Interviewing your Prospective Nanny

October 15, 2015 10:56 am Published by

How to Interview a Prospective Nanny,

That daunting moment has arrived when you need to find childcare for your most precious creations, I would (obviously) always recommend that you use an agency to be sure that all the proper checks have been carried out, then when you have chosen the nannies you would like to meet the agency should also help you with the interview process.
Decide if you would like the children present for the interview or if you would prefer an evening inetrview once the children are tucke up in bed.
If the nanny removes her shoes without being asked this is a good start – I personally feel this shows a level of respect for the household they are entering.,

Describe the position and what it will entail. Start date. Hours of work. If the position is sole charge or if family will be at home too.Job outline, responsibilities and duties, particularly if more than basic   nursery duties, i.e. weekly shop or cooking an evening meal.  Describe the children.  The children’s routine, Salary offered.  If you will be providing a car or expecting the nanny to use her own.  If you provide a kitty for weekly expenses.  If you need the nanny to take her holidays in the school holidays.  If there is any babysitting needed or occasional overtime.  Any house rules you may have.  Tell the nanny a bit about yourselves and the family.  Do you have family that come and stay.  Any routine that the children are in and must be kept by the nanny.  Any medical or dietary issues that the children may have.
Discuss any methods of discipline that you would like the nanny to follow your lead with.

Ask what they chose to go into childcare, you want someone with a genuimne passion for caring for children. What qualities and assets they could bring to the job and what are the best and worst bits about nannying in their opinion?

A few good questions are:

  • Why did you choose to become a nanny?
  • What qualities do you think you have that make you a good nanny?
  • What do you like most/least about nannying?
  • What experience do you have with children the same age as mine?
  • Why are you leaving you current post?
  • How long are you looking to stay in this post?
  • Do you swim and are you happy to take our children swimming?
  • How good a cook are you?
  •       What sort of meals would you provide?
  •       Have you weaned a baby onto solid food?
  •       Do you plan a weekly menu?
  • Are you willing to babysit?
  • What methods of discipline do you use and how would you deal with…
  •       A tantrum in a public place,
  •       A child refusing to eat,
  •       A child behaving violently towards another.
  • What would be a typical day? What would you do or where would you go?
  •      Do you know any local playgroups/classes
  •      Do you have a nanny network in this area?
  •      Would you take our children to the library?
  • How would you potty train our child?
  • How much television do you think is appropriate?
  • How would you deal with an emergency or have you ever had to deal with an emergency?
  •       How up to date is your 1st Aid?
  •       What would you do if a child was choking?
  •       How do you deal with feveral convulsions?
  • How many sick days did you take last year?
  • Are you a good driver? Have you ever had points on your license?
  • Are you a smoker?

Try to avoid back-to-back interviews, it may seem a practical way of doing it so as not to use up all your evenings but it can become tiring and unless you are taking notes all the way through it can be difficult to remember each candidate’s responses. Also try and keep the interview fairly informal remember that they will be an integral part of your family and household, you can learn a lot from a person through a friendly chat.

Now you have decided bring a nanny into your home and become an employer here are many responsibilities you will need to consider.

  • Please remember that you are becoming the employer of someone who has chosen to make a career out of caring for children and as such there are some essential employment guidelines you need to follow:
  • An exact job description should also be agreed with the nanny prior to them starting to work for you.
  • Contract;
  • It is now a legal requirement to have a written contract of employment. You should agree the terms of this contract with your nanny and finalise the contract with each party signing and keeping a copy each. We provide a draft standard contract and can help you tailor this to your specific requirements.
  • Legal obligations
  • You must register with HMRC as an employer and you have a responsibility to pay Tax and National Insurance. You may have heard that it is acceptable to pay part of the salary in cash but this is illegal and you can be fined and charged interest by the Inland Revenue for unpaid tax. We recommend using a good payroll company to assist you with this.
  • You could look at the possibility of claiming the childcare tax credit or using childcare vouchers issued by your employer/company if you are looking for ways of reducing your tax liability.
  • You are responsible for paying your employee’s statutory holiday, sick and maternity pay. If you plan for the nanny to accompany your family on holiday, then please be aware that that this does not count towards their annual leave and they will need to be paid as normal. Also if you want the nanny to take some of their holiday when you take yours then this should be clearly stated in the contract – a usual agreement is a 50/50 split choice of the holiday allowance.
  • You must ensure that your household insurance policy covers you for employers and public liability insurance
  • Use of Cars
  • The nanny MUST have appropriate insurance cover for the car that will be used to transport the children – if they are using their own car then they must ensure that they have covered it for business use. If they fail to do this, then in the event of an accident, they will not be covered and it is a criminal offence.
  • The nanny will need to be reimbursed for petrol and running costs whilst transporting the children around. This is at the set rate of £0.45p per mile.
  • A child car seat may be needed and it is usual for the employer to provide this.
  • We recommend if possible to have duplicate seats so that the nanny does not disappear for a long weekend with the car seat still in their car!
  • If you want the nanny to use the family car, check with your insurance company as it can be expensive to put a nanny on your insurance.
  • Finally…
  • Along side the contract you should consider the way you like your home run and how you would like the working relationship with your nanny to grow, for example if you would like the nanny to become part of the family or keep the relationship more formal. This needs to be defined from the start.
  • In particular if there is anything that the nanny should be aware of,
  • Do you have house rules? For example,
  • Is the nanny allowed to use the home phone for work related events?
  • Can the nanny invite other nannies around?
  • Do you like a hand-over at the end of the day or will the nanny keep a diary? (We can provide these)
  • You should make sure that there is a planned review process as well as regular chats over a cup of tea to discuss any issues between you and the nanny. Discuss how they are doing, this is a perfect opportunity to give positive feedback as well as looking at areas where you feel changes could be made.
  • It is also a good opportunity to discuss the next stages of the childrens’ development and how to best move forward as a team.

Good Luck!


Also featured in Famiiles upon Thames Magazine.

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This post was written by Sarah Cozens