So you’ve gone through the sites, lined up some interviews…and now comes time to meet the potential person you’re handing your child to …Its like a speed dating blind date… but what do you do at this time? What do you say? How do you act?
I think its good to set up interviews in the evenings so that your husbands can meet them.
This is what I did to prepare for my interview of THEM:
- I cleaned the house
- I was prepared with a notebook, where I made one page for each person I interviewed. It had on it at the top their name, the questions I asked them with space to jot notes to answers down, and my thoughts of them at the end.
Questions to ask:
- Experience with children, specifically your child’s age
- Philosophy of taking care of a child
- Their comfort level of working in Manhattan (most come from Queens, Bronx, Jersey)
- Their comfort level getting around Manhattan on subways and taxis (for playdates, classes, emergencies)
- Possible evening and weekend availability after the work day for a date night or evening event
- Discuss responsibilities, which include taking care of the babies room, babies food (making and cleaning), shopping for babies food (if you want this), and babies laundry (most do this!!) This is also a time where you can discuss maybe them doing cleaning for you, cooking or cooking prep, and your laundry as well! (YES!!! IT HAS MADE MY LIFE SO MUCH EASIER as my nanny does this!) I mean, if you’re child naps 2-3 hours a day, then they hopefully can do this. However, typically most nannies will only do the baby stuff.
- Discuss holidays. In NYC, most full time nannies take paid holidays. Part time nannies it is not necessary…However if you travel for a week or two and your nanny isn’t coming along with you, its good to pay her for her time as she is there for you.
- Ask about any physical ailments. Your baby is going to be on the floor, and you need someone active and that can move to chase after your child.
- Money : try not to discuss money at this point, as you will discuss it when you call them with an offer. However from my experience, some nannies will flat out say this is my rate, you are paying for my transportation, and yada yada. Those nannies were a turn off for me, but its good to know and discuss (negotiate)
Like I said, discuss payment at the end. The average rate for nannies is 15 dollars an hour. So if you can get that, stick to it. Anything less I’d offer someone babysitting, with less expierience, or if you’re covering days off, holidays, and transportation. Remember, you don’t want to go too cheap, they ARE taking care and in charge of your child. You want them happy and you want to treat them well!
Tricks of what to do and how to test the nanny during the interview:
- I always left my baby on the floor and sat near them. I did this for the reason that I wanted to see if the nanny would pick up my child, hold him, hug him, and try to have a relationship with him. I didn’t hold him, and it was a good way to see how open, loving, and engaging she was with him. In a few cases, nannies were so focused on the interview, that they didn’t even look let alone pick up the baby. big NO NO.
- That phone call. I would have my friend or husband call me in the middle of the interview, where I would signal one moment and leave the room. Again, leaving the baby and nanny alone in the room. I’d peak over and see – was she playing with him or playing on her phone. What was she doing in the room alone?
All in all – it was a matter of did I get a good feeling from the nanny. Her aura, her engagement with me and my child, her sincerity. You’re a mother. You’re leaving your child with someone and you know whats best for them. In the end its your judgement and your call. Also, we all make mistakes – so if it doesn’t work, you at least have some time before you go back to work, where you can interview and find someone else.
How to end the interview:
Be warm, give a handshake, and tell them…I’d love to see where this goes. I’ll be giving you a call in the next week and let you know whether I’d like for you to come back for an observation or trial for an hour with the baby.
Leave it at that…whether you call back or not…and that lucky person you do call back, remember, they are also going to love hearing from you!