Ensuring a Safe Interview Process for a Nanny Candidate
As a nanny looking for a job, you will likely go on several
face-to-face interviews before selecting the family you wish to secure
employment with. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay safe when you are
scheduling interviews and meeting people for the first time. Remember that a
nanny interview is different from other types of job interviews because many
times you’ll have your interview in the employer’s private home, rather than at
a place of business. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, suggest having your
first interview in a public location, like at a coffee shop. This request is
acceptable, reasonable and makes sense. During the interview process, it’s
important to keep your safety in mind as you strive to create a positive
Trust Your Instincts
If you are going to work as a nanny, then you probably already
have pretty good instincts about people in general. Therefore, if you are
setting up a nanny interview and something doesn't feel quite right when you
are talking to the family on the phone or via email, stop the process right
there and look elsewhere for a job. It isn't worth the risk to continue with
the situation if you feel like your safety might be compromised, or even if you
just don't feel like the position is going to be best for you. There is nothing
wrong with cancelling a nanny interview at any point.
Keep People Aware
Always let someone else - a friend or a family member - know where
you will be and at what time you will be there. Leave information such as the
address of the family's home or the location where you will be meeting, the
time the nanny interview will be starting, and the time you expect to be
finished. Take your cell phone with you and ask a trusted friend to phone you
at the time your interview is scheduled to finish.
Bring Someone with You
If you feel uncomfortable going to a first nanny interview
alone, take a friend or family member along with you. They can wait in the car
or, if the family agrees ahead of time, they can come in. Honest families
looking for a nanny will appreciate your attention to safety and will likely
agree to allow your friend to sit in with you.
Ask for References
You are entitled to ask the prospective family for references
before or during your nanny interview. References can be from a previous nanny
or from other household help. They could also be professional references from
one or both parents' employers. In this case, it is better if you can call the references
and speak to them directly rather than just have a conversation through email.
Perform a Background Check
For a small fee, you can run a background check on one or both
parents before your nanny interview. It’s always good to ask for their consent
before running a background check. You may also wish to check National Registry
of Sex Offenders (www.nsopr.gov) just for
peace of mind. The more you can learn about a potential family, the more
informed and educated your hiring decision will be.
Use All of Your Resources
Sometimes the simplest things can provide the most information.
Before you interview with a family, conduct an Internet search using the
family's name. You may find out some interesting and helpful information, both
good and bad. You can also do more in-depth searches about the family, the
address where they live, the professions of the parents, and more. Take note of
anything that concerns you, and either discontinue the interview process or
make notes to ask questions.
In addition, check online nanny listing sites to see if the family
has a profile. If they do, you can gather more information from what they have
included in their profile. Does the tone of the profile sound friendly or
professional? Does the tone instead sound confrontational or difficult? Gather
as much information as you can about the nanny position from what the family
has made available.
Choose an Appropriate Location
If you do not want to go to a family's home for the first nanny
interview, you can request that you instead meet in a more public area, such as
a restaurant or a shopping mall. You can then set up a second nanny interview
at the family's home for a later time. The fact is that you are a stranger to
the family as much as they are strangers to you, so they may appreciate your
concern and caution.
At your nanny interview, remember that you will be working closely
with this family as their nanny. Therefore, don't be afraid to ask questions
about the family and to listen carefully to their answers. If you feel
uncomfortable about any of their answers, or if they hesitate before giving you
information you’ve requested, then you may want to reconsider working as their
The first time that a nanny candidate meets with a family for an
interview can be exciting and enjoyable, but it is always important to put
safety first. By being careful about who you are meeting and where you are
meeting them, you can ensure that you will be comfortable and safe during your
interview. Then and only then can you truly focus on the nanny interview
itself, ask important questions about the job and learn more about the family
with whom you may be working.