Here at Kith & Kin, we do a LOT of nanny interviews. If you've just walked out of an in-person interview with a nanny agency, first off, congratulations! We aren't like most agencies in that our schedule is super tight - we aren't able to let just anyone walk through the office door for an interview. To get to that point, you've already made it past some initial behind-the-scenes vetting processes, and an invitation for a face-to-face interview is often a critical final stage in our candidacy process.
Unfortunately, however, a face-to-face interview with a nanny agency does not necessarily guarantee that we will be able to place you in a position, no matter how well you do. While we wish that we had the perfect nanny family for every qualified candidate who walks through our door, there are a lot of other factors at play that can affect your chances. Here are some common post-interview questions nannies ask us. Hopefully some of our responses can help demystify the process.
Here are some common Post-Interview questions nannies ask when pursuing Nanny Agency jobs.
Will you definitely get me a job?
We would love to say yes, but we can’t guarantee it. Our role is to represent you well: we share your resume, the comments from your references, your essays, and our thoughts about why you’re great for a specific family, but ultimately, it is the family’s decision to move forward with you, or another candidate.
I’ve gone on a lot of interviews... why is nothing working out?
This can be extremely frustrating, disappointing, and borderline hurtful to be rejected multiple times. Take it in stride. Understand that parents may choose other candidates not because of something you did or did not do, but because of something another candidate said that resonated with them deeper. Maybe it was something as simple as start date, or salary. Most of the times, clients don’t reject a candidate based on their performance, but because the candidate pool was so strong. Maybe they have met many people before you who were further along in their process, or perhaps you were the first and they wanted to see more candidates before deciding. Or, a different candidate could have had slightly more education or experience than you. It’s such a tricky process step by step. We encourage you to not get too down about it - it’s not a reflection of who you are as a person.
There are always things you can improve upon in an interview, and it's important to keep this in mind as a point of "interview practice". But also, when interviewing as a nanny, it's important to remember that parents have much greater "hiring-anxiety" than employers in other fields! Not only do they want to find someone qualified, but they are looking for a person who can mold to their specific family and work in their private space. If a family chooses not to move forward with a candidate, it's often not because they think the candidate is under-qualified or not-likable. Often these parents think there's a better fit for you out there!
What do parents look for in interviews?
They are truly looking for you! They want to know what you’re all about, in a professional sense. Share your philosophies, and your heart for working with children. Ask great questions about the role to help you understand it, as well as to prove to them that you're interested in more than just a paycheck. Listen to what they have to say, and go home and evaluate after the interview if you feel like you’d make a great match. It is not just up to the parents to decide if it feels like the connection is good! Ask us for feedback, and if we have any constructive criticism to share, understand that it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person - it means you can improve!
Am I allowed to be interviewing with other agencies and families?
Absolutely! You need to do what you is best for you, and that includes widening your net to catch the best opportunities. Know that we are here to support you, and when we send you to a job, it is because we truly believe you are an excellent fit.
What is required of me now?
Now that you’ve passed our process, please keep us in loop.
Tell us which jobs you’re interested in, and respond quickly to emails. Often, securing a good nanny job can be a game of perfect timing. A candidate who has just had a great family interview, but who fails to respond quickly to a follow-up email will be a red-flag to parents who are expecting prompt communication from their future nanny.
Why am I not getting a job through you?
If you have gone on several family interviews with an agency but have not yet successfully been placed in a new position, don't panic! Here at KITH & KIN, we believe in encouraging a partnership between the nanny and their employers which belies on shared professional goals and values. This doesn't happen every day! Finding the right family can take time. If you have gone on multiple interviews without much luck, think about how you might better present yourself to potential employers. Make sure that you are selling your strengths and values in your answers! Be sure to make an effort to get to know the values and ideals of the parents you are being interviewed by as well. This will show the family that you are serious about forming a long-term connection with them and their children, rather than just someone who will take the first job that is offered.
These are just some of the common post-interview questions nannies ask us. If you are a nanny with another specific question regarding the follow-up of your candidacy, feel free to ask us in the comment section below, or shoot us an email here!
KITH & KIN
Being a nanny for young kids and toddlers can be a stressful test of your nanny supervision. Little ones who tend to wander can unnerve even the most watchful eye. Being a NYC nanny doubles this stress load when traveling on the subway with kids.
If you’re tasked with bringing your kiddo to or from school or after-school activities in the city, chances are you’re among the crowds at some of the peak travel times. Making sure that your charge are safe and in-sight, without resorting to authoritarian tactics, can be a challenge. Here are some tips for travelling on the subway with kids, that will make your journey fun rather than fearful!
