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How We Interview and Select the Ideal Nanny for Your Family

Baby laying on bed smiling

The process of hiring a nanny is a crucial step in finding the right person to care for your children. At Homebodies, we understand the importance of finding a nanny who not only meets the needs of the family but also connects well with your children. This is why our nanny agency conducts a thorough interviewing process to ensure both parties have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, share information, and gauge compatibility.

So here are the key steps we take to interview and select the ideal nanny for your family.

Understanding your family’s needs

A big reason why we pride ourselves in being able to hand-select and match our families with their ideal nannies is that we invest considerable time and effort in understanding the family's needs upfront. We start our process with an initial consultation, where we aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of your unique needs and dynamics. This initial meeting can be conducted via Zoom or face-to-face, depending on your preference and a time that suits you.

Our primary goal is to delve into various aspects of your family, including your lifestyle, parenting style, and values surrounding child-rearing. We pay close attention to your children's individual needs, routines, preferences, and any logistical requirements related to their care.

We also explore your expectations regarding the ideal nanny profile, taking into account any specific personality traits or previous experiences you may have had with caregivers. By delving into these details, we aim to intuitively identify the type of nanny who would best align with your family's lifestyle, values, and preferences, ensuring a fit for both you (the family) and the nanny.

This is what makes us stand out as an agency. We not only make sure the nanny you hire is perfect for you but also that your family is perfect for the nanny. While changes in circumstances cannot be avoided, our thorough and attentive approach minimises the risk of your nanny handing in her notice a few months after starting the job because the relationship has broken down. We believe continuity of care is paramount for your children. So we are committed to helping you find a nanny that will go the distance.

Our interview process

After the initial consultation, we kick off the 'behind-the-scenes' work to identify potential candidates who are well-suited to your family's needs. This involves advertising the role on various platforms and our website. We tap into our extensive candidate database that includes experienced nannies tested and trusted by our agency. We will also consider nannies who approach us, either through recommendations or because they're interested in a specific position.

While sifting through numerous CVs to match the right nannies to your family's profile, we take into consideration specific objective criteria such as proximity to your location and willingness to work particular hours.

Once we’ve handpicked a curated selection of candidates, we conduct preliminary interviews to ensure the nannies have the necessary qualifications and certifications. These include the right to work in the UK, police checks, and Paediatric First Aid certificates.

We also perform thorough reference checks by contacting previous employers directly to gain insights into the candidates’ past experiences and suitability for the role. This can be very insightful as we can ask specific questions that help us understand if this particular nanny will be a good match for your family’s dynamics. At the end of this process, we put forward 2 to 3 candidates to you for consideration.

If you want to find out more about how we work with our families during the nanny hire process, head over to the blog post Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Nanny in London with Homebodies.

Nanny holding baby boy in baby room

Your interview with prospective nannies

Once we present you with a shortlist of potential candidates, we ask that you interview them to evaluate their skills and experience. Interviews will help you assess the nanny's compatibility and fit with your family setup, lifestyle, and children's needs, preferences, or personalities.

We understand this might be your first experience interviewing a nanny, so you might not know what to ask or what to look for. That's why we are by your side during this process - every step of the way.

For example, you can interview your nanny in person (face-to-face) or through a video call. Video might be good if you can only interview the nanny after work hours or if you’re short on time. However, it’s not always easy to get a feel for the nanny in this way - some nannies come across much better in person. We find they ‘come to life’ when they’re with the children, so if you’re interviewing your prospective nanny on video, take into account that she might be feeling nervous or, if the connection isn’t great, the flow of the interview might be affected. If you do start with a video interview and feel that went well, we recommend you follow up with an in-person meeting (with the children present, if possible).

Before your interview, we will give you tips on making the candidates relaxed and comfortable so they're more likely to open up and share more about themselves. One way to kick off the interview, for example, is by letting the candidate know you have read their CV and asking them to share a bit about themselves. This helps break the ice and allows the nanny to highlight her skills and experiences.

Interview questions you can ask your prospective nanny

During an interview, we encourage our families to ask open-ended questions starting with How, When, What, and Why. We find these types of questions tend to elicit more detailed responses. Here are some examples of what you could ask in an interview:

  • Why did you choose a career as a nanny?

  • What qualities do you think make you good at your job?

  • What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

  • Can you share a challenging situation you have faced in a previous role?

  • What is your approach to discipline and handling difficult situations, such as temper tantrums or fussy eating?

  • What are your favourite developmental, educational, and social play activities for children of different age groups?

In addition to these questions, you may also want to ask about the nanny's cooking abilities, her willingness to follow meal plans, her experience with feeding and sleep routines for babies, her preference for routine or baby-led schedules, and her comfort level working alongside the parents or in a work from home setting, for example. For live-in positions, you should also have discussions about accommodation, curfews, days off, and expectations around living together.

Second interview and paid trial

After the initial interview, you may have narrowed down your list and identified one or two preferred candidates. If that's the case, we recommend you invite them back for a second interview. This is where they can potentially meet the children (if you're comfortable with that), and you can arrange a paid trial. This allows both you and the nanny to further assess compatibility and ensure a good fit.

If you think a particular nanny might be ‘the one’, we recommend a trial starting with a half or full day. Some families may even need longer (at least a few days). As a general rule, the more you see before you hire, the better. However, please also bear in mind that the nanny might be having other interviews and trials at this stage, so don’t take too long to decide, or she might get snapped up by another family!

Benefits of a paid trial

During the paid trial with your nanny, you can:

  • Evaluate her skills and capabilities. How does the nanny perform in real-life situations? How does she interact with your child? Go outdoors during the trial and see how safety-conscious the nanny is or how energetic she can be if your child is running around in the park. During meal time, see if she takes some initiative to tidy up. What is her attention to detail after playing with toys? Is she generally helpful?

  • Decide whether the nanny will work well with you. Do they seem to fit with your family dynamics, values, and routines?

  • Build trust and confidence. Do you feel comfortable working together? Do you feel you can establish a positive working relationship?

  • Ensure commitment and reliability. Does the nanny seem reliable and committed to the job? Did the nanny show up on time? Can she follow instructions? Does she demonstrate professionalism and dedication to her work?

  • Reduce risks of making a wrong hiring decision. By conducting a paid trial, you can see the nanny in action before making a long-term commitment.

As we work alongside you throughout this process, we always welcome feedback after any interviews or trials. We want to ensure we're meeting both your needs and expectations and the nanny's. If, for whatever reason, you feel none of the candidates you interviewed or trialed are suitable for you, we'll continue our search until we find you the perfect nanny.

Baby crawling on floor

Would you like our help to find the ideal nanny for your family?

Ultimately, the goal of the interviewing process here at Homebodies is to facilitate positive and lasting connections between families and nannies. By asking thoughtful questions, encouraging open communication, and providing plenty of opportunities for nanny candidates to showcase their abilities, we strive to ensure our families find the perfect fit for their childcare needs. We promise we'll help you find someone who can truly support you during the child-rearing years.

Taking the time to thoroughly interview potential nannies contributes to creating a strong relationship that benefits both the family and the caregiver. That's why we are committed to helping families navigate this process with the utmost care and attention to detail. Our thorough and thoughtful interviewing process ensures you find a nanny who not only meets your needs but also fits seamlessly into your family dynamic. If you’re ready to work with us, contact us today for an informal call, and let's talk about how we can help you.

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