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When interviewing and hiring a nanny, should I meet the nanny in person or can I interview and hire the nanny over the telephone?

NannyNetwork.com recommends interviewing a nanny in person, if at all possible. The success rate is usually higher when the nanny and family meet face to face in the employer's home. The ideal situation would be to have the nanny spend a weekend with the family before an offer is extended.

Many families interview nannies in other parts of the country. Flying the candidates in for a personal interview becomes an expensive proposition. NannyNetwork.com recommends that the family and the nanny prepare for the telephone interview, working up a well thought out list of questions, concerns and issues. Any experienced, established agency should be able to supply the family and nanny with the guidelines necessary to evaluate the candidate and position. Families should receive an extensive profile of each candidate, including everything from thoroughly screened references to personal essays that describe the candidate's background and personality traits, from the agency prior to the telephone interview. All of this information should give the hiring family a clear picture of the candidate being considered.

Families doing telephone interviewing are advised to describe the job in detail. The nanny should know exactly what is expected of her on a daily basis. Ask a lot of questions, the more the better. Frankly, the nanny should have several questions of her own as clarification - these questions help establish a mutual understanding. Don't be too hasty; more than one conversation may be necessary before you make your final decision. If all the right steps are taken, the over-the-phone placement can be just as successful as hiring a nanny you meet. Remember, open communication will always be the key to success.

Families considering an online nanny service will want to be sure there is guidance available on conducting the nanny interview from the online service. 4nannies.com has a particulary extensive list of suggested interview questions, as well as online training for conducting an interview.

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