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My toughest interview
August 8, 2012 5:13 pm | by

I remember how nervous I was at my first “real” job interview after I graduated from college. I had the perfect professional suit, a leather portfolio with copies of my resume and a legal pad for taking notes and the most effective anti-perspirant I could find on the drug store shelves. It took a few interviews, but eventually I relaxed a bit, gained some confidence and eventually landed a job.

What no one bothered to tell me was that those early professional interviews wouldn’t hold a candle to the interviews I have these days… the nanny interviews. In the early days of parenthood, I was so concerned about how the caregiver would take care of my precious, dependent child. Now my biggest concern when interviewing a caregiver is that my precocious, independent children don’t scare her off within the first 10 minutes.
Forget what outfit to wear to the interview, now I’m concerned about how much or little to clean my house. Sure, he needs to be able to safely walk through the entryway without stepping on Legos, but if it’s too clean, will he quit two weeks into the job because he feels lied to? My solution lies somewhere between cleaning up all the crushed Cheerios from the carpet, but leaving a small pile of toys in the corner of the room. Truth in advertising, people.

Just like the old days, I feel like I’m the one answering more questions and providing more explanations, despite the fact I’m technically the one hiring. I believe in full disclosure, so the nuances of each child’s personality and challenges come out quickly. The last thing I want is a caregiver that doesn’t understand what is ‘normal’ for our family.
One of the most difficult things I’ve discovered in parenthood is being able to put your child in someone else’s care- good, bad and ugly. After all, they are young, still learning, exploring, discovering exactly who they are. It’s not always easy to find someone who will love your child almost as much as you do, who shares similar values and has patience to survive a toddler’s temper tantrums with grace. Even more difficult is being able to quickly ascertain within a short interview if the match is mutual.
Have you had to hire a nanny or caregiver? Do you have tips to share or pitfalls to avoid? Share your story with us in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.


1 Comment

  • Jacob and Amy said...
    August 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I am a nanny, and I love when the families tell me all the ins and out. I hate when a family i’m working for feels like an employer. I take care of their kids all day, and love them almost as much as me own so I expect to be treated more like a family member then an employer.