Monday

2 Nannies, 2 Questions...

Monday, June 25, 2007

We are starting the day with two reader submitted questions, but we're waiting to hear of your nanny sightings...

1) I am meeting a family for an interview next month and it will be my first time attending an interview in the summer. What do nannies wear when interviewing for the first time? I've been interviewed before but my previous positions began in winter so my outfits were more 'formal' . I live in Europe where it's common to wear jeans even to non-nanny job interviews. I'm young (21) and am afraid that me wearing jeans when I go for a nanny interview might be a strike against me (they might think I'm too young/inexperienced and pay me poorly). Thanks

2) Hi, I would like to seek the opinion of some of the readers whom employ nannies. I am a 25 year old, Caucasian female. I recently graduated with my Master’s in Health Education (Public Health), have 10 years of experience with children, with some part-time nannying (up to 2 weeks at a time, 24/7 care). I spent a summer teaching children in a village preschool and working in a village medical clinic in Ghana, West Africa. I have experience teaching at the University level, and have worked for one of the top cancer institutes in the US. I have almost a year before I begin an International Fellowship Program located in Africa. I have been thinking about becoming a nanny for that duration. I know I would be amazing with the children, but I wonder if families would find my background a suitable match.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I will have to go to a park and check out some nanny behavior. I will borrow someone's child, plop said child in a stroller and make my way to a park.
There haven't been any good sightings lately. No offense.

Anonymous said...

1) cargo pants. shoes that allow you to be active- even tennis shoes. and a nice shirt. the look should be clean. but do not attempt to defraud. capris, tank top and zip up sweatshirt with a pony tail and white slip on tennis shoes is what would inspire me to hire.
2) You sound not like someone I would want working with my children. Your work sounds like you could be very sanctimonious about what should be done in the world and my home. Additionally, you are just too temporary. You don't have any long term nanny experience and, sorry to say but too many diseases coming out of Ghana.

Anonymous said...

Why would your amazingly traveled, suitably educated background be a hinderance? I think any child would benefit from an experience with you. As a matter of fact, the only downfall I see is a family getting attached to you and your leaving after only one year. I would relax, and concentrate more on finding a match that would fit you for the length of time you are going to be around.

t.r. said...

I don't believe she even has a year to offer. And even in that year, would she be able to focus 100 percent on a nanny job? I think it would feel to me like a pit stop. And no family wants to feel like a pit stop!

Anonymous said...

Dayum 7:02, (#2) that's harsh, lol.
However, (#1) I agree that some very nice cargo pants or dressy, mute colored capris, and a crisp button down with white tennis shoes and socks would look like you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

annie said...

1) This is only my opinion, of course, but I always dress for an interview in a more formal way than I dress for work. I would wear a skirt and a neat top, not a t-shirt. No flip-flops, no casual sandals, definitely no sneakers or tennis shoes.

Obviously people have different opinions, like 7:02, and I understand where she's coming from. I would dress as she describes if I was interviewing for a babysitting position, but as a nanny, I want the first impression to be more of a professional, than as someone who will get down in the dirt and play with the kids. I think a business casual dresscode says that I'm educated, trained professional who is going to be able to handles structuring the children's lives.

2) You're going to be majorly handicapped by your other committments, so good luck!

Anonymous said...

I dont have a nanny sighting for you but I saw Spike Lee at the Short Hills Mall.

ble said...

I would defintely say, casual, but put together. Capris for summer, nice clean fitted tee. Keds. Something that looks decent and clean, but also as if you can get down and play with the kids.

ble said...

To questions #2: I'd hire you if I were in the market. I think the only thing that might nold you back a bit is that you are only available one year, but lots of families have short term, part time or shared nannies. Blessings on your search.

