How to Get Hired as a Babysitter
Mom-approved advice for nailing the interview, as part of the Care.com Interview Series.
With four children and a full-time career as a small business owner and blogger, Ciaran Blumenfeld has her hands full. To manage the craziness in her home, nicknamed, "Casa de Chaos", she often relies on the assistance of babysitters. The Momfluential blogger shares her suggestions for getting hired in her house -- and why some actors aren't as good as they think!
Obey Driving Laws
With after-school activities and playdates requiring most babysitters to be part-time chauffeurs, it's crucial to be safe behind the wheel. Before trusting her children in the car with a babysitter, Blumenfeld requires "a completely stellar driving record, and if they text me while driving to the interview and they're not passengers in the car? Interview over!"
Enthusiasm can go a long way when interviewing, but don't fake it! Living in Los Angeles, Blumenfeld encounters her fair share of actors looking to benefit from babysitting while waiting to get their big break. To weed out these candidates, she observes, "if the interview is more about their dreams of stardom, I'm likely to apply the brakes."
Be a Good Listener
Listening goes a long way when interviewing. Blumenfeld insists,"I'm always impressed when someone is clearly listening and can repeat back to me what I've said. It shows me two things -- one, that they are paying attention, and two, that they want to communicate that to me."
Prove You're Capable
A great babysitter needs to make the day run smoothly, even without a minute-by-minute schedule from mom. Don't be afraid to plan your own activities with the kids. Blumenfeld confirms, "I don't want to hover over our sitter with a to-do list every day. I want him/her to be able to come in, and after reviewing our rules...take charge!"
Having questions shows both interest and a desire to learn more about the family. Blumenfeld stresses that, "interviews are a two-way street, and while you obviously will want to be liked and offered the job, you should also be looking for a good fit for you."
Act Like an Adult
When mom isn't around, a babysitter needs to take over all the grownup responsibilities. Blumenfeld looks for someone who "steps up as an adult team member of the family. This means helping with homework, sorting through school handouts in backpacks and throwing together some dinner on the fly."
Learn more about Ciaran and her advice for babysitters in our full interview below -- including her interview horror story!
Tell us about you, your family and your blog.
My name is Ciaran Blumenfeld. I'm a mom of four, a small business owner and blogger. My life is super busy, a whirlwind at times. It's often crazy -- but it's a good crazy. Our home is constantly filled with friends and family and a lot of fun. My two daughters (13 and 16) and two sons (5 and 9) see to that!
Can you tell us about a babysitter interview that went poorly?
I had a potential hire come to my house and inform me that she was unwilling to "clean up after the kids." I'm not talking about housecleaning -- just the normal daily cleaning up of messes, such as putting away toys, clearing up after snacks and meals. She suggested I hire a housekeeper to do all that other stuff. Needless to stay, she wasn't hired!
What are the best tips you would give a babysitter for their next interview?
Try to put yourself in the parent's shoes. They are trusting you with their most beloved. It's natural that they would worry. Take the time to really listen, and try not to allow your own experiences or assumptions over-ride what they are saying. It's great to provide references, but don't go on too much about other families you have worked with, beyond the context of "I have experience with infants". Respect the fact that every family is unique.
Ciaran Blumenfeld is the blogger behind Momfluential.net, where she writes about her life as the mother of four and their adventures as a family. She works full-time, consulting at her social media analytics company Hashtracking.com and blogging at Momfluential. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo used with permission by Ciaran Blumenfeld.
Get even more interview help in our Care.com Interview Series: 6 Babysitter Interview Tips from Moms »
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