think about what specific information you need for your family. 

  • Tell me about a time when a child you were caring for had a tantrum. How did you handle that? Would you handle it the same or differently now?
  • How do you handle a child talking back or refusing to listen to you?
  • What have you done in the past to help a child who doesn’t want to complete their homework?
  • Has a child lied to you? How did you handle it?
  • How do you make sure all the children in your care feel equally cared for?
  • Are you interested in taking the children to local programs, like a music class or swim lessons?
  • What do you find most rewarding and challenging about working with this age group?

Learning about their child development philosophies 

Ask the nanny about their ideas of child development. You want to start a conversation about your ideas and practices. 

Share your ideas with them and see how they react. This helps you learn how they might adapt to feedback.

  • What are your views on disciplining children? What should the nanny’s role be?
  • What is your philosophy on nutrition and feeding?
  • What are your thoughts on screen time?
  • How do you think children learn best? 
  • What are your beliefs about how children should behave towards adults?
  • What is your ideal relationship with the parents you’re working with?

Before you wrap up the interview, ask for the nanny’s input. Are they still interested in the position after learning more about it? Do they have any follow-up questions? Let them know they can always reach out later if any questions come up.

Finalizing the details

During this stage, consider a nanny trial day to see how your nanny candidate performs the job. In a trial, you invite the nanny for a day of paid work. You stay there to observe and get a feel for the nanny’s style.

Once you’ve found your ideal nanny, it’s time to make it official. From setting up the contract to managing payroll, Nanny Lane can help. Get started today. 


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