Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, to say the least, and nanny interviews are no exception. In just a short time, you have to convey to your potential employer how great you are: all your wonderful experience, how details in the job listing made you realize you were the right fit, not to mention oodles of confidence. It's no wonder we get nervous at the prospect.
However, by prepping a little, you can walk into any interview situation confident that your skills will shine and that little details won't get in the way. We've gathered our top nanny interview tips to help you get the job of your dreams.
Be prepared for your nanny interview
A nanny interview is a job interview like any other, and getting the logistics right can make or break a family's opinion of you. So before you even get chatting, make sure you:
Print and bring a hard copy of your resumé
Look up the address in advance, and write it down on a piece of paper, along with the family's phone number, in case something were to happen to your phone
Schedule your trip with plenty of time and arrive early, even if it means you end up waiting a while near the building before going in
Once you get there, turn your phone off so you will not be interrupted and wash your hands immediately, especially if the family has an infant or you just came off public transit
What to wear to a nanny interview
When it comes to clothing, a nanny interview isn't quite the same as a business interview. Wearing a suit or business attire will seem much too formal when interviewing in someone's home, and is likely not what you will be wearing while working. More than that, however, wearing formal attire may prevent you from interacting and playing with the kiddos if they're around, which will spoil your chance to show the parents how great you are with kids.
Instead, wear something business casual – still formal enough to make it clear you are a professional and taking this interview and position seriously, but informal enough that you can move around and sit on the floor in an appropriate manner. Avoid strong perfumes and don't forget to ask the parents when you enter if they'd like you to take your shoes off.
Remember nanny interview etiquette
It's easy to focus solely on telling the parents all about your skills and experience as fast as possible so you don't leave anything out. But the nanny role is so much more than a list of tasks, and working with a family is a unique balance of familial and professional. The interview is a chance for both sides to assess if you'll be a good fit working together.
Engage the kids! If the kids are around, don't hesitate to interact with and connect with them, like you would if you were working together or meeting new kids in any other setting. The family will love seeing your energy, and you'll get a sense of what the family is like as a whole.
Ask questions of your own. The interview is a chance for you to assess your fit with the position as well. By asking about their discipline techniques, schedules, and preferences, you can make sure they are routines to which you can adapt. It also shows the parents how engaged you are in the role.
Don't focus solely on your needs. If you have particular scheduling requirements or other needs, don't let those take over. Ideally confirm these with the family beforehand to know if it's even worth it for you all to meet. The family wants to know how hiring you can be helpful to them, not only how hiring you will make things more complicated for them.
Be open and honest with your boundaries. This is another reason why it's good for you to ask questions about the family's parenting styles and routines. If they mention something with which you are not comfortable - in disciplining for instance - it's better to be up front with that now and see if it is something you can work through. Families appreciate knowing your expertise and childcare ways, and this gives everyone a more honest chance at assessing the fit.