You probably know the old adage that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And, for better or worse, first impressions tend to be really important. How about a mini guide to help you get ready for your next interview? Read on, put your best foot forward, and win the hearts of your soon-to-be employers (aka the parents)!
Leave your tight dresses, revealing tops and ripped jeans at home. Dress comfortably and casually to send the message that you’re prepared to get on the floor and play with the kids. And ditch your high heels; they are never a good choice when a running toddler is part of the job description!
*extra tip: Avoid wearing too much perfume.
Everything you do has to shout “reliable”. When it comes to working as a nanny or babysitter, the importance of being punctual can’t be overstated! Parents want to make plans based on your commitment to be at their home to take care of their children at a certain time. Arriving late can ruin your chances before you have even begun.
*extra tip: Be prepared to remove your shoes at the door.
Or keep it on silent mode. Showing signs of distraction will make you appear unprofessional.
Impress the family with your professionalism: come to the interview prepared with any certifications you may have, a copy of your current CV, your driver’s license (well, if you have one!), and a copy of the job description.
Show passion for what you do and let the parents know that you love your job. Enthusiasm is infectious, and a passionate interviewee can be an indicator of someone who is ready to work hard.
*extra tip: It’s not enough to say or show that you’re excited about the opportunity to work for the family. Be specific and show the parents why and how you’re qualified.
Do not answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no”. The parents are trying to get to know you – make this process easy for them!
Don’t forget that this is your opportunity to ask the family questions too. Trying to understand what the kids like or dislike, what activities they enjoy, what methods of disciplining the parents use, and what rules you’ll have to follow, is a good sign that you truly want to do a good job!
*extra tip: Share what made you decide to become a nanny or babysitter.
Speak and play with the children if they are present. This will give your possible employers an idea of your approach as a caregiver; all parents want to know that you’re able to connect with their kids.
*extra tip: Look at the kids eye-to-eye; kneel down or sit on the floor.
You don’t have to be flawlessly perfect in this first meeting. Think positive, smile and keep calm.
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