Believe it or not, interviews for a nanny position are as difficult for the interviewer as they are for the applicant. That is because both are looking to fulfill a need – the former needs someone to handle their children, and the latter needs a job.
The employment setting matters. If you are being interviewed in an informal setting or by parents, things are a bit easy. Corporate pressure is usually lifted off in these situations, and a homelike atmosphere can make both interviewer and interviewee feel at ease.
The following set of 50 interview questions and answers is designed from both angles – to help interviewers in asking questions and the candidate in answering them.
See also: Nanny Resume Sample
50 Common Questions and Answers for Nanny Interview
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
I started working as a babysitter 10 years ago because looking after children was of great interest to me. After working as one for 2 years, I got training as a nanny, and have been working as one ever since.
I am a graduate of St. Mary Convent High School and have worked as a nanny for three years. I am a friendly and fun individual who loves being around kids. Moreover, I have ample knowledge of age-specific developmental and cognitive milestones and requirements of children.
2. What specific duties have you performed in the role of a nanny?
I have performed many duties, including providing nurturing care to children assigned to me. In particular, I have been organizing creative activities for them and helping them with homework. Preparing meals, and ensuring children partake them is also part of my work. Additionally, I am responsible for changing diapers and making bottles, as well as helping older children with homework.
3. What specific skills do you possess which make you an excellent person to hire as a nanny?
I feel that I am a highly approachable individual, which makes it easy for children to reach out to me. Also, I am competent in looking after children of all ages, and personalities. Specifically, I am well-versed in handling children’s emotional issues and have even worked with children with special needs.
4. What do you like most about this work?
I love the fact that I get to enjoy what I do. Since I have an inherent love for children, working with them makes me innately happy.
5. What do you dislike about this work?
I wouldn’t say that I dislike anything about this work. However, it does feel a bit odd when I am unable to emotionally help a child because of my own limitations.
6. How do you handle stress at the workplace?
Since I love my work so much, stress is the last thing on my mind. When I feel a little pressure, I just take a little time out, and that takes care of things.
7. What is the most challenging part of working as a nanny?
The most challenging part of working as a nanny is handling children who show signs of emotional imbalance.
8. What is your method of handling such children?
I am trained in providing emotional assistance to children, to ensure that they do not succumb to its throttle. I talk them through their difficult times and offer support constantly. If required, I even talk to their parents to obtain more help.
9. Can you handle emergencies involving children?
Yes, I can handle emergencies involving children. I am trained in both CPR and First Aid, and can effectively provide wound care as well.
10. How do you handle difficult children?
I feel that labeling them as difficult is a bit unfair. A child is never difficult – they just want to communicate what they need. When I see a child is not in the right frame of mind, I always try to soothe their fears first and then inquire about the problem. Then, I do my best to collect resources to help them.
11. Why did you leave your last job?
I had been working for a family for many years. Recently, the husband got a job in another city, and since I could not move with them, I had to leave the position.
12. Where did you hear about this nanny position?
A friend mentioned that you were actively looking for a nanny and that she felt that I was the right person for it. Hence, I applied.
13. What do you consider your biggest achievement?
As opposed to big achievements, I have small ones, but many of them. All the children that I have looked after have turned out to be exceptional young adults, and I am very proud of that.
14. Has a parent ever yelled at you?
No, I have been fortunate enough to not give anyone a reason to yell at me.
15. How do you handle conflict with parents and guardians?
When I feel that they are saying or doing something that they should not be doing to, or in front of a child, I wait until we are alone, and then guide them. If they feel that I have been out of line, I always apologize and attempt to handle the situation from a different angle.
16. Describe your dream job.
My dream job is working with children. There is nothing more to it.
17. What is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength is my ability to reach out to even the most reluctant of children.
18. What is your biggest weakness?
y biggest weakness is my attachment. I feel too much when it comes to little humans.
19. Tell me of the toughest decision that you have had to make?
I was once looking after a child whom I was sure was being subjected to second-hand smoke. I could smell it all over him. I spoke to the parents who denied it completely. I then saw the remains of cigarettes on the kitchen counter and had no choice but to inform child services. It was indeed a tough decision to make.
20. Describe your work ethics.
I am positive that very few people have the ethics that I do. I am never late to work, and I go out of my way to secure household items. I am also very careful when it comes to emotional attachment.
21. What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about providing nurturing care to children under my wing.
22. Why should we hire you specifically?
I feel that I am the right person for the job because I have had a successful 10-year run. I am compassionate and possess an inbuilt love for my work.
