Five Questions To Ask A Babysitter In An Interview
We asked parenting expert, Paula Miranda, to share her top tips for interviewing a babysitter. Watch this How to Interview a Babysitter video or read on.1. What kind of experience do you have? Its important to ask about babysitting experienceand more broadly about any experience theyve had with children . Ask specifically about the sitters CPR and First Aid certifications, any coursework that relates such as early childhood development, and how many years experience she has caring for young infants, toddlers, elementary aged kids, etc.
2. What kind of activities do you have planned? Have the babysitter give you an idea of the types of activities they might plan for your child: Games , arts and crafts projects, bubbles, charades, etc. This will help you determine if the sitter will have good chemistry with your kids. If you have a budding soccer player, youll want a sitter who is willing to take him to the park.
3. Are you open to helping out around the house? This is a big one. If you expect anything else to be done while youre gone dishes, laundry, or even errands, you should ask upfront if the sitter is willing to do it.
4. Are you comfortable disciplining my child? Lay out your house rules and the methods you usually use , so the sitter is not in the dark, and make sure she/he is comfortable with saying no and being firm.
Align On Duties And Expectations
Think about what a typical shift might look like for your babysitter, and tailor these questions to the exact kind of care your children need. Do not forget to ask about special circumstances like allergies, pets, special health needs and house rules.
- This job will require changing diapers. How comfortable are you with that?
- Are you willing to prepare meals and snacks for my child?
- Are you willing to assist with homework?
- How often do you rely on screens when caring for kids?
- Do you have experience caring for children with allergies?
- Do you have experience caring for children with special needs?
- What would a typical day/evening/afternoon caring for my children look like?
What Is Your Previous Childcare Experience
This is an obvious question, but its all about the details the candidate can provide on the spot. Anyone can make up experience on a resume, but youll be able to tell how much the person enjoyed being with the children and how close they were to the family by listening carefully and asking follow up questions. Asking about the previous clients children as far as personalities, likes and dislikes, and how they did with sleeping and eating should bring out candid stories that will give you a window into the candidates interactions as well as their emotional investment in the families.
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The Most Common Interview Questions For Babysitters
Babysitting can be a highly fulfilling career for those who enjoy child care. If you’re a prospective babysitter looking for a new position, preparing to answer common interview questions can help you secure a role. In an interview, parents may ask you a variety of questions to evaluate your competencies. In this article, we outline 44 of the most popular interview questions for babysitters, including 10 example answers to help you prepare.
Here are 12 general questions you may be asked during your interview:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why did you leave your last role?
- What three words describe you best?
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- Why do you think we should hire you?
- What makes you unique?
- What interests you about being a babysitter?
- What hobbies do you have outside of work?
- What are your major strengths as an employee?
- What hourly rate do you charge as a babysitter?
Why Hire A Babysitter
Babysitters can be hired for personal or professional reasons. They look after young children while parents tend to other matters. The right babysitter candidate will go above and beyond by assisting with homework and other agreed-upon tasks.
Support within the scope of child care Prepare basic meals Assistance with schoolwork
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Are You Comfortable Giving The Children Baths And Dressing Them
Most children only need a bath once or twice a week anyway, so it’s not a huge deal if the answer is no. But it would be nice to have it all done for you if the babysitter is going to be there on bath night and they’re willing to help out.
If you don’t feel comfortable having the babysitter give your child a bath, then you can just skip this question.
Finding Out That You Have An Interview
If a parent hears about you and thinks they might be interested in hiring you to babysit, they’ll reach out.
When you’re using a babysitting website, you’ll receive a private message or email from them. If someone you know gave them your information, you’ll probably get a phone call or text message instead.
From here on, treat every interaction you have with the parent as part of the interview. You want to be sure to make a positive impression, even if you’re just replying to say you’d be interested and set up an interview!
The parent who wants to hire you will set most of the details and you’ll agree on a time that works for both of you.
It’s important to figure out what type of interview it’s going to be. Some parents just want a quick phone interview before they meet you in person. Others will want to do a video call through Skype or Facebook. Some will just meet you in person right away. There are some little tips and tricks that are different for each style of interview.
