Nanny Interview Tips: What to Ask
When you interview for a nanny job, it’s not just you going under scrutiny. The interview is an opportunity for both nanny and employer to figure out if they are a good fit for one another.
During your interview, there will be a time that your prospective employer asks you if you have any questions for them. So what kind of questions should you be asking?
It is very important that you and your employer are in agreement with how the children should be raised. You need to feel comfortable employing the same or similar discipline methods as the parents would use. It would not be fair for your employer to expect you to use, for example, time-outs, if that is not something you are comfortable with – instead, they should find a nanny whose childcare philosophy meshes with their own. Similarly, the parents need to know that their own efforts to discipline their children are not going to be undermined when they are in the care of their nanny. Be sure that you are both on the same page. It is worth bringing a written list of specific questions relating to common situations – for example, what would the parents do if an older sibling hit a younger one, or if a sibling is repeatedly snatching from another.
By law, nannies are entitled to 5.6 weeks of holiday per year, which includes 4 working weeks of standard leave and 8 bank holidays as paid days off. Some nannies will be offered more holiday than this, but this is the statutory amount that, by law, you are entitled to. When interviewing for a new nanny job, it is worth discussing how the timings of your holidays will be arranged. Unlike most other jobs, it generally isn’t possible to take time off whenever you feel like you need a break, because the parents will need to find additional childcare for that time which can be difficult to do. What many nannies agree with their employers is that they will choose when to take two of their weeks, and the employers will choose the other two weeks – they may choose the time to coincide with when they will be taking a family holiday, or when the parents themselves have time off work. Finding out where each of you stand when it comes to holiday now will save having to deal with aggravation later down the line.
It is essential to find out at an early stage if you will be required to complete any other duties on top of your childcare duties. Housekeeping arrangements can be somewhat of a bugbear if not dealt with early on. Obviously, you will need to do a basic amount of housekeeping in order to keep the home running smoothly whilst you are in charge, but it is worth finding out if your employer expects you to do anything on top of the required amount of laundry, cooking and picking up after yourself and the children. Nannies are generally not housekeepers too, but some will happily take on extra housekeeping duties – find out what your employer expects.