Master the Nanny Interview
Advice for Caregivers

Master the Nanny Interview

by Martha Scully

This article is meant to help Nannies master the interview. Looking for help with interviewing a nanny? Check out:

Interview Tips for Nannies

"It's not what you wear, it's how you present yourself that determines what your first impression will be" - Anonymous

Nanny job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you really want the position. The best thing to do is prepare for the interview beforehand to make sure that you appear confident. We've listed 6 common nanny interview questions that you should have an answer ready for.

Tell me about yourself

Give a brief rundown of who you are, trying to emphasize highlights from past nanny placements and how it applies to the position you are being interviewed for. For example, telling a parent of toddler twins that you cared for a toddler who had frequent play dates with the neighbour, leaving you in charge of two toddlers would be important for them to know.

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

A lot of families have a specific time-frame in mind for their nanny. For example, they are hiring someone for their infant and would like someone for 2-3 years until the child is in school full-time. Therefore, this information is important to them so they can tell if you're going to be looking for something else in a year, or are willing to remain with the family.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When giving your strengths, think back to feedback you've gotten from other families and give examples. If the Smith Family told you how much they loved your creative arts & crafts sessions with their 3 and 5 year olds, tell the parent this. Try to pick the points that relate to this family; for example, the Jones' aren't going to care as much about your ability to put a single infant down for a nap in 5 minutes if they have 3 school-aged children.

When giving your weaknesses, make sure you're not fibbing or exaggerating, and try to put a positive spin on it. For example, you tend to leave any housekeeping duties until the end of the day, but that allows you to give your full attention to the children and you have always have fun activities planned for them throughout the day.

Why did you leave your last nanny job (or why do you wan to find a new nanny position)?

Don't go into too much detail, especially if it's personal information to your previous family, but you should tell the truth; for example, instead of saying that the Walker's had to let you go because the father lost his job and they can't afford a full-time nanny anymore, say that the Walker's let you go because they no longer needed the services of a nanny. If the reason you're leaving is negative, don't badmouth the family as it will reflect poorly on you. Instead, say that you're looking for a change, and are excited about getting to know the children and working with a different age group.

If Sarah (the 2 year old child of the family) comes down with a fever and starts vomiting during the day, what do you do?

Parents who hire a nanny are entrusting their child to you, and must be comfortable with your ability to handle situations like this. Lay out your plan clearly so that they know if you call them home from work, it's necessary and that you've taken the correct steps to comfort the child.

Do you have any questions?

Try to avoid questions that make it sound like you've gotten the job already, and don't ask about salary if the parent hasn't brought it up. Instead, ask questions that will help you learn more about the family, like what Issac's favourite toys/games are, or what Christina's favourite books are. That way, if you are offered a trial day or get hired, you can start off on the right foot with the kids!

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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.