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5 Things NOT to Ask When Interviewing Your Childcare Provider

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Finding the perfect childcare provider for your family can be hard, especially when undergoing the interviewing process. How do you accurately judge the skill sets and compatibilities of candidates in such a brief encounter? The following 5 tips on what not to ask potential caregivers will help you get to know your future caregiver and assess whether they are up for the job.

1. No Leading Questions Allowed

Leading questions can prevent you from receiving honest answers from your interviewee. Remember, the person you are interviewing wants to impress you, so if you ask a question that points them towards the answer, they may just say what you want to hear. Instead, try an open ended, neutral and descriptive question.

Don’t Ask: “My children get up very early and want breakfast shortly after. Are you a morning person?”
Do Ask: “Tell me what part of the day you are most productive - are you a night owl, morning person or do you prefer midday?”

2. Don’t Leave Everything Open-Ended

While open-ended questions are often effective (like the question above), they don’t always reveal the whole picture of what you’re trying to discover. Being specific can help in situations where your interviewee may need a bit more guidance to answer the question that you’re really asking.

Don’t Ask: “What do you like to do in your free time?”
Do Ask: “What did you do yesterday? What are you plans this weekend?”

3. Avoid Making Assumptions

Looking at a potential caregiver's resume will inevitably raise questions about their past experience and what type of caregiver they would be. It’s important not to make assumptions about why they’ve chosen to apply for this job and instead have an open dialogue during the interview to find out. You’ll be surprised at the multifaceted response you may receive.    

Don’t Ask: “You have a lot of education, why would you want to care for kids all day?”
Do Ask: “Why do you want to care for my children and what do you hope to learn?”

4. Never Lead with the Negatives

You aren’t the only one who wants a caregiver to be a great fit for your family – she wants to find the right household too! If you lead with what can be perceived as the negative aspects of working with your family, you may scare away potential candidates. Think of how your supposed ‘negatives’ can be turned into positives. 

Don’t Ask: “We never really travel or take vacations, is that ok with you?”
Do Ask:  “We love to stay at home and explore our great city, how does that sound?”

5. Don’t Settle at the Surface

Sometimes yes/no answers that can seem satisfactory don’t actually paint the entire picture of what you want to know. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions until you feel that you’ve discovered all the facts, instead of just receiving your interviewee’s personal opinion. 

Don’t Ask: “Are you a good driver?”
Do Ask: “How often do you drive? What type of car do you drive? Have you ever been in an accident? Who taught you to drive? Have you driven with kids?”

Running a successful interview takes patience and practice. We hope these 5 tips help you find the right caregiver for your family! 

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