Interviewing A Nanny

There are certain staples in interviewing someone for a position of trust. The New York Times ran a story today by Lisa Belkin about her nanny, and Lisa broke several key rules.

Let's highlight some of the things you should never do:
  1. Ignore bad references.
  2. Trust your instinct over the facts.
  3. Think not much harm can be done if the person is with your child only a short time.
  4. Put class and cultural considerations in the equation.
  5. Too much trust in gadgets.
You don't ignore bad references because these people have had experience working with the person and know them better than you do.

You don't trust your instincts over the facts because instinct is based on experience, and no one has had a perfect life. We all have blind spots where we really, really want to believe something is true when it isn't. Also, it's too easy to lie to yourself based on convenience.

You don't trust lack of opportunity because unless you lie, cheat or steal on a regular basis yourself, you don't really know what a lack of opportunity looks like.

We all feel more comfortable with people like us. Get over it.

This last point has nothing to do with interviewing nannies. Econo-Girl just wants to point out one last time that polygraphs are bullshit.

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