Nannies, we all know it and dread it. Actually, I think everyone dreads them, not matter what the job. Yes friends, I’m talking about interviews. Oh those stressful events! I think the reason no one really liked interviews is basically you’re basically sitting in a room and being judged on whether or not you’re good enough for this job. So, your job as the interviewee is to convince your potential employer that you are not only the most qualified for the job, but you are the only person for this job. Easier said than done, am I right?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know exactly what your potential NF (Nanny Family) is looking for in a nanny? In a sea of CPR certified, over 18, crafting and games gurus, what is it about a nanny that makes a family choose her over someone else?
From my seat here with my laptop and my green tea (which it totally gross by the way, but is my sad attempt to be healthy), I am watching a family go through to process of hiring a summer nanny for their son and daughter. From here I can hear the parent’s impressions and discussions as soon as the potential nanny leaves, and watch the nannies nervously explain their college goals while making it seem like they genuinely care for children.
This one seems nice, a sweet girl with brown hair and glasses going to be a senior at the University of Texas this fall. She has plans for a graduate degree, and experience babysitting after school. The parent’s main concern seems to be what would happen if the child were to hurt themselves seriously. As I came to sit down, they were impressed with the last candidates ability to think quickly and provide adequate first aid if a child were hurt.
Watching them, I wonder if they’ve had a nanny before. They seem to be asking all the right questions- asking the nanny how she would handle fights between the two little ones, what happens when the little ones don’t want to eat, and how she would react if both parents were over an hour late from work and she was not able to get a hold of either of them.
They seem like a nice family, really just looking for someone to come over and entertain the children during the summer days. I wonder how often they want the nanny around. Would this be a full-time summer job, 8:30-5:30, or maybe just one of two days a week. I wonder if the number of hours they’re looking for would affect the candidate they pick.
I got the opportunity (people are so nice, I literally just asked and the agreed to sit down and answer questions to someone they didn’t even know! Faith in humanity restoring) to sit down with both the MomBoss and one of the potential candidates to get some perspective on this ever-intriguing nanny-hiring process
I came to learn that the family was only looking for about 10-20 hours a week, nothing full-time. The mother explained that her children, boy age 8 and girl age 5, were enrolled in lots of summer camps throughout the summer, meaning the summer nanny would really only be needed twice a week. They were looking for one weekday long afternoon, and then an all-day Saturday so the parents can get housework and errands done.
Because the nanny being interviewed wasn’t looking for a full-time position, this worked well for her. I learned that she currently babysits for two other families on similar schedules. One family only needed help with an infant every other week for about 4 hours in the afternoon to do the same- run errands and do chores/housework. Another family required care only two days a week in the afternoons for about 3 hours after the children returned from a summer program until the parents got home from work. The nanny talked about how she was interested in nannying as a summer job and even part-time position during the school year (as she is a college student) because of the flexibility it offered. “More often than not, parents only need you for a few hours maybe twice a week afterschool. After classes in the mornings, I head over and make snacks, help with homework, and play with the kids. It’s easy money.”
What’s the biggest thing that the family looks for in hiring a nanny? For this mom, it was a nanny’s ability to think on her feet and be able to quickly control a situation should anything happen. She wanted to be sure that the nanny was prepared to handle a potential medical emergency (though hopefully it never happens!), and knowing that a nanny would be able to stay cool and collected while administering first aid was a big selling point for her. Beyond being able to handle an emergency, I asked what qualities or answers would set off a red flag for her. The mom hesitated for a moment, wondering if her answer would seem like she was one to judge based on personality. “Well,” she starts out slowly, “I guess just someone who seemed cold, kind of introverted. I want them to be able to genuinely enjoy my kids, even if she doesn’t love them. I just worry that someone who didn’t seem interested by children would have a hard time really connecting and have a good time with them.”
Without really saying it, the mom of this family had insinuated that there was simply a type of person who could do this job, something I believe to be absolutely true. Not just any college kid can pop in and work with children, especially young, preschool aged children. It takes a special person to be able to connect and learn and grow with young children, and really enjoy doing it. I’ve often been told that I simply have a ‘way’ with children, and it’s not really something that I can explain either, but I feel it. I have college friends that say “Oh I love kids, I could babysit.” Well, sure you could watch two older school-age children on a date night, but it takes a special person to spend all day, every day with little ones. It takes a person with of patience, compassion, understanding, and lots of love to give.
These people are hard to come by, but when someone comes around that loves your children, is responsible and caring, understands and considers your needs as a parent, and enjoys what she does, you hold onto her. And you call her your nanny :)
Hope you enjoyed, nanny friends! Just a little perspective on the other side of that interview table. As always, feel free to leave me your thoughts below! What was your nanny interview process like? Do you feel like nannying is the right thing for you? Let me know! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and I hope to see you here again soon :)