Going for an elite nanny job interview can be a nerve wracking experience. No matter how many times you might have done it, or how confident you are in your skills and capabilities, it is completely normal to get nervous when it comes to meeting a potential new employer.
There are a few things you can do to help yourself feel less nervous when you’re attending an interview. Make sure you present yourself well in appearance and personality, and ensure you prepare adequately. Our elite nanny interview preparation guide aims to give you a bit more guidance and confidence to go into your interview and succeed!
Nanny Interview Preparation: Getting Started
Everyone knows the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and this is very true for job interviews. If you’re serious about this new elite nanny job, you’ll want to do your utmost to give the best impression to your interviewee, which is likely to be your potential new employer.
Your CV and cover letter can only do so much. The family you are meeting will have decided they would like to interview you on the basis of those documents, so that’ already a positive start. However, meeting someone face to face can be completely different to reading a CV. Your interview is your chance to leave a lasting impression.
Getting to Your Nanny Job Interview – and What to Bring – Important Preparation
Make sure you know exactly where you’re going, and how you’re going get there. Take into account that there might be traffic, or that public transport might be delayed. Showing up late gives the impression that you didn’t find the interview important enough to get there on time.
Make sure you bring a file with all your details, including:
- A hard copy of your CV
- Written references
- Copies of any relevant qualifications
- Passport or ID (in case of security requests when arriving at the property)
The client might not ask for all of these, but it is best to be prepared and have them to hand, just in case.
Read Up on the Role – Preparation Necessity
There is nothing more embarrassing than showing up at a nanny job interview without knowing what the role actually is. You would be surprised how many people make this mistake! Before you go to your interview, it is vital to have read the full job specification, and make notes of anything that’s unclear or you’d like more information on.
You don’t want to ask the client any questions that are already in the job specification, as it shows poor preparation, which suggests you’re not that interested in the role.
If you are going to an interview via an agency, speak to your recruitment consultant beforehand. They’ll normally have a bit more information or insight into the job and the client that they can share with you to help you paint a clear picture of the client and the role.
Ask Questions – But Don’t Go Overboard
There’s a fine line between showing interest in a position, and not giving the potential employer the chance to speak at all. You should prepare questions, and you can do this mostly before the interview. As part of your nanny interview preparation, go through the job specification again and note any grey areas. Are all the tasks listed? Are the hours and days clearly set, or do they need flexibility?
If you’re interviewing at the house, you can ask to use this as an opportunity to meet the children, and get a feel for what it would be like working with them.
When asking questions, try to come across as willing and open minded. The client is interviewing you, so give them the time to talk and ask you questions.
They way references are handled depends on how the interview was set up.
If you have been booked via an agency, then they might take care of references, or alternatively the client will want to speak to references directly. Either way, make sure you have a reference document that looks well presented. List your written references and contact details, and make sure you include at least two long term and recent jobs.
Check with your previous employers that they’re happy to be contacted. Explain you’re going for an interview, and advise them to expect a call or an email.
Big No-No’s with Nanny Interview Preparation
There are several things that can pretty much guarantee you won’t be invited to a second interview:
- Being late
Make sure you leave lots of extra time to get to your interview. Charge your phone so that you can look up directions as needed, or as a last resort call the employer to inform them what time you’ll arrive. Perhaps even take a trial run to the interview a few days before if time allows. It also looks very bad if you appear rushed when walking into the interview. To avoid all this, leave plenty of time for travel to ensure a smooth start to the interview.
- Clothing and presentation
Remember that your nanny job interview is not a fashion show. Although in your daily roles you may have worn comfortable clothing, tracksuit bottoms are simply not a good look for a first impression. You don’t know how the client likes their nanny and staff to look, and you might be expected to wear a uniform. As part of your nanny interview preparation, try and go for a professional and neutral look: black trousers, a clean white shirt and a jacket are a safe option. Make sure your hair and make-up look neat, and don’t overdo it with make-up, heavy perfume or jewellery. Finally, cover up any visible tattoos.
It is very rare that smoking will be accepted at a nanny job. You will be in charge of someone’s children, so smelling like smoke or making it very obvious that you do smoke sets a bad example for them, even if you do have excellent skills. If you do smoke, make sure you don’t do it anywhere near the property, and have a mint before you go inside to ensure you smell fresh.
Finally, leave a good lasting impression. Your CV, skills and presentation can be immaculate, but make sure a client remembers you. Be positive, happy, smile and speak highly of the role and your experience.
You want to come across that you enjoy your work, have a passion for it and are very interested in this specific role. Coming across as moody, negative or demure can be very off putting. After all, the interviewer is looking for you to be in their house and care for their children, so you need to show energy and enthusiasm.
What About Skype or Phone Interviews?
All of the above still applies. Also, make sure you’re in a quiet area with a very strong internet connection. Test the internet or phone connection several times beforehand so nothing can go wrong at the time of the interview.
We hope you’ve gained something from this nanny interview preparation guide. At Polo & Tweed, we’ve set up hundreds of interviews for elite nannies looking for new roles. We are here to chat, give you a bit of advice and help you find your perfect nanny job!