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The Nanny Interview Chronicles

Interviews. They are never really a fun process. I am sure that most of you been to some sort of interview at one time or another in your life. Usually you will “dress up” and leave the yoga pants at home, write a resume, and make a list of excellent references. Nannies do that too. However, if you are not a nanny, I am willing to wager that these have most likely never been an issue at your interviews. ** Now would be a great time for you to go and pop some popcorn or our a glass of wine. I’ll wait. Take your time. ** Ok here we go. I was infuriated in the moment that these events took place… but now let’s all have a good laugh at the absurdity of what has taken place at some of my nanny interviews. Brace yourself.

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1.) Being asked, “How hot are you?”

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That’s right my friends… “how hot are you?” That was a legit first question I had on a phone pre-interview. When I responded with a frazzled “I’m pretty average” it was promptly followed up with “Great. I will not hire anyone who is hotter than I am.” What else is there to say about this? Omg.

2.) Interview or baby-sitting gig? 

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This mom told me over the phone that she thought I sounded great and would like to meet me in person, and to ask me a few more questions. Perfect…or so it seemed. I arrived at the front of this woman’s Hollywood Hills home and wondered what it must feel it to own such a cool place. I knocked on the door and she immediately pushed her toddler into my arms and told me that she was going to need to “take a business call really quick”. She emerged from her downstairs bedroom 2 HOURS later. I was not asked anymore questions about the position and I was not compensated for my time. Needless to say I was also not happy.

3.) When the household staff warns you what you may be getting into.

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I entered the front doors of the Hancock Park mansion wide eyed and greeted by a butler. It had it all: marble winding doubles stair cases in an enormous grand for foyer, formal sitting rooms, fine china, a crazy gorgeous chandelier… and a terrified household staff. Their current nanny who was going to be moving out of state told me that as much as she loved these kids, that I should run for the hills. She pointed to the wall and I saw sticky notes everywhere. Everywhere. Phrases such as “you can’t do anything right” and “you F***ing idiot” were Sharpied on each neon note. I was told that although I would be hired to be the nanny, the baby would stay gated into a small area off the mudroom and I would be cleaning all day with the 2 maids. I would help the butler and maids serve dinner to the husband, wife and teenage son- the baby would not be allowed to join the family for dinner.  I would be yelled at, taken advantage of and my paychecks would mostly likely bounce twice a month. I was offered the job. I took the nanny’s advice. This wasn’t my first rodeo.

4.) “I’m going to have you take my baby in for his vaccinations.”

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Yeah… that’s not something you want to hear when you are at an interview. Unfortunately at this point I was still in the process of having good boundaries in the interview department. So, instead of sitting me down in the family’s ginormous formal sitting room to talk about my qualifications and get to know each other more, I was instructed to pick up the baby (who I was a complete stranger to) and load him into the car for the doctor’s office. Then (without running a background check on me or looking into my driving record) she instructed me to get in the driver’s seat and chauffeur them to the pediatrician. I felt completely uncomfortable the entire way– but you know when you are almost frozen by panic? Yeah, I was definitely experiencing some of that. Finally we got to the pediatrician’s office. The nurse came in the administer the vaccinations and the baby’s mother stepped out the room, making the baby lose it. All of it. He was terrified to be alone with two strangers and in a strange place. I had enough. I informed the mother that I was incredibly uncomfortable with her request, that this was an interview,  I was a stranger to her baby and what was happening was unfair to him. Shockingly I was offered that job– needless to say I did not accept it.

5.) Are you willing to give up Christmas every year?

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I met this woman in her Soho penthouse via an agency. Her husband barely made eye contact with me when I greeted him and then told his wife that he was hungry and would not be staying to interview me. Nice knowing you, I guess. Their home was spotless and everything was white. I remember being intimidated to even sit on the couch. She informed me that her and her side of the family had just purchased land in the Hampton’s for a family compound and I would need to be ok with watching going with them there all summer to care for not only her baby, but the baby’s cousins in the summer. There may be 6-8 of them int total. I was also asked if I would be willing to give up Christmases with my family every year as she couldn’t imagine traveling alone with the baby– what an inconvenience.

