By now, you’ve probably gone through a whole pile of CVs and even picked out a few nannies you want to meet. You’ve researched aspects such as average salaries and workplace pensions for nannies. You’ve possibly already conducted some interviews in your day job, which makes you feel confident about these interviews in that context. However, given that choosing who you’re going to entrust your children and home to is such an important decision, below are some pointers to help you make your nanny interviews a success.
We chose to focus on logistical criteria, suggestions, and asking questions so that you hear more than just what the nanny thinks you’ll want to hear. You may also find it worthwhile to cast an eye over a nanny’s perspective on interviews from our blog.
If you’re looking for a nanny for the purposes of a nanny share, you can sign up for free with Koru Kids. We’ll assist you in finding great families that you can share your nanny with.
With our modern schedules, you’re probably pressed for time. You are probably working out the right timing for returning to work, or searching for an alternative childcare service having been left in the lurch. So, if your shortlist is more like a longlist, you can leverage short calls to sense-check how the candidates rank and be left with two that you can interview. In case you get more than two great prospects after phone screening, consider keeping them warm in case you fail to find the perfect fit during your first interviews.
Interview each candidate for 45min to 60min. Ask the nannies to carry along copies of their relevant paperwork. For most cases, the experienced nannies should already have a folder prepared, though those who are starting out may benefit from some assistance on what you expect them to bring. At a minimum, check to see evidence for their right to work in the UK, their relevant qualifications to childcare, and their most recent criminal background (DBS) check.
It’s a good idea to outline the interview format to the nanny before starting the interview. A great tried and tested approach is telling your candidate about your children and family, what you consider their role to involve, and then moving on to their qualifications and experience along with answers to questions. Allow the candidate plenty of opportunities to ask you any questions they might have, as they are interviewing you too.
Don’t forget to find out how the candidate interacts with the children. If possible, avoid having the kids around for the entire conversation and maybe introduce them at the end. If possible, invite the nanny for a separate informal meeting or trial with the children.
When closing the interview, have the candidate know what the next steps are, and when they can expect to hear from you. When they leave, take some time to complete the criteria grid (as discussed below) before you rush on to the next thing. Jot down all the impressions you have of them. This will reduce the risk of having all the candidates blur together in your memory.
Criteria: Know Exactly What You’re Looking For
The parents we interact with are often coy when it comes to determining their deciding factor to choosing their nanny. In most cases, it seems that they want to have a robust systematic approach for selecting a nanny, though in the real sense, their instinct kick in and their decision comes down to a gut feeling. To ensure that you are using both your head and your heart in the decision, it’s important to think beforehand on exactly what you want in a nanny.
Writing this ahead of time and preferably preparing a grid so as to give a candidate a score (out of 5, plus a few notes) against each aspect will certainly give you something you can refer back to when deliberating.
When giving score, go with your instinct. You will get a good sense of how kind, gentle, caring, playful, or engaged, you feel the nanny is, especially when handling or interacting with your kids.