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Nanny pre-interview/employ ment questionnaire

(21 Posts)
seekingnanny2013 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:28:10

Dear MN

We are currently shortlisting nannies and on the basis of CV's we have a few to consider. We are finding that we would like to ask some additional questions prior to shortlisting for things that we feel important/would impact significantly on the nanny's potential for work. (e.g would not like a smoker)

Is it sensible to send a short questionnaire, is it advisable even, or would it be off putting/should only be ascertained at interview?

Examples
Smoking status
Driving status
Health issues
Dietary requirments/ability to prepare meat for e.g.
Days off in the past yr due to sickness etc

We would appreciate any nannies thoughts on this as whether you would mind completing such questions prior to interview/taking up position. Also any parents that have used questionnaires like this.

Many thanks in advance for any pointers

Annabelle2 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:45:16

As a Nanny, I feel it is perfectly legitimate to ask for the smoking/driving status before the interview.

I have never been asked the other questions before an interview for a Nanny position but personally, I would not mind answering them beforehand. These are all key shortlisting criteria for the job and in my experience in the Charity sector I have regularly been asked to indicate my driving status/ health issues/ days off in the application form. I don't see any problem with these questions being asked in a different sector.

Good Luck with everything!

mogandme Sun 11-Nov-12 15:59:19

I have never had to fill in a questionnaire before.

LoveDogs Sun 11-Nov-12 16:25:56

I personally wouldn't want to answer the health issues question because I do have health problems and if a parent asked me in a questionnaire then they would probably google what it was and cross me off their list straight away, they don't know me and I would tell them about my health issues in the interview, which would then give me a chance to explain in more depth if they wanted me to. I currently work in a nursery and non of the parents know about my health issues, I do my job just as we'll as anybody else.

Any of the other questions I would be happy to answer.

I wouldn't answer health problems either. I also have health issues and in a way they do affect my job, but I am perfectly capable of handling that and making my own adjustments so I wouldn't tell potential parents as I know it'd put them off.

Wouldn't answer dietry requirements either. I'm a vegetarian but again, doesn't affect my job. If I had allergies otoh I would mention it if it was likely to cause an issue during work hours.

nannynick Sun 11-Nov-12 19:27:30

I think you need to ask in a roundabout way. For example I feel it is reasonable to ask how many sick days have been taken in the past year. Someone could reply to that and if they thought the figure was high it would be up to them if they disclose the reason or not.
You could send a detailed job description that contained things like: we are a non-smoking family and therefore will not permit smoking on our premises including in the garden. It is expected that nanny does not smoke when children are in their care.

Look up threads on here about smoking. When asked some people say they are a non-smoker when in reality they may smoke on occasion such as when out with friends at the weekend.

fraktion Sun 11-Nov-12 20:37:19

Straight out questionnaire (written) no. I've been asked to complete them for agencies and they come over as intrusive and impersonal.

Pre-screening by phone would be better. You can then ask then to expand/listen for pauses etc. the health question is always tough. I use 'do you know of any restrictions which may affect your ability to do the job?' or similar wording.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Sun 11-Nov-12 23:45:25

I think it would be ok in the form of a casual email, but not a questionnaire. Something along the lines of 'Thanks for your application, your CV looks great, but there are a few things we wanted to ask....'. I wouldn't ask about health issues in an email though, as it's a very personal issue.

I would bear in mind that employing a nanny is different to any other employee/employer relationship. It's so personal that factors like days off sick etc may be less important than they would be in, for example, an office job. 'Gut-feeling' is so important that I wouldn't limit the number of people you invite to interview too much. If you only have a few to consider I would invite all of them to meet you and the children. You may find that the candidate you and the children really love, the one that shares your parenting philosophy, the one that makes you feel confident about leaving your children is the social smoker who had 5 days off sick last year and not the non-smoker who has never had a day off sick.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 12-Nov-12 12:57:50

wouldnt bother me at all, but agree prob best to ask face to face at interview, one to gauge their recation two, if do have health/medical issues then the nanny can explain

NotAChocolateRaisin Mon 12-Nov-12 19:18:55

Don't see anything wrong with a questionnaire. It would be a useful way to shortlist candidates. IME there are loads of applicants for these kinds of jobs and it seems like there is a need to trim down the excess.

