10 Red Flags to Be Wary of During Nanny Job Interviews

What Red Flags Have Convinced You to Not Accept a Nanny Job?

Parents want to make a great first impression on nanny candidates during job interviews. If parents are generally on their best behavior, yet you have a bad gut feeling about a family while interviewing with them, it’s a bad sign.

If a family rubs you the wrong way during the interview, it’s a red flag that those concerns will bother you if you were work for the family in the future.

Here are Some Common Red Flags for Nannies to Be Wary of:

1. Low Salary or Benefits Packages

Before interviewing for nanny jobs you should know how much you need to make hourly to make ends meet. If you find a family you love who can’t afford to pay you enough, don’t assume their financial situation will improve in the years to come. In fact, if you accept a job for much less money than you need to earn, you will end up resenting that the family isn’t paying you much as you deserve to make. Even before agreeing to meet potential employers, ask them the rate they are offering for the position. To save both your time and the parent’s time, decline to interview with parents that aren’t offering a reasonable salary.

2. Won’t Pay You Legally

If parents are willing to cheat the government, you have to ask yourself wouldn’t they feel comfortable cheating you too? The parents risk penalties including losing their professional licenses for cheating the government. They should also want the best for you and being paid legally protects you if you get unexpectedly laid off, need to apply for a car loan or mortgage, get hurt on the job, and so on. Click here to see reasons you should be paid on-the-books.

3. Disrespectful Towards You, Family Members, or Workers During Interview

If you feel the parents or their children are impolite during a job interview, or if you see them being discourteous to anyone else, they are likely showing you their true colors. If they have terrible manners, curse, or yell at others when you meet with them they will likely repeat the inappropriate behavior if you work for them.

4. Ask Inappropriate Interview Questions

Your marital status, sexual preference, origin of birth, health issues, your age, or religious views shouldn’t be a topic of discussion during a job interview. If personal questions that won’t affect your job performance are asked of you, or make you feel uncomfortable, that’s a red flag that the parents may be biased or disrespectful of professional boundaries.

5. Messy, Dirty, or Too Clean House

Everyone has a different comfort level about organization and cleanliness in a home. When you interview in a family’s home it is essential to see if their style of organization and cleanliness makes you feel relaxed or stressed out.

If a house is cluttered during the job interview, you can expect it to be even worse when you come to work daily. And if a house is too clean and sterile be forewarned that they may want you to help keep a clean house more than care for their children.

6. Talks Badly About Previous Nannies

If parents don’t respect their former nannies they won’t likely treat you any differently.

7. High Turn Over Rate

If the family is zipping through in-home child care providers quickly it’s a bad sign that something is flawed in their relationships with their previous nannies. 

8. Differing Parenting Philosophies

Be it the way the parents choose to sleep train, potty train, or discipline their children you must know how they want you to help raise their kids. You should consider if parents are overly strict or permissive with their kids. If you feel uncomfortable with the way they choose to raise their children than you should keep interviewing until you find a family that is a better fit.

9. Parents Relationships with the Kids

Undoubtedly, you want to work for a happy and loving family. No matter how busy the parents are at their careers, you want to work for parents that keep their children as their first priority. If the parents can’t express their kids’ wants, loves, and needs in detail it’s a red flag that they may not be as involved with their children’s lives as you need them to be.

10. Your Gut Feeling

Parents are on their best behavior when  interviewing nanny candidates. If something feels “off” during the job interview, it will likely bother you even more once you work for the family.

By Stephanie Felzenberg, Nanny and Editor How to Be the Best Nanny


  1. Not allowing Nanny to take children out without permission first. Restricted on were nanny can take children.

  2. What about asking if there are nanny cams placed in the house and where. And also asking for a clause in the nanny agreement stipulating whether the nanny cams have audio, where they are placed etc. It still remains a 2 way agreement and both parties needs to be transparent.

  3. Thank you foor sharing

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