3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Nanny

By Adam Robinson,
February 25, 2013

When interviewing candidates, there are certain industry-specific questions and topics that need to be covered. But for some positions, determining what those crucial points are can be quite a challenge. Take child care for example. As a parent, you want to hire someone who understands your child and is willing to go above and beyond for them. But as a boss, you need to be confident in their abilities and place your full trust in them.

As tempting as it is to ask each candidate every single interview question out there, it’s just not possible. Doing some research and putting together a strong script of questions is your best bet. You’ll learn everything you need to about a candidate in order to feel confident hiring them. 

Here are three great questions to ask nannies:

1. ‘How have you reacted when you were angry with a child?’

Unfortunately, there’s not one definitive answer to this question. But Nanny Interview Questions, a website dedicated to helping parents interview and hire nannies, recommends looking for an answer that jibes with your parenting philosophy. If a candidate says they never become angry or frustrated, that’s a huge red flag. No matter how patient a candidate is, becoming agitated every once in a while is human nature. If they say it doesn’t happen to them, they’re probably trying to give you a good answer at the expense of a truthful one. 

Uncovering how this candidate handles frustration is critical to being able to trust them with your child. 

2. ‘If my child asked you to keep a secret, what would your response be?’

Once again, there are multiple right and wrong answers to this question. On one hand you want your child to trust their nanny, but at the same time you need to know what’s going on inside your child’s head. Is someone bullying them at school but they don’t want you to know? Did they fail a test and don’t want to tell you? Ideally, the nanny you hire will bring secrets to your attention that could have harmful consequences if left alone. But when your daughter tells her nanny that she has a crush on a member of One Direction, that can be kept a secret.

3. ‘Do you have any objections about granting permission for a background check?’

Conducting verification checks on all candidates, regardless of industry or position, is a must. But when dealing with hiring caretakers, it’s extremely important. 

Do you want someone with a history of drug abuse or wreckless driving taking care of your child? Of course not. Unlike candidates, background checks don’t bend the truth. If there’s something in a candidate’s past they’re not disclosing, the background check will do it for them.

If a candidate refuses to grant permission for you to conduct a background check, that should raise red flags. Something isn’t right if they’re not comfortable with you verifying their past. 

Hiring someone to watch your child, to ensure their safety and well-being can be overwhelming. Instead of asking yourself what if I hire the wrong person, divert that effort into asking the candidate the right questions. Armed with the right questions and attitude, you’ll be confident in your hiring decision. 

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and learn how to build your best team.