For the full context of these questions, please start with my post about finding the right sitter for your family here. The list of questions below comes after a few interactions and exchanges with a babysitting candidate!
- What are your plans today/tonight?
- Or; Do you have anything planned for the weekend? Or, what did you do this past weekend?
- I know we have briefly connected on Care and by e-mail by why don’t you start with telling me a little bit about yourself from the beginning.
- Offer to repeat some facts about your family and what you are looking for in a sitter.
- Tell me about your family. Do you have siblings? Older/younger? How do you all get along?
- Do you have any pets? Do you like animals? [Most specifically for families with pets]
- Did you grow-up in this area?
- Do you have any regular afterschool or weekend activities (sports, clubs, leagues, etc.)?
- What type of childcare experience do you have?
- Why do you like being a babysitter?
- What are the ages of the children you have cared for?
- Do you have a favorite age group to work with? Why? Do you have any least favorite?
- Do you have other life or work experience that makes you a great sitter?
- How many children have you cared for alone at one time?
- Can you tell me about a typical day/night of babysitting for you?
- What is your favorite part of being around kids?
- What is the hardest part of taking care of kids?
- What types of activities do you like to do with kids to keep them happy and engaged?
- Do you have a favorite children’s book?
- Do you have a favorite kid’s movie?
- Do you drive? Do you have a reliable car? Have you ever gotten a ticket or other violation?
- Do you speak any other languages? [Specially for families who are looking for sitters who can teach another language, otherwise, irrelevant]
- Do you have any other skills that make you a great, fun, sitter (like singing, dancing, playing sports, are you creative/crafty, etc.)?
- Do you have any more questions for me?
There is lots more to come! Questions, questions, questions. Remember, this was only a phone screen to get a sense of the candidate. Next up is an in-person interview and a trial!
It all went great: “Claire, it was so great to talk to you! Thank you again for taking the time to chat. I’d love to get a list of your references and make time for us to meet in person. Does that sounds like a good next step to you?” — Be sure to gather references and offer a few times to meet via e-mail or text so it’s in writing. See my post here about this next step.
It didn’t go so great: “Claire, thank you so much for making time to chat today. I really appreciated it. It’s been nice to get to know more about you and what you are looking for in a babysitting job. I’d like to think about the next step here and circle back with you shortly.”
Honestly, I like to buy time and politeness here — it gives me time to reflect on the interview instead of shooting them straight down. Within 24-hours I absolutely follow-up with a text or e-mail again thanking them for their time but letting them know we have decided to go in a different direction for a sitter and wish them the best on their search for the perfect family.
For more on childcare – including au pairs, nannies, hiring contracts, traveling with childcare, daycares, etc. – visit my childcare page here.