How to interview your babysitter
Interviewing a babysitter is one of the most important steps in finding the perfect babysitter for your family. While not all parents will ask the same questions during a babysitter or nanny’s interview, as not all situations are the same and different families have different needs, we’ve put together some of the most important questions to ask all babysitters.
You need to be absolutely certain that the babysitter is trustworthy, a good fit and that your child will be happy spending time with them. This is why asking the right babysitter interview questions is such an important process.
The purpose of an interview is to determine if the babysitter is a good fit for the job. In the interview you can also clarify duties and expectations.
Here is how you should structure the interview:
It is important to find out what has motivated this person to work with children. When a person has a love for children and likes to work with them, it is a always a good sign. If the babysitter only wants to earn some money to buy a new phone for example, you can expect that the babysitter does not find the babysitting job interesting, but only cares about the extra pocket money. Questions you can ask to find out the motivations of your babysitter or childminder are;
- Why are you looking for a job or side job?
- What do you like about babysitting?
- Why do you want to work with children?
Since babysitting involves young children, it is important that the babysitter or childminder has some experience with children. It is therefore extremely important to ask about the babysitters experience. You can also ask for reviews or references that the babysitter or childminder has received from previous families where they have proven they are trustworthy and responsible. The opinions of others is very important, if the previous family is satisfied, you know that the babysitter is reliable and professional. Questions you can ask to find out the babysitters experience;
- Have you worked with children before? If so, do you have reviews or references?
- What was the best thing you experienced as a babysitter and what was your least pleasant experience?
Experience is important, but experience with babysitting does not necessarily guarantee that the person knows how to deal with children or certain situations. This is why it is important to outline a number of situations and ask how the babysitter would react. If you want to leave your child in good hands, you must be sure that the babysitter or childminder can respond with discretion and professionalism. Certificates are not required for a babysitter, however, they can show that the babysitter has knowledge when it comes to working with children. Example questions you can ask to find out the knowledge of your babysitter are;
- How would you react if the child has a tantrum?
- What would you do if the child fell and got hurt?
- What would you do if the child will not go to asleep?
- What kind of food should you not give to a child younger than 1 year?
As a parent you do not want a babysitter that sits on their phone in front of the television. Test the creativity of the babysitter in advance. Questions you can ask are;
- What kind of activities do you enjoy playing with children?
- What does a typical day look like?
- Do you like crafts or sports?
Before you book a babysitter it is important to talk about the babysitter rate. The hourly wage can vary per person. Therefore, state what hourly wage you were thinking about and then ask what the babysitter would like to earn per hour for the babysitting job. Take into account age, knowledge, experience, extra tasks and working hours. Questions you can ask about the babysitter rate are;
- How much have you charged for previous babysitting jobs?
- How much do you require?
Think carefully about when you want to book the babysitter. There are many different types of babysitters. Some babysitters can only work during the weekend, while others are very flexible. Questions you can ask to find out the availability of the babysitter are;
- Do you want to work on set days?
- What days are you available?
- Which days are you unavailable?
- Are you flexible? Can I call you if I unexpectedly need a babysitter due to traffic jams, illness etc.?
It is necessary to come to an agreement with your babysitter prior to babysitting. Babysitters can take on several tasks in addition to babysitting. These extra babysitting services must be specified before the working relationship is started as an hourly rate must be set that is consistent with the workload and secondly to determine whether the babysitter is also content with these extra tasks. Questions you can ask are;
- Are you prepared to take on some extra tasks in addition to babysitting?
- Can you cook? Do housework? Or take care of animals?
- Do you have allergies to animals?
- Can you change a baby's diaper?
- Do you know how to bathe a baby?
- Can you help with homework?
It is possible that you will require your babysitter to perform extra tasks. Be clear and always outline exactly what you require from your babysitter. If their answers reflect your needs, you have chosen the right person! Questions you can ask are;
- What specific tasks must the babysitter or childminder perform?
- What are your specific needs as a parent?
By asking the babysitter these questions you will find out if the person is suitable for the babysitter job and if you have a good match. Good luck with your introductory meeting!