Anonymous said...

to the OP: I think pants or skirt is ok, if it is clean-cut and nice.
To the people who are being negative to the traveller: don't listen to their garbage. Plenty of people are residents at hospitals and only need care for a year or so before they move, etc. You will find the right match, you'll see. I think it's impressive that you have had such a rich life, and the naysayers are just jealous, probably! For them to speculate if you can "concentrate 100%" on a nanny job is just stupid.
You go, girl!! :)

Anonymous said...

OP #1- I go by the philosophy of wearing to the interview what you would wear to the nanny job. I personally think jeans are OK as long as you are wearing something like a polo shirt/nicer top. Capris would be fine too. If you wear a skirt it might be awkward if you want to get down and play with the kids. Go with pants.

Anonymous said...

#2 you sound like a scam...last month i had an apartment for rent in vermont..i put it on craigslist..and i got about 12 diffrent e-mails...from girls that want to take a year off ( from your country)....and need an aparment. questions like what bus is near ( ha ha we are in a town of 350 people ).it always ended up as a scam..( will send you money more than ask for and send rest to a friend )so i would never never hire you...sorry

Anonymous said...

To 3:05..I am not a scam and what do you mean "from your country"? I am from the United States.

For the rest of the you that left a post, I appreciate your comments, both positive and negative.

Anonymous said...

I would be concerned about a nanny who spent time in Africa. So many of them are infected with the HIV. Would you consent to be tested?

Anonymous said...

3:50PM, and 4PM: You sound like fucking racists. Not everyone that has been to Africa has HIV. "so many of them are infected with HIV"! What study do you base your conclusion on? It's as bad as saying that so many people from San Francisco have genital herpes. You are crazy!

Anonymous said...

3:50,
You sound pretty ignorant to me, and not very sensitive to people who travel from and to other countries. How are they to know about the bus system? It's a fair question. You sound like you are the type to never venture out of your own country so how would you know?
As far as scams on craigslist, there are a million scam artists on that site. I have read those types of ads from many different countries and even more stupid/scam ads from my own country (the U.S.) It has no bearing on this woman's post.
Talk about being judgemental...
And 4:00 could you be more racist?? Or more misinformed? You sound like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

4:07PM, I agree with you. These two idiots need to get a passport and get out more. They are probably smoking the same bigot joint.

Anonymous said...

I would not have a problem being tested for HIV/AIDS, or any other medical test. I am 100% healthy. But I do understand the concern expressed by some individuals about HIV/AIDS. However, it is important not to stereotype individuals such as in the 4PM post. With such assumptions, it would be easy to say that everyone who has done humanitarian aid in Africa (UNICEF, WHO, CDC) has HIV/AIDS. This is a huge falsehood. Individuals like myself go to Africa to help prevent the spread of disease, not to contract it ourselves. We do every thing in our power to ensure our safety. :)

Anonymous said...

Must we use the f word? I agree with everything else you said, but come on, we don't have to swear...

Anonymous said...

4:00 pm: Setting aside the idiocy of assuming that somebody who's spent time in West Africa has HIV, are you worried your nanny will sleep with and/or share needles with your children? You are aware of HIV transmission mechanisms, I assume.

Anonymous said...

If #2 was working in Public Health, it might occur to me that she was exposed to the hiv, either during her work or during extracurricular activities. That doesn't make me a racist.

I don't drink the water in Mexico, either.

Anonymous said...

4:06PM here. I am sorry if I offended you when I used the F word. I just hate bigots. Here is the cleaned up version:

3:50PM, and 4PM: You sound like racists. Not everyone that has been to Africa has HIV. "so many of them are infected with HIV"! What study do you base your conclusion on? It's as bad as saying that so many people from San Francisco have genital herpes. You are crazy!

ble said...

well said 421!

Yaya said...

1) I would wear a summer dress w/ a light cover-up jacket type thing so you're not showing too much skin. And don't wear too strappy of a sandal, just something simple.