If you’re tasked with a little one who tends to wander, it can be scary traveling on busy streets or crowded subways. Holding hands is the best way to make sure you stay together. If your kid is a resistant hand-holder, however, this can be a challenge. If your kiddo is resistant to holding hands, try making it fun for him or her! Place a small ball or toy in between your hands and tell them that you have to keep it safe until the end of the trip! Use a rubber ball or something squishy and they’ll have even more fun giving your hand the occasional squeeze as you travel.
Make it fun!
Whether you’re taking the bus or the subway, space can get tight and this be overwhelming for little children. Long or crowded journeys can make a kid restless or overwhelmed. However, introducing a travel game or activity is a great solution for traveling on the subway with kids. A simple game of I-Spy can last the entire journey, with endless details to catch their attention. Or make a number game, counting down to your stop (ie. Three stops to go! What else comes in threes?).
Teach Safety Tips!
Most importantly, make sure you are teaching your kids about ways to move safely and how to be aware of their surroundings before you even start your journey! Explain to them that traveling on the subway is a screen-free time, because you need to keep your eyes and ears open. If you are wearing a red scarf, point it out to them, and tell them that it is the marker if you get separated. Remind them several times of where you are going and how you are going to get there. Tell them the specific trains you will take, and even repeat their street name or the name of your destination and eventually they’ll remember it themselves!
Have your own tips for travelling on the subway with kids? Share them with us in the comments section below!
- KITH & KIN
Please note: this blogpost covers domestic employees in New York State. It is intended to educate nannies and housekeepers on the benefits of accepting legally paid salaries; it is not to replace the advice of a lawyer, as the laws that are constantly changing. Please consult a reputable payroll company such as HomeWork Solutions for more information on your specific state's domestic employment laws and procedures.
We here at KITH & KIN often hear candidates state that they only want to be paid in cash, despite being able to accept legal pay, for many understandable reasons. While admittedly, it is the norm for many domestic workers to be paid illegally in cash (an estimated 75%!), there are a myriad of benefits and protections household employees lose out on by being paid in cash, and when accepting cash only for a nanny job, you are also assuming all risks for you and your family's future financial and health situation, especially should you find yourself out of work for a period of time -- a heavy and costly burden to bear!
With the advent of laws like Lulu and Leo's Law and many advocacy groups like the NDWA calling for better protections for both families and workers, the trend will be for more and more domestic workers to be paid in a legal manner. For this reason, we have compiled the benefits of legal pay. Here are our top 10 reasons why nannies and housekeepers should insist on being paid "on the books" right now.
1. "Professional pay" translates to "professional treatment", and further legitimizes your work as a professional career.
When you insist on being paid legally, this demonstrates to a family that you take your job seriously as a professional who needs to be compensated fairly and legally for your work. It shows that you are committed to your work supporting them, and that you are also relying on them to support you as you make a long-term living, just as you would in any other field.
When your employer agrees to pay legally, they are demonstrating their belief that you deserve legal protections and benefits, just as they receive in their work, too! Even though they may be offering a lot of great benefits like guaranteed minimum hours and paid time-off, they also believe that ethically, you deserve an extra level of protection as individual and professional.
2. You have secure income available, even if laid off.
Let’s say that on Sunday night, you get a text from your boss that tomorrow, you are no longer needed because a spot opened at daycare, and their child starts the next morning. Now, most parents would not leave you high and dry without notice, (especially if you have a solid work agreement in place before the job commences!), however you may never know your employer's private financial situation or debts. They may appear to have it all, and then the economy crashes overnight, or they find out they have lost every penny to a Ponzi scheme, and now they find themselves unable to pay you the $2500 buffer you were relying on. Stranger things have happened; you need to be protected from situations that are outside of your control.
While domestic employees in New York are hired “at-will”, meaning you may be terminated without notice or reason at any time, unemployment is there to provide you with a financial buffer while you search for a new job. If you’re laid off due to no fault of your own, and you are able to work in some industry, you are eligible - even in some instances of justifiable firing, you may still be eligible. This is only available to people who are paid legally in their most recent long-term position.
3. Medical costs or loss of income covered via Workmans Compensation if you’re injured on the job (State-by-State).
Even if you are outside of NYS, should you have an injury that leads to a long leave from work, you may be eligible to receive Disability coverage from the government as well. This would cover part of your income, and make sure that you are not in an even larger financial bind. If you are out of work because of an injury, but don't have traceable or substantial income reported, the income coverage would be significantly lowered, if available at all.
