Preparation for interview with the family
Once you are successfully matched on a shortlist with our client, we will liase with you and the family regarding a mutually convenient time for interview. We will provide you with all the information that we hold - see role profile.
We recommend that you contact the family before meeting with them - at that stage the interview has begun! How you present yourself on the telephone is important - so take the time to make the right impression.
Pick our brains! Know as much as there is to know about the family.
The more interesting and enjoyable you can make the interview the more of a lasting impression you will make so -
The first thing to do is prepare any questions you might want to ask, there is no harm in writing them down and taking them with you to interview.
A good interview is a two way process - so ask those questions! And show interest in the responses. Listed below are some sample questions you may wish to ask at interview - the list is not exhaustive and are presented as a guideline
- What do the children enjoy doing?
- What is your strategy on discipline?
- Do the children have friends in the area?
- Do they have any allergies?
- What are the rules over use of the telephone?
- What groups to your children already attend?
- What would you wish your previous nanny to have done differently?
- What is your approach to treats?
- How do you feel about other children coming to your home?
- Do you have a routine that you wish me to adopt?
- Have you had a nanny before, why did they leave? Are you happy for me to speak to her? See the section on meeting the previous nanny (below)
It is important to look presentable at interview as first impressions can make a difference between getting and not getting the job. Many employers have fed back to me that they know as soon as they open the door as to whether the nanny will fit into their home - just by what they are wearing. We don't recommend jeans, and neither do we advocate being so smartly dressed that the families could never envisage you being down on your hands and knees playing with the children. Smart casual is fine!
An important tip to remember is that you are the ambassador for the family.
Smile, relax, keep calm - remember the families need a nanny, as much as you need a job. At interview you should expect -
- The family to provide more details of the job, including verifying the hours, duties, babysitting requirements, rules etc.
- They will typically explain the children's routine, (school runs, after school activities, food likes and dislikes, clubs to attend etc).
- To hear from you your views on childcare, past experiences, likes and dislikes. Remember never negatively portray an ex employer, we have all had them! Try to project your experiences in a professional manner.
- You will have the chance to ask questions - feel free to weave yours in at the moment that feels right for you.
- If there isn't the opportunity to meet with the children, ask if this can be arranged.
- You will be asked questions by the family - think before you respond and don't waffle. If you are unsure about the question, ask them to explain what they mean.
Take with you all your original documentation, plus your portfolio of photographs and activities. Show enthusiasm, energy and above all - enjoy yourself. We will have discussed the salary package and benefits with you - so there is no need to raise this with the family unless they do so.
At interview - meeting the children
Never underestimate the power of children - we regularly have clients who tell us the children made the final decision!
If the children are present, try to familiarise yourself with them, show an interest, it presents a great impression. It also helps you to decide if you would enjoy being their nanny. If the children aren't present, ask about the children's photos, normally on the wall, show an interest, ask to see photos if they aren't available. You are not being nosey - you are showing how much you care.
The current nanny
This person is in a very strong position, she knows a lot and is a mine of information - find it out, chat to her. Try to interpret her attitude towards the family and take note of how they treat her. Has she enjoyed working for them, are they all friendly, or is it a distant relationship?
Remember the nanny may also be interviewing you as she is bound to feed back your conversation, so don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Keep the conversation on a professional level.
Find out how many nannies the family have had - why have they left and how long did they work for the family?
When attending an interview with a family that you have not met before, ALWAYS ensure that you leave the name and address of the interviewers and anticipated time of arrival and departure back home with a responsible adult and ensure that you advise them that you have arrived home safely.