Important Tips to Consider While Interviewing a Nanny or Caregiver

Choosing a nanny or a caregiver to take care of your loved ones is one of the most important decisions you will be making in your life. In order to hire the best candidate for your needs, you need to consider the following tips.

Be selective about who you spend your time interviewing
In this job market you may get flooded with applicants but few have quality experience. Never consider someone without professional experience in this field. Look for at least 2 years of experience at a minimum.

Standardize your interview and look for red flags! (This method can also be applied when interviewing for senior or other types of placements)

Make a standard set of questions and stick to them for each interview so you can easily compare applicants you meet with.

Dig into work history within your questions and be consistent in looking for patterns. If you notice most previous positions didn’t last very long, question that more as it is should be a major red flag.

Ask age specific questions
This will determine if they are familiar with different developmental stages in a child or infants life. Put together some age appropriate questions that will test their knowledge. Some examples could be:

-What would they do to stimulate a 5 month old baby? A 2 year old?
-Items that should not be placed in a crib with an infant
-Things that should be packed in a diaper bag if going to the park with a 14 month old

Making sure they have experience that corresponds with the ages of your children is very important.

Determine their overall philosophy on discipline
This philosophy will vary and has to fall in line with what works for your family. Determine whether they seem willing to follow a family’s philosophy or if they seem to be set in their ways.

Discuss expectations, flexibility & commitment
Have a clear idea of what your specific needs and expectations are (days, hours, pay rate, responsibilities, will driving be involved, etc.). Be clear about their job responsibilities so that there are no surprises later on. Don’t make assumptions, every position is different.

Ask if they are going to be available for more than the basic schedule and how they feel about being flexible. Setting a general schedule is important but as we know, things can change on a daily basis. Working with someone who is flexible can be so much easier on your life.

Ask the tough questions such as, how long of a commitment can you offer to this family? Any upcoming vacations or plans we should know about that might affect this job? Making sure you are on the same page is key to a successful match.
Next steps after interview
Take your interview to the next level if you feel you want to move forward with a candidate:

1. Check references
Check at least 3 references from prior childcare positions.

2. Background check
In addition to a standard criminal background check report and social security number verification, consider other reports you might want to obtain such as a DMV report if driving is part of the job.

3. Trial a candidate or two
Before making a job offer, consider a trial for several days in your home. This can help you figure out if they will be a good fit for the position and with your family.

4. Trust your gut
Follow your intuition. You may get a feeling about the person one way or another and paying attention to your gut feeling is important.

Hiring a nanny or caregiver can be a lengthy and frustrating process but keeping these tips in mind can make it a lot easier. A reputed and professional nanny referral agency guides you throughout the entire process; screenings, interviews, reference checks, background check, negotiate salary, and provides sample nanny contract. It also provides back-up care; when a nanny or caregiver is sick or is on vacation.