Interviewing With a Nanny Agency
Are you a nanny wondering how the interview process with an agency works? Are you looking for tips to stand out from the crowd when meeting with agency representatives and families? As a nanny agency owner of The Nanny Consultant, I have seen it all and have some great tips for applying, interviewing, and landing your next position through an agency.
I thought I would begin by sharing that nanny agencies do not take a cut of the nanny’s pay, and it costs the nanny nothing to use an agency. As far as I know, all agencies allow you to be working with multiple agencies or independently on various platforms at the same time.
When it comes to getting ready to apply, the first thing you will want to do is get a great resume prepared. It should be free of spelling and grammar errors – have a few people read it over and download Grammarly’s free version to assist you in this process. We will dive into resumes in another blog to follow.
The importance of a good resume is key, though following the instructions listed in the original job ad is even more important and crucial. The screening process for us begins here. Does it ask you to email in a copy of your resume? Maybe it asks you to fill out an application on their website? Every agency is different and will have special instructions on how to be considered for a position. It is crucial that you follow the directions on the agency’s website and the ad itself. When filling out an application, be sure to run it through spell check before submitting it. You would not believe how often I have seen misspelled words or missing periods and commas. Be sure to answer every question in its entirety, as many will leave sections blank. Following up on your application with a resume, cover letter, and portfolio will always make you stand out. It shows your level of interest in the position and is a professional way to approach the job opportunity and personally introduce yourself. Take the time to personalize your cover letter with specifics about the position.
Once contacted by the agency, make sure your responses are timely, thought out and that you are spelling the person’s name correctly. For example, many write my name as Kayla, and my name is Kyla. When setting up your initial interview with the agency, be sure to offer several times that will work best for you. Keep in mind that we are meeting with nannies almost every day, and positions can go very quickly. Ideally, we like to see when candidates send over availability that falls within the next 2-4 days. When communicating with the agency and prospective families, it is imperative that you do not abbreviate or use emojis. Keep exclamation points to a minimum, and remember to put everything through spell checker or Grammarly.
Post pandemic, you can almost guarantee that your meeting with the nanny agency will be virtual. Still, it is important to put your best foot forward and make the best first impression. The first tip is probably common knowledge – be punctual and if you are running late, let the interviewer know in advance. It is important to represent yourself professionally and come well dressed and groomed to the interview. Be conscious of where you have your phone or computer. What does the background look like? Try to find a space in your home where your electronic device can be set up and where your background is clear of distractions. Have a pen and paper ready for notetaking and have questions prepared. This interview is not only for us to get to know you but also for you to get to know us.
Depending on the family, your initial meeting may be virtual or in-person. Either way, come to the interview with energy and enthusiasm and remember the parents are looking forward to meeting you. When preparing to meet at a family’s home, we recommend running their address through your GPS in advance to allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at least five minutes early. Specifying with the family on whether they would like you to mask in their home is a great idea. If they are located downtown, it is recommended to check in about what to expect for parking. Wear something professional yet comfortable and child friendly. Be sure to take off your shoes upon entering their home and wash your hands. If the children are present, interact with them. If appropriate, ask them simple questions like how old they are and their name. Don’t be afraid to get on the ground and play with them, and if you are interviewing for an infant position – don’t hesitate to ask the parents if you can hold their little one. Parents want to see the confidence and the joy you have when spending time with their children. Maintain eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking, and when responding to interview questions and try your best to avoid yes or no answers.
After your interview with a family, it is recommended that you reach out to your agency contact and let them know your thoughts right away. Don't be afraid to be proactive. It is best to send a follow-up email to the family as well, thanking them for their time. It is appropriate to follow up with an email if you have not heard back within 48 hours. Be sure to personalize the email to ensure you are coming across warm and that you have been paying attention to detail. Be responsive to calls and emails both from the family and the agency. If you are no longer interested in a position or have already accepted another offer, let all the parties know respectfully and promptly – please don’t ghost everyone.
Making a good first impression can have a lasting effect on those you meet. Be sure to introduce yourself, smile, and have a positive attitude. It is a good idea to google yourself and see what comes up in the search. Know that the agency and family may look you up online, so be sure you know what will come up. One of the most important tips of all is to relax and be yourself. Be sure to thank them for their time and leave with a smile!
The Nanny Consultant