4 Ways for Babysitters to Stand Out When Interviewing
One working mom shares her tips on how to get noticed over other candidates, as part of the Care.com Interview Series.
Whether it's a high school girl down the street, a retired elementary school teacher or a recent college-grad, the competition for babysitting is growing rapidly. With so many people trying to get the job, it's essential that you stand out against the crowd instead of getting lost in the masses.
As a working-mother, Susan Wenner Jackson needs to feel confident in the babysitters that she hires. The Working Moms Against Guilt blogger shares the ways a babysitter can be memorable (in a good way!) during an interview.
Have Lots of Experience
Jackson only trusts her little ones with responsible sitters who offer plenty of experience. Maturity is essential, so that there's never confusion over who the baby is and who the babysitter is. As Jackson explains, "I want a capable adult who enjoys being with kids and playing with them, and also knows how to draw the line and be the adult in charge."
Crack Some Jokes
Children love to laugh -- and so do parents. You don't have to put on a comedy show, but make a point to display your lighthearted nature. Jackson swears that "a good sense of humor [is] an absolute must when you spend a lot of time with children!"
Relax a Little
A go-with-the-flow mentality is crucial when kids are messy and unpredictable. Show that you have a plan, but that you're also not afraid to switch things up when you need to. "If you're high-strung, with perfectionist tendencies and a need to be in 'control,'" you wouldn't be a good fit for this mom. "I need a sitter who can roll with the punches."
Request a Trial
In addition to giving you time to bond with the children, asking about a test run shows that you're truly interested and that you take the job seriously. Jackson suggests, "Offer to do a trial run with the kids, even if it's just an hour to play or do activities, so the parents and the kids can get a good sense of your chemistry with them."
Learn more about Susan Wenner Jackson and her experience with babysitters in our full interview below.
Tell us about you, your family and your blog.
I'm the mom of a 7-year-old fashionista girl and 4-year-old boy who's fascinated with all forms of transportation. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and manage our family and busy life as a committed, loving team. My blog is Working Moms Against Guilt, and is dedicated to helping all working moms feel good about their choices and enjoy the rollercoaster ride of motherhood.
How did you find your babysitter or nanny?
I found our sitters through friends or family -- word of mouth.
How can a babysitter candidate impress you?
Be on time for the interview, be prepared to share references on the spot and sell me on why you are an amazing babysitter. Ask good questions, like what the family routines are, what would be expected of you, what the family liked or didn't like about previous sitters.
Susan Wenner Jackson is the founder of Working Moms Against Guilt with three other working mothers in Cincinnati. She graduated with her master's in journalism from Northwestern University. She currently lives in West Chester, a northern suburb of Ohio, with her two children and her husband Jerry. You can find Jackson on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo used with permission by Susan Wenner Jackson.
Get even more interview help in our Care.com Interview Series: 6 Babysitter Interview Tips from Moms »