Interviewing for a new job can be nerve-wracking. But, Nanny interviews can be particularly daunting if you’re in an intimate setting such as in someone’s home, with pets and the hustle and bustle included.
Despite the domestic setting, a nanny interview isn’t necessarily informal. This can cause all sorts of questions to race around your head. Should you dress formally? Should you interact with the children?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a guide that will walk you through how to prepare for a nanny interview.
What to expect in a nanny interview
If you’ve applied for a role via a nanny matching service like GrandNanny, it’s likely that you’ll be interviewed by parents or caregivers. We’d like to let you in on a little secret… they’ll probably be feeling the same as you.
Before you begin any prep, make sure you’ve agreed on a time and location for the interview in good time. Getting there on time is half the battle!
Once you’ve arrived and sat down, parents will want to learn about your childcare experience and any relevant qualifications you have. They’ll also want to know why you’re pursuing childcare work. They may ask to see relevant documents, such as certificates and a form of ID. Make a note to bring these along.
Parents will also want to learn about you as a person, this means they may ask about your hobbies and interests. This is your time to shine! Got a great bolognese recipe? Love to sing? Tell your interviewers. The interview can last around 30 minutes or longer, so give yourself more than enough time to respond and go through any questions you have.
Preparing for a nanny interview
What to wear for a nanny interview: As long as you are dressed smartly, you should wear what you feel most comfortable in. Having a smart and tidy appearance will show you’re responsible and neat. These qualities are very desirable in a nanny. You could express your personality through what you’re wearing by putting on bright colours.
What to say in a nanny interview: Perhaps the most nerve-wracking aspect of a job interview is knowing what to say. If you get stuck on a question, remember to take your time and relax. To help avoid any hiccups, we recommend preparing answers to the following questions:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why do you want this job? / Why did you choose nannying as a career?
- What do you enjoy most/least about being a nanny? (Remember to steer to the positives!)
- What qualities do you think a nanny should have?
- What’s your approach to discipline?
- How well do you cope in an emergency?
- What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?
- What hobbies do you enjoy?
- Do you have any special talents? E.g. Do you speak more than one language?
- What are your views on screen time?
- How do you handle challenging behaviour?
- How would you describe your style of nannying?
When answering questions like these, it’s good practice to relate your answer with a real-life example, to support what you’re saying. The STAR method: Situation, Task, Action and Result is a technique recommended by interview experts. So when discussing your approach to discipline, you should use an example of when you’ve had to apply discipline in the past. For example; you looked after a child that misbehaved at the dinner table, the task you gave yourself was to address this behaviour, you took action and spoke to the parents and the child, and you realised they were acting up because they were hungry, you moved their dinner time forward. The result was a calmer dinnertime. Your examples don’t need to be work-related, you could draw from your experience of raising your own children/grandchildren.
Once you’ve thought through your answers why don’t you make some notes and discuss them with friends or loved ones? Preparing for interview questions beforehand will help boost your confidence and feel more relaxed. Plus, your friends and family will be able to give you supportive feedback.
Helpful nanny interview tips
To help you ace your interview, here are our top nanny interview tips:
- Be prepared to answer both professional and personal questions. We’ve outlined common interview questions that you should prepare for. But remember to tell your interviewers about your lifestyle and interests.
- Keep in mind your salary requirements. Determine your salary expectations before the interview and be prepared to discuss these with your new employers.
- Have references on hand. Bring references along to your interview so that you can give them to the interviewers.
- Introduce yourself to the children. Parents will want to see how you interact with their children and whether you get along. Although they are unlikely to be there for the duration of the interview they may be introduced at the beginning or end of the interview. You could ask for a second, informal meeting or trial to meet the children properly.
- Ask questions about the children. After all, this will help you find out more about your role. E.g. What are their favourite subjects at school? Do they go to any after school clubs?
- Take time to understand how the parent(s) manage screen time and manage challenging behaviour. Make sure they know you’re on the same page and will reinforce their decisions.
- Smile. Interviews are nerve-wracking, but it’s important to be enthusiastic and positive. Smiling and maintaining eye contact are guaranteed ways to feel more relaxed and come across positively.
- You can ask questions too! This is an opportunity for you to determine whether this role is a good match for you.At the end of the interview, ask questions about your duties, working hours and holiday allowance. You could also ask about the surroundings, e.g. where the nearest park is, to show you’re eager to plan fun activities.
Need some more interview advice? Get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help you prepare for your nanny interview.