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Interview Tips for Nanny Jobs

As with any job, the key for a successful nanny job interview is preparation before you meet your future employers

If you're looking for a nanny job, the first step is to speak to your local Tinies agency. With over 30 nanny agencies in the UK, Tinies is well placed to advise on your childcare career, and to help you find your next nanny job.

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Your nanny job interview

Here are some helpful hints and tips from Tinies to help you prepare for your nanny job interview. However, the most important thing is to try and relax and be yourself.

How to prepare and dress for a nanny job interview

Plan your route. It is important to plan for the interview and to ensure that as part of the planning that you know exactly where you are going. Always obtain clear instructions regarding the location of the house, with the exact address and telephone number of the family you are visiting.

Make sure you have a map or A-Z with you, and plan your route before you leave as it is difficult to find a house name or number in the dark. If you become lost or delayed, ring to let the family know. Our advice is to arrive 10 mins early for your interview.

Detail of the nanny job. Make sure you know from Tinies the exact details of the position and the name of the children.

Smart appearance. Your appearance should be clean, smart and tidy. If you wear piercings or jewellery, we advise that you keep these to a minimum. If you know you are going to be playing with the children, then be sure that you are dressed comfortably.

What to take with you for a nanny job interview

Contact details. Take the details of the family, and a map or A-Z of the area so you can find the address.

Documents. Have all your relevant documents with you, in a smart folder or file. The parents will have received your CV that Tinies have prepared. If you have a portfolio of your own documents, we would advise that you take it along with your certificates, written references etc.

How to act during a nanny job interview

Try and relax. Remember the parents are looking forward to meeting you and are interested in employing you. Do not fidget!

Appear positive, professional and confident. Remember that working in the childcare industry requires lots of energy and enthusiasm. Even if you are not 100% sure about the job, please appear interested and keen.

Greet the parents with a handshake and a smile. Introduce yourself.

Always maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to. If the children are present, ask the parents whether they want you to get down and play with the children or concentrate on questions they are posing to you. Do not ignore the children if they are in the room with you - the parents are looking for someone who can interact well with their children.

Questions you'll likely be asked at the nanny job interview

Do NOT provide just yes/no answers. Whatever questions you are asked, always be honest in your answers.

Specific details. As well as talking about specific details about previous work experience, you should be prepared to talk about broader issues:

  • Why you chose nannying as a career
  • The qualities of a good nanny
  • What you enjoy most/least about being a nanny
  • Your personal life
  • Coping in an emergency (i.e. choking, first aid training, being locked out of a house or car)
  • Your approach to discipline (how would you cope with a tantrum, your views on manners etc)
  • Suitable developmental, educational, social and play activities for the children
  • Planning and preparing meals for the children.

Asking questions about the nanny job at your interview

Prepare questions. The interview is a 2 way process so have some questions prepared. This is your opportunity to find out more about the position and it also shows that you are keen. If you find interviews daunting you may find it useful to bring a list of questions with you. For help we have listed some areas that you might want to cover:

  • Duties: Discuss what your duties will be; what activities the children like doing; who is responsible for disciplining the children; what are the parents rules on discipline and generally how they want their children’s day structured. If housework (however small) is part of your duties, this must be discussed at the interview
  • Hours of work, salary and holiday: make enquiries about hours of work, babysitting, your salary, holiday entitlement etc
  • Accommodation: For live-in nannies, it is important for you to see the accommodation provided.  What furnishings will be supplied (TV, phone line etc). If there is a phone, how will your share be calculated (separate line or itemised bill?)
  • Car: Does a car come as part of the job?
  • House rules: Are there any house rules you need to be aware of - e.g. use of phone, shoes in the house, kosher food etc. Does the family encourage Nanny Circles where nannies and their charges get together on a regular basis?
  • Mealtimes: For live-in nannies - will you join the family at meals or eat with the children?
  • OCR: discuss with the family if they require you to register on the Ofsted Childcare Register so that they can utilise any childcare vouchers. Discuss who will pay for the costs of that registration and ask for information on how you set yourself up to redeem the childcare vouchers (their employers or voucher company will be able to provide information on this).

End the nanny job interview by asking when a decision is likely to be made on your application. Then say "Thank you very much for your time", shake hands and smile!

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