Monday, April 11, 2016

100 Interview Questions for Nannies

When it comes to nannies/au pairs, you want to have a pretty good picture of whom you're dealing with to make sure the nanny is (1) Safe, (2) Honest, and (3) The Right Fit.  You need to plan on asking many questions to your candidate until you are comfortable making an informed decision.  

The thing I've learned with interviewing several nannies is this: If you are happy with the candidate's answers to questions you feel are most important to you, then that is a good thing.  

If you are not super certain after the interview, my suggestion is to keep looking because that feeling of uncertainty will not go away once the nanny is hired.  You want to have a feeling of certainty and need to have this to base you childcare decision on.  It may take time, and may have to interview more than one person but getting that feeling of certainty is so worth it because the parents who have it are so, so much happier when their kids are at home with someone they trust. 

Here are the ones I've come up with and used pretty much all of them in interviews. 


  • Tell me about yourself.  Where are you from?  What languages do you speak?  How long have you studied/practiced English?
  • Tell me more about your childhood, what you studied, jobs you did, places you've worked?
  • Have you lived anywhere else besides Utah? (If yes) Where? How long?  
  • How long have you been in Utah? 
  • Have you been to the United States before? (If yes) What year and how old were you?
  • Why do/did you want to come to the USA?  Why Utah? 
  • Do you have family here in Utah? Do you know anyone else here in the United States?  (If yes) Who, relationship, how long and where?
  • (If your au pair needs to enter the US on a visa): Have you already applied for your visa?  When could you arrive?


  • Tell us a little more about your parents.  How old are they and what do they do?  Married/divorced/widowed?
  • What values did your parents teach you as being most important in life?
  • In what ways are you like your mother?  Father? 
  • What type of relationship do you have with your parents?
  • Do you have siblings? (If yes) How many? What are their ages?  Do you get along well with them? 
  • Have you ever lived away from your family before? 
  • How does your family feel about you coming to the United States?  How do they feel about you being a nanny/au pair? 


  • Why did you choose to become a nanny/au pair?
  • Are you currently working for a family? (If yes) How much notice you will need to give them should you decide to leave for another job opportunity? 
  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • Why are you interested in this position? 
  • What are your plans for the future, school, life, travel etc?
  • What are you looking for in an employer/host family?
  • If hired, what will your priorities be during your employment with our family?
  • What do you like to do in your free time by yourself? What about with friends? With family? 


  • Do you have children?  (If yes) How many? What are their ages? What did you like to do with them when they were the ages of our children?  (If no) Is becoming a parent in your life plans in the near future? 
  • Do you have a boyfriend?  (If yes) How long have you been together?  (For live-ins) Is he supportive during your stay as an au pair?  Do you think you will both be able to cope with the situation of being separated for a longer period of time? 
  • What are your favorite foods?  Do you have a specific diet or open to trying out different food? 
  • What we are paying a nanny to do is taking care of and being responsible for little children for an extended period of time.  It requires a lot of physical energy and also a lot of inner calm.  That being said, have you had any prior lengthy illnesses, physical or mental? (If yes) What? When? For how long? Are you in treatment? How long in recovery? What are you doing to stay healthy and be able to do the job? 
  • Did any of your employers require you to have immunizations? 
  • Do you practice a religion? 


  • What is your general child care experience?  Babysitting? Worked in a camp or daycare?  Have you ever worked with children the same ages as ours? 
  • How many families have you worked for?  (For each family) Full time or part-time nanny? 
  • How long have you been with each family you cared for?  What was the reason for you leaving?  Would you be able to provide references?  (Name and phone number of family worked for)
  • How many children have you watched with each family and their ages during care? 
  • What were your specific responsibilities with each family? 
  • What was the most difficult part of that job with each family?  What did you like most about that job with each family? 
  • Did you ever encounter an emergency while working for any of those families?  (If yes) What happened and how did you handle that emergency?


  • What do you like most about taking care of children? 
  • What do you find the most challenging about caring for children?
  • What kind of activities do you like to do with children who are the ages of ours?
  • When a child becomes hard to control or our of control, screaming for no apparent reason or throwing tantrums - because all children do that at one point or another - How or what do you think is the best approach? 
  • How long do you think should a child be left to cry? 
  • Did any of your previous employers/relatives permit you to discipline their children? (If yes) What form of discipline?  (NOTE: if you do not want the nanny to discipline your children other than you the parent, you state this before asking this question so that they know this is the expectation in your family)
  • What qualities do you think are important in a nanny? 
  • What are, in your opinion the most important aspects of caring for a child? 
  • What type of nanny would you want for your baby? 
  • What are you most proud of when it comes to your job? 
  • Would you pay a nanny according to her quality of service provided to her employer or based on her level of experience? 


  • If we were to hire you, when would you be able to start? 
  • Do you know how to prepare breastmilk/formula? 
  • (If an au pair) What did the agency in your home country tell you about what to expect as an au pair? 
  • (Explain all of your expectations of the job duties you will pay the nanny to do) Do you have any questions about the job duties or something we didn't address? 
  • (Explain about Time Off/Holidays/Sick Days and whether those are paid or unpaid for the nanny).  Do you see any possible vacation plans that we should be aware about now during our interview?
  • (Explain house rules if she is to live in your home)  Do you have any questions about house rules or something we didn't address about living in our home?
  • (Explain your expectations about honesty and safety in the home) Is there anyone in your family or friendships that is dangerous that we need to know about?  Is there anyone in your family or friendships that have been arrested by the police? 

Last but not least:

  • Do you have any questions for us?