Provide Them With Various Hypothetical Scenarios And Ask How They Would Handle Each Situation
These kinds of questions may put the candidate on the spot a bit, but its important for you to see how quickly a babysitter can think and respond in case of emergency. Possible scenarios include fevers, cuts and bruises, tantrums, refusal to go to bed, anxiety over you leaving, and sibling arguments. You know what happens in your house better than anyone, so dont be afraid to put those real scenarios out there as a problem solving scenario.
If you have an anxious child, this type of question can be especially important to ask. I would suggest that a parent with a child suffering from separation anxiety ask the babysitter: “How do you handle children who cling to their parents when they are leaving? Do you feel comfortable holding on to my child while we leave? How will you help my child settle down once we have left, yet he or she is still crying for us?,” says Colleen Wildenheaus, mother of a 13-year-old girl suffering from severe anxiety and OCD, and blogger at Good Bye Anxiety, Hello Joy.
How To Interview A Babysitter
14 January 2020First Published 4 February 2019
Finding the right babysitter can be a lot of work. If you’re doing your due diligence, you will be busy checking referencing, going through at least one interview, and possibly even doing a trial run.
Here are some tips to make sure the interview process goes as smoothly as possible and a general guide on how the process should work.
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What Do You Do When Childrens Temper
In cases like going to bed, taking baths and eating meals, there is a high tendency for tantrums as the child might not be in the mood or is simply acting silly. The candidate must be ready for this kind of situation and know how to avert them.
What to look for in an answer:
- Problem-solving skills
- Strategies for managing temper-tantrums and keeping children on track
“I always try to calm the child down with soothing words and patience. However, if their outburst is disruptive to the other children, I typically move them to another room. This gives them space to calm down and allows the other children to keep playing. When necessary, I issue a time-out to prevent further behaviour like this.”
Ask Questions Related To Transportation
If your babysitting job doesnt involve the candidate transporting the kids anywhere, ask questions to understand how reliable their transportation will be to and from your house. If you do need a babysitter who can drive, ask to see their drivers license and ask detailed questions about their driving record. If your children use a car seat or booster seat, take the time to show them how it works and then ask them to show you the process on their own.
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What Do You Think That Children Like About You
As they spend most of their working hours with children, babysitters should be able to get along with them. A parent may ask you this question to evaluate how you’ve previously formed relationships with families and their children. In your answer, describe a few traits that you’ve been recognized for in the past.
Example answer:“I think most children really like the fact that I listen to them. When I ask children questions and listen carefully to their responses, they feel heard and I can find out so much about their preferences, goals and other important information. All of these unique details inform how I care for each child I work withâif I know what they like, I can make our time together more engaging.”
You Might Ask A Potential Babysitter Questions Like:
- How long have you been babysitting?
- Are you ever available on short notice?
- Do you have reliable transportation?
- Do you have experience caring for children of age?
- What activities do you like to do with kids?
- How comfortable are you enforcing household rules?
- How do you typically deal with behavior issues?
- This is a home. Are you comfortable with that?
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Questions On Hourly Rates
Many babysitters will have a rate up to midnight and may charge extra during unsociable hours. It will be up to you to negotiate a suitable rate with your babysitter. To find out more about how much a babysitter costs, have a look here. Make sure you are both clear on your babysitter’s hourly rate to ensure there are no disputes down the line. Questions could include:
1) What is your hourly rate?
2) Do you charge more after midnight?
3) How will you be travelling to our home? Shall we negotiate travel costs?
Tips To Remember Before Your Interview
As the person conducting an interview, a lot of the tips are the same you’d give someone who is going to an interview. You want to present a positive image to your potential babysitter as much as they are undoubtedly going to try to please you as well.
Be on time. If you’re meeting somewhere, it’s important for you to be there a few minutes before the interview is scheduled. If you arrive late, your babysitter might not hang around until you get there, and you might miss out on a great candidate. If you expect them to be reliable and punctual, you need to be too. If you’re interviewing at home, you should still be “on time” in the sense that you’re prepared and ready to get started as soon as your babysitter arrives.
Try to make a good impression. Science tells us that people make first impressions upon meeting someone in as little as seven seconds! As the interviewer, you hold a lot of the power in this situation. But you still want to signal to your potential babysitter that you’re someone they actually want to work for. Little differences like sitting up straight, smiling, and making eye contact can make a big difference in how you will be perceived.
Be polite and professional. Again, you want to be someone that the babysitter is willing to work for. If you come across as someone who is short-tempered, untrustworthy, or disorganized, your babysitter might question whether they want to work for you.
