When it comes to hiring a nanny to watch after your children, it’s not something to take lightly. This person will be coming into your home and taking care of your children… in knowing that, you need to be very observant of certain characteristics in the applicants during the interview process.
Yes, there needs to be an interview process. A lot of people think that hiring a nanny is something as simple as getting your neighbor’s daughter to watch your kid for a couple of hours… no, it’s nothing like that. While you’re working, your children will be in the care of someone you don’t know so that’s why you want to have an interview process just as any other employer would do.
The fact that you’re hiring this person makes you an employer so you will need to go through the same process a company would go through… have rules and guidelines, conduct a background check, pay nanny taxes, and ask the right questions. All of those aspects are important and will play a pivotal role when choosing the right nanny.
There are certain characteristics you want to look for when hiring a nanny. Your nanny needs to have a good balance between being able to connect with your children on their level and be the disciplinarian they need to give them structure. Take a look at these characteristics you need to look for when hiring a nanny.
Characteristic : Patience
This is one of the most important characteristics to look for because it’s essential when working with kids. They are going to cry, kick, scream, and do things that will frustrate anyone but your nanny needs to emphasize that they have patience to you. Sometimes you can tell by their tone of voice when speaking… listen to their tone of voice during the interview process.
Characteristic : Creativity
Kids are full of imagination and it’s important for your nanny to be able to feed that imagination with creativity. This can be done by different arts and crafts activities. Ask the nanny applicants if they can give you some examples of different activities they’ve done in the past… they may even be able to provide you with pictures.
Characteristic : Dependable and Reliable
Your nanny should be someone you can count on to show up to work and show up on time. You’ll be able to really find out how dependable they are during reference checks. If any past employers mention anything about frequent sick days, use your own best judgment with that because things do happen but just pay attention during the interview. You can even ask during the interview if they’re late or have anything going on that could possibly make them miss work frequently.
Characteristic : Ample Experience With Kids
When leaving your kids in the hands of someone else, you want to make sure they have the proper amount of hands-on experience in working with kids. To see just how knowledgable they are, give them certain scenarios and see what they say they would do… you never know, some of them may have been in some of the scenarios you give them and know exactly what to do. Hearing their response to some of those scenarios will bring you absolute peace of mind in knowing that they will be able and prepared to handle anything.
Characteristic : Appearance
This characteristic isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker but how they show up to the interview will let you know just how serious they take the position. Sure, the job is for watching your children but it’s still a formal interview. Just because it’s for a nanny position, that doesn’t mean that the job is of lesser quality so all of your applicants should show up dressed accordingly. The International Nanny Association emphasizes how the way you dress can make or break a first impression and although no one wants to be judged on that your nanny needs to express professionalism at all times through actions and appearance.
Characteristic : Fun and Pleasant Personality
This person is going to be with your kids for the majority of their day so you don’t want a nanny who comes off as mean to them… you need a nanny who will be able to have fun with them because kids can misconstrue structure as “being mean” so make sure to find a nanny that can find that happy medium between fun and structure. During the interview process, pay attention to how often they smile.