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Jan 24

Nanny interview questions and steps – phone interview

Mother on a phone interview with a nanny babysitterWhat should you ask a potential nanny, babysitter when you first call her? Here is a quick guideline of nanny interview questions and steps you should take to start your selection in the right way. Conducting phone interviews with potential nannies or babysitter before meeting them in person is highly recommended. This step has many advantages. First off, it saves you time. If you start with a list of six potential nannies, you can reduce the number down to two or three. By interviewing only two or three sitters, not only are you better able to evaluate and compare the candidates with each other, but you are also streamlining the process and significantly cutting down the time it takes to find the best candidate. Second, it allows you to prepare the ground for a detailed personal interview with the candidate.

The purpose of the phone interview is to narrow down the list. Keep this goal in mind as you follow the steps below. Get the basic answers during this stage. Seek more detailed answered at personal interview stage.

Phone Interview Steps

Call the child carer and either conduct the interview right away or set up a time which is more convenient. The interview should last between 15 to 30 minutes.

  1. Validate the sitter’s basic information from her SOSsitter profile: full name (with correct spelling), telephone number, email address.
  2. Review the job details with the nanny. Mention the age(s) of the child(ren), hours of work, salary and required tasks. It is good to get this step out of the way sooner than later because sometimes there is a conflict and the sitter is eliminated before going any further.
  3. Background information. Ask questions about the nanny / babysitter’s age, education, health and family situation. Ask her about her criminal record check when it was done and by who.
  4. Criteria checklist.You know what your nanny babysitter needs are. Focus on the must-haves rather than the nice-to-haves. Do you need someone with a drivers license? A non-smoker? One SOSsitter family was conducting a phone interview and she could tell right away that the woman she was speaking with was a heavy smoker just by her voice and cough. The family saved themselves a lot of time and trouble by conducting the interview over the phone instead of meeting the candidate in person.
  5. Previous work experience and references: where did she work, how long ago, what where her tasks. Get the details (if not provided on the profile already) and hold on to them. Call them AFTER you have meet the nanny in person.

During the phone interview, pay attention to the candidates tone as well as to what she is saying. Is there any background noise? All these are important clues that will help you get a feeling about the candidate and if you want to meet them in person. The phone interview should not replace the in-person interview. Sometimes a nanny can sound very promising on the phone but then your opinion changes when you meet her face-to-face. One SOSsitter member had a young female candidate who succeeded in all of the above steps and then she showed up at the doorstep dressed too provocatively. Trust your intuition and good luck!

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