I've never had to do a questionnaire myself but would be happy to do so. I don't think the questions are too personal either. Leave room for the person to add additional comments if they feel the need to "justify" their answers.

The feedback I've recieved from parents is that I have been shortlisted partially because of my eloquent written response to their ads - not because they've necessarily been blown away by my prose but more because a majority of the applicants have not had good english and a questionnaire may be a good way to establish this too.

seekingnanny2013 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:25:32

Thanks everyone this has been very helpful.

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 12:35:02

I have a very long questionnaire I send out as soon as I receive and like the cv. It ask all you mention and more. If someone can't be othere to fill it out or doesn't address a question asked, then that's all I really need to know and move on.

Health issues are very relevant to a nanny job. And I absolutely would expect them disclosed in full detail. When I hire a nanny I have to ask a lot of very personal questions, because looking after my children is of course very personal.

If you send me a message I will happily share the questionnaire.

CharlieCoCo Sun 18-Nov-12 18:02:29

I would answer about health because you arent a medical professional (well you might be but you wont know me), so for eg, if i had a medical issue, would that mean you will choose someone who doesn't? the nanny would know if it affects them or not and the majority of people i would imagine wouldnt want a job that would impact their health anyway, so in a way you would be discriminating against someone if you are using this questionnaire to narrow down the list.
The smoking and driving should really be in the original ad, but regardless, if i got an email from you asking me this and if there are any dietary requirements/restrictions etc i would be happy to answer (but a general enquire type email would be more appealing than a checklist. Hopefully they will expand their answers, for e.g. My friend for example is a vegetarian but she makes meat dishes for her charges. Days off im happy to answer, although my reasons for having days off sick were because my bosses had days off sick, thus being in my workplace thus making me ill grin.

CharlieCoCo Sun 18-Nov-12 18:05:08

i meant wouldnt answer about health.

seekingnanny2013 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:42:05

Thanks again

Charlie we are both doctors so I think would be sympathetic/ understand the implications. At the same time we would need to know the likelihood of needing to adapt the job if needed to the nannies health requirements/need for planned operations/ regular treatment etc.

Strix thanks will PM you.

Ebb Mon 19-Nov-12 11:53:39

I would happily answer a questionnaire. I took my DS to work with me and at the interview I was asked if I had any health issues that might need time off. I don't but DS has a heart condition which is monitored ( at the time 6mthly ) so I was totally honest about that as I didn't have much flexibility in regards to his hospital appointments. ( The Consultant only did Wednesdays. ) Mum Boss was a GP and very relaxed and it wasn't an issue.

I know it might not be legal? ethical? to ask about health issues but totally understand from a parents perspective that they want to know how it could affect them and the care of their children.

CharlieCoCo Mon 19-Nov-12 15:42:49

I think people who are honest would mention it though wouldn't they? For example, if i had Crohns disease (not sure why i'm using this for an example but popped in head) and it affected my job whether in terms of being ill regularly or needing a lot of appointments i would disclose that in interview as it isn't something i can keep as a secret and would be able to explain myself and assure the employer, but if it doesn't affect my job re lots of time off or appointments, then you don't need to know anyway.
If someone is dishonest, they would be dishonest in the questionnaire too.

CharlieCoCo Mon 19-Nov-12 15:45:50

This is an actual question not a statement, but say if you had 2 nannies to choose from and you sent them a questionnaire, one had a health issue and one didn't. you chose the one without the health issue, for whatever reason, down to the fact its the issue or the fact you liked the other nanny better. Could the nanny who has the health issue/not got the job, use this to sue you for discrimination as she could say she has evidence that she didnt get the job because of her health issue? Is that a legal issue?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 19-Nov-12 15:48:12

good point charlie

Strix Mon 19-Nov-12 17:21:09

That's a good clarification Charlie. But, for me, the question actually asks how much time they have had off due to illness, and then what was nature of the illness.

You are right that if the illness does not impact the job it wouldn't be a problem.

And the reason for asking is because most contracts will list false information in the interview stage as grounds for dismissal. So, if I haven't asked, I'm stuffed. But, if I have and he/she lied, then I'm covered.

CharlieCoCo Mon 19-Nov-12 18:00:11

worded like that, i would answer that type of health question:-) would you mind sending me a copy of your questions so i can see what they are like and i can see how i would feel about them, as a nanny. thanks.

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