Nanny interviews

This week we have started the process of recruiting a nanny to look after Munchkin when I go back to work in February. We’ll need someone 4 days a week live out who will be with him all day. Both my husband and I have interviewed many people through the course of our jobs but never for any position as important as this! I mean this person will be looking after the most important thing in our lives.
Would love to hear any tips from anyone who has experience of hiring a nanny or a childminder. What kind of questions give a good insight into the type of care they would give? Any warning signs to look out for?
Definitely appreciate any advice or comments!
Thanks in advance

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3 Responses to Nanny interviews

  1. I worked as a nanny before I was a mommy. Ask about their childrearing philosophy in general, and some of the more specific things. Ask about their discipline preferences before you tell them about yours. Ask about any certifications or special training they have.

  2. andrea says:

    We went through a long process to find our amazing nanny. My advice would be not to rush it. Take your time to interview a lot of nannies (we interviewed around 10 or so) so you can compare. We made a chart with things we thought were important like CPR certificate, years of experience, police clearance, etc. This made it easier to compare and helped us make a short-list.

    We started with basic questions, like: how many years have you been working as a nanny? Tell us a little bit about your experience working as a nanny. What is the most challenging part of your job? Tell us about your most recent job. Why did you leave? Things like that. We also prepared some behavioural questions like: What would you do if the baby has a high fever and you cannot reach us? What would you do if he experiences separation anxiety?

    We interviewed a nanny who was perfect on paper. She was a paediatric nurse and had a lot of experience with small babies. Her references were outstanding. Everything indicated she would be the right person for the job. However, we did not get a good “vibe” from her. I don’t know what it was, but there was something that made us feel very uneasy. It was a tough call, and at the end we decided to keep looking.

    The nanny we hired did not have a great resume, but we felt very comfortable with her and she seemed very honest when answering our questions. We were very explicit about our parenting “philosophy”: we do not believe in letting the baby cry it out under any circumstances, especially not during bed/nap time. This meant she would have to rock him to sleep -multiple times if he was cranky. We asked her if she was willing to do this and she said yes and told us that she had done it before.

    We had the baby with us during the interviews. Some nannies asked if they could hold him and it was good because we could actually see them interact. Bresho loved Amy (our nanny) from the very beginning. I would advise you to have the baby with you during the interviews and make sure they are not at a time when the baby is napping (won’t always work out, but it is worth trying). They don’t care if the baby cries in the middle of the interview, and some will even offer to carry him and calm him down.

    After we finished the interviews, we asked Amy to come in for half a day. We agreed on an hourly rate beforehand for that day. It was during the week, so it was just the baby, Amy and I. We spent some time together and I got to see the “little things”. I was very impressed. She was on top of things and did not wait for me to tell her when to feed or change the baby. In short, it seemed like she knew what she was doing. After a while, I left them alone and came back when it was time to put Bresho down for a nap so I could show her what I usually did.

    We called her references (3) and talked to them for about 15 minutes. It is difficult to coordinate reference calls since you are talking to another mom with a crying baby and a hungry toddler in the background , so make sure you give the reference-calls about a week.

    Ok, this is probably the longest comment I have ever written! I hope it helps, though. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! I know how tough it is to find someone to look after your baby. Good luck! I am sure you will find a great nanny 🙂

  3. Londonmum says:

    Thank you both so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts. It is such an important decision and needs to be the right person for everyone involved. We’ve seen two people already so interesting to compare. The first girl was well qualified etc but she hardly looked at the baby at all and didn’t ask any questions about him. That put me right off plus Munchkin took one look at her and burst into tears!
    The second girl was very nice and when munchkin threw up on the floor as I took her into the livingroom she was straight in there trying to help. What impressed me was the fact that she didn’t try to clean the floor or hand me a cloth but went straight to the baby to help wipe his top. Munchkin seemed fascinated by her and smiled away.
    Good idea on the trial. I will definitely do this and am having this girl back this week as she is going away for a month. Will definitely see others over the next few weeks and was starting to feel the pressure about finding someone soon. However it makes sense to take our time about it and find the right person. Will let you know how it goes!

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