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Monday, March 15, 2010

Nitty Gritty Interview Questions: Glenda Propst

A few years ago, the now defunct National Association of Nannies put together a guidebook for their members called "The Job Issue"
The following questions are from the National Association of Nannies Job Issue published in April 2003.

A professional nanny should always prepare for a job interview. You should always bring a a list of questions to ask potential employers. I used to keep several copies of questions in my portfolio for easy reference for each family.
Remember that it's much easier to ask the hard questions during the interview.
Once you accept the job and you have to ask the hard questions they become more than just a question.
These questions should also serve as a great resource for developing the details of your work agreement.

• Is this a live-in or live-out position?
• What is the starting date?
• Do you see this as a long-term position?
• Parents’ ages and occupations?
• Do you work outside the home,or from your home?
If the parents work at home,you need to set up guidelines for how to handle things when you and they are there at the same time.
• Are other adults, besides the parents, living in the home?
• Children’s names and ages?
• What are the children’s interests and hobbies?
• Please describe your home and the area where you live.
• Is there a house alarm, gated entry or other system that requires
a code?
• Do you anticipate moving in the near future?
• Do you plan to have more children in the near future?
• Will your nanny receive a raise when you have another baby, or extra pay for extra children?
• Do you have pets? Do you plan to get any pets?
• What are your household rules?
• Can your nanny have guests? Such as nannies and moms with age appropriate children for play dates.
Can your nanny have friends visitor spend the night during off time?
• Are any rooms in your house that are off limits to children or nanny?
• Is there any sort of dress code for nanny at work (i.e., no jeans)?
• Do the children or the parents have allergies I should be aware of?
Special dietary needs?
• What is your discipline plan or child rearing philosophy?
• What values do you want taught and reinforced in your children?
• What religion are you, and how do you expect your nanny to participate in the child’s religious teaching?
How does your religion affect your daily life?

• What hours and days do you want Nanny to work? Are these hours flexible, or does 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. mean precisely 8-6?
• Will your nanny be expected to work evenings or weekends?
• What is the daily schedule of your typical day?
• How might your schedule change?
Will your schedule change during the summer, over Christmas, etc?
• Will Nanny’s job description change along with a change inschedule? If so, how, andwhen?
(Example: Summer vs school year.)
• Who makes the children’s schedules?
− Parents, nanny, or is setting their schedule a combined effort?
• What’s your procedure for spontaneous activities? Do you want Nanny to check in with you, leave a note or phone message, or is this not an issue?
• Do you want a daily record kept? (what happened today)?
Will there be a nanny workstation − desk, area for files, bulletin board, monthly calendar, computer with high-speed Internet connection?
• How would you describe the “ideal nanny”?
• Define your idea of your nanny’s role in your family.
• What are Nanny’s responsibilities as they relate to children?
• Are non-child-related tasks and responsibilities a part of the job you want performed? Laundry?
− For children? For parents?
• Who makes and changes the children’s bedding?
• Who plans the meals, cooks, and shops for groceries?
• Will the nanny cook for the children, parents, or family?
• Who purchases the children’s clothes, toys, and supplies?
• What financial arrangements will be made to facilitate the shopping?
• Is there other household help?
• Who supervises them?
• Will I be expected to take the children to doctor appointments, music lessons, classes?
• Is a car provided? Is the car available for the nanny’s personaluse, or only for use while
she is on duty? Will the vehicle e shared with the parents?
• Will your nanny be expected to se her own car?
If yes, who will ay costs forinsurance,maintenance and gas?
• How is your nanny covered by nsurance?
• Do you travel? Will your nanny be expected to travel with you?
• Do you ever travel without your children, and what arrangements are made for them?
• Will nanny be expected to stay with the children while you travel?
• Describe how your nanny fits into your family vacation.
• Does your nanny pack the children’s bags for trips?
Child Care History
• What did your family like most about your previous nanny?
What did you like least?
• Without naming your former nanny, what were your best and worst nanny experiences − i.e.,good or bad trip, uncomfortable situation, great way she handled something?
• What’s your position on videotaping?
• May I speak to your previous nannies about their experiences with your family and children?
Negotiating Salary & Benefits
This is where you explain that working as a nanny is your occupation
and your livelihood, that you are serious about your job, and you
count on a regular paycheck to live. Make a point of finding out
whether or not you will be paid for unexpected days off that you do not
initiate − example: grandparents come to town and parents give you the week
off; or parents take the children to visit relatives, and Nanny stays home.)
• What salary range and benefits are you offering? Weekly pay? Salary or hourly?
If hourly, is there a guaranteed minimum salary?
• How often will I be paid, and by what method?
• If I agree to work x number of hours a week for x amount of pay,will I be paid extra for any time over that amount?
What is the rate for overtime, overnight or weekend work, or 24-hour duty?
Vacation time:
May I choose my vacation times, or do I take my vacation when you take yours?
• What is the pay rate for me traveling with your family?
• Taxes?
• Health insurance?
• IRA?
• Retirement benefits?
• Paid Holidays?
• Work holidays?
• Professionaldays?
• Childcare related classes andconferences?
• Gym membership?
• Separate phone provided?
• Will you provide me with a cell phone or pager, or will you pay my monthly bill if I get one for myself?
(Explain why it might be to the family’s benefit that their nanny have a cell phone.)
Sick Pay
• Paid sick days? How many?
• What is your backup childcare plan if I am sick or on vacation?
• I’d like to spend some time with your children before I make a decision; is this ok with you?
• Are you willing to sign a work agreement with me that includes a 90-day trial period?
• Communication is extremely important for nannies and their employers.
Are you willing to meet with me on a regular basis so we can discuss how things are
• Will I receive an evaluation from you, and raises on a yearly or bi-yearly basis?
• Will I receive severance pay if I am terminated early?
Questions for Live-In Nannies
• What accommodations are providedfor Nanny (room, bath,etc.)?
• If your nanny is in a separate apartment, how will grocery expenses be handled?
• Who is responsible for cleaning Nanny’s area, and by what standards?
• What are Nanny’s days off?
• Are there any household rules Nanny or the children must observe
on Nanny’s days off?
• How do Nanny’s activities on her day off affect the household’s
• Do you have animals?
What are my responsibilities regarding the care of those animals?
• Who will cover Nanny’s moving expenses to your home if she accepts this position?
*Who will cover moving expenses when the position is completed?

These questions should do a pretty good job of covering most topics but
feel free to share with us any questions that you think we might have left out.


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