10 Best Questions to Ask a Potential Babysitter

interviewing

  1. Why are you interested in babysitting and, more specifically, why are you interested in babysitting MY children? (you are looking for answers specifically about why they were drawn to your family and to children; is it the age of your children, is it your neighborhood, is it that you looked like a kind family on your photo, and what specifically they like about babysitting).
  2. What discipline techniques do you use? (My agency looks for answers that are centered around what the parents use for discipline since babysitters should be an extension of you; the parent).
  3. What are issues, when dealing with children, stress you out or are challenging, and how do you handle them? (Here you’re looking for honest answers and not the answer like; I can’t think of anything because I just really like children. You and I both know that if you’ve ever had any significant time with children there will be stressers. This questions will give you insight to their experience, and how they handle challenges that arise when dealing with children. If it is a challenge that you find to be insignificant then they aren’t the babysitter for you).
  4. Give me a specific situation that you were faced with a challenging experience with children or a child and how did you handled it successfully? (this question will give you insight as to what they consider a challenge, and how they can problem solve when faced with challenges).
  5. What is the most memorable activity you’ve planned for children to do while you’ve babysat them? (This question is meant to let you know if the babysitter is conscientious enough to come prepared with activities to do with your children. Crafting is the easy answer, and that’s good but do they plan learning activities, activities that are appropriate for the age they are responsible for, and go the extra mile).
  6. Has there ever been a situation that you wish you had handled differently when dealing with children, and what would you have done differently? (This question lets you be aware of their potential weaknesses, and if it is a weakness that is unacceptable to you then they are not a good fit)
  7. After talking with me; how do you think you will be an asset to my family? (This is a question that will require that the answer be your family specific, and you’re looking for an answer that is about you and your family like; I enjoy being active and I think my soccer experience will help your boys, or my ability to come up with creative ideas will improve your child’s ability to think outside of the box, etc).
  8. When working with a baby what do you feel is the most difficult aspect? (Of course this question is for families looking for a babysitter for their infant, and you are looking for an honest answer that entails engaging with the baby with no feedback from the baby at all, talking to them non-stop, making sure they reach their achievement levels, or anything you find possibly difficult).
  9. How do you communicate with children? (You do not want a person who talks down to children. Children are people and they should be respected as people, and talked to as people NOT a pet or someone not smart).
  10. What makes you different from the other babysitters that are applying? (One this sets it up that you have other applicants and that you have choices, and it is an open question that will get them talking, and you simply need to let them talk. During this question some things will be revealed that will either confirm they are a good fit or set off some alarm bells. If you get any alarm bells listen to them).

My last point of advice when hiring a babysitter is: Never ever go against your gut feeling no matter what. Your intuition is correct, and never ever second guess yourself. That is a lesson that I have had to learn. You’re the parent and you are correct in whatever decision you make but your gut or intuition is normally correct so go with it.

let loose

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