It’s essential to find a babysitter who is more than capable of helping you take care of your child. There are nanny finder platforms and agencies that can help you look for one. But don’t rely on them fully, no matter how helpful they are in looking for a nanny. Since you are entrusting the welfare of your child to someone else, make sure you get to know him or her better—and you can do this by setting up an interview! Here are a few guide questions that can help you find a good babysitter.
Find a Babysitter: Questions You Should Ask
In this post:
- General Questions
- Background Check
- Babysitting Services Experience
- Knowledge and Skills on Safety
- Handling Special Situations
Start with the general questions first. This segment puts the applicants at ease and sets the mood of the entire interview. Don’t forget to clarify the applicants’ asking rate and their availability. Briefly explain to them what you are looking for in a babysitter, too. After you’re through with the general questions, you can decide whether or not to proceed to the next round of questions.
1. What is your rate?
2. What do you look for in an employer?
3. Why have you chosen to become a babysitter?
4. How do you spend your free time?
5. What are your means of transportation? Or, how do you get to work?
6. How many families are you currently working for?
7. Are you a full-time or part-time babysitter? What is your other job? Are you in school?
Don’t hesitate to ask tough questions. Parents are sometimes so relieved to have finally found a babysitter that they forget to dig deeper. Some may say the questions below are a bit intrusive. But it’s better to be direct and ask the things that are really important. After all, you want to ensure the safety of your child foremost.
8. Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?
9. Are you taking any prescription meds? What are they for?
10. Do you smoke? Do you drink?
11. What makes you feel anxious?
12. Are you open to taking a drug test?
Babysitting Services Experience
It is not uncommon for people to tweak their resume. So, don’t get carried away by what applicants say on paper. Always cross-check the details by asking questions about their work experience. Let them elaborate on what they are specifically good at when it comes to child care. During this part of the interview, take the opportunity to observe how they answer. Watch out for inconsistencies and moments of hesitation.
13. Have you taken classes in child care? Can you give me an overview on how you were trained?
14. How many years have you been working with children?
15. How old were the children you previously cared for/currently caring for?
16. What age range are you most comfortable working with?
17. How do you put children to sleep? Do you check on them while they sleep?
18. What activities do you like doing with kids? Why do you like them?
19. Can you help/do you have experience with these childcare needs [specify e.g. special needs, infant care, potty training]?
20. Have you ever helped with homework?
21. What’s the worst scenario you have encountered while babysitting and how did you handle it?
Knowledge and Skills on Safety
Never forget to ask questions about safety. After all, babysitters watch over children, which essentially means that they should be capable of protecting them too.
22. How can you tell a room is child-proofed?
23. Can you perform CPR? Are you CPR certified?
24. Do you know first aid?
25. Can you swim?
26. Have you worked with children with allergies? How did you manage it?
27. How many emergency contacts do you have?
Handling Special Situations
Find a babysitter who knows how to handle challenges well. Of course, it is not easy to gauge an applicant’s skills and initiative in an interview alone. But you can at least check, even for just a bit, how he or she may react in certain situations and come up with solutions.
28. If a child has a request that you must say no to, how would you say it?
29. How would you handle tantrums?
30. Have you ever disciplined a child? How did you do it?
31. Have you ever disagreed with a parent? How did you resolve it?
32. If someone you know insists on coming over, what will you say or do?
33. What if your job runs later than planned? Or, what if I can’t come home on time?
34. What will you do if someone claims that he or she knows me and the kids and insists on picking them up or entering my home?
35. In case of emergencies, what will you do first? [specify scenarios e.g. choking, robbery, locked out of the house, missing child, etc.]
Know what to look for in a babysitter in this video from Care.com:
The best way to find a babysitter is to get the help of nanny placement agencies and nanny finder sites. But again, to make sure you’re hiring the best person for the job, interview the potential candidates yourself. You can even offer them a paid test run so you can observe how they interact with your kids, too. Take note the process doesn’t end the moment you find a babysitter. Give it a week or two then ask your kids what they think of the new babysitter.
How do you find a babysitter? Share with us your tips and insights in the comments!