When it comes to hiring an after-school childcarer interviewing is the most important step in the process. Interviews give you the chance to learn about a nanny or sitter in order to determine whether they are the best fit for your family. While interviewing does take time and effort, starting off with a standard set of questions to ask everyone will make the process easier.
With that in mind we’ve pulled together a list of questions to help you through the interview process. Use them as a starting point for talking to candidates and supplement them with follow-up questions.
Background & Experience Questions
These questions will help you get a sense of your candidate’s aims and experience. For example, a nanny who has only cared for infants might not be the best fit for your energetic 11-year-old! For after-school care, it’s also important to ask whether this person could stay through the summer, so you’re not caught in a lurch when May rolls around.
- How many years have you been caring for children?
- How old were the kids you looked after?
- Have you ever been an after-school nanny before? How do you think it’s different from being a full-time nanny?
- Do you know CPR and First Aid? Would you be willing to get certified or re-certified?
- Are you comfortable driving? Do you have your own car?
- What safety precautions do you follow when driving kids around?
- What is your education level and what did you specialize in at school?
- What has been the toughest situation you’ve encountered as a nanny, and how did you handle it?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
Routine & Lifestyle Questions
These questions will reveal a little more about your nanny’s life outside your home, and whether her schedule is flexible.
- Do you have a job outside of nannying?
- Do you travel frequently or have any vacations planned?
- Do you need to leave at a specific time every day?
- Are you a student? When are you in class?
- Are you looking to stay long-term with a family, or just short-term for this school year?
- Would you be able to work more hours, possibly full-time, during school holidays or summer vacation?
Asking these kinds of questions will give you a picture of how this candidate would interact with your kids, and how she/he might provide them with structure and consistency.
- Do you consider yourself patient? Describe an example that shows how patient you are.
- Have you ever tutored kids or helped them with homework? What do you do when a child is struggling with an assignment? How would you help a child study for a test?
- Do you prefer structure and detailed schedules, or do you play things by ear?
- What are good activities to do with kids after school? What about when it’s cold or raining outside?
- How do you stay organized when you have to bring kids to different after-school activities and playdates?
- What are good snacks to feed kids when they get home from school?
- What are signs that a child is being bullied? Or bullying someone else? What would you do if you thought this was an issue?
- How do you handle bad attitudes and temper tantrums?
- What kind of discipline system have you used with other children?
- What do you like most about working with kids?
Think about your family. Is there anything special that the candidate should be aware of or prepared for? It’s important to pick a nanny who will fit into your unique dynamic.
- Do you have experience caring for children who have special needs?
- Do you like dogs?
- Can you adhere to a dietary plan (kosher, vegan, etc.)?
- Are you comfortable with the following family issues? (As needed, e.g. aging grandparents who live nearby or in the house, behavioral issues, parents divorcing, problems with school work, etc.).
And don’t forget to ask other family members about what they’re looking for in an after-school nanny as consulting them when making your interview questions to pick up those small details you might have missed.
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