Acing that nanny interview: a guide for potential nannies
When I was expecting Miss T, we wanted to take her to a day care when I went back to work. We looked at a few daycares around the neighbourhood and the conditions were appalling. At one creche I sent my husband and he came back determined that we needed to consider the option of getting someone to come and look after her at home. Simple right?
It was an extremely difficult process. Finding the right person to look after your little one is a very emotional process. For nannies who are looking for a good job, it must be a difficult for them as well. I have interviewed a number of nannies, some I loved, some I felt were giving me ‘textbook’ answers. Below is a list of 5 things a potential nanny can do to make sure they ace that interview.
– Passion: There is nothing as frustrating as being stuck in a job you don’t love, let alone like. A lot of nannies end up being nannies because there is nothing else for them to do. I had a nanny who absolutely loved children and I could trust her with my child. I have also seen videos of nannies abusing children as if they were forced or they were being abused by the child’s parents. If you do not love children, please stay away from a career that has anything to do with children. There are other ways to earn a living. This is one job that you either have to have the passion for or really like it if you don’t love it.
– Distance/Location: There is nothing as frustrating as a nanny coming late daily because they stay far or there was something wrong with the transport or worse, they didn’t buy a train ticket and got arrested for trying to ride for free. Find out where the job will be. Can you easily and safely get to it in the mornings as well as get home safely in the evening after work? How do you get there? Is there adequate public transport from your home to where you will be working. If you have to take 2 taxis and a train or two one way daily then maybe you are better off looking for another job. It ends up costing you more to get to the job too.
– Qualification: Are you qualified or trained or training for the role of nanny? I have seen a number of people who will put 4 + years of experience were they a few months if anything. Someone with some training in looking after or taking care of children is extremely appealing to a potential employer. Looking after your own children or a relative’s children does not count for much for a lot of potential employers. Mainly because of cultural differences and family dynamics and differences. For instance I do not want my child of a few weeks to be carried on the back. Some people are pros at that, but its a no go for me. I once had someone who believed that a child who is a few weeks old can start eating porridge and always insisted that my child was not full from breastfeeding. I knew better and fortunately she never got an opportunity to be alone with my child.
– Appearance: Clean and tidy all the time. You don’t need to go vamp up your wardrobe. Just make sure you are clean and tidy as you will be in close contact with a baby all the time. Oh, and wash hands as soon as you get in.
– Salary: As with any interview, don’t start the interview by asking about the salary. That just shows you are interested in money and not really in the job. Money is important but should not be the first thing that you ask.
– Be yourself: I think this is the most important thing really. Be yourself. If you love children and playing with children this will come out without you having to cook any stories. Be honest because it will be difficult to explain when you get the job after lying about something you can’t do and fail to do when asked.