Questions to ask a babysitter in an interview

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Juggle Street at 20/8/2020

When you hire a babysitter, naturally you'll want to ensure you hire a qualified individual who will take good care of your children. When you find a babysitter, however, it can be hard to know what questions to ask them to get a good understanding of their experience and personality. To help simplify the hiring process, we have compiled a list of the top questions to ask a babysitter in an interview.

1. What experience do you have with childcare?

When you ask this question, your interviewee should be enthusiastic about their past experiences working with and looking after children. You may also wish to ask them the follow-up question, what experience do you have working with the age group/groups of my child/children?

It is important you ask a babysitter not just about their previous babysitting jobs, but their experience in childcare in general as they may have limited experience babysitting but a plethora of knowledge and experience in other forms of childcare, such as au pairing, working in a nursery or looking after their younger siblings.

2. What are you passionate about outside of babysitting?

Asking your potential babysitter what they are passionate about, aside from childcare, will help you get to know them on a better level and help you to form a more accurate idea of their personality.

There is no correct answer to this question, but you can use the answer of the babysitter to see if they are a good fit for your child. For example, if the interviewee responds that they enjoy art and reading, you will be able to judge whether these are passions and interests your children also share. You can also use the answer to this question to see how serious the candidate is about babysitting, as if they respond they are passionate about a future career in childcare, you know they will take the role of babysitting incredibly seriously.

3. How flexible is your work schedule?

It is better to ask a potential candidate about their availability and flexibility at the start of an interview, to avoid wasting your time interviewing a candidate who will be unable to work to your schedule or fulfil all the hours of babysitting you require.
Ideally, a babysitter should be available at regular hours throughout the week and have some room for flexibility for last-minute plans you may have. Ensure you consider the hours you would require a babysitter before you conduct any interviews so you can provide potential candidates with accurate information.

4. How would you handle this scenario?

Think of an emergency or difficult situation that the babysitter may find themselves in with your child and ask them how they would handle it. For example, if your child has asthma you could ask a babysitter what they would do if your child started having an asthma attack and did not have their inhaler. Similarly, you could ask the babysitter how they would handle your two children arguing or physically fighting with one another.

The babysitter does not necessarily have to give a perfect answer to this question, as you could provide them with instructions about how to handle the scenario if you choose to hire them, but how they answer the question will show you how professional, logical, experienced and cool-headed they are. If they are able to answer this question calmly, it will reveal whether or not they would be able to act quickly and appropriately in a high-pressure scenario.

5. How strong are your communication skills?

It is essential you establish whether a potential babysitter has strong communication skills not only with yourself but with your child also. Firstly, ask the babysitter about their communication skills with children, for example, whether they have any techniques for resolving conflicts and how they communicate with children who may not have extensive verbal skills.

It is also important you establish how responsive they will be to messages from yourself. For example, if they admit they check their phone frequently, you can be sure they will never miss a message or call from yourself. Alternatively, if they confess they turn off their phone during their free time to have a digital detox, you must accept that you may be unable to reach them at certain times outside of their babysitting hours.

6. How will you be commuting to and from babysitting appointments?

While it is not essential that your babysitter can drive or has their own car, many parents see this as a bonus. If a babysitter does not drive their own vehicle, you must ensure they feel comfortable and confident using public transport in your local area. You may also need to consider if you would be willing to drive your babysitter home if they work late into an evening, or if you would be able to provide them with taxi fare.

7. How would you spend a Saturday with my children?

Asking a babysitter for a rough idea of how they would spend a day with your children is an effective way to get a sense of how experienced and passionate they are about childcare. For example, if a babysitter remembers to include lunch, snack time and time for a nap in their plan for the day, you can be confident they have the initiative and knowledge to look after your children well.

The activities they plan will also be a good indication of how experienced they are with children. For example, if they suggest taking your pre-teen to the park or taking your newborn to the zoo, this will be a good indication that they are unsure of what activities are age-appropriate for your children.

Finding and communicating with babysitters is easy on the Juggle Street introductory platform. We understand parents have a lot going on in their day to day lives, and juggling work, social obligations and childcare can be difficult. Luckily, we're here to help. Create a Juggle Street profile today and connect with caregivers in your local area easily.