interviewing a babysitterFinding the right babysitter for your child can be a difficult task for many parents. The idea of giving another person the sole responsibility of caring for your child is a huge decision, but sometimes parents want/need time out and there is simply no one else to care for their child. After making a list of potential babysitters with help from friends, family and fellow parents, it is time to interview the candidates.

  • Ask for References Prior to the Interview: Asking for references in advance gives you the opportunity to talk with other parents about the babysitter’s services well before you call for an interview. Remember to ask about punctuality, care provided and the number of times the babysitter cared for your child.
  • Outline the Interview on Paper: Write down all the questions you want to ask the babysitter and all the topics you want to cover in the interview. You may be surprised by just how nervous you are during the interview process and you do not want to forget anything.
  • Start the Interview with a Brief Description of What You Are Looking For in a Babysitter: Give the babysitter a heads up about what you are looking for in a caregiver. The babysitter may choose to turn down the opportunity immediately if the care you need is not something the sitter is willing or able to provide.
  • Ask the Babysitter to Talk a Little About Themselves: What do you want to know about the babysitter? The basics are certainly important, including age, experience and personality. Give the babysitter a little time to talk about who they are in order to gain a better understanding of and feel for the sitter.
  • Inquire About CPR, First Aid and Babysitting Classes: If you have made it this far in the interview, you must be feeling good about the candidate. Ask about certifications, including first aid, CPR and babysitting classes. Some communities offer free classes for potential babysitters and other areas offer complete certification programs. It is critical for your babysitter to be trained in CPR and first aid.
  • Arrange a Brief Introduction with Your Child: If all signs point to yes, ask the babysitter to sit with your child for a bit. Ultimately the child is the final judge of character. Children are quick to tell parents how they feel about babysitter candidates. Remember to stay close in case your child is uncomfortable in the presence of a stranger.

Choosing a good babysitter starts with the interview process. Being prepared with a written interview outline is key to staying on point and learning what you need to know about the babysitter candidate. If you think the candidate will work out, plan a short one- or two-hour trip to the store to give the babysitter some time alone with your child before making your final decision.

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