How To Prepare For A Nanny Interview

Two adults sitting by a computer

Your nanny interview is coming up. You want to be professional but relaxed, confident but playful. No wonder you’re nervous! 

The good news? Preparing for a nanny interview makes all the difference.

Understanding the job description

The nanny interview process is lengthy. Every stage is a chance for both of you to learn more about the other. The first interview ensures that you meet the job requirements. 

Start by going through the nanny job description. Highlight key details.

Write down job expectations, the children’s ages, and start date and location. Consider how your experience and skills match the role and frame your answers around them. 

Practicing your answers

Just like actors rehearse, nannies should too. It helps to say your answers aloud– even if it’s only into the mirror!

Do you come across as confident and competent? Are you saying “‘um” and “maybe” too much? The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you’ll be on the day.

If you practice with a friend, ask for feedback on tone, friendliness, and enthusiasm. Above all, be honest about your credentials and your experience.

Example interview questions

Remember to put yourself in the family’s shoes. What qualities would you look for in a nanny? Focus on the skills that set you apart: warmth, competence, creativity, and expand on them.  

Interview question: “Tell me about yourself” 

When answering this interview question, don’t share every detail of your life. Focus on what’s relevant to the job. Talk about your experience and your skills. Share your strengths and hobbies and how they fit into the role. 

Interview question: “How long have you been taking care of children?”

This is your chance to share why you became a nanny. It also shows your experience level based on your number of years in childcare. Remember to include any kid-related volunteering, and babysitting in your response. 

Interview question: “What are the most important qualities in a nanny?”

This question shows you’re on the same page about what makes a great nanny. No two nannies are alike, but there are universal qualities that make the best ones stand out. Focus on key qualities like trustworthiness, enthusiasm, and common sense. Don’t forget to gush about kids!

A few other questions to expect:

  • How do you handle tantrums and public meltdowns?
  • Do you have CPR and first aid training? If not, are you willing to get them?
  • Do you prefer taking care of a specific age group, and why?

Thinking of questions to ask them

Remember you can ask questions too. A professional nanny arrives with thoughtful questions about parents, kids, routines—even pets! Show you’re committed and keen.

You don’t need to come up with these questions on your own. There’s lots of nanny interview questions to learn more about the job and the family. Write down the questions that fit your needs and future job. 

Choosing a safe meeting place

Always put safety first when meeting a stranger, no matter how nice they seem on the phone. Suggest a public space, like a café or a city park. Tell a friend where you’re going and send them the family’s name and a photo if you have one. 

If you choose to meet a family in their home, let them know you’ll be bringing a friend.

Plan your route well in advance and give yourself lots of time. Think about unexpected delays like traffic jams or a subway delay.

Arriving on-time 

The more prepared you are, the more professional you come across. This includes arriving on time for your interview. If you get the job, you’ll need to arrive on time every day so the family can get out of the house. 

Show them you take the job seriously by arriving promptly—or better still—a little early.

Preparing for a nanny interview over Zoom

COVID has boosted the number of video calls. 

If the family requests a virtual meeting, test your camera and mic levels before it starts. Do a lighting test too. If you have your own kids, invest in a sitter for the length of the meeting.

And of course, the same rules apply. Rehearse, show up on time, and find a quiet space where you’re guaranteed privacy. 

During the interview

It’s normal to feel anxious during an interview. But looking someone in the eye makes them feel that you’re trustworthy, confident, and focused. 

Listen carefully to the question. It’s okay to pause before answering. It’ll help you collect your thoughts. 

If the kids are playing nearby, get down on their level and introduce yourself. Show interest in whatever game they’re playing. Parents want proof that you’re comfortable with children.

After the interview

If the nanny interview process goes well, you’ll be asked to complete a nanny trial. It’s the final step before finalizing the job details with a nanny contract.

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