2) I think you can find a job as a temp nanny, you should contact an agency in your area. Agencies love nannies willing to do temp work b/c then you can fill in for other nannies' sick or maternity leaves and the agency looks good that they found a replacement. I think your background and future ambitions are wonderful, but just to warn you, some parents don't like having a nanny who is smarter, or more wholesome, than themselves. I would sensor how much you talk about these ideals of yours to your potential bosses.

Anonymous said...

#1. Unless the children are school age, I would not wear a skirt. I have had moms tell me they would not consider a nanny who didn't get down on the floor with the children at the interview. I would wear light weight pants and a nice shirt, clean newish trainers, or ballet flats. Some very formal families might be impressed by someone in more business like attire. Those are not the families I want to work for, but it is something to take into consideration.
#2. A good possibility for you would be a family with a child who will be starting full days of school in a year. Most nannies would pass on a job that will only last one year. You have a very impressive background. It would be best not to say you have ten years of nanny experience. What you did at age 15 was babysitting, and that is fine. You will be more credible if you are clear about the difference.

Both of you: make sure your CPR certification is current, and good luck!
A Nanny

Anonymous said...

1.) When I recently went on an interview (and landed the job) I wore a nice pair of dark blue jeans, a fitted top, and a nice short sleeve pastel colored blazer over the top. My shoes were just flat dress style shoes (no heal) and I had my hair up in a pony tail with my bangs side swept. It was a nice cross between casual and professional...and even though I was dressed up a bit I was still comfortable and casual enough that when I did meet the children I was able to crawl around with the youngest and see all of his trains! :) My best advice is to go with the casual dressy look that is in right now. A short leave or 3/4 sleeve blazer and jeans, capris and a nice top...you get the idea. I probably wouldn't wear shorts or a skirt though...capris and dark blue denim jeans are more classy and suited for an interview involving children!

Anonymous said...

1. is a repeat of others but as an employer, I would look for a cleaned up version of what would be worn to the job. Jeans are fine as long as shirt is presentable and appropriate, and shoes the same idea. Shorts would be too casual, unless it was 100 degrees outside. I know if a candidate was wearing flip flops, for example, I would wonder if she would be active and running with my child or just watching from afar.

2. you sound like an amazing candidate with much energy and breadth of experiences to teach my child. I for one welcome diversity of child raising that comes from around the world. the constraints of your time commitment could be problematic for some employers, as others have mentioned. if you want to work with a family as a full time nanny for your interim time off why not go for it? the right family will find you.

Anonymous said...

to 7:53,
Agreed. A nice balance between dressy and casual. Nice jeans (or capris, as many people said and I prefer!) with a nice top, not too sexy, with a nice summer color. Not too much makeup of course, and sensible but stylish shoes.
Good luck! You will do great! :)

Anonymous said...

Some families need nannies if their kids are on a waiting list for a preschool or daycare. For instance, if they are a toddler and their parent wants to put them in a preschool at age 2.9, they may need short term (a year or less) care.
There is a situation for everyone, and a nanny for every situation.

knl said...

1) I honestly do not see the problem with a nice pair of shorts or capris - not too short, not denim and not something you would wear to the gym. Then again, I have a large tattoo on my leg that I like to make a family aware of from the beginning incase they have a problem with it. Of course, "club wear" would be completely inappropriate.
2) I think your background and experience is wonderful, especially in today's society when exposure to many cultures is a necessity.

As a Side Note: I do not understand why ALL employers do not request their nannies get a full medical examination, along with testing for HIV/AIDS and similar disease that could be transmitted if say, the nanny cuts her finger. After all, we are taught in CPR/First Aid classes to "assume everyone has HIV/Aids", and daycares require workers to wear gloves when changing diapers.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the HIV, most people don't realise that their is a killer strain of the HIV that kills people within 6 months.

Not THIS said...

I appreciate that Annie would dress nicely, but what I am looking for when I interview a nanny is someone who will be on the floor playing with my children-in the playroom and in the grass.

I would be a fan of anything neat and crisp. Lite makeup and functional hair.

