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Old 02-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #1
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Interviewing a nanny for the first time

I'm meeting a few candidates to watch our newborn part-time when I return to work. Does anyone have any questions they wish they'd asked their babysitters or nannies? Or just any good suggestions?

So far I'm definitely going to ask the following:
- What is your ideal length of time working with our family? (It would be nice if our son could bond with someone who will be around for a while)
- Have you or would you consider taking an infant/child CPR and First Aid course?
- Are you able to drive in case of an emergency?
- Are you comfortable around pets? (we have a dog and a cat)
- Do you have experience with cloth diapering?
- How would you entertain a young child other than TV or video games?(We don't want our child exposed to any TV, videos, basically screens of any kind including iPad or iPhone games, before age 3.)
- We are a non-religious family. Would that present an issue for you as our child gets older?

That last one might be weird, but I'm not sure how else to talk about that... I know it doesn't matter for a baby, but it might in a few years. I don't think anyone would want to evangelize our kid or anything, just want to be upfront.

Thanks for the advice!


Last edited by Palooka; 02-28-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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How they handle discipline give a few examples. How they feel about schedules vs child led feeding/sleeping/etc. What a typical day could look like. What will they do during nap time? Best babysitting experience and worst. Why they nanny.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time

if they are willing to submit to a background check.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time

I kind of think a lot of the questions asked at interviews can be a little silly. I was a nanny for a few years and did my fare share of interviews. You want to be sure they are up to date on things like how to heat bottles, obviously not shaking the baby, how often to change the baby etc. You need to make a plan on what to do if they suspect the baby is sick but it is a non emergent situation. (Low fever, cranky etc) Ask what an average day with baby might include and consider if that is what you want for your baby. Ask about their knowledge of child development like how old before baby should set up etc. What activities would they do with baby to work on development? (if that is something you want. I did songs with activities that helped work on development for newborns.) Also do you hold baby until they fall asleep or put them in the crib? How long do they let baby cry before picking them up?

All that said I think you learn the most from a trail day or two. You can be there but I would be in a different room. See how it goes. Maybe do another day where you leave for a couple hours.

HTH This is what I would do if I was to hire a nanny anyways
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time


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Experience with newborns - which is very different then if they have only worked with older kids.

Ability to handle medical emergencies/health issues/baby getting sick

How they handle crying/colic/fussing a naptimes etc

Ability to READ english well
(I didn't care if our nannies were immigrants but I needed them to be able to read instructions and medicine bottles.)

Are they legally entittled to work, will they be filing taxes
(Our nannies were hired not as employees but as contractors so they had to file there own taxes and we didn't have to worry about workers comp.)

What will a day look like - Do they know other nannies in the area - Do they want to leave the house with your child? AND if so will they be walking or driving. Will they be using your car to drive? (Depending on the answer you either A) have to check your insurance or B)find out what they plan on doing for a carseat. Personally I allowed use of their own car if they wanted BUT I used my seats (since I knew they weren't expired or recalled) AND I installed them myself.

How do they feel about using a nanny cam?
(We never actually used one BUT had permission from each provider to do so if we fealt the need.)
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time

When I interviewed a nanny- I first met the person out in public and asked a million questions, then if I thought the would be a potential canidate I invited them to our house to meet the girls. Then, it didn't matter by the end because we decided I shouldn't go back to work yet.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time

Be sure to ask for references and CALL them!
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Pay expectations. One huge pet peeve of mine is when my employer cancels for the day (usually sickness) and then doesn't pay me. I count on this income to survive and if I am able and willing to work, I feel I should still be paid since the cancellation was beyond my control. Ask how she feels about x number of paid sick days. If this is beyond your means, please make that explicit! I would be much more comfortable with an agreement like this than going into the whole thing with a different set of financial expectations than my employer.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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Hours available, regular pay, vacation (your vacations, their vacations... paid if the nanny (or their child) is sick? Paid if you or your child is sick?

Experience with newborns (many providers have ONLY worked with older kids, unless they have thier own). If you are pumping... Do they know how to safely heat/how long they can use/if they can reheat/how to thaw/etc.? If not are they willing to learn?

If they have children of their own? How old (school age children get sick). If they have alternative care if their own child is sick.

As a neborn they won't be driving too much, but into toddler years they might to go to the park/playdates/classes etc. are they are comfortable driving with a child in the car. Driving record? Know how to install and buckle a car seat correctly?

Apologizing in advance for iPhone typos/autocorrect
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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Re: Interviewing a nanny for the first time

I would recommend asking them how a typical day with a child would go. IF they are able to plan a variety of activities for the child. Also I would check their driving record, once your toddler is older it would be really beneficial to have the nanny take them to story time, and other play dates.
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