Top 7 Things You Need to Ask Nanny Candidates

by Lindsay Heller, The Nanny Doctor

Are you about to begin nanny candidate interviews and are not sure what to ask?  Or, perhaps you have TONS of questions and need to know where to focus?  Check out our list of the top 7 topics to raise with potential nannies.

Safety: First and foremost it is important to find out if the nanny meets your first aid and safety requirements for the position.  Is the nanny infant/child CPR certified? If not, ask how she feels about obtaining the certification.  Additionally, ask the candidate to explain what she would do in certain scenarios so you can gauge her problem solving skills in emergencies.

Interaction and Engagement: Ask the nanny how she plans to spend time with your children. Pay close attention to responses and listen for activities mentioned that are important to your family, such as reading, singing, or puzzles.  Also, ask for examples of how she might turn household tasks, such as laundry, into a learning experience.

Communication: Discuss how the nanny has handled a conflict, concern, or disagreement with a previous employer. Ask about daily communications and check-ins methods.

Discipline: Every family’s philosophy on discipline is very different.  Be sure to ask the candidate how she believes a child should be disciplined.  Listen for the nanny to defer to you.  Come up with examples of likely scenarios the nanny might face and ask how she would handle each situation.

Nurturing: Discuss with the nanny how she tends to a child’s needs. How she will soothe a child who is upset or hurt, what techniques she uses if a child is tired and cranky, and what kind of games the nanny likes to play with kids. Listen for nurturing and creative responses.

Nourishment: Ask the nanny about food and feeding familiarity for the age group that your child or children fall into.  For babies, ask about familiarity with feeding schedules.  For older children, ask the nanny to describe a full day's worth of meals, including all snacks and beverages!

Personal and Professional: Take this time to learn more about the nanny.  Ask lots of questions - everything from, “What interests you in this job?” to “We celebrate Halloween, how do you feel about caring for a child and celebrating this holiday?”  This is your chance to find out if the nanny’s personality meshes well with your family’s identity as a whole.

Lindsay Heller, known as The Nanny Doctor, has been working with families and their nannies for more than a decade. In addition to being a licensed clinical psychologist, Lindsay was a well-respected nanny for over 10 years in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Now, through her nanny consulting services, Lindsay works in conjunction with families and their agencies to provide a unique specialized service to help each family in finding the best possible match for their family. She aids, not only in the interview and hiring process, but also with the important transition of introducing a new person into the household. She stands firmly beside each of her clients throughout their journey and custom tailors a plan of action for each individual family. No nanny issue is too big or small! Twigtale is excited to be working with her and are happy to offer every family we work with a complimentary hour of her services!

Visit her website for more information about her services.


Top 7 Things You Need to Ask Nanny Candidates was originally published on July 14, 2014. Modifications to style, arrangement, and linked sources were made on December 8, 2015.