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What Do You Like Most About Caring For Children
Caring for children can be challenging for some individuals, but babysitters typically find the experience rewarding and fulfilling. A parent may ask you this question to evaluate whether you actually enjoy the task of babysitting children. In your response, try to describe instances where you felt accomplished as a babysitter or experienced a sentimental moment with a child to demonstrate how much you value working in such a role.
Example answer:“I think the most rewarding part about caring for children is fostering relationships with them and their families. I really cherish the moments where I can help families support a child’s growth and become an integral part of their development. These moments remind me continually that caretaking jobs like babysitting are so much deeper than simply watching a child.”
Start With The Basics
Begin your conversation with the candidate by giving an overview of your family, your child/children, and the nature of the job . Then start getting to know them! Here are some suggestions for questions you may want to ask:
If youre interviewing a babysitter for an infant or baby:
Tell me about your experience with infants/babies.
Do you have experience caring for infants who have a difficult time taking a bottle?
What is your approach to establishing a sleep schedule?
If applicable, do you have experience working with new parents?
What is your experience with pumping and/or supplemental feeding?
Are you comfortable with our methods of sleep training, play, and/or feeding? What are your preferred methods?
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How To Be A Good Babysitter Advice For Teens
Most parents look for a new babysitter when they want to enjoy a date night together. If they dont have any family members to lean on, then odds are they will begin to interview potential sitters to find the one that best suits their needs. Some families might request background checks while others just want to make sure the teens are capable of following house rules. Either way, its best to remain prepared.
Before you start watching someones kids, be sure to ask them the following questions:
- What responsibilities do they expect of you?
- How many children do they have?
- How young are their children?
- Do any of their children have special needs?
- Do they require CPR training?
- Do their children have any favorite toys you should know about?
- Will there be an older sibling you will also be responsible for?
- Are there any food allergies?
- Can the kids eat junk food or dessert after dinner?
- What is their policy on screen time?
- Who are the emergency contacts you need to know?
If you get through this list of careful questions, then you can decide if you are a good fit for this job.
What Are Your Views About Disciplining Children
Every family a babysitter encounters will have differing views about disciplining children. A parent may ask you this to see whether you’re flexible with your disciplinary protocol and how you may collaborate with a family to identify the best disciplinary solutions possible. In your answer, demonstrate your flexibility and explain that you would defer to their preferences, as long as the child was safe physically and emotionally.
Example answer:“Disciplining a child can be a challenging taskâin most situations, I defer to the child’s parents and use disciplinary tactics that they implement on a day-to-day basis. This helps maintain consistency with the child’s typical experiences. My primary goal with discipline is keeping a child safe, both physically and emotionally, while encouraging them to behave respectfully.”
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Engage With Both Parents And Kids
While its the parents who conduct the interview and ultimately make the hiring decision, dont forget about the most important stars of the show: the kids! If you and the kids dont jive well together, this job might not be the best fit for you.
If your interview is at their home, ask the parents if you can meet the kids to play with them for a bit. Even if the kids are shy and take a while to warm up to new people, the parents will appreciate that you made the effort to get to know them. If you want to go above and beyond, you could even bring an inexpensive age-appropriate gift like stickers or a coloring book.
Bonus : Screen Time And Phones In 2021
This is such a complicated topic: Usually, families are not thrilled for their kid to spend too much time in front of a screen, if at all . Things only got worse due to the covid screen-time forced overload. If you have a no-screen time policy, make sure to offer a little wiggle room. Especially if the sitter/nanny is dealing with two siblings or more, it’s only fair to leave that tool in their arsenal, as long as it’s used exceptionally.
Something very common is to see kids playing at a playground and sitters/nannies hanging out, staring at their phones, just checking on the kid now and then. You probably don’t want this, so be super clear about it with your sitter, if you don’t want THEM to spend too much time on their phones. Again, now and then, it’s clearly okay, but make sure they know if you want them to be involved and present with your kid’s activities.
Finally, you should decide what your policy concerning photos is : Many parents are happy to receive pictures of their kids involved in activities and sports. Make sure you communicate your wishes clearly. And make sure your sitter knows whether they’re allowed or not to post photos of them with your kids on their social profile. In principle, if your sitter is allowed by you to post pictures with your child, tell them to avoid posting anything indicating a routine, and specific geotags
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