What are the important things you need to ask of a new babysitter? After all, you are putting them in charge of your most precious possessions! You want to make sure they will be engaging and fun, and also responsible with your children. So what are some things you should ask while interviewing them before giving them the job?
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Parenting Tips: Babysitter interview questions
What are your strengths? Think of this as a job interview, and you are the employer. I am sure you have been asked this same question in at least one interview in your life. Pay attention to her answer. Is it child related?
What sort of activities do you do with kids? This is important! What is she going to do to entertain your kids while you are away? Is she the kind of sitter who is engaging, more of a teacher type person? Or is she someone who waits to see what the kids want to do, and sort of just hangs out? This is personal preference on your part. You might be ok with someone who is there to watch the kids, or you might want someone who entertains them, so the kids look forward to seeing them when you have to leave.
How do you comfort a sad or upset child? This is an important question! How is she going to handle your children being upset once you leave for the first time? What is she going to do to comfort them when they are sad or have had a bad day, or lost a game they were playing? Ideally you want someone who will either handle it in a similar way as you would, or someone who might even have a few tricks up her sleeve that you aren’t aware of yet!
How do you discipline a child? This might be one of the most important babysitter interview questions of all. If you have grabbed their name from an agency website, chances have it they are safe to be around children. But you still never know! You want to be sure to pay attention to how they answer this question. Do they listen to the child and explain why it is they are in trouble? Do they handle this in much the same manner you would?
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What have been the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a babysitter? This is also an important babysitter interview question (do you sense a pattern?) You want to know how much do they really enjoy being around children. Is this just some extra money for them? Are they studying to be a childcare provider? Listen to what is rewarding to them. Is it something similar that is also rewarding to you? Given that they probably do not have children of their own, their answer is not going to compare to actually having children, but it can come close.
The idea is you want to get to know the person who will be watching your children as best you can in the short amount of time you have to interview. You can always do a trial run as well. When I babysat as a teenager, a few families had me come over and play with the kids while they were home, so the kids were comfortable and the parents got to see how we interacted.
What sort of babysitter interview questions have you asked sitters before giving them the job of watching your little ones? Post your experience below.
14 thoughts on “Most Important Questions To Ask When Interviewing A Babysitter”
great questions. The title should read:
“Most Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Female Babysitter”
Your verbage is directed to a “she”. There are many good male babysitters and nannies out there.
Thank you for the iformation very helpful :)
I’m going to show this to my oldest daughter who is just starting to consider babysitting. She needs to know what questions will be thrown at her!
These questions are right on. We will be searching for one for our son AND for our pets real soon.
I just realized that might not have read as I intended it. By average children I meant “typical” children without special needs. I meant no offense to anyone and apologize if I caused any.
Good suggestions for parents with average children. I have never hired one at all. Having a child with special needs I’m just not comfortable with hiring a stranger.
Great questions. Our kids are 5 and 3 and we still haven’t felt comfortable leaving them with a sitter for just this reason. I know these are going to help us.
This is an awesome post and very important subject indeed. These are great tips for a parent when interviewing a sitter. This is a touch subject for me because of the daycare provide my sister hired, abused my 3 month old nephews which is all I can say for now. Thanks for sharing.
I confess that I take a different approach. Since my kids have been in daycare most of their lives, I just hire their daycare teachers as babysitters. I’m 100% certain they’re appropriately trained and that they can tell my identical twins apart. That last part is super-important to us!
These are great! The only person that EVER babysits our kids at the moment is our parents but these are good to know if that should ever change.
These are brilliant questions. Now any tips on where to find a babysitter?
Great tips and questions!! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the list. Would you believe that with 5 kids, we’ve never gotten around to hiring a baby sitter? Unthinkable, right?
I haven’t even given these any thought – and I really should! I’ve always just had my parents as the babysitters while she’s still young, but I know at some point I will be interviewing potential candidates. You brought up awesome points to remember as far as why I need to ask these questions. Thanks!