As for #2,it sounds to me like you are looking for a filler job. I agree that there may be a family that is looking for someone like you but given your lack of experience with any ongoing nanny experience, I would consider you as a temporary nanny only.

Lorenza said...

ble,
I am really enjoying my summer sandal Keds! They look great too!

jill said...

to the poster who wants to know how to dress for her job interview. Know your audience. If the woman works in fashion, take it up a few notches. If you are interviewing with a father, the operative words are tight and tighter.

nanny b said...

I like Jill's comment (although, I have to be sexist for a moment and ask, who ever interviews with just the father?) and it's completely true, you need to know your audience.

I get the impression that a great deal of the commentor's for this post are SAHMs. If you're interviewing for a SAHM, her concern is going to be more that you will actively play with her kids, so by all means dress like you can immediately run around a playground for 3 hours.

If, however, you're interviewing for a family where the dad travels 180 days out of the year and the mom works 7-7, then they want to know that you can meet with the caterers, the kid's teachers, the trophy wives of their kid's friends, the tutors, fix the computer when it's on the fritz, know who to call when the toilet breaks, put together a proper cheese plate, organize the PTA meeting so the mom can show up and look like she did it all, AND THEN play for 3 hours in the park . . . well, you'd best dress like your outfit cost $1000, because you should be paid even more per week.

Deborah said...

#1) As others have said, wear something that's a step above what you'd wear to work, but make sure you can get down and play with the kids if neccessary when interviewing.

#2) I think your best bet would be to look for temp work, even a long term "temp nanny" position. Most families seem to want a long-term commitment, and you can't give that to them.

Good luck to you both!

Anonymous said...

To 9:46
I'd be afraid to hire you as you seem like the type that would have an affair with hubby. Bad Nanny!
As for proper attire ... I know that most potential employers want to see you get down on the floor with their kids and watch how you interact with them during the interview, and wearing a tight outfit will NOT be that accomodating!

Anonymous said...

hi, i'm the nanny needing advice about clothes. i'm working in a country where..it's less demanding than the US- meaning not a lot of activities (of course the pay is lower as well- averaging 8 euro per hour and tax is more than 30%).

Thanks for the good advice. I'm going to wear jeans, a simple top ,flats and a casual blazer/jacket

Anonymous said...

Isn't 8 euro equal to $16 American?

Anonymous said...

10:01 ... sounds great! Good luck! Let us know if you got the job or not.

Housewife said...

1. No clue

2. If something went horribly wrong and I had to hire someone to care for my kids, you'd be the one!

Wow.

Anonymous said...

the killer strain of aids was a very bad and very fictional episode of law and order. wise up.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the comments for 3:50pm and 4:00pm. Both of you sound like uppity white rich Biotches,,,,Stupid, ignorant of the world around you and you probably still think you can HIV from shaking hands,, you are so stupid and ignorant..

I am a white female that lived and worked in Haiti for a year over 15 years ago, I worked in Mother Teresa's home for sick and dying children and was exposed to TB every single day. The children I cared for as a volunteer had everything from HIV to TB to malnutrition. I never contracted ANY diseases nor did I get HIV.

I have also vacationed in Ghana as my husband is African, Ghana is one of the cleanest African countries you can come across. A person who is working there in the Public health field, an American for that matter, is not going to be putting herself into a situation to contracted HIV, I am sure she is not having unprotected sex or using IV needles there.

You cannot contract HIV from casual contact, get your head out of your rich ass and educate yourself, it is scary to think that you are a mother,, God only knows what kind of stupidity you are teaching your children.....

You obviously know nothing about Africa so don't comment about it..

For the OP the Nanny looking for work, you don't need to work for these kind of racist uppity materialistic white people. Your education can get you a much better temp job doing something much better than caring for these stupid people's children. I feel sorry that these children are growing up with such backward ass parents who still think that you can contract HIV or other diseases from just being in a particular country..