6.) Being asked to give the toddlers a bath at an interview.

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Ok, I am sorry, but you do not let a complete stranger who you have not even had a real conversation with just walk off the street and give your toddlers a bath. Have you heard of a background check? You don’t know me. Even worse, the mother ran the bath and then went downstair to organize everything that she had won at an auction while I was upstairs bathing her kids. I know that I love children and that I am harmless… but she didn’t know that yet. She found me online. That seriously is just screaming “child abuse” if you ask me. It was one of those moments that I froze like a deer in the headlights and did not know how to respond. I bathed the children and as I did I tried putting thoughts together. Do people not understand what the word “interview” means? I left that day and never saw that family again.

7.) Being told that a ten bedroom house with a 3 bedroom pool house (for a family of 4) is just too small.

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Now maybe because I grew up in a family that taught me to be grateful for what I had or the fact that we struggled for part of my childhood…. but this comment pressed my buttons. Why on earth would a 10 bedroom house with a 3 bedroom pool house out back be too small for a 4 person family? That may be none of my business… but this my blog and I shall vent as I please. 😉

8.) “You will be our nanny…. but mostly a party planner.”

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I sat with this family and felt like I was the one conducting the interview. Which is ok to an extent, as I need to find out if I think the family is the right fit for me as well… but this family wasn’t asking me any nanny related questions. Finally the mother informed me that I would be more of their children’s weekly party planer. Each week they would throw a party inviting children of couples in their various social and business circles. The parties were elaborate. I would need to know how to find farm animals, circus performers, balloon artists and whatever else they needed to make each party better than the last at the drop of  hat. It was a plus if I had connections to young people in the entertainment industry.

9.) “We don’t believe in discipling our daughter. You will have to be okay with never telling her no.”

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First let’s rewind. This particular mother was not warm by nature… in anyway. She told me in a very serious voice not to be late to my interview– so I made sure I was 10 minutes early. She gave me explicit details on how to enter the building and what to say to the doorman. I did those things. The doorman could not get a hold of her. For 20 minutes he tried to call up to her penthouse to permission to buzz me up. By the time he was able to communicate with her, she considered me 10 minutes late. I stuck out my hand to her with a smile and said “Hi! It’s so good to meet you, I am Nickey.” She looked at my hand and then without shaking it turned and walked into the penthouse with a “you’re late. Take your shoes off.” She was short with me, didn’t smile and then upon inducing me to her child, explained to me that they did not believe in disciplining daughter and that I would not be allowed to ever tell her the word “no”. Um… NO. Goodbye.

How about you, nannies? I would love to hear your wildly inappropriate and hilarious interview tales! Comment below. 

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8 Comments
  1. Hahahahaha.. those gifs. Perfect.

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  2. O.M.G. Aside from being asked a few very personal questions not at all pertaining to my experience as a nanny, I have never experienced ANYTHING like you described! Funny to look back on now, but I think #2 would still make me a bit mad ?

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    • HA! Yes… 2 was super annoying! Thanks for stopping by and having a read :)

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  3. I have never been put in a situation like you have just described but I have seriously wondered what was going through parents’ minds when they were interviewing me!!! I hope that most Nanny interviews are not like the ones you described, the scenarios did make me laugh, sorry, I bet it was not funny at the time :(

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    • Yes…. SUPER not funny at the time. But honestly, I wouldn’t trade the stories now.

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  4. So funny, but not funny at the same time. I guess the strangest question I’ve been asked was by a Dad whose babies weren’t even born yet. He asked what I would do if I walked in on their child while ummm…let’s say, they were pleasuring themself?! I cannot even remember if or how I replied.

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