When you hire a nanny, in many cases you are hiring someone who will eventually become a person who is regarded as an extended family member. Because of this, it is essential to make sure that this person fits into the general family culture. It is also imperative that he or she has personality traits that you are willing for your children to emulate. You have a short period of time to initially get to know the candidates you are interviewing, therefore you need to ask questions that will quickly enlighten you regarding their personalities; here are a few questions for you to consider:
- How would you describe your personality? – We don’t often see ourselves as others see us, but it is still good to ask the question and get an idea of how the applicants view themselves. Answers to other questions in the interview will either support their view or show you a different side.
- Share a humorous story from your last position. – Does the person have a sense of humor? If so, what kind? The story that’s chosen and the comments about it can be telling. If you are a fairly good judge of character, you should be able to tell if the person is telling a story from a place of genuine caring, sarcasm, self-deprecation, or if it’s in poor taste, etc. What the candidate finds humorous can tell you a lot about them.
- What is the most upsetting thing that has happened to you as a nanny and how did you handle it? – The answer may reveal whether the person has a positive, proactive type of disposition or another, less desirable type. There will be upsetting things that come up and various personality types will deal with the situations differently.
- How do you work within a team? – Working within a family is, in essence, working within a team. A nanny should have excellent leadership skills and at the same time be able to be a good team player. People with more independent personalities who are not able to work well with others can be challenging when it comes to differing opinions. You need to be able to present a united front with your nanny when it comes to managing life with your children.
- If we/I did or said something that you honestly could not agree with, what would you do? – This may sound like a trick question, but you need to know that your nanny is willing to ask questions and be bold enough to respectfully disagree with you at times. It is okay to agree to disagree. A person who is unwilling to stand up for what they believe is right is not necessarily the person you want as a role model for your children.
- Do you have any hobbies? – Hobbies can say a lot about a person beyond their creativity. Introverts may do a lot of reading while extroverts are more into team sports. Is the person adventurous? An avid volunteer may be very compassionate while someone who has a unique hobby may be eccentric in a good way.
- Do you have any pets? – Not to stereotype, but there does seem to be a certain personality type attached to the type of pet a person has, especially when it comes to cats and dogs. Dog people have a tendency to be more team players and willing to work within groups. Cat people are often more independent and like to take positions of authority. But, those things aside, if a person can take care of a pet it’s a good sign that they are open to caring for others.
- Do you prefer to make the rules or follow them? – A person who has confidence to step into a role of authority is a rule maker. Chances are, a nanny of this persuasion will work alongside you with raising the kids and will be able to deal with most situations without your counsel. A follower can be in a role of authority as well, the difference is that a nanny of this type will probably look to you more for leadership and the handling of tough situations.
- What would you like to be doing five years from now? – A question such as this can give you a little insight into where the person’s aspirations lie. You may have to draw out some information and ask other questions along with it, like if they have any plans for further schooling or travel, etc.
- What about your personality makes you well suited for this position? – People choose jobs for a variety of reasons. Asking this particular question allows the candidate to tell you how their personality type is a good match for the position. Not every personality is suited for childcare.
Learning about the personality of potential nannies is vital because this person is going to become a part of your family. Their personality will have a direct impact on your children, and the time spent with your children will influence your children’s views and behaviors. It is critical that the person hired to watch over your child has the qualities that you would like your child to follow.