Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Nanny or Babysitter

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Without a doubt, hiring a nanny is one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make. This is not just a random babysitter from the neighborhood who you need for two hours a week so you can get to that yoga class or go hit a few golf balls. A nanny often spends as much time with your child as you do, sometimes even more! Therefore, they will play a significant role in their upbringing.

It is hard to trust another person with your child, especially when they are not family or friends. You need to know that your child will be safe and cared for at all times. The nanny has to be able to follow your rules and schedules, and keep track of allergies and appointments. They have to mentally stimulate your child and even help with homework. This is not a decision that should be rushed into.

Always Ask Questions

Even if you have the opportunity to hire one of the top-recommended nannies in the area, they should still go through the same interview process. They may be well-known for doing everything right, yet your personalities might not mesh. You want the individual to be a good fit for the entire family.

Recommended Questions to Ask a Babysitter

  • What inspired you to become a nanny?
  • How long have you been working as a nanny?
  • Do you have any younger siblings you care for as a child?
  • What type of childcare training do you have?
  • Have you had emergency training in first-aid and CPR? If so, how long ago? A refresher course may be needed.
  • How would you handle an emergency if my child gets hurt?
  • Why are in the market for a new position?
  • Why do children like you?
  • What do you like the most about being nanny?
  • What do you dislike about being a nanny? Don’t fall for the nothing answer!
  • Has a family ever fired you? If so, why?
  • What are your options regarding childrearing?
  • How do you handle separation anxiety?
  • When and how should a child be comforted?
  • What rules do you have a hard time following?
  • What are some activates that you would do with my child? These should be age appropriate.
  • What are your future plans?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? If you are looking for a long-term nanny, this could be a key question.
  • Do you have reliable transportation?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you open to doing light chores, such as vacuuming, laundry and dishes?
  • What is your availability?
  • If we go on vacation, would you be available to travel with us at our expense?
  • Do you intend on taking any of your own vacation time?
  • Can you explain a typical day you would spend with my child?
  • Can you describe how you discipline a child?
  • How have you handled emergencies in the past?
  • Are there any health-related or personal issues that you have that would interfere with caring for my child?
  • Can you cook?
  • Do you have any objection to making sure that my child follows a specific diet?
  • What do you usually do in your spare time?
  • Do you have any objection to me running a background check?

The most important thing to remember during the interview process is to be thorough and take it slow. Type all of your questions out, and make a few copies so you can take notes with each applicant. This will allow you to compare answers later. Lastly, always take the time to check references, even if they answer all of your questions perfectly. Some people have a knack for interviewing and coming across exceptionally well, while they have a history of providing disappointing experiences.

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