Job interviews look a lot different today than they did just 9 months ago. Can you even imagine beginning an interview with a friendly handshake these days? We can’t either. That’s why The Nanny Solution has put together a list of helpful tips and things to be mindful of when interviewing for a Nanny position during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Be flexible with the format
It is still possible that the employer will request an in-person interview; however, these days it is more likely that they will decide to host the initial interview virtually (over Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, etc.). You may not be familiar with all these formats, but it is important to be flexible and willing to use a different app than what you’re accustomed to. Everyone has a different take on how they want to host an interview — view this as an opportunity to demonstrate how adaptable you are before the interview’s even begun.
Test your technology
Make sure you’re prepared and have tested out your technology prior to the interview. It is important to do a test login and ensure your video and audio works beforehand, as there can sometimes be technical errors. You certainly don’t want to be late for your interview because you can’t log in.
Find out the family’s social distancing rules
If the interview is taking place in person, be sure to communicate with the family beforehand and find out what their preferences and safety protocols are. For example: Will you be meeting inside or outside? Will you be able to safely social distance? Do they want you to wear a mask? To be on the safe side, you should always bring a mask and your own hand sanitizer with you, and wash your hands upon entering the home or other indoor space.
Similarly, you should also ask about the family’s preferences for the day-to-day in the job. Will you be required to wear a mask at work at all times or only while indoors? Do they allow you to leave the house or just stay on the grounds? Can you visit a park? What are their rules about where their child/children is/are allowed to go? What sort of interactions do they have with those outside their household? What are the rules with family members coming over or friends stopping by for a playdate? It is important for you to have all this information prior to working with the family, so that you’re all on the same page and understand each other’s comfort levels and expectations.
Define roles and discuss scenarios
This is especially important if you’re going to be placed with a family where the parents are working from home. You should discuss roles, boundaries, and scenarios you may encounter with the parents beforehand, and develop a mutual understanding of what your duties are, as well as where and when they can step in. For more in-depth information, take a look at our blog post with 4 helpful tips for Nannies with parents working from home.
Discuss the family’s social and travel plans
With the holidays fast approaching and travel restrictions constantly being added or modified, it is important to discuss the family’s social and travel plans during that time. Will they be having family members or guests staying with them? If they’re coming from out-of-town, will they be quarantining? You should disclose your holiday plans to the family as well, and make sure everyone is comfortable with the plans and protocols that are in place.
In addition to the interview
There are typically more steps involved in the interview process these days — and that is a good thing! If you met your potential employer virtually, it is also a good idea to meet the family in person before officially accepting the position. It is important to see the space that you will be caring for the child/children in and make sure it works for you. It will also give you the opportunity to interact with the child/children and ensure it’s a good fit. Lastly, ask for a working trial shift (this should be paid, with a prearranged time and wage paid out beforehand).
Have a strong contract
As always, you must have a strong contract in place. In these exceptional times, the contract should include a section regarding COVID, sick time, and what will happen in those circumstances. Some points to consider are: If you or the employer are having any COVID-like symptoms, you should be paid for the time taken off. Do they (or you) require a negative COVID test in order to go back to work? Remember, our Placement Managers are always here to help if you have any questions regarding your contract.
Finally, be prepared to discuss all the potential “what if…” scenarios. It is a strange time, but by communicating and discussing these things ahead of time, it will hopefully alleviate a lot of uncertainty and stress down the road.