Koru Kids Nanny Share Case Study- Left to Right- Alice, Kathryn (nanny) and Annabelle. 2 (2)

You’ve got the skills and the experience, you just need to land the job. Here’s how 

You’re a professional nanny with tons of experience and passion. You know how it works by now: get your CV in front of the right parents, or register with an agency who will, then it’s usually a phone call followed by a face-to-face interview. 

BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean the job hunt is easy! To help out, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to showcasing your best self and landing the job. It’s got the basics – stuff you probably already know, but good to refresh yourself – and a whole lot of tips for how to REALLY shine. Read this and you’ll be well on the way to landing the job, even in a tough market.

Before you apply: Make sure the job is truly the right fit

Of course, you know to read the job ad carefully and make sure that everything they’ve listed works for you – like hours, start date, number and age of children, and any other clues that could be a ‘’yes let’s go for it’’ green flag or an ‘’eek I’m going to avoid this one’’ red flag. Do take an extra moment to consider things like the commute – at Koru Kids we often find nannies can be overly optimistic about it and this can cause problems when reality kicks in on Week Two of the job. Close your eyes and try to imagine the reality of the job as hard as you can. 

How to nail the phone call stage

So you’ve applied for a job you’re keen on. The next step is usually a phone call. Here’s how to nail the basics:

  • Make sure you know who’s calling who (nothing worse than both of you waiting for the other and you’ll be surprised how often this happens)
  • Be somewhere with good reception and no loud background noise. Try to be indoors – it’s amazing how loud a bit of wind or a bus passing by can be
  • If it’s a video call, it’s even more important that you’re somewhere quiet with good wifi. If you’re using a location you haven’t used before, do a test call to a friend to check it’s all working properly and make sure whatever’s in the frame is professional (no hanging laundry or tons of people)
  • Be EXACTLY on time. Parents are looking for clues about how good you are at timekeeping, and this is your chance to make a great first impression
  • Confirm the job ad details (hours, days, location, kids), and ask about anything missing. Will the start date work for you? There’s nothing worse than turning up for an interview and realising you can’t actually do the job
  • Some parents use the initial phone call as a full interview stage and ask lots of questions, others might just ask one or two.  It’s best to follow the parents’ lead — if they ask lots of questions you can too, but if they seem to want a quick chat don’t grill them

Remember, parents are usually talking to multiple nannies at this stage so you need to stand out.  Here are some ‘next-level’ tips to really wow them:

  • Prior to the call, prepare some ideas of local activities that you would love to take the children to. Even if the parents don’t ask a question about this, you can mention them towards the end of the call, adding how enthusiastic you’d be to take their children 
  • Have notes, your CV, and key points you want to mention in front of you. Since parents can’t see you, you can refer to these as much as you need, which will make you sound uber confident and organised
  • Use the phone call as an opportunity to get lots of information about the family and children, especially their special interests. You’ll be able to use this to your advantage in the face-to-face interview to ‘wow’ them at that stage too. Listen out for things they mention that you could research before your next interview, to show how thoughtful you are 
  • Smile while you speak: It might seem unnecessary on a phone call, but smiling can actually change the tone of your voice, making you sound more positive and engaged
  • Follow up.  It leaves a great impression – and only takes a minute – to send a brief, warm message to the parent straight after you spoke.  You can say something like, ‘Great to speak just now. It was lovely to hear about Sadie and Jack, and I left feeling excited about the job. Let me know when you’re ready for next steps.’ If possible, include in your message something thoughtful and relevant to your conversation, like a link to a local activity or a picture of something you think the child might like.

So you managed to land the face to face interview! What next? 

An interview is a two-way street – you’re interviewing the family as much as they’re interviewing you.  As one Koru Kids nanny, Natalie, says:  ‘’Unlike most other jobs, with nannying you’re working closely with the parents and the children in their own home. It’s so important that everyone gets on and that the family are comfortable having the nanny in their personal space. So it’s best that any issues are discovered at the interview stage. The family needs a nanny who fits into their family, and the nanny needs a family they can work alongside without awkwardness or conflict.’’  

Given that, come prepared with questions that indicate your seriousness about the role and demonstrate your professionalism. Here are some good ones: 

  • How would you describe your parenting philosophy?  
  • Can you tell me more about your family dynamic? 
  • Can you give me an example of what I’d be doing with your child right now if I was already in this role? 
  • What is your ideal candidate? What would they be really good at? 
  • What’s least important to you when choosing a nanny?  And most important?
  • What are your main fears about hiring a nanny, so that I can help you be comfortable?
  • How important to you is it that ….. [and mention a skill that you have, that hasn’t been discussed yet in the interview, like ‘the children learn to have fun with music’ or ‘the children eat very good food’]
  • If I were your nanny, would you want me to share what we’re up to during the day or prefer a handover at the end of the day?

