Preparing for a Nanny Interview

Landing a Great Nanny Job in a Tough Economy

We have been discussing ways to market yourself to get a great nanny job even in a bad economy. If you have marketed yourself well you will be invited to a job interview.

When planning to go on a job interview, follow our advice from yesterday about making a first good impression by dressing neatly and conservatively.

To be considered for the nanny position, you must arrive on time, be polite, and carry your resume, portfolio, and any identification needed to prove they can legally drive and work in the United States when meeting potential employers.

Always arrive to your job interview on time. You can arrive 15-minutes early but don’t approach the house until you are just 5-minutes prior to interview time. Arriving too early is just as inappropriate as arriving late.

Listen and don’t interrupt the parents. Be prepared and organized but let the parents run the interview. Make certain you listen to understand the parents’ goals and concerns. When answering their questions be sure to stay positive. Never speak negatively about former employers.

When it’s time for you to ask a few questions be sure to ask open-ended questions that require more than just a “Yes” or “No” answer. For example, you might ask, “What activities do your kids like to do?” Or you might ask, “How do you discipline your children?”

Be prepared to answer these questions on a job interview:
1. Why do you want to be a nanny?
2. What activities do you like to do with the children?
3. Do you prefer indoor activities or outdoor activities? Do you like structured play or free play?
4. What age children are you experienced working with? What ages of children do you prefer?
5. Are you interested in helping with general household chores or child related chores only? (Be reasonable and specific about chores you are and are not willing to do).
6. What was the best part of working as a nanny in the past?
7. What were the worst things when working as a nanny in the past?
8. How do you discipline children? Give an example of what you have done when….”
9. Have you ever had an emergency situation while caring for a child? How was it handled? What would you do if my child were stung by a bee, fell off her bike, was having an asthma attack, and so on?
10. May we obtain written letters of recommendation from your references?
11. May we perform a background check on you by obtaining a copy of your driving record and do criminal backgrounds check?
12. Do you have recent CPR and First Aid certifications? If your certification has expired, are you willing to get certified before starting this position?

Even when you aren’t interested in the job be respectful and thank the parents for their time. I have been amazed by stories from nannies who admit to telling a parent “Are you crazy? Just $10 an hour for twins?” It’s not necessary to tell the family why you don’t want to work for them. And of course if you are interested in the job, send a thank you note.

What questions do you ask on a job interview?


  1. discipline. if they don't discipline the same way i need to know before i start the job.

  2. I am most concerned about car use. I don't want to use my car for their job.Next is petty cash. I don't know how many families never have enough cash for extra expenses. Ask them if they use a credit card or cash for extras like an unexpected gallon of milk or gas for the car. Does the family want a receipt?

  3. What is the most important characteristic a nanny should posses to work well with your children?How would you describe yourselves as parents and as individuals?How would you describe your children?Are there any behavioral or developmental problems I should know about?What forms of punishment do you use?How am I allowed to discipline your kids?

  4. I want to see a tidy house. And, I ask the family to be specific about their housework expectations. I have found that all nannies do a lot of housework even when it's not in the job description. If we agree to any light housekeeping we end up neglecting the kids and get exhausted and resentful of the parents. Best to keep housekeeping and childcare separate.

  5. Do they want the nanny to help their child learn responsibility with cleaning up after themselves and how to make their bed, or put clean clothes away or does the nanny have to do it? Am I allowed to discipline the child or leave that to the parents?MaryanneSummit, NJ

  6. Do they travel a lot and will I be expected to travel with them? A lot of married nannies or nannies with children can't travel, but I love to.I ask how they discipline. I can't work for yellers or spankers.Will I drive their car or mine? How will I be reimbursed if I use my car?Are you willing to pay my taxes? If not, I won't take the job. Ask right away so not to waste everyone's time.

  7. I ask for salary BEFORE going on a person to person interview. I know everyone says wait, see if you like the job first. But, I don't need to waste our time for $10 an hour or $20K. Then car useage, benefits, taxes paid, housekeeping, discipline, traveling with family, special needs….all important.

  8. What will my duties be? No nanny has the same job. Each family is very different. If the duties are out of my comfort zone like ironing or housekeeping then I keep looking. I am a child care provider and those are the duties I enjoy only. Be very specific, very detailed. I don't want to be doing parent's dishes they ate off of from the weekend.

  9. Do you have a cleaning lady, housekeeper, chef, dog walker, or other household help? Do you have pets? Are you willing to meet with me on a regular basis so that we can discuss how things are going? Will you pay part of childcare related classes, workshops, and professional conferences? What is the rate for overnight or 24 hour duty? Will you pay for my CPR/First Aid certification or renewal?Do you plan on using video cameras to monitor children's and nanny's activities? What are the kids' favorite activities? Will you pay for all car expenses?Will there be petty cash?What is your back up plan if I am sick? Do the children have allergies?Do the children have special dietary needs that I should be aware of? What is most important to the parents about the care of their children?

  10. HiI read this post two times.I like it so much, please try to keep posting.Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.Source: Great interview questionsBest regardsHenry


  1. […] is our advice on preparing for a nanny job interview. Before going to the interview, pick out a few of these […]

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