Nanny interview tips for the nanny job of your dreams
We’ve all been there, scrolling through job after job looking for our next dream role online, then suddenly it appears, the one you’ve been waiting for! It must be fate, right?! The location, the ages of the children, the salary and best of all – YOU MATCH THE DESCRIPTION! Now, the only thing standing between yourself and the job, apart from registering with the nanny agency responsible for it would be to get through the interviewing and trial stages in a way that highlights your key attributes and conveys you in your most favourable light (metaphorically speaking). No lights, camera action here, rather nappies, playdough and cupcakes!
Interviewing can be tricky, especially when you let nerves get in the way even though you know you’re amazing at our jobs! So here, you’ve compiled a handy guide on how you can ensure the best first impression and snap up your dream job amongst other candidates who haven’t stumbled across these #interviewhacks.
Face-to-face interview tips
If you are meeting your next potential employers at their home or another location, ensure you do your research beforehand. Especially if it is in a new location. We all know that it’s easy enough to get lost using the most advanced Sat Nav or our good friend Google Maps. The best advice here is to give yourself plenty of time, or if possible make your way there on another occasion just to make sure you know where it is. Don’t get caught ogling their house, that would just be strange. The main point to take is time, turning up to an interview in a fluster is the worst way to start. We’ve all done it once and if this is your dream job, do what you can to arrive in a relaxed and happy state of mind.
Skype interview tips
If you are interviewing for a nanny vacancy via Skype, usually for overseas nanny or governess roles you still have some necessary presentation to do. Repeat this mantra “do not trust technology”. So many things can go wrong here, that with a little preparation can be avoided. The best way to ensure everything is likely to run smoothly in your interview with the family is to test your Skype or Facetime 30 minutes before your interview. Check you have a strong enough internet connection. Ensure your web camera and the audio is working. Whilst checking your camera ensure your background is well lit and that you are not sitting in a messy room, wearing a hoody or with lots wine bottles behind you. Oh we’ve seen it all! In other words, against a plain wall, because that way the family can concentrate on you alone, rather than being distracted by your home. Ensure your family/flatmates/dog are aware you are interviewing and not to walk into frame or make any loud noises. It will not reflect well on you. Lastly, ensure your mobile phone is turned off and you aren’t waiting for any home deliveries that will mean you need to leave the interview to open the door.
Regardless of whether you use a nanny agency or have been approached by a family directly, you should always come prepared to the interview. If you have produced your documents to the nanny agency, the family will still want to see original copies of your qualifications themselves. That way they can see all the great work you’ve put into becoming a super nanny! This could include your First Aid certificate, which can be updated here or your DBS background police check. If you do not currently have a DBS background check more information is available here. Other documents may include any childcare certificates such as early years, Montessori, teaching, TELF etc. Additionally, proof of identity, such as your driving license or passport.
Reverse the roles – prepare interview questions
Before your interview, take some time to think about the qualities you would be looking in a nanny assisting you in the care and upbringing of your child(ren). Often, if we take the time to think about it from their perspective you will prepare questions for the families based on their needs. For example, what activities do your children enjoy? What is your approach to education? Do the children have any special dietary requirements or allergies? Etc.
As a nanny or governess your needs and requirements being met are very important, however, if you are at an interview and all your initial questions surround your own needs, it implies your focus is less about the children and more about yourself. Such questions can include, negotiating salary, living conditions, hours, days off, etc. In most cases, for the right candidate, some of these things are up for discussion. However, you must be the right candidate first.
Technology and online presence
Before entering an interview environment, please ensure your phone is turned off or on silent mode (without vibrate) also. Ensure it is left in your coat pocket. This seems like common sense but again, the stories we’ve heard, you can’t beat some of them! Your phone doesn’t need to be on the table in front of you in an interview, ever.
Calling out all nannies, governesses, tutors, maternity nurses alike, in this day and age online presence is everything! Try to be mindful of this when posting things online that may be detrimental or that could be taken badly by a potential employer that doesn’t reflect your true personality.
Being honest is the most important thing. Be honest about your strengths and your limitations. Pretending you are more experienced than you are or better qualified can soon be identified by a family. Especially if you have told them you know all about creating a routine and sleep patterns, when in fact you’ve never had to do this in any of your roles. Perhaps you studied this area though, and feel you’d be comfortable with these aspects. That’s O.K, just be honest. The parents deserve to know so that they can make an informed decision about your suitability for their needs. First time parents, for example, are often looking for a nanny that can guide them in these areas, if you don’t have the experience for that age group then this may not be the role for you anyway.
Think about the ages of the child(ren) you will be working with and take some time to think about how you might plan a daily/weekly schedule with lots of age appropriate activities. These may include arts and crafts, baking, construction, play dates, messy play, singing and reading time etc. Also, take time to consider their current routine and what the parents want and how you can fit your ideas around theirs. Some are very clear about their needs, whereas others are very much open to gathering advice from their nanny. Think about activities you have done with previous children that they enjoyed and learned from and explain what was educational about it. If you are happy to provide tuition and homework, help make this heard.
Finally, know yourself… When asked about what you enjoy doing in your free time, you should be able to identify what you like and why you like it, showing enthusiasm and joy.
Hope you enjoyed the interview tips and found them helpful. Our nanny agency wishes you the best of luck in being successful in your next role!
We spoke to former British nanny Julia about her experience as a nanny working for a V.I.P family in Moscow. Please read in our blog post how much she loved living in Moscow, about her expectations and challenges she had to overcome.
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