The interview process for nanny jobs can be a bit intense. That’s understandable as you are applying to be entrusted with the care of somebody’s children — and many parents want to ensure their kids will be in warm, trusting, and friendly hands.
But you too may be feeling overwhelmed. This is why internet preparation can truly make a difference! If you know the questions to expect, you can plan out your answers. This will make the interview process go smoothly — and more likely to end in your favor.
In this post, we break down how to prepare for a nanny interview and provide a set of typical nanny interview questions with sample answers.
How Should I Prepare For a Nanny Interview?
The best way to prepare for a nanny interview is by learning as much as you can about the job requirements and the family. This will allow you to emphasize how you are the ideal fit for the position. Nanny is a job where your personality will play a key part in your success. Your preparation will show that you enjoy interacting with children, have great organizational skills, and approach this job with clear professionalism.
To successfully pass a nanny interview:
- Arrive on time
- Dress appropriately
- Bring a copy of your nanny resume
- Engage with the children if they are present
- Show that you are a positive and outgoing person
- Answer all the parent’s questions in detail
- Be proactive and ask questions too!
- Ask for feedback
7 Common Nanny Interview Questions and Answers
It’s impossible to predict every question you might encounter during a nanny interview, but we’ve identified seven of the most common ones.
If you can answer these questions eloquently with good detail about yourself as well as your experience, you will do very well in any interview! Consider rehearsing your answers to these so your delivery is smooth and natural.
Now onto the sample nanny interview questions!
How Do You Introduce Yourself as a Nanny?
This isn’t a question as much as it is your first introduction during the interview. You’ll want to open with a brief, enthusiastic statement that outlines your interest and main qualifications. Remember that this is your chance to make an amazing first impression.
“I first began working with young children as a camp counselor back in my teenage years. This inspired me to study preschool education. After I completed my Associate’s degree, I took on my first position as a nanny for twin boys whose parents traveled frequently for work. Over the last ten years, I have had the privilege of working for three other amazing families. I’m happy to say that I have remained close with all of them, and just attended the middle school graduation of the first child I cared for.”
How Long Have You Been Working as a Nanny?
Naturally, the parents (or staffing agency) want to know how much experience you have. Be simple and direct with your answer. Don’t exaggerate the length of your work experience. But do mention extra relevant jobs or educational experiences.
“I have three years of experience working as a full-time nanny. Before that, I worked part-time as a childcare provider in the summers while I was attending a trade school for two years. Additionally, I worked as a line cook in an Italian restaurant, so I’d be happy to help with some food prep for the kids.”
What Age Groups Have You Mostly Worked With?
Kids of different ages have varying needs. Additionally, they require different care and supervision. A nanny who is experienced with school-aged children may be a bit overwhelmed with a toddler. Answer honestly, but feel free to expand a bit. Even if you don’t have direct experience with a specific age group, you can still show your understanding.
Here’s an example:
“My experience has been mostly with children between the age of 1 and 4. However, I also used to work as a private maths tutor for kids in elementary school. That gives me a bit of insight into that age group. I also find school-age kids to be such a fun group with a curious mind. If needed, I’d be happy to suggest some thrilling, educational games to get them more engaged with sciences.”
How Would You Describe Your Personality?
What they want to know here is how you will interact with their children. Be genuine here. Many personality types work well with kids. Don’t feel the need to fake or put on a different “facade”. However, you can indicate that you can adapt your approach to the needs of the child.
“I would describe myself as being outgoing and positive. When I can, I like to interact with kids using a sense of humor and empathy. I have found that I can create better relationships with them this way, and develop a good rapport. In my personal life, I also try to show off my big heart by volunteering at the local shelter, catering to the homeless population.”
How Flexible Are You With Your Schedule?
Be direct. Don’t promise more availability than you can offer, and don’t agree to a schedule that exploits you. Remember that you deserve a fair schedule that allows you to get enough rest and recreation. Everybody involved must have the same expectations.
“Since this will be a live-in position, I will be available from 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. I am willing to work the occasional Saturday with notice, but would prefer to have Sundays off. I’ll need my weekday evenings free as I am attending classes online.”
Do You Have Any Special Training?
The answer to this question could help you stand out from other nannies who are vying for the same position. Feel free to mention anything that could make you a better nanny. Any extra training you have taken shows your dedication to improving your skills — be it professional certifications or just online classes.
“I am certified in adult, youth, and infant CPR. I received my first aid certification during that time as well. Additionally, I have completed a safety education course that was specifically designed for caregivers. Last year, I completed a continuing education course where I received a certificate in caring for children with severe food allergies. I’ve also completed an online course where I learned about the internet and cyber security for kids who spend time on the internet.”
How Do You Deal With Temper Tantrums?
Every kid can get naughty at times. So parents want to understand how you’d be handling those mood swings. Can you respond to temper tantrums in a positive, age-appropriate manner? Your answer should show that you can handle this situation calmly with empathy.
“First, I simply lower my voice. I’ll sit on the floor so the child knows I am nearby. If it’s a younger child, I might try to hold their hand or simply talk to them in a calm tone. When they calm down enough, I’ll comfort them. For older kids, I will encourage them to try deep breathing or mindfulness exercises. When the tantrum is done, we can work on strategies for staying calm. Mostly, I try to avoid tantrums by learning to recognize and avoid triggers such as hunger and overstimulation. I also believe that becoming angry or shaming kids who have lost control of their emotions is counterproductive.”
What Were Two Things You’ve Liked and Didn’t Like About Your Last Job?
This is a tough interview question, especially the latter part. It’s important that you are honest, but avoid engaging in character assassination against your former employer. Make this about your own preferences and needs.
Here’s a graceful way to talk about your past nanny jobs:
“I really appreciated that my last employer gave me regular feedback. I appreciate knowing how my services are evaluated as frequently as possible. Additionally, I loved the opportunity to travel. As far as things I disliked, my last job was in a very rural area. That meant I had to travel a long way to do anything on my days off. Finally, I would have preferred a bit more notice when I was needed to work overtime. However, I also understand that the parents’ schedules can be unpredictable.”
What Questions Should a Nanny Ask in an Interview?
A job interview is an opportunity for you to meet and assess the family. So don’t be shy to ask them questions as well! This allows you to gather important information, and to determine whether you wish to pursue this position or not.
Additionally, by asking questions you show genuine curiosity. This also helps to create a friendly, conversational interview environment where everybody feels more at ease. Be certain that you focus on questions that cover a wide range of relevant topics.
Here are the best questions a nanny should ask in an interview:
- Can you tell me what my daily routine would look like?
- What did you like about your previous nannies? Is there anything you would prefer me to do differently?
- Do any of the children require special care? Should I know about any food allergies or eating preferences?
- Will this position require any travel? Will I be required to handle transportation?
- Is there a personality type that your children find to be most relatable?
- Do you have a specific parenting philosophy that I should keep in mind while caregiving?
- Are the children involved in extracurricular activities?
- What are your thoughts on masking and vaccines?
- Is there anything I should know that will help me be a better caregiver for your family?
Should you ask about compensation? That depends. If it seems as if an offer is looming, it is okay to ask about payment methods and schedules. This will help to segue the conversation into the important matter of your salary.
If you are prepared with great answers to common interview questions, you will have a much better chance of landing an amazing and rewarding job! Remember that your preparation will show that you are poised and articulate. This will also help to create rapport with the agency hiring manager or the parents!