Good preparation before interviewing a prospective nanny can save a lot of time and help speed the process of finding the right person for your family. You may have some compulsory requirements, such as a recent enhanced DBS check or a driver's licence. It would be well worth confirming these requirements are met before inviting a prospective nanny to interview to avoid a wasted meeting. You may wish to consider using an agency such as Little Ones to find candidates for you as they can ensure you only speak to nannies who meet your criteria.
Make sure you have plenty of time for the interview and arrange it for a time when you can be relaxed and focused. It is up to you whether you want to introduce a candidate to your children before or after the interview, but it is well worth finding someone else to look after them or something to occupy them during the interview itself. This will mean you can focus entirely on speaking with the nanny and will be able to have a frank and open conversation. Remember that during the interview, a prospective nanny will be considering whether they want to work with your family so it is a good idea to be welcoming and friendly. You might want to consider offering a cup of tea and a biscuit or two!
Asking the right questions
Before you start to talk about the details of the job, it's a good idea to ask the nanny to introduce themselves and talk about general ideas in childcare. This will give you an overall picture as to the kind of person they are and whether their ideas and priorities match your own. Questions should be open to allow the nanny to express themselves in their own words.
When hiring a nanny interview questions could include:
What made you decide to become a nanny in the first place?
What do you think makes a good nanny?
When you are looking for a position as a nanny, what qualities do you think are important in a family?
What do you think are the greatest risks to children in the home or when out and about?
How do you manage undesirable behaviour?
What are your favourite activities to do with children of this age?
You might want to consider describing certain situations and ask how the nanny would deal with them. Asking about their current or previous positions will give you a good idea of their experience and their descriptions of the children they have worked with will give you an insight into how they relate to children.
If you have not reviewed references before the interview, it is definitely worth doing so as soon as possible afterwards. You will then be in a position to make an offer and formalise a contract quickly as you don't want to find yourself in a position where you have someone who you think would be perfect, but then they find a different position before you can get the contract signed.