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Questions to ask prospective nannies on the phone

(8 Posts)
tkband3 Tue 09-Nov-10 23:20:18

I'm looking for a nanny for the first time and have found a few prospective candidates on and The advice on there is to have a telephone conversation first before meeting any prospective candidates, which seems to make sense, but although I've found some great advice on what to ask and how to structure the face-to-face interview, I can't find anything on what to ask/talk about on the phone.

Presumably I should run through an outline of the duties of the role and talk a little about my family, but I'd be really grateful for any ideas about any questions I should ask which will help to give me a sense of whether I should go to the next stage with any of these candidates.

Thanks for any input - I'm finding this quite stressful...I've been at home with my DDs for 7.5 years so the whole process of going back to work is rather daunting smile.

nannynick Tue 09-Nov-10 23:37:55

A lot of things I would expect to have been covered via e-mail... in terms of the practicalities of the position such as what it is you require, hours of work and days of work, duties, about your family, salary range.
Not sure why you would want to then phone them... though suppose you could to arrange a formal interview - though could do that via e-mail as well. Suppose you could call them to have a general chat about the job - what they like the sound of from the info you have already give, what they don't like, how their experience relates to the age of your child/children and duties you expect. If you have given them a salary range, rather than a specific salary - then maybe ask about where they feel they are in that range.

What do you know so far about the candidates - do you have a CV from each detailing work history, education etc. Have you sent them details about the job on offer and established that they meet your minimum requirements, plus that they are interested in the job given more detailed information about the job?

nannynick Tue 09-Nov-10 23:41:08

I should perhaps point out that I hate voice comms (amazing I used to work in a sales job involving taking phone calls), so do tend to avoid it... thus my love of e-mail, text messages etc.

Much better to speak to someone face to face... as then someone else can't pretend to be them!

Stardown Wed 10-Nov-10 02:27:01

I agree...

I personally hate having telephone interviews as can never express myself clearly, can't pick up on body language and parents' faces, can't accurately describe who I am as a person within a 10-min phone convo...

Much better to do a basic e-mail and outline then a face-to-face interview.

NB The only time I would think it is VERY acceptable to do a brief phone chat is if the nanny's first language is not English. Very frequently you will find nannies whose friends have typed up their CV/generic messages on childcare boards and it is totally non-indicative of their actual speaking capabilities. This may or may not be applicable to you, but just wanted to point it out. smile

frakkinup Wed 10-Nov-10 03:14:59

I like them actually. It helps to get an idea of the job before going to meet the family. They usually ask about my CV, talk about the job and what they expect during which I can ask questions, and we can establish in about 15mins whether it's worth taking things forward or not rather than waiting fir emails to go back and forth.

Some people say do 2 face to face interviews but that isn't always possible so a phone interview can take the place of the first interview and the second you can introduce the children etc.

Depends how local the candidates are really.

tkband3 Wed 10-Nov-10 20:51:07

Thanks for your input, apologies for the late reply - I've been at work today.

The contact I've had with the candidates is via the websites I've used to find them. I haven't seen their CVs, but am going to email them this evening to ask them to send these to me before I call them tomorrow. Of the 3 I'm speaking to, 2 are not English, so it will give me a good sense of their language capabilities.

I've put quite detailed information about the role on my profile on these websites, but I had envisaged giving them more information on the phone tomorrow. One thing I hadn't included was a salary range - given that I'm in outer London, do you think £8-£10 net per hour, depending on their experience is ok?

I do appreciate your comments about the downsides of telephone interviews and certainly won't base my decision on this, but I hope to get more information about them and what they expect from the job before meeting them and introducing them to the children.

Thanks once again.

nannynick Wed 10-Nov-10 21:19:17

£9-£12 gross is probably fairly typical for London.
Remember not to offer a NET salary, it's very hard to do the payroll and could come with a nasty sting in the tail if the nanny has a different tax code to norm.

Give 2 of the applicants are not English, calling them will enable you to access their level of spoken English.

tkband3 Wed 10-Nov-10 21:33:02

Great, thanks so much for the advice - I really appreciate it.

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