4 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Babysitter

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When you think about it, a babysitter has the most important job: taking care of your children. Why then would you choose one without first interviewing her and checking her references?  When you hire a babysitter, you’re the employer and the babysitter is your employee.  By following a process of interviewing and checking references, you’ll feel more confident that you’ve hired the right person.

Many employee searches begin with a phone interview. You should do the same. Start the interview by letting the potential babysitter know the number and age of your children, your address, any special issues, transportation, and “pet peeves” or restrictions. Go over your expectations and stress that your first priority is to keep your child safe and happily entertained.

Then, you’ll want to ask the babysitter a few crucial questions:

  1. What is your age and babysitting experience with children the same age as my children? (Tip: Sitters shouldn’t babysit for infants less than six months of age until they’ve had at least two years of experience.)
  2. Do you have training in the rescue of a choking infant and children?
  3. What is your usual fee? (Tip: Negotiate a fair fee prior to the job.)
  4. What if….? (Tip: Present a few scenarios to determine how the babysitter would handle them. For example, for a toddler, you might ask about handling a child who cries when parents leave.)

If the phone interview goes well, and if your schedule allows, arrange a pre-job personal interview to check out your “gut response” to the babysitter. If you feel you’ve found the right babysitter, the next step is to check references. Do not hire a babysitter if you cannot check their references!

When you hire a babysitter, you are hiring a person you are willing to trust with the responsibility for your child’s life. Make sure you select a trustworthy, responsible babysitter to watch and take care of your child.