How to Choose a Nanny

Interviewing Nannies

As with any other job interview, a potential nanny candidate needs to display her qualifications and show that she is a good fit for the expectations you have. Although it is important to feel a personal connection to a potential nanny, you don't want to lose sight of the necessary skills you require just because you enjoy talking to the candidate. Having a set list of interview questions will help you to narrow down the field of applicants and keep you focused as you hunt for the perfect nanny.

If you are conducting your nanny search on your own, you may want to do a phone interview first with any candidates who seem desirable. Your questions for a phone interview should consist of your bottom-line questions, and if a candidate doesn't answer them to your liking, don't bring her in for a face-to-face interview.

When interviewing a potential nanny, you will want to ask a mix of questions that help you to get a good feeling about the type of childcare provider the candidate is. First, get a feel for her last place of employment, especially if she was a nanny for another family. Understanding how she worked with that family and why she left will help you to evaluate how she would fit into your family.

Secondly, ask questions related to what you expect from your nanny. Does she feel comfortable with light housework? What is her style of discipline? These types of questions will reveal how her style lines up with your family's needs.

Also, don't be afraid to ask hypothetical questions to gauge how the candidate reacts to less-than-desirable situations. If your toddler is going through a phase of temper tantrums, how will your nanny handle this? Be realistic about what your child is like on a day-to-day basis, and don't be afraid to ask difficult questions.

When you think you have found the right candidate for your family, consider doing a paid trial run where the nanny babysits your children for a few hours. It is just as important that your children respond well to the nanny as it is that you do.

Before you hire your nanny, you should check her references. Read on to the next page for advice on how to do this efficiently and accurately.