6 Video Interview Tips with a Nanny, Sitter, Dog Walker or Caregiver

Sarah Prial
Feb. 26, 2018

Tips for conducting a great video interview.

You know the hiring process by now – posting the job, screening, in-person interviews. Luckily the 21st century brought us video on our phones (and within the Care.com app) and it makes interviews are so much easier. But why are video interviews better? Seeing the candidate and interacting with them over video gives you a better sense of their personality right off the bat by “interacting visually, not just with your voices,” says Lisa Quast, author of “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach” and that means less candidates to meet in person. Here’s how to make the most of your video interview.

  1. Warm Up
    Acknowledge the awkwardness that sometimes comes with video interviews, recommends Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential HR Handbook.” “Think about what you can do to make the person being interviewed more comfortable.” Have at least one question to ask that puts her at ease. Ask her something about herself, talk about the weather, just chat! Then you can move on to your interview questions in a more conversational style.  
  2. Ask Behavioral Questions
    Have two or three behavioral questions to ask about her experiences. For instance, “Have you ever been taking care of a toddler who threw a tantrum in public? What did you do?” or “You were walking a dog and he got really sick, how did you handle it?” Pay attention to her reactions.  If she looks away and says, “Umm…” she might not confidently have a good answer and you want someone who knows her stuff – toddler tantrums are serious business!

    See a list of questions to ask a sitter.
  3. Review Requirements
    Interview a nanny against your job requirements. How flexible is her schedule? What kind of activities does she look forward to doing? How does she handle discipline? And if talking to someone about senior care, you will want to make sure this candidate is the right organized, nurturing fit for your loved one, and can (possibly) handle details like food prep, doctors’ appointments and dressing. 
  4. Look for Cues
    Using video phone will give you more insight that you might at first realize. You’re seeing her house, looking at people in the background, learning what she feels is an appropriate setting, and seeing how she handles distractions. Certain behavior like not being fully engaged, getting distracted by incoming texts or using the video as a mirror (playing with her hair!), might be clues that she’s not as mature as you’d like.
  5. Take Turns Talking
    If you’ll be interviewing this candidate with someone else, make sure you know who will be asking what! Quast recommends preparing what you’ll both say ahead of time so you don’t trip over each other. It’ll help prevent any confusion on your end or the caregiver’s end. And don’t forget --video can have some lag time so make sure you allow a second or two for her to respond.
  6. Allow Time for Q&A
    Make sure to leave time for her to ask questions. These can range from salary requirements to information about your family. Don’t forget, she’s interviewing you just as much as you’re interviewing her!  You will also get a great feel for her interest and professionalism from the questions she asks.


Video interviewing can give you a great sense of who you are meeting, before having to really “meet” them. But you should still interview your favorite candidate (or two) in-person, then call references and run a background check -- and do a trial run with your family. With the ease of video interviews, the caregiver search will be over before you know it!

Learn more about running background checks.

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