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How to Interview a Babysitter or Nanny

After looking through a few profiles, you’ve found a potential babysitter and you’re ready to interview them. But now the question is what exactly should you ask them? We know it can be tricky to interview the person who hopefully will be caring for your children and that you’ll want to know as much as possible about them. That’s why we’ve developed this in-depth list of the best questions to ask a babysitter or nanny candidate to ensure both you and the interviewee feel great about working together. 

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 (kids’ personalities, interests, schedule, etc). Then start getting to know them! Here are some suggestions for questions you may want to ask:

  • How long have you been babysitting, and why do you love working with kids?
  • What are your hobbies and interests? How do you spend your time when you’re not babysitting?
  • Tell me about your previous experience with my child’s age group?
  • What is your schedule like, and how much flexibility do you have? What is your commute time? Do you foresee any scheduling conflicts?
  • How would you plan a typical day with my kids?
  • Are you comfortable helping with homework?
  • Are you comfortable cooking or preparing food for kids?
  • Are you willing to help out with child-related household tasks (such as the children’s laundry, tidying up after playtime, meals, etc.)?
  • Would you be willing to care for my children if they are sick? Would you be comfortable administering medication if necessary?
  • Have you ever had an emergency situation come up when working with a child, and if so how did you handle it?
  • What is your style of discipline? How do you handle conflicts, disagreements, sibling arguments, or behavioral issues?
  • Are you comfortable commuting with kids, taking them to various activities by subway, bus, or cab?
  • Would you be comfortable caring for additional kids during playdates, carpools, etc. if that information was given to you in advance?
  • How have you communicated with parents in previous positions (text, e-mail, phone), and do you have a preferred communication method?
  • If applicable, have you ever worked with a stay-at-home-mom?

If you’re 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?

Dive into Details

Be sure to cover any special considerations or specific requirements for the job. It’s important that both parties make sure their expectations are aligned. This way you’ll decrease the chances of anyone coming up against any unexpected surprises later on. 

  • Do you have experience with siblings or working with multiple children at once?
  • Are you able to travel with us on vacations or overnights?
  • What are your summer plans?
  • Do you have much experience interacting with or overlapping care with parents, parents who work from home, and/or families with other household staff?
  • Do you have any pet or food allergies that we would need to know about?

Good Vibes Only 

If you are feeling a connection with your potential babysitter, have them meet your kids! This will be the ultimate test of compatibility. Your kids are intuitive, and this will be a good chance to get an idea of how they’d interact with the sitter. If you’d prefer for your kids not to hear the interview, consider having them play in another room and meet the babysitter either before or after the conversation. If you prefer to conduct the interview entirely without your kids there, you can always set up a trial babysitting session where you pay the babysitter for a few hours and observe how they interact with your kids!

Are your kids having a great time with your new babysitter or nanny? Tag SmartSitting in your Facebook and Instagram posts so we can see and share your posts on our channels. Want to know about what our nannies and sitters are up to? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter for all the latest info coming from our team!

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