20 Ways Nannies Can Make a Good Impression at Interviews
Advice for Caregivers

20 Ways Nannies Can Make a Good Impression at Interviews

by Martha Scully

Nannies and caregivers this one’s for you!

For many families, choosing a nanny is a stressful experience. They are trusting the care of their most valued charges — their children — to a complete stranger. While you may have impeccable credentials, the impression you make when meeting the family is extremely important. A hint of discomfort or lack of professionalism can make the difference between you landing the job and the parents choosing another candidate. Remain positive but follow these tips to ensure a smooth first meeting with your potential employer.

1. Send an email to confirm the meeting

This will show the family you care about their time and understand the importance of keeping your commitments.

2. Arrive early — but not too early

Respect the scheduled meeting time by showing up at the agreed time or no more than 5 to 10 minutes in advance. If you arrive any earlier, you may inconvenience the family. Unlike an office building, most family homes don’t have a waiting room.

3. Don’t wear scents

Many people are allergic to perfumes, and you probably won’t know the medical history of the family before you arrive.

4. Relax and be yourself

While you are meeting the person who may become your boss, the nanny-family relationship is different from other employment. The family must get to know who you are and be comfortable having you in their home.

5. Know the names of family members

If possible, know the names of the parents and children before arriving. This will show you are interested in them and have a particular interest in taking care of their home.

6. Dress appropriately

Err on the conservative side by wearing comfortable but business-casual or smart clothing. Leave the revealing tops and ripped jeans at home. Be prepared to remove your shoes at the door, even if the parent is wearing footwear.

7. Offer a firm handshake, and look the family in the eyes

This shows you understand that this is a job interview, even though your personal chemistry with the family will prove to be important.

8. Turn off your phone

Showing signs of distraction will make you appear unprofessional. Even if a parent pauses the interview to answer a call, your phone should remain in your pocket or handbag.

9. Listen

Parents may ask you several questions or pose different scenarios involving their children. You may think you know what the ultimate question will be, but you may be wrong. Cutting someone off mid-sentence can appear to be disrespectful, so listen carefully and maintain your eye contact with the person speaking.

10. Don’t have someone waiting for you

Arrange to meet your ride at a nearby location, or ask the driver to return after the interview. If a parent sees your ride is out front, it may give the impression you expect the meeting to be quick and that you have somewhere else you need to be.

11. Remember your paperwork

Even if you expect that the family already has your details, present them with a copy of your resume and profile. You should also bring your references, first aid certifications, verification of police check and other relevant credentials.

Need help putting together your resume? Download a Sample Nanny Resume Here!

12. Interact with the children

As much as possible, speak and play with the children while the parents are present. This will give your possible employer an idea of whether your approach as a caregiver is right for the family.

13. Don’t agree to anything you won’t do

The family may require a nanny to do some cooking or deep cleaning. If these are not things you are comfortable with, don’t agree to do them. If you say yes and then do a poor job, it may cause problems in your employment relationship.

14. Talk about yourself, but don’t get too personal

It’s natural for parents to want to know a little bit about you, such as where you grew up and where you went to school. Be prepared to discuss these areas of your life, but remain professional and do not provide intimate details.

15. Don’t say bad things about any past employer

If you had difficulties with a previous job, explain that it was simply a bad match or that you chose to pursue a different kind of employment. You don’t want your new employer to worry that you might violate her privacy or damage her reputation.

16. Bring your own questions

You will look more engaged if you have some queries for the family. Ask things such as what they feel is the most important role of a nanny and if there are any important things they want you to know about their children.

17. Don’t focus on pay issues

You will receive information about pay if you are offered the job. During the interview, focus on the responsibilities and expectations of you as the potential employee.

18. Be ready for common questions

Your interviewer will likely ask you why you want to be a nanny and what ages of children you prefer to care for. Don’t stress about these questions, but be prepared to answer them honestly.

19. Ask your interviewer when she will make a decision

This shows you are interested in the job and excited to hear back.

20. Send a follow up email or text after the interview

Express thanks for the interview, and say you enjoyed meeting the children and family members.

Good Luck!!

These 20 twenty tips may seem like a lot to remember, but they will serve you well. Always be pleasant and professional and demonstrate your willingness to be a valued part of the family’s home. Don’t be nervous — just breathe and be yourself.

See more posts like this: Advice for Caregivers

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.