4. You are eligible for Paid Family-Leave.
The details and benefits will upgrade year to year, but beginning in 2019, you would be eligible for 10 weeks paid leave per year, up to 55% of your weekly salary, with a maximum of roughly $746/week; By 2021, 67% of your salary may be covered for up to 12 weeks. This is separate from FMLA, and is specific to New York State. For more information, click here.
5. Protection in the event you, or your bosses, get audited by the government.
Any employer who chooses to pay their employee 'under the table' runs the risk of being audited, particularly if all parents are working full-time, and they can't prove payments made for childcare. An audit will have their finances called into question by the government, and if your employer is audited, you too may be at risk for your portion of employment taxes. If your employer doesn't remit taxes on your behalf, you may be asked to account for those taxes by the government. While it is not the law that the employers withhold your portion of taxes in New York for you (you must request that they do this, and the majority do when using a payroll service), it is the law that you pay your portion. If it is not withheld, we recommend setting aside a conservative percentage based on your state in a separate savings account so you have enough to pay at the end of the year.
If you or your employers were to be audited, the government makes a habit of looking back several years, meaning you could be set up on a hefty payment plan to hand over whatever amount you would have owed in taxes from previous years.
6. Provides verifiable, traceable income to rent or buy a home, car or other big-ticket purchases.
Should the day come when you want to make a big "life-investment", be it purchasing a new home or car, or even renting a new apartment, you will often be required to provide proof of income; not just for present time, but also from the past two years! Lenders want to make sure you are a consistent earner and responsible spender, and you will need a paper trail to prove your track-record of financial credibility. Cash-employees will often have a difficult (likely impossible) time providing legitimate proof of income that would hold up to scrutiny. This can be a real hold-up, and potential block, if you are in the throes of purchasing a home.
Not buying a car, home, or renting an apartment now? Think two or three years ahead. Even if your credit is terrible, First Time Homebuyer Loans make this dream possible for more people, so as home prices continue to rise, now is a great time to get on the books and start accepting legal pay!
7. Easier mental leap to start your career with legal pay now, rather than years in.
Take it from us, the people who interview many qualified, career candidates who have been paid cash for years: it is very challenging for nannies and housekeeper to leap from a high dollar cash take-home salary per week to a far lower net wage. When you are not used to this, it will require a large lifestyle adjustment for yourself and family, when that time comes.
Talking to your employer about transitioning from a cash-salary, to an "on the books" salary is going to take a big shift. Essentially your employer will have to make a drastic increase in your pre-taxed (gross) pay-rate in order for you to be taking home the same amount as you were before, and it's possible that financially, they simply cannot swing it, as they will be paying 12-25% more than they are used to, depending on where you live.
If your employer isn't able to increase your rate enough for you to be taking home a net-salary that is comparable to your cash salary, meet in the middle! Start by taking a lower take-home wage, knowing that they are giving you a gross-wage raise. That being said, employees who are paid on the books, will also be eligible for a tax-return at the end of the fiscal year where you would get a portion of that back, so don't be too demanding of your employers if you really love your job in all other aspects.
8. You’re building your Social Security fund, and making sure you’re eligible for disability benefits, too.
The amount of taxable income which you report to the government each year makes up your 'covered income' and directly affects the amount of money you may receive each month when you retire. In other words, if you pay in for 45 years instead of 10, you will have far more to retire on. Therefore, for your future, it's better to start paying income taxes sooner rather than later!
9. Helps better protect you from “bad-apple” bosses.
Finding a boss who is willing to pay you on-the-books, means that your boss is more likely to view you as an employee with certain inalienable rights. A working agreement that is based on a clear contract and a taxed salary can protect you from various instances of employee discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment in the workplace, withholding of overtime, and various other workplace injustices.
Many employers who pay cash may hesitate to put anything in writing to avoid a paper trail of employment in the event they were to be audited -- this translates to no work agreement for you or contract for you to fall back on or reference.
10. Plainly, it’s the right thing to do!
Last of all, paying your taxes is the right thing to do! The money you pay in taxes goes to many places. In addition to paying the salaries of government workers, your tax dollars also help to support common resources that we all utilize, such as safe and well-maintained roads, police and fire departments, post-offices, public libraries and parks, as well as caring for your fellow neighbors and children who presently may not be able to care for themselves.
In conclusion, starting a job with mutual professional respect is the best foot to start on. By you and your employer insisting to operate according to the law affirms that this is a true, professional career, with the commitment to integrity and respect toward both parties.
