How To Interview A Babysitter
What to look for when interviewing a caregiver for your children.
If you are working outside the home, and are interviewing a caregiver for your children, here are some questions to ask to make sure you hire the best possible person for the job.
Before you start the interviewing process, there are many things that you need to first consider. What hours will you need the caregiver? Do you prefer live-in help or a nanny that comes and goes? Based on the age of your children, will the nanny be required to drive the children to school and activities? Will you need the nanny to work evenings and weekends? What is your parenting style? Are you scheduled and efficient or do you prefer to see where the day takes you? You will need to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a nanny before you start interviewing. Once you have determined your needs, type up an application for all the applicants to fill out. This will help you to ask the same questions to each applicant, and remember their answers once they have gone.
Here are some possible questions (besides the basic name, address, etc).
- What is your childcare training?
- Why do you enjoy working with children?
- How would you calm a crying baby?
- What would you do if the older child hit the younger one? How will you discipline the children?
- How will you keep a 2 year old (or whatever age) occupied during the day?
- Do you enjoy reading?
- What did you enjoy most about your last job as a nanny?
- What did you enjoy least?
- Do you know cpr? First aid?
- Do you have a valid drivers license? A car? Insurance?
- Do you have any current physical conditions or limitations?
- Are you availbale on weekends? Evenings?
Once you have narrowed down the list of applicants, make sure your child is on hand to meet them. See how your child and the nanny interact. If you have an infant, does the nanny want to hold the baby? If you have an older child, can she engage him?
Also, make sure to discuss vacations, sick days, etc. upfront to make sure both you and the nanny know what is expected of each other. And, most importantly, ASK FOR, AND CHECK REFERENCES!! When you call the references, ask open-ended questions to learn as much as possible about the applicant.
For example: How long she worked there, why she left, her best qualities, worst qualities, number of sick days, and would they re-hire her?
Above all, go with your gut feeling. The most experienced nanny with 10 references can turn out to be a dud, while the young girl who gets down on the floor with your 2 year old and makes mud pies can turn out to be a real gem.