What NOT to Do When Applying for a Babysitting Job

Marjorie Bogart
July 13, 2017

Looking to land a babysitter job? When it comes to learning the do's and don'ts of interviewing, mother really does know best! We got MomDot blogger, Trisha Haas to share the biggest candidate mistakes she's encountered during an interview. Check out these common blunders to avoid during an interview -- learn from others' mistakes before you make them yourself.

  1. Bring a Friend
    Families go through a long process of meeting and interviewing candidates before selecting someone they feel comfortable leaving their kids with. Bringing an additional friend into the house without the parents' knowledge is a big no-no. "I need someone to not be distracted while watching my kids," Haas adds. "I pay someone to work, not socialize."

  2. Be Glued to Your Phone
    Caring for a child requires your full attention. Put your phone in your pocket or purse to avoid temptation while babysitting. Haas will send away any potential babysitter that, "texts or answers the phone all day. You cannot do that in an office, so please do not do that here."

  3. Reschedule Last Minute
    Nothing makes a worst first impression than not showing up! Emergencies happen, but always make sure you notify the family as soon as a conflict comes up, so you can reschedule without causing any inconvenience. Haas's biggest pet peeve is having people "set up an interview and then not showing or calling to cancel, often an hour or less before they should arrive."

  4. Lack Confidence
    If you have experience, show it! Chances are you've looked after kids before, so don't be afraid to share the skills you've learned. Haas wants to know her kids are in capable hands. "I want to hear someone with confidence. People talking while looking down or giving me 'I don't know answers' can be scary."

  5. Send Careless Messages
    Asking questions such as, "how much do you pay," before you've even introduced yourself to a family is unprofessional. To make a good first impression Haas insists, "Your initial outreach counts. If you apply to a job, send a fully thought-out paragraph, introduce yourself and sign your name."

  6. Rely on Mom
    If a parent is working from home, a babysitter needs to take the reins with the children. Haas confirms that even when she's working in the house, "I need someone who can lead without instruction and can make decisions without knocking on my door."

Learn more about Haas and her tips to help you get hired in our full interview below -- including why tying shoes can make all the difference!

Tell us about you, your family and your blog.

My name is Trisha and I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and a full-time work-at-home mom! I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two children, Charlotte who is 8 and horseback rides and plays soccer and Phoenyx, who is 2 and likes to make messes. I also run a blog at MomDot.com, where I often talk about my family, kids, recipes, crafts and favorite things to buy.

Have you ever hired a nanny or babysitter? If so, how often?

Yes, I have had two nannies. The first one was a younger girl and we really liked her, but it just didn't work out in the end, and our last nanny, Rachel, who was a gem and who we wished would move in and stay forever. Unfortunately she moved states, but our time with her was great. 

What type of personality makes the best impression on you?

A friendly, bubbly personality is best. When you are taking care of someone's kids, I can tell you that a moody person or someone that is really quick in their mannerisms isn't always the best impression. I also want someone confident.

Can you tell us about a babysitter interview that went well? What was it about her/him that was great?

Rachel interacted with my kids while interviewing. My son needed help with his shoes and she got down while talking with me to help put them on. It seemed natural to her.

Trisha Haas is a full-time mom who also manages to work at home full-time. She founded MomDot, where she blogs about her personal and parenting stories raising her two children. She also assists and gives advice and support to up-and-coming bloggers about how to run a successful blog. You can find Haas on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo used with permission by Trisha Haas.

Get even more interview help in our Care.com Interview Series: 6 Babysitter Interview Tips from Moms »

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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