When searching for a babysitter or nanny, you can probably develop a short list of people who meet your criteria by reading through their applications and profiles. The next step is an interview. During the interview, you can ask in-depth questions and get a feel for the candidate as a person. Be sure to make a list ahead of time, so you don't forget any questions you want to ask. We've listed some below to get you started.

General questions

  • What do you like about caring for children?
  • What do you look for in an employer/family?
  • What is your rate?
  • Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?
  • Are you OK with occasionally needing to stay later than planned?
  • Do you live nearby? How would you get to the job?

Background and experience

  • How many years have you worked with children?
  • What child care roles have you held in the past?
  • How many families have you worked with, and how old were the children?
  • Do you have experience with … ? (Fill in the blank with your particular requirements – for instance, potty training, children with special needs, infant care.)

Relevant circumstances

  • What are you studying in school, or what other jobs do you have?
  • Are you allergic to cats, dogs or other pets?
  • Are you comfortable with being around our pets?
  • Do you plan on taking any time off in the next six months?

Training and safety

  • Do you know first aid?
  • Do you know CPR?
  • Do you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver?
  • Can you swim?
  • Are you familiar with emergency numbers?
  • Could you drive in an emergency?

Behavior and discipline

  • Tell me about a time when you faced a crisis on the job. How did you handle it?
  • What would you do with the kids on a day like today?
  • What is your approach when a child refuses to go to sleep?
  • What do you think is the best way to handle tantrums?
  • What is your proudest moment in child care and why?
  • What are your views on discipline? Are you willing to change your approach if we ask?

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Can you help arrange playdates for my kids? Can you care for additional kids if we have a playdate in our home?
  • Are you willing to perform tasks such as helping with homework, making dinner or doing light housework?
  • Are you comfortable watching my child if I'm at home?
  • Are you willing to help with overnight care, if needed?
  • Can you travel with my family if we need you?

Newborn care

  • Are you comfortable caring for newborns?
  • How much experience do you have with newborns?
  • Can you change a diaper?
  • Do you know infant CPR?
  • Do you know about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and how to prevent it?
  • Do you know how to prepare and heat formula?
  • Are you familiar with shaken baby syndrome?
  • Do you know the proper types and size of solid food to offer babies and how to prevent choking?
  • Can you tell whether a room has been childproofed?


  • Would you be comfortable driving my kids?
  • May I see your driver's license?
  • How many years have you been driving?
  • Do you have any marks on your driving record, such as speeding tickets or accidents?