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What do you find really off-putting in applicants when searching for a nanny?

18 replies

bossykate · 04/11/2005 14:02

one of mine is (there are sure to be more!) - unable to find your house for the interview without spoon-feeding with directions etc. we are in london - a quick look at the a to z will do it, fhs!

i've got one due now who has just phoned me to say she's lost... pretty crappy telephone manner too considering this is a job interview...

OP posts:

aloha · 04/11/2005 14:04

saying that they don't have any friends locally so you won't mind if they take your baby to Streatham every day, will you?
Uh, yes.


chonky · 04/11/2005 14:05

When being told the hours (as advertised) saying 'hmmm....that is a long day'.


Marina · 04/11/2005 14:05

Sorry it's not going so well.


bossykate · 04/11/2005 14:06

not reading my ad properly (where the hours are clearly stated) and then saying - oh i was looking for full-time...

OP posts:

aloha · 04/11/2005 14:08

Oh yes, I had that too. But I now have (touch wood) a most lovely person looking after dd. No qualifications but just loves children and is so enthusiastic.


Marina · 04/11/2005 14:09

If you have even five seconds spare while candidate valiantly attempts to find a*se with both hands on the way to your very obscure and hard to find domestic location, why not have a squint at Blu's pelvic-floor-demolishing nativity play thread. I guarantee it will make you laff even if she has made the whole lot up.


bossykate · 04/11/2005 14:41

well i will need that laff - because guess what? it turns out dozy mcdozy is studying at night which means she can't actually do the hours i want - despite them being stated in black and white in the ad and me going over it again with her on the phone before setting up the interview! gah!

OP posts:

nannynick · 04/11/2005 14:41

With modern technology these days, there really should not be any reason for a nanny not to find almost any location. I live in Surrey and some of the places I've visited have been down what could effectively be called Farm Tracks. For those, the parents have said that they are down a track and given some basic directions, though in practice I've found that the vast majority of places can be easily located on a map, such as Google Maps, Multimap, etc.

Getting lost on route is not really acceptable, shows a lack of advance planning. Results in turning up late for an interview, which I consider is a major no-no... if you are late for an interview, it gives the impression that you will be late getting to work each day (which will probably be the case).

Good luck on finding a nanny to interview bossykate... I expect only the few who don't get lost finding your home may make the short list.


bossykate · 04/11/2005 21:29

any more or am i just picky?

OP posts:

ladymuck · 04/11/2005 21:34

bk - have I missed a step in the saga - I thought that you had found a nanny?


soapbox · 04/11/2005 21:36

I tend to use the local nanny agency when filling in for holidays in term time (don't want to take time off myself when the children are at school) and when my nanny was on mat leave.

Its fair to say I've had my share of tragic cases on these short term hires. Now I know why they were 'between jobs' and available for emergency cover.

On their first day one of them manage to oversleep and didn;t turn up til I phoned them asking if they were intending on coming in. I got the 'i've been up with toothache all night, wimp wimp, response'[grrrrrr]

I've had one or two who have totally ignored the children for hte entire duration of the interview - erm its not me or dh you're going to be looking after all day!!!

God I could go on and on! Nevertheless, I have managed to make reasonable choices (I think) on the two permanant nannies I hired. Do maybe sorting the wheat from the chaff isn't too hard afterall

I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for BK


bossykate · 04/11/2005 23:13

hello ladymuck

yes i did find someone - and we are very happy with her...

but she works mornings in a montessori, so our after-school job fitted in well with that - however, the montessori has now offered her full days and she has accepted understandable really - obviously more convenient for her.

so back to the drawing board... v. glad i didn't pay agency fees - that would have been £800 down the drain

soapbox, i've tried to do the "first inteview" w/o the children around if possible so that i can weed out the hopeless cases and also not be distracted - but i did have one who made a huge fuss of dd and almost ignored ds. since we are having a few issues with jealousy as it is, she was obviously a no-go.

hey ho, as you say, i'm sure we'll find someone(else)

nannyl, agree!

OP posts:

bossykate · 04/11/2005 23:14

oops, sorry, nannynick not nannyl, sorry.

OP posts:

bossykate · 04/11/2005 23:16

thanks to all for the replies this is all doing my head in - paying someone else to do what i'd rather be doing myself

OP posts:

NannyL · 04/11/2005 23:51


i agree with nanny nick too so you do also agree with me!

IMO being late for interviews is absolutely unacceptable, and VERY rude and disespectful!

No way would i employ someone who couldnt make an interview on time!


r3dh3d · 05/11/2005 11:57

I've had candidates turn up with very poor personal hygiene. Hair greasy and unwashed, food stains on clothes etc. Part of the job is domestic - if you can't be bothered to wash yourself for a job interview, what sort of mess are you going to make in my house?

A difficult one - I've had a few candidates turn up with real size issues. I don't mean by this size 18 or something, I mean so large that they have problems walking and I'm not sure they will fit up our (narrow) staircase. Is this person going to be able to play football in the garden? One of them, when asked about health issues, told me she had become diabetic (I got the impression this was weight related) and was starting to have circulatory problems. Just from a safety point of view I was concerned about her having a heart attack whilst driving DD or something.

Fortunately, they've all had other issues which meant I genuinely didn't have to turn them down on size grounds. But I felt awful just considering it.

Has anyone else had this problem?


callaird · 05/11/2005 16:01

I'm a nanny, have been for 19 years, love every minute of it. Am size 20-22 and have never ever had a problem finding a job! I play football, run around the garden and play rough and tumble with my 2 year 10 month twin charges. I also look after old charges, twin boys aged 8 who want to plat football most of the weekend! I join in with them. Yes, sometimes I get tired, but most of my skinny nanny freinds get tired, I think it has more to do with the 10-12 hours a day than being overweight! I have no health issues though, go to the gym 2-3 times a week, even after 11 hour day! I think that it is very unfair to hold that against someone.

I have also, on occasion, turned up for an interview with food stains on my clothes, but I make sure it is known to propective employer that I have come straight from work after a day of feeding a 6 month old or similar!!


r3dh3d · 06/11/2005 05:32

Well, I'd never considered what size my current Nanny is - but thinking about it, 20-22 sounds about right. (I don't believe she knows how to play football, but we can fix that!) She's clearly perfectly healthy.

The only issue is whether you are fit enough to run after a SN toddler, because it is a physical job. But where someone is wheezing and having difficulty just walking - if they weren't big, their state of health is something you could have a discussion about in the interview. But if they happen to be large as well (and I have no idea of what size that would be but both the candidates I am thinking of were orders of magnitude bigger than my current girl) you can't bring it up at interview because it's pretty clear that the weight is causing the health issues so by discussing their health you're implicitly criticising their size... which is none of my business and something I would never want to do.

Oh I dunno. As you say, it would be terribly unfair to hold someone's size against them. But if their size has caused them a health issue which means they can't do key parts of the job - what should you do?

(NB this is a genuine question, and I only posted to this thread in the first place because I found the whole situation very difficult. Like I said, both candidates had other, completely unrelated issues, so I never had to make that choice - but I don't know what I would have done otherwise... Has anyone else had a similar problem?)

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