Find the best sitter for date night with these questions.
Your neighbors want to go on a double date with you and your partner. Or your anniversary is coming up. Or maybe you just need a night out in nice(r) clothes with just your partner. It doesn’t matter why you’re going on Date Night, it just matters that you find a great person you can depend on -- and who the kids love -- so you can have fun.
The first step in this process is to just start looking. Post a date night job and see what responses you get. Make sure your post is as thorough and detailed as possible; you want to make sure that the candidates know exactly what you're looking for in a babysitter, and when you'll need them. When you've gotten responses from a few candidates you really like, it's time for Step 2: the Phone Interview.
Interviews can be just as intimidating and nerve-wracking for the interviewers as it can be for the interviewees. To help you out, we've put together a list of great babysitter interview questions to ask a date night sitter. These questions will help you get the information you need so you can choose the best fit for your family.
Babysitter Interview Questions 101
Start with the basics. (You actually can ask these over the phone. When you pass this first phase, schedule an in-person interview). These should give you a good sense of her experience, as well as of her personality:
- What’s your background babysitting?
- How much experience do you have with X and Y ages?
- What certifications do you have?
- What is your availability/do you have a curfew?
- Do you have a car?
- What do you typically do on the weekends/what are your interests?
- What’s the last book you read for fun/TV show you love?
- Would you be willing to do laundry or small projects while the kids are asleep? (This is a good way for you to tackle some house projects – it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Focus on a possible night experience, adjusting to what you’ll need and how your children typically behave at this time:
- What kinds of fun activities do you like to plan with X and Y year olds?
- Are you comfortable cooking dinner for the kids?
- What would you do if my child refuses to eat dinner?
- What are your tricks when a child refuses to stay in bed?
- How do you handle tantrums?
- How would you help a child experiencing separation anxiety when we leave?
- How would you resolve sibling disputes?
Then it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. The What Ifs. What Ifs aren’t about worst case scenarios but about how a sitter can handle anything a child can throw at them – metaphorically (hopefully)! Ideally, these things will never happen, but you will want to make sure she is confident and comfortable in her answers.
- How would you help if my child has a nightmare?
- What would you do if someone who says they’re my neighbor comes to the door?
- What would you do if the Carbon Monoxide detector goes off?
- What would you do if my child falls and cuts her chin?
Once a potential sitter meets your caregiver criteria, you will want to call at least three of her references. They can be families she's worked for, or other types of employers -- your goal is to get a sense of her professionalism and maturity.