Tag Archives: interviewing a nanny

Your Nanny and Social Media

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We live in an age where social media seems to permeate every facet of society. These days, most people have not only a Facebook account, but also Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and the-list-goes-on accounts with which to share every picture, activity, thought, story, and recipe idea. And your nanny is unlikely to be an exception!

Social media, while fun and engaging, can also be risky.  And while we all have different ideas about what we consider acceptable to post online, by sharing snippets of her day, your nanny could inadvertently share your child(ren)’s whereabouts, living situation, schedules and/or photos with strangers. In order to avoid a situation that can be (at best) uncomfortable and (at worst) dangerous, it is important for parents to be aware of your nanny’s social media presence and to discuss expectations and rules regarding social media use.

Before the interview:

  • It’s never a bad idea to look up potential hires on various social media sites to see what they’re doing and saying in a non-professional atmosphere. (NannyTrack can do this for you, too!) If you notice a candidate tweets or posts excessively and/or too candidly for your taste, follow your instincts and move on to another candidate. If possible, take this step before wasting valuable time interviewing someone who you know from their online presence isn’t going to be a match—joking tweets about careless driving? Nope!
  • Figure out where you stand on social media use and your nanny. Would you like to be a Facebook friend or Instagram follower, for example, of your nanny so you can monitor her use of the various social platforms? Or do you feel this creates a familiarity you’re not comfortable with? 

During the interview:

  • We suggest a straightforward approach: Tell your potential nanny exactly what is and isn’t okay to share on social media when it comes to the job. No pictures, stories, tweets, etc. about your children, at all, ever? State that, explicitly, rather than assume your nanny knows what you consider proper social media etiquette.  Some parents go farther, and ask their nanny to sign a social media contract declaring that she understands and acknowledges the rules, or incorporate this into a broader employment contract.  Here at NannyTrack, we always encourage parents to use caution and this is no exception.  Having a written agreement signed by both parties is an excellent way to avoid future misunderstandings.
  • The interview is also a good time to make clear to any potential nanny that time dedicated to caring for your children should not instead be spent using social media (whether it’s about your children or not).

Going forward:

  • Be sure to stay proactive, even after you’ve decided on a nanny! Check in on her social media accounts periodically to make sure she’s following the agreed-upon rules.

 P.S. If you’d like to see what we’re Tweeting and Facebooking about, follow us online!

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THE NANNY INTERVIEW: HOW TO PREPARE

Interviewing doesn’t come naturally to all of us—if you’re not a journalist, a lawyer, or an investigator (or simply love playing sleuth!), it may feel awkward and uncomfortable to quiz someone you’ve just met about the details of their work and education history. But when the time comes to find the perfect nanny for your child , questions need to be asked, and chances are you’ll be the one doing the asking.  Follow our tips and rest assured you’ll soon be interviewing like a pro:

  1. Be prepared.

A quick Google search will help you locate sample questionnaires or job applications (including this one on our site). Either have your candidate fill out an application/questionnaire and send it to you in advance, or simply select questions that are most important to you to ask during the interview. Make sure you have a hard copy of all the questions you want to ask- it’s easy to forget when you’re in the middle of an interview!

To get you started, we love this very comprehensive list of questions compiled by Helen Moon (The “Baby Nurturer”).

 

  1. Think of the interview as a “get to know you” session, not an inquisition. 

Remember, even though you are the employer, you and your nanny will be working as a team to give your child the best possible environment and care. It’s hard for anyone to present themselves honestly when they feel nervous or attacked. If you can help your candidate feel at ease she’s more likely to answer honestly (even if those answers aren’t the ones you want to hear.)  Framing the interview like this will also help you to relax, listen, and focus on your candidate’s answers so you can ask the follow-up questions that count.

 

  1. Silence is your friend.

As uncomfortable as it might feel, you need to give your candidate the time and space to answer your questions.  If her résumé shows a gap and you ask, “What were you doing between March 2010 and April 2011?” make sure she answers without any help. Don’t be afraid to ask simple questions and wait for an explanation.  Listening is just as important as asking.

 

  1. Review dates carefully.

We like to think of this as “reading between the lines”.  If you see any gaps on your candidate’s résumé or application, make sure to ask what she was doing during this period. Gaps aren’t necessarily negatives, but it’s important to know why they occurred and what didn’t make it onto the résumé. Oh, and remember those follow-up questions we mentioned? Make sure you ask your candidate to clarify any answers you don’t understand. It’s in both of your best interests to get the information right.

 

  1. Make notes.

If you can, jot down your candidate’s answers during the course of the interview.  If you find this too distracting or difficult, then make sure you take a few minutes after your candidate leaves to focus and write down everything you remember, including your overall impressions of the candidate and gut feelings about the interaction you just had. If you are conducting the interview along with a partner or spouse, it can be helpful for each of you to do this separately for reference before you discuss your impressions with one another.

 

  1. Don’t worry.

Above all, try not to worry. Remember, you won’t be making a decision by the end of the interview, and you owe it to yourself and your child to be thorough. It’s far better to ask the tough questions now, rather than later if things aren’t going well. If you approach the interview with a spirit of respect and professionalism, a solid candidate will understand and appreciate your interest and level of commitment to the process.