Nanny Interview Questions

When interviewing a nanny candidate (or anyone, really), I always like to start with “Tell me about yourself!” which will often uncover answers to a lot of the questions below.  

General Questions to Ask a Nanny

  • What made you decide to become a nanny?
  • What kind of experience do you have caring for children?
  • Where are you from?  (If not US, are you authorized to work here?)
  • Tell me about some of the families you’ve worked with. What was your relationship like with the parents?  What were the children like?
  • What was a typical day like in your last job(s)? 
  • What were your responsibilities?  Other than caring for the children, was there anything else you handled for the family?
  • Why did you leave your last job? 
  • What do you like most about caring for children? 
  • What is most challenging about caring for children?  (You can get specific here and ask what’s most challenging about caring for a child that is your child’s age.)
  • What’s your favorite age child? Why?
  • What types of activities do you like to do with children? 
  • Are you certified in infant CPR? When was the last time you took the course?
  • What do you like to do for fun in your free time?
  • When I talk with people who've worked with you before, what's the worst thing I might hear from them?
  • Do you have any questions for us? 

In addition to feeling like someone is the right fit for your family in experience and personality, you'll want to confirm that she (or he) is a fit for your lifestyle: if you have irregular work hours, will she be flexible? If she'll be driving with your child in the car, is she an experienced and safe driver?

Logistical Questions for a Nanny Interview

  • If I have a meeting that’s outside of our typical schedule, are you willing to come early or stay late?

  • Are you willing to stay overnight if I am traveling for work?
  • Are you willing to travel with us?
  • How long does it take to get from your home to our home?  (Someone with a painfully long commute might not stay in the job very long.)
  • How long have you been driving? Do you have a clean driving record? Would you be willing to have us run a driving report on you?
  • When did you last receive ____________ vaccination? (Ask about the flu shot, MMR, and TDaP.)
  • Do you smoke? 

You'll also want to gauge her common sense and instincts through some hypothetical questions: if [scary or challenging thing] happened, what would you do?  

Situational Questions for Interviewing a Nanny

  • What would you do if the baby fell off the changing table?
  • What would you do if the doorbell rang while you were giving the baby a bath?
  • What would you do if you were at the playground and another child hit my child? And if you saw my child hit another child?
  • What would you do if the baby won’t stop crying? 

You'll find more about finding the right childcare in Here's the Plan, the pregnancy and parenting guide for your professional life.