But aren't nannies 1099 workers? On the family/employer side of things, there is sometimes confusion about the classification of domestic employees and who is responsible for their taxes. However, make no mistake: by law, nannies and housekeepers are classified as household employees of the family, unless they are hired through a company who is paying them as an employee; nannies and housekeepers are not contractors. Families must provide you a W-2 at the end of the year.
Have a question about being paid or hiring "on-the-books" versus in cash? Send us an email and we will do our best to direct you to where you may find your answer.
What would you say are the top 3-5 values you hope to instill in a child so that they may carry them into adulthood?
Here are three simple rules to live by to help instill values into children in your care.
1. Toss out the old adage, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do".
Be aware that your child sees everything you do (scary!), the good and the not-so-good. You may tell them to be patient, kind, and understanding, but if they don't see this, they won't practice it. For example...
2. Extend your values to them as well.
A lot of parents and nannies would say that they want to teach a child to respect others, forgetting that the child is also someone who needs to be shown patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness and respect, too! The best way to instill values into children is simply by letting them experience what it feels like to receive these things.
3. Admit your mistakes.
Don't be afraid to own up to a misstep. No one is perfect, and to not admit when you've done wrong may lead to your child feeling that they have to hide their mistakes from you for fear that you may reject their error.
Values look different to each family and caregiver.
Of course we all want our children to be high achievers, and have fun in life. We of course want them to be forgiving and kind, and we want them to also be assertive and stand their ground when it's time. We all want them to be respectful, and we want them to also recognize their right to being respected.
The trick for us to successfully instill values into children is finding where the balance lies within in each family.
You want to make sure your caregiver is aligned with these values, and give them wiggle room to do things a little differently than you would. This is where great communication comes in handy!
So what can done in these two scenarios? How can both parties stay happy with the arrangement, while simultaneously meeting their personal needs? We have some suggestions and pointers for both the employers (families) and employees (nannies).
For families who are able to keep offering full-time hours, but whose duties will change
For as many nannies in New York as there are, so are there numerous opinions and stances on being asked to do household tasks. Therefore, for both parties, it is extremely important to have a sit down chat about the duties, expectations, and any raises that come with the new responsibilities, if applicable. Voice any desires and concerns you may have in this meeting -- now is the time! In doing so, there is no bitterness when things have changed, and the employment won't end prematurely. Above all, stress an open door policy to discuss things as they come up.
For families who must reduce hours to part-time
This transition is wonderful because it may keep the care as consistent as possible for the child. As long as all of the duties and expectations are laid out, as well as benefits like vacation and holiday pay are defined, it can work very well for each party! But approach the conversation with some awareness.
Whatever you are able to offer and choose, remember that there are many factors in the decision to carry on or terminate a professional relationship. One thing is for sure: the impact on a child's life is an honor, is forever, and is irreplaceable!
As a nanny agency in NYC, we have seen thousands of nannies come to our agency seeking employment. Unfortunately, only about half of those people receive a follow up email, and only a very small portion of those candidates make it to an in person interview (usually around 15% of applicants!).
Why are only roughly 15% of applicants being interviewed? Why aren't you interviewing more qualified people?
Going through a housekeeping and nanny agency in NYC to find your ideal position is highly competitive and selective. For each position that is posted, an average of 125 applications and resumes will be submitted. While the applicant could be a fantastic caregiver with stellar references, we may never get to meet them because of the way a candidate presents himself or herself. In a stack of resumes and emails, it is important to make yourself stand out.
We get it. Applying for a new job is a ton of work. We've been there! You're likely applying at a lot of places, but if you really believe you are a good match for a listing, put yourself fully into it, and do it to the best of your ability.
If the answer is yes, I have the day off, consider giving your employee the day off. Is it worth risking an injury to them if they slip in the snow? Can you physically handle the tasks and children by yourself for one full day? Do you enjoy sled ridding? ;) Consider these when making your decision.
Believe it or not, parents really need a day off, too, and you would normally be there anyway. Since it's not an employee's business to know what their bosses are doing with their personal time, assume the best. Your boss may have had to work from home. Maybe they wanted to work on one of those personal projects that they can never seem to get done because their free time is spent chasing their children. Perhaps your expertise is truly valued and the extra set of hands was appreciated. Hopefully you felt it!
Activities In NYC
Back To School
Full Time Care
Modifying The Position
Part Time Care
Copyright 2020. Kith and Kin is a division of Adventure Nannies. Kith and Kin does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, age, height, weight, physical disabilities, veteran status, and marital status. We place nannies, newborn care specialists (formerly called baby nurses) and private educators throughout the New York metro area. You may contact us at 917-310-2300 or at hello@KITHandKINnyc.com