Interviewing Tips for Nanny and Family
Probably 90% of all screening is done via the telephone. If
you're working with an agency, let them do as much of this as
possible. However, here are a few phone skills that should help
THAT CRUCIAL FIRST IMPRESSION!
First impressions are lasting impressions. Thats why the
first moments you spend on the phone are critical. Here are a few
key points to keep in mind:
1. Answer the phone quickly enough.
"Quickly enough" is generally within 30 seconds.
Surveys indicate the phone can ring that long before people begin
to get anxious. Surprisingly answering "too quickly"
can also make callers uneasy. A general rule is to answer on the
second ring. This "buffer" period gives people a
moment to get settled & collect their thoughts before
2. What are your first words?
A friendly greeting, such as "Good morning" is a
pleasant way to start a conversation. If thats your
approach, be sure to follow immediately with your name & the
purpose of your call.
3. Speak clearly & naturally.
Be sure you are speaking into the telephone. That may seem
obvious, but most of us have never heard how we sound on the
telephone. Often, people who speak in normal tones face-to-face
sound too quiet over the telephone. Test your phone voice
periodically. Ask a friend to listen to you on a call.
4. Choosing words well.
Some words turn people off instantly, so dont use them.
Avoid the following words & phrases that invite folks to
behave in a difficult way.
- "You have to...."
- A persons natural response is "I dont
have to do anything!" Instead say "Would
- "Ill try."
- This approach is non-committal and makes people think you
are giving them the brush off. Instead say "Ill
have to check on that"
- This word often negates everything that was said before.
Instead use however which offers a smoother transition to
new alternatives and options.
- "Its not my policy."
- People may boil over when this is mentioned. Instead
point out what your rules are without using the word
policy. Such words as procedure or approach often work
- "You should have..."
- This remark will provoke a quick comeback of: "NO!
You should have told me..." Instead, after the
complaint has been resolved, explain the correct
procedure in a non-accusatory way......Sounds simple,
doesnt it? But it can make a difference.
5. Fast talkers beware!
Any speech habit that calls attention to itself is undesirable.
This is especially true of the speed at which you speak. Speaking
too fast or too slowly can detract from the content of your
message. Talk too fast, and your listener may miss an important
point. Talk too slowly, and people may stifle a yawn while
waiting for you to get to the point. Or worse, your listener will
stop listening. Whats right? Take your cue from the other
person. If that person is a fast talker, its probably OK to
speak quickly; he or she is used to it. But if your listener
speaks slowly, take the hint & slow down.
6. Be Prepared!
Have a list of questions and concerns available near the
telephone. These may cover the children (ages, school,
activities, temperament, etc.), the household (occupations and
hours of the parents), job related (define "Light
housework," cooking, shopping), and home environment
(separate bedroom, bath, use of car, share telephone or get your
own line among others). Candidates should be prepared to answer
questions about themselves, including schooling, experience,
interests, hobbies, driving records, and personal habits such as
7. Treat every caller like your best customer.
Impressions of you are forming with every word you speak. Make
the most of these crucial first few moments!
5 Tips to Rock the Telephone Interview
Art of the Nanny Job Interview
Important Nanny Employment Forms