You fit the criteria, but you don’t get the job…Why?
Obvious one I know, but this immediately tells the parents that you are disorganised as you haven’t left yourself enough time to find their address. Also showing up late demonstrates your unreliability and the one thing parents really need is reliability. They are busy and also have demanding jobs of their own which is why they are interviewing for a nanny. Showing up late simply throws doubt into their minds before your interview even begins.
No handshake or eye contact
Greeting parents with a handshake is just a common courtesy and immediately says a lot about your manners which will reflect how you influence their children. It is also important to maintain good eye contact throughout the interview and to give equal attention to both parents. Avoiding eye contact can make you look a little shifty. Also by only addressing one parent with your eyes as you speak, may come across as rude.
Dodging the parents
It is of course important to engage with the parents not just the children. This demonstrates to the parents your communications skills which is essential for a working relationship to be successful. Also on that same note, it’s important to come along with some sensible questions and with some well thought out answers appropriate for the position. This demonstrates to them that you have done your homework and are serious about the position. Remember to speak about any courses you may have been on like the LSCS Sleep Training for Babies course for that might help them to understand why you would be a great asset to their family.
Ignoring the Children
Engaging with the children is as crucial as it is with the parents. You are there as a potential nanny to their offspring, so show them that you can interact with them. It also demonstrates your ability to build up a connection with their children which will give parents confidence in your skills as a nanny and show off your training
Remember that this isn’t a night out and if it’s winter or summer, you should dress appropriately for the seasons. Keep it professional yet practical, this isn’t an office job. You will be required to play with their children and they may ask you or often expect some interaction with their children at the interview.
Bad mouthing about the past employer
The parents may ask if you can name any difficult experiences in your past roles and how you dealt with them. This is not a cue to then relay how you couldn’t stand the routine that Mrs X set out. Try to be objective, professional and use your common sense. It’s never appropriate to bad mouth your previous employers.
Mobile phone interruption
Put your phone on silent. There is nothing more annoying than a phone going off in an interview. This again demonstrates a lack of professionalism.
Avoid talking too much. It’s important to listen to what your employers are saying and at the same time avoid long breaks or speaking quietly, use a clear voice and show confidence when responding to their questions. Also don’t make it feel like your employers have to try hard just to get an answer, so avoid one word replies! The interview gives you an excellent chance to show your personality but it is important to get the balance right.
Asking about salary and holiday times
This should only be brought up when the employer brings it up, otherwise it can make you look like you are only interested in what you can gain. There is nothing wrong with having an expected hourly rate but be sure to back it up with references to your nanny training and the credentials of your training agency such as the London School of Childcare Studies. Remember as a nanny you are most likely to become part of their family. Therefore coming across with a clinical approach on your very first meeting isn’t going to be appealing to your future employers. Again this reinforces how important it is to do your homework before even agreeing to an interview to avoid wasting yours and the employer’s time.