How To Make The Most Of A Virtual Interview During COVID-19

How To Discuss COVID-19 With Nannies During A Virtual Interview





We are seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the way parents are viewing education, childcare, and their family’s needs from current and future household employees. As we collectively re-imagine what our lives will look like as the country re-opens, COVID-19 will push us to live a little differently in the foreseeable future.


Many families are considering having their nanny live-in to reduce the risk of contamination entering their home. We also see candidates leaning towards live-in positions as they can provide continuity in care for future shelter-in-place orders. To learn more about hiring a nanny during the pandemic, check out this blog post.

Adventure Nannies has been operating as a fully remote agency for over 8 years! Our staff is scattered across the country, so our day-to-day operations have changed very little (although we do miss the occasional “work party” and our annual retreat!). While fortunately much hasn’t changed for us, we have been closely following the many laws and recommendations being put out on both local and state levels. We are diligent in our application of the recommendations by both the CDC and WHO. During these strange times, we have spoken to hundreds of families and candidates, listening to their daily practices, priorities during their search, and what environment will make them feel the most safe and comfortable. Since our candidates and families are spread across the country we think it’s important to foster honest, non-judgmental, and open conversations surrounding COVID-19. States (and even cities) are adopting different methods in preventing the spread, therefore the interview process can seem even more complex.

On top of the discussions that already take place during interviewing, we want both parties to chat about their health practices. This will allow candidates and families to make informed employment choices. We encourage families and candidates to have these conversations throughout the interview process and particularly when considering an in-person trial or an offer of employment. In this document, we provide you with questions that will help streamline this process and help begin some of these conversations.




Past Practices (questions for families and candidates to ask each other):

What have the shelter-in-place / stay-at-home orders like in your city been like?

What do your safe practices during COVID-19 look like?

Did you follow shelter-in-place or self-quarantine?

Do you mind disclosing why, if you did not?

How do you generally get around (car, public transit, bike, walking, etc?)

How has COVID-19 changed the way you think about your work / yourself / your family / your priorities?




Current Practices (questions for families and candidates to ask each other):

Under what circumstances do you feel comfortable leaving your home? (once a week, once every two weeks, only in an emergency, etc?)

When do you leave your home, for any reason, do you wear any PPE?

What have your in-person social interactions been like during this time?

Are you seeing friends and family? If so, what does that look like for you?

Are you entering other’s homes or remaining outside with PPE and an acceptable distance?

What does social distancing look like, in general, in your life?

What kinds of activities are you doing outside of your home? Hiking, running, cycling, spending time in parks, etc?

Do you wear a mask when going outside of your home?

What other safety practices are you doing right now (gloves, sanitizer, etc)?

Do you live with anyone? If so, are they also practicing social distancing?

Is anyone you live with an essential worker?

Is anyone you live with immunocompromised or at high risk for COVID-19?




Work-Related Questions (for families to ask candidates):

How would you address basic COVID hygiene (handwashing, sanitizer, avoiding touching surfaces and faces) with our children?

Would you be comfortable with following our family’s sanitizing practices? (i.e. wiping down surfaces, sanitizing mail, wearing a mask while on duty, changing clothes, and showering at the beginning of each shift, etc?)

Are you comfortable feeding our children, sitting down for meals with our family, bathing the children, or performing other tasks that are necessary for most nanny positions during COVID-19?

We would like you to wash your hands before and after entering our home, preparing food, changing diapers, using the restroom, and ensure our children are following safe hand-washing practices as well. Are you comfortable with this?

While we understand that we cannot dictate your activities during hours you are not working, we would prefer that you do not travel right now. If you were to travel, we would want to include in your employment agreement that any travel would be followed by a 14-day quarantine period. Any such missed workdays would be taken out of vacation time, or be unpaid. Similarly, if our family decides to travel during COVID-19, we will not require that you join us and will pay you for the time we are away and for a 14-day quarantine period after we return. Are you comfortable with agreeing to this?

If you relocated for our position, are there family members/partners, etc. who would be moving with you? (for live-out relocation roles only)




Contingency Plans (for families and candidates to discuss together):

How will all parties discuss changes and decide together when rules can be ‘relaxed’ and which rules should remain in place for the foreseeable future?

What if one party decides to change their social distancing policies to something the other party no longer feels safe or comfortable with?

If our state/city goes under a shelter-in-place order, would the candidate be willing to move into our house? If so, for how long? How would the responsibilities and pay structure shift during that time? (for live-out candidates)

If our state/city goes under a shelter-in-place order and our family decides to leave the city (to a second home or vacation home, etc) and we invite you to join us, would you be willing to? If so, for how long?

If our family decides to leave the city (to a second home or vacation home, etc) and we do not invite you to join us, how long will we continue to pay you for the regular hours you would have worked?

If anyone in our household becomes sick, finds out they have been exposed to COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19, how long will your family allow the employee to stay at home with pay before they can safely return home? What will the benchmarks of returning safely be? Will the employee be paid during this time?

If an employee becomes sick, finds out they have been exposed to COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19, how long will they be expected to stay home before safely returning to work? What does a safe return to work look like for your family? What will pay look like during this time?




Keep In Mind:

COVID-19 has affected different parts of the country in different ways and there is not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to practice self-quarantining and social distancing, other than following WHO, CDC, and statewide recommendations. All domestic employees and employers should work together on deciding best practices to make the more cautious party feel comfortable and safe in their environment.

Legally, employers cannot give direction over how their employees choose to spend their unpaid off-duty time. If a current requirement for your family is that a future employee needs to live alone, you should provide a small monthly housing stipend to allow their employee to afford the added costs of living alone rather than with family members or roommates.

Similarly, if you prefer your employee use a car or rideshare service to get to work rather than public transportation, please be prepared to cover those costs. While your employee absolutely has their own safety and the safety of your family as an utmost priority, they should not be expected to cover costs relating to your family’s preferences as to how they travel to and from work or their home environment while working for your family.

Many families are continuing to do working interviews, or paid trials, with candidates. Some families fly a candidate out and have them quarantine for 1-2 weeks prior to meeting with their family. These weeks are typically paid at the candidate’s full rate and housing and access to ordering groceries or food is provided by the family so that the candidate can safely quarantine. Some families and candidates are comfortable with forgoing a quarantine and moving directly into a working interview depending on the situation and amount of quarantining all parties have been practicing. Some families are choosing to forego a working interview completely and are offering candidates positions after a series of video and phone interviews.

During these uncertain times, we are happy to work with families and candidates to create a job search environment that feels safe for all parties involved.




Have you engaged in virtual interviews during COVID-19? We’d love to hear your experiences – reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, and check out the other posts on the blog!

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