How many questions should you ask? It’s a balance… Asking no questions at all might be interpreted as a lack of enthusiasm, but asking a LOT of questions can be off-putting to some parents as well, especially if the interview is running over time.  The safest approach is to come prepared with at least two or three questions, and if you have more, ask before continuing. “Do you have time for another couple of questions?” If there are things you really need to know, always start with those ones to make sure they get covered.  

What kind of questions can you expect from the parents during the interview? 

Here’s a good list of common questions:

  • What experience have you had with children the same ages as ours?
  • Can you describe a typical day looking after our child?
  • How would you describe your childcare philosophy?
  • How would you describe your discipline methods? 
  • Why did you leave your last job? 
  • What’s been your favourite job and why?
  • How would you handle a child having a tantrum at home?  What about in public?
  • Have you ever dealt with an emergency situation and can you give us an example? 
  • What local activities would you like to do with our children?
  • Do you have a local network of nannies you see regularly? 
  • Are there any play groups, play grounds or soft plays that you think would be a good fit for our child? 

Try to prepare for these before the interview, so the answers are fresh in your mind. It can be a great idea to practice with a friend but if no-one’s available, it also works well to send yourself a voice note and listen to it back. 

It’s also a good idea to also bring your qualifications with you in a folder to show you’re well-organised and serious about the job.  In addition to your qualifications, your folder should include:

  • A copy of your latest CV
  • Evidence of your right to work in the UK 
  • Your most recent DBS (criminal background) check
  • Your driving license (if required for the job) 
  • Ideally, a few written references

Some interviews will be just with one or both parents, others will involve the children.  If you do see the children, make sure you engage with them fully and warmly.  A common mistake is for nannies to focus on the parents and ignore the children because they think it makes them seem more professional — but this can mean the parents wrongly assume the nanny isn’t that enthusiastic about children!  Do the opposite – build a rapport with the children as much as you can – and you’re much more likely to land the job.

What unique things can you do in the interview to set you apart  from other candidates? 

  • Bring something relevant: If you followed the tips above for phone calls, you already know some things about the family and child. Use this to your advantage! For example, if parents mention on the phone that their child loves baking, you could arrive at the interview with some cookie cutters and say ‘’I’d love to do some baking with your child from time to time, and look at these awesome toddler-friendly cookie cutters we could use’’
  • Scout the area: You can also scout the area before going to the interview and identify things you could do with the child, then mention them to wow the parents. For example… ‘’I know there’s a beautiful park on X Street, I’d love to take your child there once a day for a play on the swing set and some fresh air’’ or ‘’I see they have rhyme time on a Tuesday at your local library, I’d love to take your child to that once a week’’


If you find yourself going to a few interviews and NOT landing any jobs, it’s time to ask a friend for brutal feedback. Choose your most honest and direct friend (now is not the time to be told you’re perfect!) and ask them to ask you some of these questions. It might be that there is something about your approach you can easily work on and land the next one. 

Another tricky area is whether and when to bring up pay and contractual terms.  While it’s really important to make sure you’re on the same page on these, it’s best to form a good relationship first so that you enter this discussion from a position of strength. The more the family want to have you as part of their life, the more likely they’ll accommodate the things you ask for.  ‘Sell’ your service first, highlighting all your experience, energy, and great personal qualities, to give yourself the best chance of landing the job.

Finally, try not to bad-mouth previous employers. Parents will likely see this as a red flag even if you were in the right. If you do find yourself needing to account for a gap or a poor reference where you feel the family was unfair, be honest and clear but say as little as possible while making your point. ‘Discretion’ is a key requirement for nanny jobs and this is a chance to demonstrate it. This might be a great topic for interview practice with a friend, as it’s quite a tricky balance to achieve. 


At the end of the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the family what the next steps will be, and when you can expect to hear back from them.  It’s also often a good idea to say, “Are there any areas where you feel I might not have the right experience for what you’re looking for?” This gives you the chance to ‘fight your case’ if they have put you down as a Maybe. 

Koru Kids is ALWAYS looking out for nannies and helping you thrive. If this guide has left any questions still on your mind, let us know. And if you’re ready to find your perfect job, start your journey here. Good luck landing the job!

Related articles