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Though you may be using a service like The Heirloom Company to find your nanny, the ultimate decision to hire or not to hire is always yours. Part of hiring the perfect nanny is knowing what it is that you want, and knowing how to recognize it when you see it. Below are five tips for helping make that big decision!

1.) Keep it Casual

If you have hired a good nanny service, then the nanny you are meeting has already been thoroughly vetted. That means you don’t need to ask the tough questions, you already know she is qualified. Your role is to find out whether or not she is someone you want in your home every day. Feel free to ask a few serious questions that are important to you, but keep the vibe light and take this time to get a sense of who she is.

2.)Take Charge, Follow Your Lead, or Both?

There is no wrong answer when it comes to what personality type best suits your family. Do you need a nanny who will come in and take charge right away? Do you want her to impart her years of experience on you? Do you prefer someone who follows your lead? Someone who will check everything she does with you first? Or does your family work best with someone in between? It is important to think about this before you are faced with your final candidates, that way you can avoid hiring a great nanny that just isn’t great for your family.

3.) Watch Her in Action

Because being a nanny is different from most of the professional world, good interview skills are not necessarily an indicator that she is good at her job. Where the interview is important, it is much more important to watch her at work by giving her a trial day or two. This is also extremely helpful in seeing how your kids react to her. Five minutes at the end of an interview is not long enough for her colors to shine. Pick a day that you are around enough to observe, but not so much that you interfere.

4.) Complement, Not Copy

Where it is important to have things in common with your nanny, it is equally important that she bring things to the table that you might not. For example, you may be great with helping with school work and playing sports in the yard but the thought of making crafts or playing with legos makes your head hurt. Remember that your nanny is part of your village and is the perfect person to to fill in when you child gets an armful of lego projects for Christmas.

5.) The Spark

We say it for romantic relationships, and its just as much true with our nannies. Your gut doesn’t lie. If you feel like she is a good match for your family she probably is. Likewise if she is great on paper but you feel like something just isn’t right, don’t hire her!

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