For many babysitters, the first babysitting job may be their first real paying job. And with any job comes the first real job interview. Job interviews can be tricky beats. Even when you know you are more than qualified for a job, you may not get it if you don’t present yourself well during the interview.
Here’s some tips to be sure to put your best foot forward:
1. Even though you will be entertaining little kids, when talking with the parents, you must act overly mature and responsible. While a parent wants their children to be happy, way more important is their safety.
Whether they speak with the parents on the phone or meet them in person, you need to prove beyond a doubt that you’re able to take care of their children. Be sure to act, mature, speak confidently and articulately, and prove to be a responsible individual.
2. Be polite and friendly! One of the biggest reasons why good candidates are not hired is when they come off as hard to work with — even if they are the best person for the job. A parent needs to feel secure that if they call you at the last minute and have to cancel the babysitting job that you won’t get too upset or make their life harder than it already is (parenting truly is the toughest job there is, ask ANY mom!)
During the interview don’t accept a lower rate than you deserve or agree to hours that are unfair, but do agree to most things if they are in the future. IE: “Would you be willing to come over if we call at the last second?” Oh course that is a lot to ask, but you would be better off just saying yes – once you get the job you will have more ground from which to dictate terms.
3. Come to the interview prepared. Parents will have to make sure that you have some intelligence and will ask some what if questions. Such as “what would you do if our child got in an accident?” Before the interview think about the answers to these and go over them several times so that if the questions do come up, you will come off as someone who is truly reliable and in control.
4. Leave the baggage at home. The biggest complaint of babysitters is that they focus more on their boyfriends/cellphones/televisions than they do on my child. During the interview it would be best not to mention much about your outside life. While you don’t need to lie about your interests, don’t stress that you have an amazing boyfriend and you talk to him 7 hours a day and you will get married soon, etc…
That kind of talk is certain to throw up red flags to parents.
In summary, think about it this way – if you were hiring someone to take care of something which you love dearly, such as a pet or your brother or your house while your family is gone, what traits would you most like to see in that person. Be that person; be reliable, trustworthy, honest and intelligent. And you’ll be a babysitter before long.