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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 interview experience. 

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 ( 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. 

Ask Questions

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 nanny. 


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.

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