Nanny and Caregiver Interview Questionnaire

  • Why do you wish to be a nanny?

Look for someone whose answers show a love of children. Taking care of children involves a very big commitment. Don't hire anyone who is unsure about being a nanny.

  • What are your childcare experiences?

Ask about past jobs, formal nanny training, degrees in child education and classes in childcare. If the applicants have worked as nannies before, ask why they left the previous positions. Ask about baby-sitting jobs or other child-related work, such as working as camp counselors, play-group leaders, or tutors. Get the names and numbers of three or four references. Also helpful: Personal recommendations from teachers or clergy members.

  • What are your child-rearing philosophies?

You want to hire someone who can be firm, yet gentle and nurturing. Offer specific examples of difficult behavior, such as It's time to go to school but Johnny is throwing a tantrum and won't put on his coat. What would you do? Key: Look for someone with patience.

  • These are the job requirements. Does this sound like something you can handle?

List the specifics of the job, including hours, responsibilities, days off, salary, and benefits (such as health insurance). If the applicant expects to do only childcare and you expect cooking, too, you'll both end up frustrated.

  • What are your hobbies/interests?

Look for a nanny with varied interests, such as sports, art, music, travel, etc. Try to find an active nanny for a household of athletic youngsters or a musical nanny for a child who takes piano lessons.

  • What qualities are you looking for in a family?

When hiring live-in help, chemistry is very important. You want someone whose personality meshes with your own. Some live-in nannies expect to be part of the family, while others view the relationship as that of employer/employee. Discuss: Will the live-in nanny travel with you on vacations? Eat with you?

  • What was your upbringing like?

Was the applicant's childhood stable? Look for someone who can be a wonderful role model for your children. You want someone with similar values and morals.

  • Do you smoke?

Describe your house rules about smoking. If any members of your household are smokers, make the applicant aware of it.

  • Can you drive?

Does the applicant have a good driving record? Check with the Motor Vehicle Department. The applicant can authorize release of this information at the Motor Vehicle Department. Discuss whether the car will be available for the nanny's day off.

  • Do you have any dietary or other restrictions?

Does the applicant have any allergies or other medical problems? You may want to ask for a doctor's release attesting to good health. If you have dietary restrictions in your home, for example, keeping Kosher, explain that to the nanny.