Interview tips to help hire the perfect nanny

Today marks the start of National Nanny Week. We’ve spoken to the association for professional nannies, BAPN, to find out how to find the best nanny for your family.

Nanny interview

When hiring a nanny, there are many things you need to take into consideration. As an employer, you need to handle your nanny’s tax, payslips, insurance amongst other things. Here is the vital information you need to know about hiring a nanny.

Short list

It is vital to filter out only the strongest candidates, to ensure you are only interviewing nannies who fit your requirements. So be very clear as to your family’s needs. Do you require a Nanny with qualifications / experience? Ofsted registered? Does Nanny have recent CRB, first aid and valid nanny insurance? A nanny agency could save a considerable amount of time and select a short list for you. The agency will listen to your requirements and match suitable candidates to your family. Look for agencies which belong to REC or ANA, as they follow a code of best practise.

The 1st interview

First interview is between you (and your partner) and the candidate. If possible leave the children to meet only those selected for a 2nd interview, so you will be able to have nannies full attention and your children will not be meeting too many different childcarers. Offer a cup of tea, this will help the candidate to relax – nannies can be very shy and won’t show you their best side if they are too nervous.

Start off by telling the nanny about the position and about your children. Discuss what the role involves (hours, salary, start date, duties, routines, holidays etc)

Then go through her CV in detail, asking her to describe each childcare position and any qualifications that she has taken. Also ask her why she left each job and to explain any gaps in CV. By going through the candidate’s CV, you will learn a great deal and many of your questions may well be answered.

Next ask questions which are important /relevant to your family and have a list of questions relating to the nanny’s abilities as a childcarer, for example:

  • what activities she would plan for your children?
  • what books does she feel are appropriate for their age?
  • views on discipline -how does she deal with a tantrum?
  • how does she introduce good manners?
  • cooking skills -what meals would she prepare for the children?
  • first aid questions -what would she do if your child was choking?

Always ask:

  • What was the best thing about your last job?
  • What was the worst thing about your last job?

After you have asked all your questions, always ask the nanny if she has any questions.

The 2nd interview

Once you have seen a number of nannies, you may want to invite a couple of them back to meet your children and see how they interact. Before you do, you should check their references. The 2nd interview is more informal and a time for you to see your children spend time with the candidate.

You know your children, so watch how they respond and ask them afterwards about the nanny. Your children will be able to help you choose which nanny is best for your family, after all they will be spending the most time with them.

Hopefully you will have found your ideal nanny, and so then you need to offer her the job, draw up a contract, discuss when she is going to start, organise induction etc.

More information about Employing a Nanny can be found at BAPN.

Photography: Olig Sidorenko @Flickr

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