Five Questions to Ask Potential Babysitters

Five Questions to Ask Potential Babysitters

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When hiring a new babysitter, you’ll find that asking the right questions will get you the right answers. But how will you know if your interview questions are the right ones? Use the following five questions as a guide to interviewing babysitter candidates.

What’s your idea of an ideal night babysitting?
You want a babysitter whose personality complements those of your children. You’ll receive as many answers to this question as there are babysitting candidates. The idea is not to hear the one right answer but to encourage potential babysitters to open up about the enjoyment for babysitting and for children.

What do you enjoy doing with children?
Asking what activities the babysitter enjoys will help you gauge how active the babysitter will be in engaging your children. A great babysitter might also take the opportunity to learn more about what interests your kids. Even if the candidate doesn’t ask specifics about your children, you can add them here to ensure that the discussion feels more like a conversation than an interview.

What is your experience working with children?
Invite the potential babysitter to share all relevant experience, not just babysitting. Some babysitters have large families, tutoring or mentoring experience, or an educational background in child development, You might also discuss other qualifications, like first aid training, at this point.

What is your experience with the specific age group of my children?
Babysitting experience translates well across age groups. Still, it’s useful to know what age groups the babysitter is already comfortable with. For example, a babysitter with only infant experience may need a few tips on how to coax an eight-year-old to bed.

What interests you about this babysitting position?
A general question about the babysitter’s interest in your position allows the babysitting candidate to add any remaining details. You’ll be able to hear the sincerity (or lack) of the babysitter’s interest in babysitting for your family.

You may follow these questions verbatim or use them loosely to guide your interview with potential babysitters. Either way, your main goal in an interview is to elicit as much pertinent information as possible to help you weigh the candidates. Above all else, ask open-ended questions and listen carefully to the responses.
by Lauren Smith Janzen

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