Sunday

Advice Needed for Interview

opinion 1 I have an interview on Wednesday, and I was hoping to get some advice. The job is to take care of a 3 year old and a 5 year old, some child related housekeeping and cooking. Most of my experience is with babies and toddlers, but I have taken care of older kids. There is only one other candiate for this job besides me, and I really need and want this job. The hours are 8:30-5:30 Monday-Friday with Thursdays mornings off sometimes. Also, it would be the most money I have ever gotten. I would be their 4th nanny, the others left to pursue their careers (the last one was studying to be a nurse). And the dad works from home. The older one goes to year round kindergarden all day and the younger one goes to preschool two mornings a week. They would pay even when they don't use me... and paid vacations, which are new to me.

20 comments:

need more info said...

What specifically are you looking for advice in? Do you usually do well in interviews?

OP said...

I usually do ok in them, I just really want to get this job. I was wondering what could make me stand out over the other candidate. Thanks.

Advice said...

Dress professionally for the interview. I had a lot of people show up in holey jeans and a tshirt. Dress nicely for the interview to be taken seriously.

STLnanny said...

If the kids are there during the interview, try to make a connection with them right then and there.

MONKEYSHINES said...

when the mom is not looking flirt with the dad, give him a couple of looks and smile!

MONKEYSHINES said...

forgot to add
Dad works at home kids in school!
You got it made!

OP said...

Haha Monkeyshines. I hope the dad stays in his office all the time. If he is creepy, I am not going to take the job.

Good luck said...

Agree with the above advice, and will add...if the kids are there, introduce yourself, comment positively on something they're doing and ask a simple question. Smile a lot. Be able to offer activity suggestions for how to keep the kids busy. If you have experience working alongside stay at home or work at home parents, be prepared to indicate how you managed that (as far as keeping the kids busy so they don't bother mom or dad)

Nanny Sarah said...

Do your research- what type of activities will the children be into? Ask questions at the interview- it will tell them you are interested.

Good Luck!!!

nycmom said...

Things that matter to me during interviewing nannies for my older kids:

-be on time! I cannot stress this enough. Arrive on time, dress normal, and be prepared.
-making an effort to at least say hello to the kids.
-do not go over the top and try to be the kids' best friend during the first interview. Older dc take longer to warm up ime.
-if you don't have formal experience with this age group, convince me why you are interested in working with them. Every nanny I have had who was great with babies/toddlers has not been as great with older kids.
-ask any questions you have about the job description. If I say I need someone who is willing to do light housekeeping, be honest with yourself as to whether that is something you are willing to do. If yes, specifically address any job duties outside of childcare and tell me if/why you are okay with them (cooking, laundry, errands, etc).
-have references. Come prepared with a list of your references and encourage me to call. Make sure they are expecting my call.
-if I bring up CPR/First Aid training and you do not yet have it, convince me you see the value in doing the training (which I would of course pay for and pay for your time!). If you have the training, bring your certificates.
-ask some questions. This is your chance to interview us too. Don't simply nod, smile and say everything looks good. Show me you care that the job is a good fit on both sides. If you take a job that isn't a good fit, we both know it won't work. So, PLEASE, ask questions and raise any large concerns.
-also use judgment. Don't ask about silly details or push on money too much. Don't give me a list of all the things you WON'T do. Really, if it's a bad fit, finish the interview and say no. If we are both pleased with the first interview, I would definitely do a follow-up where we can iron out small things.
-at the end of the interview, if you remain interested, make that clear. Ask when we should talk again (after I check references) and follow-up.

Good Luck! Hope my rambling was not too much detail : )

Nanny Ada said...

Last July I relocated and had 3 interviews for nanny jobs and was offered all 3. I think what made me stand out to these families was a couple different things. #1-Confidence. Even though I only had about 1.5 years experience in full-time nannying, I am totally confident in my ability to take great care of children and help out the family in the ways they need me. #2- I am a little picky, which is why I agreed to the interview. I stated flat out that I wasn't just looking for any old job. I wanted a good fit for both parties and not just the biggest paycheck. Letting them know there were specific things I was looking for - parents who agreed we all needed to be a team, paid holidays, a feeling of being "part of the family" not just the "hired help", 40-50hrs a week of work, and my pay to be on the books - showed them that I take my job seriously. Since each job had all those things, I explained how I could be a good fit for them and how they could be a good fit for me. #3- I showed up on time and was myself. Being punctual, genuine, and sincere showed that I value those traits.

