Becoming a nanny can be very exciting, whether you find one of these world traveling jobs on your own or with the assistance of an agency. If you want to be sure you get the job, there are a few things you should keep in mind when interviewing with a family. Here are some tips to help you get that great nanny position.
- Have a portfolio. Preparing a binder or portfolio is an excellent way to organize and present your certifications and child care experience. For instance, daycare workers often have training certificates they can include. A three-ring binder with clear plastic page protectors is one easy way to display your certificates. Make sure to use some kind of organization, rather than just stuffing them all in. Keep the portfolio neat and tidy, since it will be going with you to every interview.
- Do your research. After you have scheduled an interview, it is a good idea to email or call to ask a few basic questions, including the details of the position and the ages of the children. Know the basics before the interview and you will look better informed. You will also have a better idea going in if a position is right for you or not.
- Do not forget appearance. Unfortunately, we still judge a lot on looks, and in a nanny position, you will need to look your best. Dress appropriately, but not too formally—business attire is an excellent choice. Do not be too flashy. Nanny positions generally prefer a relatively conservative look.
That means that lots of makeup or jewelry, unusually colored hair, or body modifications should be avoided or concealed. Some families will be okay with more unusual looks, but others will want you to look very professional. Even if your skills are top of the line, appearance still matters for applicants looking for traveling nanny jobs.
- Be confident. Meeting the family can be stressful, but it does not have to be a bad experience. Just follow a few basic rules. Make eye contact and shake hands firmly with the person greeting you, but do not turn it into a hand-shaking contest. Introduce yourself to both parents, as well as their children, since the kids are your main priority. Make sure your first meeting with the children is a good one—they should all have good first impressions of you.
Once the interview starts, stay confident, but be honest. If you do not want to cook as a nanny, let them know. Everyone wants their nanny to be honest. Make eye contact and show enthusiasm and interest in the job, and make it clear that you love children.
- Remember to ask questions. You are not the only one who is going to be asked questions. You will need to ask about job details as well. Now is the time to ask about hours, wages, benefits, and rules of the home. Find out about allergies or medical conditions, rules for contact outside the house, and other information you might not know right away. Asking questions allows you to know that this is the right job for you, and ensures that the family knows you are interested in the job. It will also help avoid misunderstandings down the road.
- Do not forget to follow up. Once the interview is finished, thank the family for their time, and say you hope to hear from them soon. However, you should not stop there. Send a thank you note or an email to follow up. This is polite, shows the family you are ready to be their nanny, and reminds them of your interview. You may have to have more than one interview before getting the job, so be willing to arrange this since it is the key to getting the position.
Remember that you probably do not have the same parenting beliefs and methods as the family, even if you get along well. You and the parents will not have the same responses in a situation. The majority of parents know this. You will also probably find yourself sounding like your parents more than you think. Do not be surprised by this; it is normal.
To be a great nanny, you must be able to bond with the children. Look for common ground and be their friend. The entire experience will better both of you. You will need to be understanding of the children and their parents without taking one side or the other. Try to stay a step ahead and exceed expectations. Doing little extra things will help you get a good reference and will make your family happy. Little things like doing laundry early or making a good dinner can help you become indispensable.