When it comes to raising her two children, work-at-home mother Charlene DeLoach occasionally relies on some outside help. Even when there isn’t enough time in the day to manage work and child care duties, DeLoach isn’t going to trust the care of her little ones to just anyone! The Charlene Chronicles blogger shares exactly what she’s looking for when she calls in backup – and why smell might be the deciding factor.
Handle Multiple Children
Taking care of a single child can be a handful, but throw several children into the mix and it can be downright daunting. DeLoach insists that a babysitter be able to successfully take on that challenge. She explains that with two young children, “and both of them often going in the opposite direction, the caregiver I look for has to be able to juggle those responsibilities”.
Be Respectful but Confident
Having a mother and caregiver home at the same time can often turn into a confusing battle over who’s in control. It’s important to take charge of the children without stepping over any of the house rules. DeLoach adds, “since I work from home often when the caregiver is in the house, I really appreciate when the individual can take control, but at the same time can defer to my needs and wishes.”
Control Your Scent
Don’t forget to do a sniff test before you leave your house! DeLoach swears that a lingering odor can be one of her biggest turn offs when selecting a caregiver. “A big deal for us is finding a non-smoking babysitter and one that does not wear a lot of perfume. As much as I might like you, I don’t need to feel like you are still here several hours after you have left.”
Get to Know the New Family
As wonderful as your past family was, it’s important to talk about them in terms of a reference and past experience. Instead of dwelling on the past, show excitement and enthusiasm for the new family you’re meeting. While interviewing one potential babysitter, DeLoach felt like her family was not a priority. “The focus was so much on the last family, I did not get the sense the candidate would have been interested in my family!”
Focus on the Kids
When going on a babysitter interview, it’s natural to want to impress the parents, but don’t forget about the kids! Making a connection with the kids is the best way to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the family. As DeLoach recalls, “the first time the candidate walked in the door, she introduced herself to me, and then she knelt down and introduced herself to my kids. It showed me that she was truly engaged with children.”
Use Spell Check!
The interviewing process is full of back and forth contacting. Make sure you proofread all applications, resumes and emails to show that you’re professional. When communicating with candidates, DeLoach expects, “prompt email responses, with no typos!”
Get help from this Spelling and Grammar Checklist
Babysitting might not require an office wardrobe, but you should still dress to impress and aim to make a good first impression. Make sure your clothes are neat and conservative. DeLoach suggests, “Arriving timely, not dressed like you were going to the beach for the day, and having a resume with references already prepared!”
Charlene DeLoach is a bar-certified attorney, marathon runner, certified aerobics instructor and mother of two, currently blogging at Charlene Chronicles. In case all that isn’t enough to handle, she is also the owner of Metrowest-Mamas, a Massachusetts mom blog for local family events, as well as the cofounder of Lawyer Chicks, a legal consulting group for bloggers. You can also find DeLoach on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo used with permission by Charlene DeLoach.
Get even more interview help in our Care.com Interview Series: 6 Babysitter Interview Tips from Moms