Received Friday, May 18, 2007
I am currently interviewing for nanny jobs in several neighborhoods of New York City. I've gotten these interviews through two different agencies, both whom have run extensive background checks on me and checked all of my references.
My ideal family is one with two or more children where both parents work, so these are people who have had nannies in the past and (for the most part) are familiar with the process of interviewing a nanny. Because of that fact, I can't help but be totally flabbergasted by what I've experienced so far. There always comes a point in the interview where the parents ask if I have any questions for them (no family has failed to directly ask me that). They seem shocked when they realize that I do in fact have multiple questions for them. I usually ask:
1) What is your discipline style and in what situations do you expect your nanny to adopt your methods and in what situations do you feel there should be different styles between nanny and parent?
2) Was there a time when you were disappointed with the level of communication between yourself and your nanny? How did you handle that?
3) Has there been a conflict in the past between one of your children and the nanny? If so, how did you handle it?
4) What do you like best about your current nanny? What do you like least?
I get the feeling that the parents don't like the fact that I'm interviewing them, but that's the reality. I think that when I get the shocked faces from parents I'm correct to immediately count them out as potential employers, but I thought I'd ask for opinions on here. Don't parents understand that their potential nanny is interviewing and sizing them up in just the same way that their evaluating her?