When interviewing for a nanny position, you really want to do everything you can to help the interviewer trust you with their children. While you should always be prepared for common job interview questions, there are nanny-specific questions that you’ll want to make sure you have practiced before hand.
What is your favorite age to care for and why?
The interviewer wants to see if you will be confident looking after kids of all ages. Whether you are interviewing for an agency or for a particular family, you want to keep your answer flexible enough so they will feel okay with giving you additional duties.
“I can honestly say that I’ve never favored a particular age group over others. I make sure that I have each day planned out based on their needs, personalities and skill levels. For example, in my last position I was looking after kids ages four and eight. The age difference caused them to be in completely different stages of life, so the parents and I worked out a plan to make sure that each day was stimulating for both children.”
What did your typical day look like in your last nanny position?
They want an idea of what to expect if they hire you. Talk about how you went about planning the day and make sure to mention how you included the parents in the decision making.
“At the beginning of the week, I would go over the week’s schedule with the parents to make sure each day was something they could be comfortable with. Like I mentioned earlier, I was dealing with children of two very different ages so we worked closely together to make sure that everyone’s needs were being met. I would arrive around the same time their parents were leaving for work. After the kids had finished breakfast, I would then drop off the eight year old at school and tend to the four year old. We would do a variety of activities such as go to the park, play educational and stimulating games, vocabulary exercises, etc. During this time I would also be tidying up the house and fixing lunch. Then, I pick up the eight year old from school. Once we all return, I would begin cooking dinner. As I cook, the eight year old would work on homework while the four year old played with blocks. The parents would arrive home around that time."
Are you looking to stay long-term with a family?
The interviewer is gauging how serious of a commitment you are willing to make to a family. They want to ensure this is not a short-term job for you and you take it seriously.
"I believe staying long-term with a family is beneficial for all parties involved. As time passes, I get to know the family more, create a stronger relationship and understand their needs which allows to me to better do my job. Additionally, the parents develop a trust in me and feel more comfortable leaving their children under my care and supervision. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I think it's crucial that children have a certain level of consistency and don't have to readjust their lives so keeping the same nanny will allow that."
What do you like best about being a nanny?
The children are the reason you are there in the first place so your answer should reflect just that.
"My absolute favorite part of being a nanny is the ability to be an integral part of a child's development. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a child grow and progress while in my care. The fact that I am with the child for a significant amount of the day makes me realize I largely influence them and can impact their lives. It is a huge responsibility, but also an honor and a privilege."
What is your view on disciplining a child?
Disciplining children can be a touchy subject. Show the interviewer that you can effectively handle a misbehaving child.
"Discipline is extremely critical, especially for children of younger ages to learn the difference between right and wrong and to take responsibility for their actions. When disciplining a child, the first thing I do is give a warning to give them the opportunity to change their behavior. The warning is appropriate to the incident and age of the child. If the child continues to misbehave, I put them in timeout. I think the most important things to keep in mind involving discipline are not to debate with the child, to be matter-of-fact in disciplining them and to make sure the consequences fit the action."