When hiring a sitter, its important that you take the time to get to know the candidates background, and philosophies on child care and things such as discipline, responsibility, and their general background. Here is a list that was put together by Sittercity which should help guide a care-seeker through a sitter interview, and make sure you cover all possible questions that might pertain to your specific care needs.
- What is it about babysitting that appeals to you, and what made you first want to do it?
- What would be the ideal family for you to babysit for?
- What do you charge for sitting?
- Have you been in trouble with the police, arrested for something, or have a criminal conviction?
- Would you mind if a job finishes later than you expected?
- Do you have transport available for getting home, or would you need us to give you a lift back?
- If you aren’t available for a particular night, how soon would you expect to contact us to let us know?
Experience and Background
- How many years of experience do you have in working with children?
- Tell me a bit about your previous roles with children. Have you done babysitting before or worked with children in any other previous employment?
- Have you babysat for any other families, and what ages were the children that you cared for?
- Have you bathed children before in your previous roles as caregiver?
Babysitter’s Personal Circumstances
- Where do you live? How will you get to this job? How will you manage if you have difficulties with your transport? backup solution?
- Are you doing another job or are you still in full time education?
- Do you have allergies that we need to be aware of such as animals?
- Would you religious affiliation affect the way that you will be caring for the children?
- (for nannies) Are you planning on taking time off in the next six months? Do you have holidays or events planned that you cannot change?
Safety and Training
- Have you done a first aid course or have any knowledge of first aid?
- Do you have knowledge of CPR?
- Do you know how to carry out the Heimlich maneuver and have you ever had to use it?
- Are you able to swim?
- Are you aware of the emergency numbers?
- Would you be able to drive if there was an emergency?
- Give an example of when you have had to deal with a crisis on a job and what you did.
- What activities would you carry out with the children if you were looking after them today?
- How would you deal with a child who refuses to sleep?
- Have you had to deal with tantrums in the past? What strategies do you have for this?
- In your previous experience of working with young children and/or babies, what has been your proudest moment and why?
- What has been your worst experience and what did you do to resolve it?
- What methods of discipline do you normally use? If we requested particular methods would you be willing to change?
Tasks and Responsibilities
- Can you help to arrange play dates for the children if necessary?
- Would you be willing to look after additional children if they had friends around to play?
- Would you be able to help with homework?
- Would you be willing to make dinner for the children and carry out light housework duties?
- Would you be able to watch the children as a ‘mother’s helper’ if I am working from home?
- Are you willing and able to look after the children overnight if necessary?
- Would you be able to travel with the family if needed?
Questions for newborns
- Are you experienced and willing to look after newborns?
- Have you changed diapers before?
- Are you experienced in baby CPR?
- Are you able to properly pick up and carry a newborn?
- Are you aware of SIDS and what you need to do to help to prevent it?
- Do you know how to prepare and heat up formula milk?
- Do you know what Shaken Baby Syndrome is?
- Are you aware of how to prevent choking, and do you know what is the proper size for baby chewables?
- Are you able to childproof a room?
- Are you happy to drive the children around?
- Do you own a valid drivers license and can I see it?
- When did you pass your driving test?
- Have you had any speeding fines or accidents in your car?
We hope you enjoy this thorough list of questions to ask when interviewing a babysitter. We feel it is complete and covers just about every possible need you will have when considering a candidate as a babysitter!Lila Frost