I interviewed a nanny by phone twice before asking her to come to our home. When she came to our house, she smelled like ethnic food. I was sure she was the one until that. I couldn't handle that.
These are the nannies that didn't get my job:
-the nanny who arrived dressed like she was interning for Vogue. Cute and stylish, but not what I am looking for in a nanny.
-the nanny who was accompanied to our house by her boyfriend. I felt uncomfortable having to accommodate him while I interviewed her and he generally just gave me a strange vibe.
-the nanny who asked how much our apartment cost.
-the nanny who wore sweatpants
-the nanny who told me that she would be teaching my child Spanish
-the nanny who within five minutes of meeting our daughter brought out her cell phone and asked to take a picture.
I know this might sound shallow but I have specific requirements for my nanny and being a NYC mother, the ability to take my children out
in the stroller and just walk is one of them. I didn't hire the nanny who wore the custom orthotics and I didn't hire the nanny who wore flip flops and had thick green & yellow toenails.
Namedroppers! I don't care who you know or who your former charge took ballet with or who you interviewed with yesterday. It's elementary interviewing to focus on your potential employer.
This nanny seemed like the perfect nanny. She met me for an interview at a coffee shop near my Wall Street office. There was a lot of traffic through the coffee shop, largely a male presence. There was something about this nanny. She was attractive but had a very sexual energy. I picked up on the way the men would notice and respond to her. It wasn't a jealous type thing, I just couldn't envision sending my children out to lunch or a museum with her having witnessed the response she elicited from men.
What stands out for me in my lifetime of interviewing nannies is the nanny who made herself comfortable on our davenport and began to launch into stories of her horrible childhood. She shared these stories in relation to why she wouldn't do this or that to any child, but her experience made me very apprehensive.
I had an interview with a nanny with great references and a four year degree. I asked her what she had been doing for the past 14 months, there was a hole in her job chronology. She explained that she went through a rough period after her mother died, got addicted to heroin and did two stints in rehab. I applauded her honesty but I just couldn't see leaving my 14 month old child with her!!!
Tact is a big thing. I offer everyone who comes to our house tea, coffee or juice. This particular nanny asked if she could get 'a sandwich or some soup or something'.
I asked the nanny what she thought after we spoke for a half hour in our living room. The nanny said, "it seems good, but I think I would need to see the place first". I asked her what she wanted to see and she said, "the house where I will be working". And I say, "this is it." She leans in and says, "Mam, I need to see the basics of your house to see if your children have the tools required for me to be successful in this position." The comment pissed me off. I gave her a tour of the house. When we said goodbye, she told me, "I am pleased to see your children have books and no televisions in their room. I don't like the GI Joe toys and there is a lot of clutter." I'm pretty sure she said more. I didn't hire her. Just the thought of her annoys me as I type this.
I had taken to interviewing nannies at the park with my children. This was a great set up because it protected our home environment. The parks are often crowded so connecting with my target was not always easy. One afternoon I was distracted by a nanny wearing a stylish 2 piece velour track suit. She had so much cellulite, it almost looked like her trousers were packed with grapes. Having watched her from every angle on the playground, I just couldn't get past it. I know that probably makes me sound shallow.
I can tell you why I don't give most nannies the job. I interview by phone first. And then I have the Nanny come to our home. 8/10 times the nannies will bitch and moan about the commute. Dealbreaker!
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