It's extremely rare to be offered a job without an interview. Even when the parents have all but offered the job there will at some point be a semi-formal chat about the practicalities and legalities. This also gives them a chance to check qualifications and references.
You never get a second chance to make also first impression. Before an interview parents may already have formed an initial impression of their potential nanny from telephone or email contact. A nanny interview starts as soon as you walk up to the door so here are some tips:
- Being on time - early means parents may not have finished tidying, late creates a bad impression
- Look groomed but not overdone - clean and neat hair, minimal make up, smart but simple clothes (avoid clingy or revealing outfits)
- Smile as soon as you ring the doorbell
- Shake hands - practice your handshake so it's firm and confident but not overly tight or brisk
- Accept a glass of water if you're offered one
- Wait to be shown through to qhere the interview will be and wait to be asked to take a seat
- Greet the children and ask them a couple of questions, then when the adult conversation starts say you're going to have a chat with their parents but you'll play with them later if it's allowed
Before your interview make sure your phone is charged, the line is free and that you have plenty of signal if you're using a mobile. Put a pen and paper next to your phone to write down information and questions.
Smile as you pick up as you say hello. Strange but true, people can hear your smile in your voice. Ask the parent if they have a structure in mind for the interview - this will help you avoid talking over them or any awkward silences.
Questions From Parents
Before you answer any questions take a deep breath and think what you're going to say. A clear and structured answer shows professionalism and good communication skills. It can help to prepare answers to common interview questions that you can easily adapt to the ages of the children.
Questions to Ask
An interview is also your chance to find out important details about your employers' expectations. A lot of information will emerge during your conversation but it pays to double check key details. You may find out ultimate list of questions for nanny interviews helpful.
When you don't meet both parents and the children at a first interview, or if the family can't decide, you might be asked for a second interview. Even though this might feel more casual because you've already met the family once try to reinforce that positive impression. Often second interviews are focused on meeting and interacting with the children. Sometimes parents ask nannies to prepare an activity, others just expect you to getc stuck in with whatever the children want to do. Even if you aren't asked to bring something it's worth having a backup in your bag. Try pipe cleaners, an age appropriate game, some model animals or sparkly playdough.
After the interview
At the end of the interview say how nice it was to meet them and thank them for taking the time to see you. Most parents will give you a timescale for their answer depending on other interviews they have planned.
It's nice to follow up with a text or email the following days if you have their contact details. Just say that you enjoyed meeting them and that you're still interested in the job. If you aren't interested then let them know as soon as possible.
If you went through a nanny agency keep them involved and up to date. They will hopefully feed back to the family that you were positive about the interview, and it helps maintain a good working relationship with the agency.