One of the hardest things for moms to do is to trust someone else with their children. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right babysitter interview questions when screening potential caregivers.
Not only do you want to ensure the person watching your child is experienced and capable, you want to find someone whose personality is a great fit for your family too. When you find a sitter who loves watching your kids as much as the kids look forward to seeing her, going out is much easier and more fun for you – everybody wins!
Finding The Right Babysitter
It’s hard to find the right babysitter! Before you even start the interview process, you need to find the babysitters to interview. How do you do that? One great way is to check our Care.com. You can check references, request background checks and even pay them through the site (so cool right?).
Babysitter Interview Questions
The interview with your sitter is the ideal time to make sure the person you want to hire has the skills, attitude and disposition to perform the job to YOUR expectations. For this reason, you won’t find “ideal” answers listed with the questions below because what works for one family might not work for another.
These questions will help you identify important details about prospective sitters in key areas that will make choosing the perfect caregiver for your family easier. The babysitter interview questions fall into three different categories: experience, expectations, and personality.
Some of our best sitters were teens who were just starting out. A long resume of babysitting experience isn’t a MUST to find someone who can take great care of your children. However, there are a few things you should look for to ensure the sitter is capable of handling children and potential problems.
- What is your childcare background? How old are the children you have the most experience watching/interacting with?
- Do you have experience changing diapers? Are you comfortable changing diapers?
- Do you have first aid and CPR training? When was your most recent certification?
- Under what circumstances would you call me?
- If you can’t reach me, who would you contact for help?
- What are your favorite activities to do with children?
- Can you provide me with three references?
READ MORE: 10 Things Your Babysitter Knows About You
You’ll be surprised how many times things you consider obvious or typical are unusual to a prospective sitter. Avoid miscommunication and hurt feelings by clearing up expectations during the interview.
- Do you have your own transportation?
- What housekeeping tasks (if any) do you consider to be part of your job? Tidying up? Dishes?
- Are you comfortable preparing meals? If so, what type?
- Are you comfortable bathing the children and dressing them?
- Do you plan to take the children out (to the store, park, library, etc.) or to remain at home with them?
- What days and hours are you available? Do you have a curfew or a time you cannot stay out past?
- What is your hourly rate? (You can check against current rates in your area)
PRINT AT HOME: Babysitter Information Sheet
The most competent sitter in the world might be the wrong one for your family if her personality isn’t a good match. These babysitter interview questions will help you figure out if your prospective sitter will get along with your family.
- What do you enjoy most about babysitting?
- What do you like least about babysitting?
- How do you handle conflict with a child you are watching? (e.g. refusing to go to bed, not following the rules, not listening to instructions)
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What do you think kids like about you?
- What was your best babysitting experience and why?
- Do you have any religious or personal beliefs that might affect the way you care for our children?
Additional Babysitter Interview Questions
The interview should also be the sitter’s opportunity to find make sure your family is the right fit for her. Make sure you ask your interviewee if she has any questions for you.
In addition, if you have special circumstances in your home or family, be sure to bring them up during the interview. For example:
- Are you allergic to any animals? Are you comfortable around dogs?
- Do you have experience with special needs children?
- Do you know how to swim?
After the Interview
After you’ve interviewed one or more prospective sitters, you should have a good gut feeling about whether or not you’ve found someone you are comfortable hiring to care for your children. Don’t go off your gut feeling alone!
ALWAYS check references. You can check references on Care.com, which makes it super easy. When you speak with the references, be specific in asking about the former employers’ experience with the sitter. How did they come to hire her? What did they like most about her? How many children did she watch? What were their ages? Did she ever go above and beyond their expectations?
If the references match your gut feeling, consider hiring the sitter for a supervised job before leaving her alone with your children. Hire her for an hour or two to entertain the children while you get a chore done at home in another room or part of the house. Your kids will get some time with the sitter to form their own opinion and you can observe her interactions to see if they match your expectations.
When you are finally ready to leave the sitter alone with your children, fill out a Babysitter Information Sheet so she’ll have all the information she needs while you are away. She’ll appreciate having contact information and house rules easily accessible.
About the author:
Corinne from WonderMomWannaBe.com
A mom of five and wife to a US Marine. She’s an aspiring Wonder Mom who loves to eat, run, read, and spend time with friends and family.
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