23. How do you define success?
If I have been able to set the stage for a responsible individual, it is more success than I can hope for.
24. How do you work under pressure?
I work very well under pressure, as I don’t think too much about it. I go with the flow.
25. Who was your favorite child, and why?
I will be very honest. I do not have a favorite child. I love all the children that I have cared for.
26. What do you intend to accomplish in the first month?
I am hoping to make children comfortable with me, and determine their personalities, and likes and dislikes.
27. How many children have you looked after in these 10 years?
I have looked after 12 children, some from the same family.
28. Have you always worked independently?
No, in my last commission, I was working with a therapist, hired especially to handle the child’s speech delay issues.
29. Do you like working independently?
I do like working independently, as well as a member of a team.
30. Do you get along with people easily?
I am a very easygoing person and can get along with everyone.
31. When were you most satisfied with your work?
Since I work hard, I am always satisfied with my work.
32. Are you open to traveling with the family?
Yes, I have traveled on holiday with all the families for whom I have worked.
33. Tell me about a mistake you made.
Thankfully, I have never made a mistake when looking after children. I am very careful.
34. Is working with special needs children difficult?
Not much. You just need to determine their needs as something different, and you are good to go.
35. Would you inform the parents if you realized that their child was being bullied?
Absolutely. I would inform them immediately so that they can handle the situation quickly.
36. Do you think children feel comfortable talking to you?
I have never felt that a child is uncomfortable talking to me. I am an easily approachable person.
37. Tell us of a time when you went out of your way to help someone.
I was working with a child whose father had passed away, and the mother had a chronic illness. I looked after the child like a mother for 4 years, until the mother remarried, and things became a little better.
38. Why did you choose to work as a nanny?
I choose the childcare arena owing to my nurturing nature. What I do best is to look after children and provide them with a comfortable, nurturing, and safe environment.
39. What do you feel is the most important aspect of working as a nanny?
Working as a nanny has so many essential aspects, but I would consider developing a sense of trust as the most important. Respect for your wards, understanding their challenges, and patience follow suit.
40. What qualities do you have to attract children towards you?
While I know just when to exercise my authority, I usually come to children’s level to deal with them. This establishes trust, and children love to have an adult around them who does not seem much like one!
41. What do you enjoy the most about being a nanny?
There are actually some bittersweet memories attached to working as a nanny. I get to build amazing relationships with children and their families. The children are the reason I work as a nanny, and they grow up to be productive adults. This is a great satisfaction.
42. How do you handle a child throwing a tantrum?
Tantrums are a form of attention-seeking behavior, and if the adult responds to these, they are reinforced, so it’s best to ignore the child if s/he is throwing a tantrum.
I usually do not respond immediately; however, once the child settles down, I discuss the matter with them and guide the right way of asking for something or permission for doing something.
43. What would you do if a child under your supervision had an injury while playing?
I am first aid and BCLS certified. If a child has an injury, I provide first aid, and if needed, I immediately call an ambulance and inform the parents irrespective of whether it was a small injury or a big one.
44. Name three activities you use to keep children engaged?
I am very good at storytelling and puppetry. I also have a knack for creating and playing indoor paper and board games. My favorite activities to keep children engaged are; board games, puppetry, and sports. I always limit TV watching hours and try to engage kids in healthy physical activities as much as possible.
45. How do you handle the situation when three children of different ages are placed under your care simultaneously?
I understand that children of different ages have different interests and needs. I can effectively keep children engaged while ensuring that their needs are met timely, and they have some productive and safe activity to keep themselves busy.
Handling more than one child at a time is a problem only when the children have nothing to do if they are kept busy in interesting tasks, it’s not a problem at all.
46. What strategies do you use to groom a child?
I always develop a strong relationship with the child first. Once I have settled in, the relationship works on discussed and agreed upon terms. For grooming, I usually find verbal counseling enough. If it is not sufficient, I go to behavioral strategies like time out and positive response reinforcement.
47. What ages of children are you comfortable in handling?
I am competent and comfortable in handling children of ages ranging from newborn to early teens.
48. If we decide to hire you, when can you join us?
I can join you within the next 10 days, as I have some pressing matters to attend to during this time.
49. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be honest, I see myself doing exactly this work even 5 years from now. But I hope to have a lot more knowledge about child psychology than I have now.
50. Do you have any questions for me?
Please tell me a little more about your expectations from a nanny, and how well you think I fit into them.