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.
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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?