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Personal Interview

The next interview should ideally be at your home, so your candidate can become familiar with the environment.

For the first interview, arrange a time when the children won’t be at home, so you won’t be distracted and you’ll have uninterrupted time to talk.

The purpose of this meeting is to determine how well the candidate meets your needs. Remember to have your list of an ideal candidate so you can form a decision based on your priorities.

A meeting like this can give a mass of clues and information that will allow you to reach a decision.

Check the following:

Did the candidate arrive on time?

If not, did they call ahead to notify you? This is important, as you’ll need to heavily depend on their reliability in this job.

Did they come prepared with a resume or other documents you asked for? Again, this is important for reliability.

Your focus should be on two tracks: practical and emotional.

On the practical track, ask about her skills, and make sure she has what it takes to get the job done. Give lots of room for your candidate to speak.

Here are a few ideas of questions you could ask:

How will you get to my home? Do you have access to reliable transport?

Do you know how to cook or just re-heat pre-prepared food? What can you cook?

Are you available to begin on the start date?

Are you legally able to work in this country? Did you bring the documentation to prove it?

(If she’s young:) Do you have permission from your guardian or parent to be a live-in nanny? What is their telephone number?

This meeting is also the chance to ask questions about how the candidate will behave towards your children:

Do you have experience looking after children of a similar age to my children?

Tell me more about your most recent experience with children of that age.

Why did you choose working with children?

What do you like most about being with children?

What do you like the least?

In your previous jobs, how do you react when they misbehave? How do you help them cooperate?

How do you calm children down when it becomes too noisy?

Are you organised?

In previous workplaces, did you clean up and wash dishes after a meal?

Inside your mind, as she’s answering your questions, focus on trust. Can you trust her to offer the help you need? Can you rely on her to turn up on time to do the job properly? As a carer, does she have the compassion, warmth and gentleness your children need? Will she be passive or active as a helper? Look into the person’s eyes and let your intuition will tell you what you need to know.

After you have all the information you need, schedule a working interview where the nanny or babysitter will look after your children while you’re there.

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