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  • Writer's pictureYaya Middle East

Preparing for Your Nanny Interview: 7 Crucial Questions to Know

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Congratulations on securing the nanny job interview! It's a praiseworthy achievement. Naturally, facing an interview can bring a mix of excitement and nerves, irrespective of how experienced you are. The key is to be well-prepared. By anticipating and practicing responses to potential tough questions, you'll navigate the process more confidently. So, which challenging queries might you encounter?

Nanny at her interview

Question 1: Tell us about your background and values.

Insight: Families in the Middle East place great emphasis on trustworthiness and integrity. Highlight experiences and values that resonate with those ideals. Discuss your principles, your skills, and relevant positive attributes. Remember, you'll be spending time in their home, and trust is paramount.

Question 2: Why are you looking for a new position?

Advice: It's crucial to frame your reasons positively, especially if the departure was due to conflicts or differences. Instead of delving into specifics, you can provide a broader perspective. For instance, "I felt it was time to move on to find new challenges and opportunities. I want to grow and help more families with their kids." This showcases your proactive mindset and commitment to professional development without dwelling on any negative past experiences.

Question 3: What challenges have you faced in past roles and how did you handle them?

Insight: This question probes at your ability to handle stressful situations. You might highlight instances where you had to quickly adapt to a family's specific routines or customs, ensuring you met their expectations while providing quality care. Emphasize your flexibility, respect for the family's directions, and your dedication to the children's well-being. Remember, it's not about challenging the family's methods but about how you've seamlessly integrated and added value within the given parameters.

Question 4: What are your weaknesses?

Insight: Answering this question requires a delicate balance between acknowledging genuine areas for improvement and emphasizing dedication to the role. Here's a suggested response: "I'm deeply dedicated to my work and always prioritize the family's needs. Sometimes, I struggle to set personal boundaries because of this commitment. For instance, even after a hectic week, if the family needs me on the weekend, I find it challenging to decline, even though I might need a rest day." This answer reflects your strong commitment to the family's well-being without painting you in a negative light. It also hints at the importance of understanding each other's boundaries for a successful working relationship.

Question 5: What are your salary expectations?

Advice: Rather than just quoting a figure, link your expected salary to your skills, experience, and the unique offerings you bring to the role. Additionally, to ensure transparency and avoid potential misunderstandings down the line, specify if your expectation includes or excludes additional allowances. You might add, "This rate is exclusive of other allowances. I would also need provisions for food, transportation, etc." Being clear from the outset about all aspects of your compensation will foster a more harmonious relationship with potential employers and reduce the chance of disagreements later on.

Question 6: How flexible is your schedule?

Advice: Your schedule is important, not only for the family but for your own well-being too. When discussing your hours, be upfront about the times you're available. In the Middle East, families might sometimes need help unexpectedly or come back late from work or outings. It's essential to think about whether you can adjust your timings occasionally for such instances. If you're living with the family, you might be more available, but if you're living outside, you'll have to manage your timings and transport. Before saying 'yes' to a job, think about how often you might need to change your schedule and if you're okay with it. Also, it may be good to ask, "If I work more hours than usual, will there be extra pay?" Knowing this ahead of time helps avoid misunderstandings later.

Question 7: How do you handle discipline when looking after children?

Advice: Discipline is a sensitive subject, and every family has its preferences. It's crucial to always prioritize understanding the child's feelings and motivations. If a child acts out, taking a moment to understand the reason can be more effective than immediate reprimand. Offer alternatives to their behavior by guiding them towards positive actions. For instance, if they're throwing toys, suggest a calming activity like drawing. Make sure you're familiar with the family's discipline guidelines and always act in line with them. During the interview, it's a good idea to discuss with the parents about their discipline preferences. Asking questions like, "How do you prefer I handle challenging behavior?" shows your genuine interest and can create a harmonious working environment.

Bonus Tip: How would you handle questions about your personal life or background?

Advice: Given that many nannies in the Middle East live in the same household as the families they work for, it's not uncommon to be asked personal questions. When addressing such inquiries, it's crucial to answer as much as you're comfortable with. Sharing aspects of your personal life can foster trust and help build a strong working relationship with the family. However, if there are details you're hesitant to disclose, try to frame your response in a way that is both respectful and understanding of the family's concerns. Remember, open communication is key, and it's always essential to establish mutual trust and respect from the beginning.

Remember, each family is unique. While preparing for these questions, ensure you tailor your responses to the specific family's needs and situation. Also, take some time to prepare your own questions tailored to the families specific needs and situation. Not only will this show your genuine interest, but it will also reflect positively in the interview. Building rapport and trust will pave the way for a fulfilling working relationship.

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