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Interview Tips for Parents

Interviews are an important part of the babysitter hiring process. Be sure to interview any potential babysitter in person before hiring them. This interview gives you the chance to confirm their identity with a photo ID and to see proof of certifications and registrations (babysitter, nursery school instructor, etc.). Remember to ask babysitter candidates to bring their résumé, too.

Where Should You Conduct Your Interview?

We suggest you meet somewhere other than your home for the first interview. A café, restaurant, or some other public space that’s convenient for both you and the interviewee. If you hire a babysitter without doing a second in-home interview, take time on their first day of work to explain the layout of the house, how to use appliances, and other information necessary for properly taking care of your child. If you’re going to have your child cared for somewhere other than your home (babysitter’s residence, etc.) be sure to visit the site in person beforehand.

What Questions Should You Ask? What Information Should You Provide?

Writing down a script for questions to ask and information to provide will help you remember everything you want to cover in your interviews:

  • About the Babysitter
    • Why did you choose babysitting as an occupation? What do you like about your job?
    • What child-care experience do you have? What types of children have you cared for in the past (age, other circumstances)?
    • (With respect to past long-term jobs) Why did you stop work at your previous job?
    • What experience do you have besides child care? Do you use that experience in your child care work?
    • What talents do you have? Do you play an instrument? Sing? Do sports? Do you have a special game or activity you like to do when you baby sit?
    • Do you have life-saving or first-aid training? Have you ever taken classes or seminars on child care?
    • Do you have any strengths or weaknesses in relation to babysitting?
    • What do you like to emphasize when working with children? What is your child-care philosophy?
    • When are you available/not available? Are you flexible on a day-to-day basis (e.g. start early, finish late some days when necessary)?
    • Do you cook, clean, or perform any other tasks as part of your baby-sitting duties? Are you willing to perform other tasks?
  • About Your Children
    • Explain in detail what type of care you want for your children. What type of care you don’t want. What types of activities/care are off limits, etc.
    • Discuss family rules regarding TV watching, video games, etc.
    • Explain any medical needs of your children. Allergies, sicknesses, etc. Discuss your plans for meals, etc.
    • Discuss the things your children likes to do. What they don’t like to do. Their strengths and weaknesses, etc.
  • About the Job
    • Go over the daily schedule.
    • Talk about anything you want the babysitter to do outside the scope of child care.
    • Discuss fees, transportation costs, payment method, etc.
    • Determine rules for cancellations, term/length of employment, dismissal, resignation, etc.
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