Questions to Ask Potential Nanny Families

Job searching and family interviewing never gets any more fun than it is when you first set out. It’s all the same questions, flowing from both sides; it’s looking for red flags; it’s hoping that this family will be your unicorn family. That elusive nanny family that treats you well, appreciates you, supports your work, and enjoys seeing the bond you form with their children. Maybe you’ve been burned in the past, or maybe this is your first time looking for a nanny family. Either way, the questions below will help guide you through that awkward first meeting. And hopefully, it’ll give you a broad picture of who the family is, what they want, and any issues that might arise down the road. Because there’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve found a long-term fit, only to have it end after a few months. Let’s try to avoid that, shall we?

Personal Questions:

* Tell me a little about your family

* Are you from here (this town); do you have family here?

* What brought you here, if not locals?

* What do you both do for work?

* Do you work from home? What percentage of the time?

* What is your work schedule? How often does that change?

* How far in advance do you know about schedule changes?

* Do you have pets? Where do they spend the day?

* Are you the first in your friend group to have kids?

* Do you plan to have more children?

Parenting Questions:

* Can you describe your parenting philosophy or style?

* Can you describe a time when you saw a friend/family member/or stranger engage their child in a way that you want to emulate yourselves? And can you describe an incident where you witnessed someone engage their child in a way you hope never to do yourselves?

* How would you describe your child’s temperament and personality?

* How do you (plan to) discipline? Is this similar or not similar to how you were raised?

* How does your child sleep; and are you happy with this arrangement?

* Any issues that you would like to address regarding sleep, behavior, etc?

* Have you ever left your child with a caregiver? Say the gym daycare, church nursery, a family member?

Nanny Employer Questions:

* What were the reasons that drew you to look for a nanny? And for a nanny share?

* What are you looking for in a nanny?

* What virtues or characteristics do you put the most value on, ex: gentleness, honesty, punctuality, etc.

* What are the job expectations and responsibilities?

* Are you ok with us going on outings?

* How long was your last nanny here?

* Why did you hire her? What drew you to her?

* If you could change one thing about her, what would it be?

* If you could transfer one of her qualities to your new nanny, what would it be?

* How long do you plan to employ a nanny?

* How do you envision the nanny share operating?

* Are you prepared for your child to cry from time to time, as they wait to be attended to?

* Are you prepared for your child to share germs and illnesses?

* If the other child is sick, are you comfortable with your child being around them?

* Do you have a backup plan if your nanny gets sick? Who will take care of the child then?

* What job benefits are you prepared to offer?

These questions are by no means exhaustive, nor do they reflect all that could or should be asked. However using the questions above as a guide, you should be able to tell how the prospective nanny family treats their employees, how much value they might place on their nanny’s role, and how long they plan to employ a nanny. Many of the questions above have an ulterior motive in being asked: do the kids run the house or are there boundaries; how well did they treat and part with their previous nanny; do they need to stick to a certain child care budget amount; and so on and so forth. Read between the lines of their answers, that’s where you’ll find the real information. Remember that you are interviewing them just as much as they are you! But mostly, you are seeking to WOW them with your professionalism and your confidence! It is your confidence in your knowledge and experience with children that will get you a job offer. So walk in and own your interview!