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What should I ask during the interview?

When you conduct an in-person interview with a nanny, make sure the situation is comfortable for her.  If she is not comfortable, she will not be able to show her true personality, which is key to determine if she is the right one for you.  For example, ask her if she would like some water when she arrives, and open with a question which is easy to answer, such as

 ‘So tell me, how long have you been in Dubai and why did you decide to move here for work?’

What questions you should ask, depends on what qualities you are looking for in your nanny.  Here is a list of examples, but make sure you pick relevant ones, and focus on those rather than asking as many questions as possible.  Please also ask follow up questions if there is something in her answers that you would like to hear more about.

Examples for intro questions

  • So tell me, when did you come to Dubai and why did you decide to come here for work?
  • You have any family here in Dubai? How would you typically spend your days off?
  • You have any kids of your own? How old are they?

Interview questions:

  • In your previous family, tell me what a typical day would look like for you?
  • What is the reason you are looking to change to a new family?
  • How flexible are you in terms of sometimes working on your day-off, and compensating by taking another day off?
  • How would you typically entertain kids when you are playing with them?  Do you have any activities you like to do, songs you like to sing, etc. Maybe you can give some examples of how you entertained the children in your previous family.
  • Do you have experience making baby food / toddler food?  Can you give some examples of recipes you typically would cook for kids?
  • Do you prefer to get a list of all the tasks to do around the house, or are you okay with figuring it out by yourself and then I will give feedback along the way?
  • Have you even been in an emergency situation with a child, and how did you handle it?  For example a child choking, or running a high fever when parents were not home.
  • Was there any tasks or situations in your previous family that you had issues with?
  • Have you ever worked with children who were picky eaters, and if yes, how did you handle that?
  • Have you ever worked with kids who were very attached to their mum, how did you build trust with the child to make him/her accept you?
  • Did you ever feel that your previous employer was asking unreasonable things of you, or asking too much of you?  How did you handle that situation? 
  • Are you okay to take your holiday when we take our holiday, or do you have specific times of the year where you like to go home?

Good questions to end the interview on:

  • What kind of family do you wish to work for?
  • Do you have any questions for me/us?

Another thing that we have experienced is working really well, is ‘reversed references’.  If you find a perfect nanny but she has offers from multiple families, you can ask her to reach out to your previous maid/nanny (if you had one), to ask how it really is to work for your family.

Good luck with your interview process!