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Hiring a Nanny: What Interview Questions are you Allowed to Ask?

So you’re hiring a nanny…Leaving your most beloved human with a stranger is definitely nerve-wracking, so you may not have even begun thinking about everything that goes into finding that special someone. Before all of the paperwork, like setting up a contract and figuring out taxes, you’re going to want to interview the potential nanny to see if she’s a good fit. You’ve spent countless mornings getting ready for interviews yourself  “Is this heel more cocktail hour than morning meeting?” “How much makeup should I wear?” “What IS my greatest weakness?”…But before your kids decide if she (or he) is worthy of the job, it’s your turn to ask questions – the tough questions – and it isn’t as easy as it seems. So what can you ask?

No matter who you’re interviewing, every employer needs to know the basics about what’s ok to ask and what should be avoided. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000) makes it illegal for employers to refuse to hire or discriminate against individuals because of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin (employers = have 15 employees). Since it’s assumed that hiring decisions are made based on an individual’s answers to the interviewer’s questions, questions asked during an interview can be used to show illegal discrimination on the your behalf, so you’ll want to avoid asking anything that could possibly show discrimination if you don’t end up hiring him or her. Example: asking a potential hire if she’s pregnant or married (probably best to avoid asking any woman if she’s preggo). While it’s important to make sure the potential hire is legally eligible for employment, be careful not to ask if she’s a U.S. citizen. Even asking someone interviewing if he/ she is a social drinker could get you in trouble – if it turns out that the potential hire is a recovering alcoholic in rehab, that person would qualify as a person with a disability. Being PC is hard sometimes.

The Verdict

Luckily, unless your employing 15 nannies, you don’t have much to worry about.  Be open and honest with the nanny about your expectations, and her responsibilities, but think of a list of questions beforehand so you don’t let nervous chatter lead you down the wrong path.

6 months after maternity leave ended and I still have trouble leaving this one at home to go to work. Any tips from my working mamas out there?




Lady J | March 13, 2017


  • Anna says:

    Hiring a nanny is the HARDEST thing we’ve done! Initially we didn’t lay down the rules enough so we had a few issues with her but now everything is going smoothly. My husband works from home so that helps me have some peace of mind leaving my little baby with a stranger…
    If only we could just take our babies to work!

  • Ashley says:

    It’s also very important to make sure that your husband is not sexually attracted to your nanny. I make sure all my nannies are under a 4/10…

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