the nanny interview


OPEN-ENDed questions get the best answers.

When interviewing a nanny candidate, try asking factual YES/NO questions as well as more open-ended inquiries (including "what if" scenarios) that will give you a deeper insight into the candidate's abilities and true interest in the position.

Here are several questions worded both ways. Each style is valuable and you can try alternating your approach during the interview.


SIMPLE: Have you ever been in an emergency situation with young children? Do you remain calm in emergency situations?

OPEN-ENDED: Tell me step-by-step what you would do if a 3-year-old child suddenly has trouble breathing during a meal?


SIMPLE: Are you lenient or strict with children when they misbehave or behave in an unsafe manner?

OPEN-ENDED: My son is behaving very badly at the playground. He's hitting another child. What would you do?

You are in the park with my daughter and she tries to pet a strange dog. You tell her not to but she won't obey your request. What would you do?


SIMPLE: Do you like to playing and doing activities with young children?

OPEN-ENDED: Describe some of the fun activities you have done in the past with children you've cared for? What do you do on rainy days?


SIMPLE: Do you communicate and collaborate well with the parents you work for?

OPEN-ENDED: Tell me about a time when you had a misunderstanding or disagreement with your employer. How did you resolve it?


SIMPLE: Have you ever cared for more than one child at a time? 

OPEN-ENDED:  What's your strategy for caring for one child when the other is crying or upset?



  • Have you ever worked for a family like ours? (with a similar number of kids, similar duties, etc.) If not, how can you be sure you can handle this position?
  • What are your long-term goals? Do you see yourself as a nanny 10 years from now?
  • Can you commit to at least 2 or 3 years of service for our family?
  • Tell me about your last nanny position. Did you get along well with the children and the parents? Looking back, was there anything you would have done differently?
  • What are your least favorite responsibilities required in this job?
  • Are you okay with taking on extra household tasks if reimbursed fairly, such as preparing meals and doing laundry for the whole family?

Please feel free to email us with any questions.