You have sorted through an entire pile of CVs and made a shortlist of the nannies you want to meet. Maybe you have conducted interviews at work and feel about interviewing in a work context. However, given what an important decision it is to hire someone you are going to trust your home and children to, the following are some tips to help ensure you have successful nanny interviews.
We have focused on criteria, and logistical suggestions. Ask questions so that you hear more than simply a nanny thinks you would like to hear. You may also find it useful to check out our previous blog post on a nanny’s perspective on interviews and gather information on employers liability insurance for nanny payroll.
If you are searching for a nanny share, you can register on Koru Kids free. We can help you find a quality family for sharing your nanny with.
Most likely, you are pressed for time. Maybe you are trying to figure out your timing for going back to work, or perhaps you might have been left in the lurch for finding alternative childcare. If your shortlist looks more like a long list, then you could use brief calls to check on the rankings of your candidates and help you to prioritise only two to interview. If after your phone screen you have more than two outstanding prospects, you can keep them warm just in case you do not discover the right fit in your initial interviews.
Schedule a 45-60 minute interview with each of your candidates. Ask each to bring copies of their paperwork with them. Experienced nannies will already have their folder prepared ahead of time, but those who are just beginning may benefit from you letting them know what you expect to see from them. At a minimum, ask to see proof of their right to work within the UK, their latest criminal background (DBS) check, and any qualifications that are relevant to childcare (see our blog post on interpreting the qualifications on a nanny’s CV and more details below).
Informing Possible Employees
It is worth it to let the nannies know about the interview format the beginning of your interview. One proven method is to tell the nanny about your children, family, and what you consider the role of nanny to involve before you move onto their experience and questions. Give plenty of opportunities for the candidate to also ask you questions since they are interviewing you as well.
It is essential to see how a nanny interacts with your children. However, try to avoid having them around for the entire conversation if possible (maybe introduce them towards the end). Try to invite a nanny in for either a trial with your children or a second informal meeting.
When closing your interview, tells the candidate what your next steps are going to be, and when you will be getting back to them. After they leave and before rushing into the next thing you are planning to do, take five minutes to fill in your criteria grid (we will be discussing this below) and write down whatever impressions you had of the nanny. That helps to reduce the risk that all of the candidates will start to blur together in your mind.
Criteria or knowing what you are searching
Quite often, when we speak to parents they are somewhat coy when we ask them what the determining factor was in selecting their nanny. It appears they would like to describe a systematic and robust approach to selecting a nanny when in actuality their instinct kicked in and they made their decision based on a gut feeling they have. To ensure that you use both your head and heart, it is worth it to think about what you are searching for ahead of time.
Writing that down in advance – and preparing grid so you can provide a score (out of 5 with a few notes) to each candidate on every aspect will also provide you with something that you can refer to when you are making your final decision.
Go with your gut instincts. You will get a good feeling of how playful, engaged, gentle, and caring the nanny is, particularly when it comes to interacting with your children.