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
You work hard as a nanny! Long days of activity planning, meal prepping, and potty training can leave you in need of a well-deserved vacation, once in a while. But how will your nanny-family manage without you? Don't worry, we promise they will.
Working long hours without building time for a personal nanny vacation can leave you feeling burned-out and frustrated, and no employer wants that. If you're thinking about using some of your vacation days to go on a trip, just make sure to make an extra effort to prepare your nanny-family for your time off. Here's some tips on how you can make for the smoothest experience possible, for both you and your employers.
Here are Some Tips to Help Prepare for your Nanny Vacation
1. Leave Yummy Provisions and Take Stock
Freeze a few dinners by making a double batch of the children's favorite meals. Lasagnas, soups, breaded chicken, and other items that freeze easily are great things to store away for while you're gone. Make sure anything else your replacement nanny might need is also stocked, such as laundry detergent, diapers, shampoo and conditioner for the children.
2. Give Your Bosses Ample Warning
Give plenty of advanced notice to your employers. Leaving them scrambling for back-up care isn't the best idea when you'll be out for several days, so do what you can to give them ample warning and time to plan for your absence. Don't drop your vacation plans on them a week or two before!
3. Offer to Help Find Back-up Care
Line up some replacements for each of the days you'll be gone, or give suggestions of nannies they could call and interview if they would prefer to take the lead. Ask around if any of your nanny friends can cover any of the days you'll be gone. If your employers would prefer to interview your replacement themselves, ask your friends if you can pass along their contact information. Use your nanny network!
4. Prepare the Children
Encourage the children to show the fill-in nanny just how lovely they truly are. Give them tips on how to make the fill-in nanny feel right at home, and remind them to be on their best behavior while you're gone. Children want to make us proud, and when we have high expectations, they will meet them!
5. Prepare the Fill-In Nanny
Jot down notes of your routines and general day-to-day duties. You don't have to write an entire handbook, but it can be helpful to put into writing what your typical schedule looks like, to make the transition as easy as possible both for the family and for your replacement. Write down some of the children's favorite foods, favorite local parks, or favorite bedtime stories. These tips will go a long way in making your absence as easy as possible for your nanny family. But it will also show them just how much you care about their family and are paying attention to their children.
Are you a nanny wondering how else you can prepare your nanny-family for your time off? Have any words of wisdom of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!
For a parent of a child with even a mild food allergy, it can be extremely daunting to leave your child with a new person, one who may slip and forget what snacks have hidden ingredients, or to double check with the kitchen staff at a new restaurant. For your peace of mind, here are some great tips to help ensure that you and your nanny are on the same page when it comes to how to feed your children.
Create a Work Agreement
Here at Kith & Kin, we're huge believers in work agreements! Putting details in writing allows both parents and nannies much greater peace of mind, so that uncertainties and misunderstandings don't arise down the road and all expectations are clear.
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, or if you just want to make sure your nanny is preparing a similar diet to what you already have in place for your child, putting the details in a contract can be extremely helpful. If there are certain food items or ingredients that your child must not eat, then lay those out in writing. If you only let your child have a sweet snack on certain special occasions, explain this in the contract.
While this might seem overbearing, remember that your nanny is not a mind-reader, and it always helps to have something to refer back to! Every family is a little different, and the way you approach your child's diet will not necessarily be the same as the family they have worked with before. Laying out all the specifics for your child's diet, will help avoid uncertainty for your nanny. Be sure to give your nanny a copy of the contract, and/or put it up somewhere in the kitchen where they can use it for reference if ever they have a question.
Give your Nanny a Sample Menu
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, you might have learned to prepare specific dishes in order to avoid certain ingredients. You also will be aware of which prepared foods have hidden ingredients that could be dangerous for your child's food allergy.
In order to ease your nanny into the food norms of your family, write out a sample menu for a week or two, and give it to them to refer or add to. Include the dishes that your child is used to, and you would normally prepare for them, along with ingredients and instructions for your nanny.
Providing a menu for the first few weeks will ease your nanny into your lifestyle and food preferences, and get them acquainted with the types of dishes and ingredients your child is used to. Eventually, these dishes and ingredients will become second nature to your nanny. Include suggestions for snacks and prepared foods that are OK with you. Also include a detailed list of foods and snacks that are not okay to feed your child with a food allergy.
Avoid Eating Out
The experience of eating a meal out a restaurant can be so stressful and tedious. Even the most well-meaning kitchen staff might not be aware of every ingredient in their dishes. While it can be easy for a nanny to grab a quick lunch in the middle of their day out with your child, if you are the parent of a child with a food allergy you know that sometimes it's best to avoid eating out all-together.
Explain this to your nanny, and make sure you always have meals or ingredients to prepare a quick and easy meal for your child on hand. If you know for certain of specific restaurants or dishes that are safe for your child to eat, write out a list of those and include it in your nanny's work agreement. After all, when it comes to having a child with a food allergy, you can't be too specific with your requests or requirements.
Post Emergency Information
Before the first day of work, make sure your child's nanny knows the specific protocol should they have an allergic reaction. Write down for your nanny the specific instructions that they should follow if your child shows signs of a reaction (and even talk about what those signs are).
If your child needs to be administered an epileptic-pen, make sure your nanny always carries one on their person and knows exactly how to use it - The Red Cross has special trainings for this, and it's prudent to pay for your nanny to attend.
Be sure to write down the contact information for which doctor to call, or which hospital to go to, in the case of an emergency, and have a copy of this in their diaper bag, backpack, and stored in a Note on your nanny's phone - anywhere that is easily accessible.
As with any case of a child with a special need or care, the most important piece of advice is to be, and constantly remain, as prepared as possible, while also preparing others in case Plan A falls through. By following these tips and strategies, your nanny will be ready and knowledgeable about what is safe and what is not. When in doubt, your nanny can pass on an item and substitute it for something else. If you have time to prepare your child's food, do. If not, provide your nanny with clear instructions on what to prepare for your child's meals. Leave many ready-to-go snacks for your nanny to give your child, if they're out for the day.
All of these tips will help set you up for success and ensure there are no misunderstandings or missteps in the event of an allergic reaction!
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, do you have any tips or advice of your own? Do you have any advice on how to get your new nanny on board with your family's dietary routine? Let us know in the comments section below!
- KITH & KIN
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.
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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