How do you find a trustworthy, loving babysitter to care for your child? Prepare for your babysitter interviews with these 20 important questions and interview tips.

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Personal

1. How would you describe yourself?

2. What do you like to do in your free time?

3. Did you grow up around younger kids (siblings, cousins)?

4. What is your availability? Do you have time constraints that would prevent you from staying later if something came up?

5. Do you have reliable transportation? What kind?

6. Do you smoke?

7. Would you be comfortable taking a drug test?

8. How much do you charge?

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Experience

9. Describe your babysitting experience? How long were you with each family? What ages were the children?

10. What are your favorite and least favorite parts about babysitting?

11. How comfortable are you with changing diapers?

12. What are your methods for putting a baby down to sleep?

13. What was your scariest/most challenging babysitting situation? How did you respond?

14. Do you check on babies while they sleep? Why or why not? If you do, how often?

15. Do you have first aid/CPR training? If so, when were you certified? If not, would you be willing to get it?

16. Do you have references?

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Scenarios

17. The baby is on a playmat on the floor and starts choking; what do you do?

18. You are getting ready to give the baby a bath when you smell smoke; what is the first thing you do?

19. You and the baby have been playing when you notice that she starts rubbing her eyes and crying. What do you think that means, and how do you respond?

20. The baby just had a blowout in his diaper. Explain how you handle it.

photo: CC0 Creative Commons via Pixabay 

Interview Tips

1. Call the references your babysitter gives you.

Ask them questions like:

  • How well do you know the sitter?
  • Has she worked for you specifically as a babysitter? If not, what was her role?
  • Is she punctual?
  • Is she dependable?
  • How did she handle a difficult situation she had while caring for your child?
  • Would you hire her again?
  • What three words would you use to describe her?

2. Check her out on social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites are great ways to find out if the persona your babysitter is portraying to you is the one she portrays to everyone else. Google is also a great tool to find out the inside scoop on your prospective babysitter.

3. Discuss your expectations.
Do you expect your babysitter to fold laundry, do dishes and take care of light housework while they are working for you? Do you have a strict eat & sleep schedule you want the sitter to follow? If so, communicate that during your interview. Having crystal-clear expectations will help you both as you gauge whether this is a match.

4. Request a trial run while you’re home. 
Schedule a time for the babysitter to watch your baby while you’re home. You can evaluate how the babysitter interacts with your baby, if they use common sense, how their diaper-changing and feeding skills are and their general demeanor and confidence with babies. It will also help you determine if your baby responds well to the sitter.

Sarah Blight

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