Hope it works out for you!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

nycmom..I loved your laundry list of ideas for the interview. The only thing I disagree with is the money part. I think it is a wise idea to discuss rate of pay in depth during the interview as opposed to later on. Why so? Because after the initial interview, the prospective family will call your references and perform a background check on you. If all comes out well and they hire you, it would be a shame if both parties were on a totally different page regarding salary. I have had parents chastise me for bringing up rate either on the phone prior to my interview or even during the interview! I highly stress that I think we both should feel comfortable on rate before we proceed with other things. This is a business deal and business dealings are based on money, right?
You don't want to exhaust your references and have multiple background checks performed on you, etc...on a job where you are unhappy with pay. I have read many posts on this blog about unhappy nannies and a lot of the time it is regarding pay.
So I think pay should be discussed ASAP. Ideally before you agree to a personal meeting. You don't want to drive across town for a job that pays much less than what you had in mind. Where I live now (CA) gas prices are through the roof ($4.00/gal) and it is not a good idea for one to be driving all over town on a Nanny's salary.

Rebecca said...

Leave them with as great a final impression as your first impression. At the interview for my last job - which I have had for five years now - as I got up and shook the hands of the parents, I looked them both in the eye and said with a ton of confidence, "If you hire me you will not be disappointed. I have made a deep commitment and lasting emotional connection to every child I have ever worked with."
They formally hired me days later. My employer told me later that it was my exit line that won her over.
Good luck!

nycmom said...

JMTC - I totally agree. I was not clear. I always address the salary range and general schedule on the phone screening. I was just suggesting the nanny not try to nickle and dime on the final number during the in-person first interview. For example, I've heard stories of nannies told ahead of time the hourly rate was $15 who then bring up at the first interview that they could never work for $15 and need at least $17/hr. That would turn me right off and I would not proceed with this nanny.

Village said...

First, dress professionally. I would suggest a white oxford shirt with khakis, and flat shoes, preferably boat shoes. I think preppy makes a great first impression. No jewelry at all, except a watch, if you wear one. No earrings for sure, and minimal makeup. A fresh face with lip gloss would be best.

I wouldn't carry a luggage sized purse. Small is better. Cell phone turned off, of course. No calls or interruptions. No perfume.

Now, the interview. Look at the parent in the eyes when you answer. If Mom asks, look at her while you answer. If Dad, asks, look at him. Don't do any smiling at Dad. Just smile at Mom. Don't tell them you haven't taken care of children the ages of their children. Tell them you are proficient in all ages.

If you can, suss out where the power lies in the relationship. I'm guessing Mom since Dad works from home. When in doubt, give most attention to the Mom. If Mom seems to be dismissing Dad in the interview, then follow suit. Attention on the Mom.

If they ask about your type of child care, emphasize engaging children in play, giving them either/or choices so they don't get overwhelmed, quiet correction down at their level, and incorporating all the needs of the parents.

If there is one thing to get across, it's that you want to do things the way the parents want things done. You believe in following the lead of the parents so there is consistency in the children's lives.

Good luck, and don't give off a vibe of wanting the job too much. Keep it kind, matter of fact.

OP said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful advice. The mom called me today (before it was time for my interview) and said that they had offered the job to the girl they interviewed yesterday but she hadn't said yes yet, so they would still love to meet me. Then she called a little while later saying she needed to move it to tomorrow because she forgot about a dinner she had to go to tonight. Also she will call me if the other girl says yes. So there is a slim chance I will even get it. But I have all this wonderful advice for my next interview! Thanks again.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP I would consider it a HUGE blessing if this family does not hire you. Trust me on this. The woman sounds inconsiderate, flaky and dishonest to me. I am sure she did not "forget" a dinner date, this excuse is so generic I am disgusted she couldn't come up with anything better. Also, how rude of her to think you will just stand by and wait around while the first potential nanny makes up her mind about accepting the job or not. Even if you were hired, how would you feel knowing you were Plan B??
I would move on and keep looking.
By the way, many families I have met on craigslist do this to me. Is this where you met the family?? Sounds too familiar to me...LOL. I was just curious.................

OP said...

More updating. I did go to their house on Thursday, had a great interview, they hadn't heard from the other woman, and they would let me know either way on Friday. Friday morning they email saying they heard from the other woman and she said yes, so they are going with her. Oh well. I found them on care.com. Yeah, I wish she had not offered it to the other woman before even interviewing me. No worries. Something better will come along.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I wholeheartedly agree OP that she should not have asked you to interview until she heard back from the other potential nanny. After all, it is YOUR time and gas. She should have only interviewed with you if she was still actively searching for a nanny. It seems her mind was already made up on the other girl when you interviewed with them, so I would say the odds were definitely not stacked in your favor.
I haven't had the greatest luck on Care.com. Have you tried sittercity.com?
Anyway, again, this woman sounds like she is not very respectful of nannies in general and count it as a blessing that she hired the other girl. When one door closes, another one has to open, right? There is a better family awaiting you. Good Luck in finding them. :)

OP said...

I have tried sittercity, haven't found much there. I have found great jobs and awful jobs on care, so it is a mixed bag. I ordered business cards and gave them to some families I do some temp work for sometimes to give to their friends. Hopefully something will come from that.