Care providers are in a unique situation as our new normal of living with the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. More and more parents are working from home, while some others still have to go into work. They all may need the help of sitters and nannies now even more than ever.
If you’re currently in a position to take on new work as a care provider, it’s likely that you’ll be adjusting your typical interview routine to incorporate some important questions and details to ensure you and the family are staying safe and healthy.
Even though you feel confident in your child care skills, you may feel unsure about caring for a new family during these times. As always, you should take your interview seriously and approach it just as you would for an interview with any job. However, there will inherently be some additional considerations to keep in mind when going through this unique interview process.
Virtual is the New In-Person
Remote interviewing is a great tool you can use in lieu of face-to-face interviews. In a very short period of time, video conferencing has become the primary form of connection in our society. Request to have the interview via a free video-conferencing platform like:
Talk Openly and Directly About COVID-19
The national Coronavirus situation will impact the nature of the questions that you have as a sitter, and what the family may ask you during the digital interview process. Here are a few things to consider discussing:
- Social and Physical Distancing Practices
- Potential Exposure Outside of the Home (i.e. Are parents leaving the home for work?)
- Daily Temperature Checks
- Hygiene Expectations Entering and Leaving the House
We encourage everyone in the community to have open and professional communications during these times. If you or someone in the family you’re interviewing with are displaying any signs of sickness, we recommend talking directly to each other and using your best judgment when it comes to canceling future bookings you may have. Review the CDC’s guidelines for identifying Coronavirus, though the only way to know for sure is to be tested.
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly evolves, we strongly encourage you to continue to refer to the CDC and your local municipality (city, county, and/or state) for recommendations of what’s appropriate at this time. Many municipalities have established websites specific to their area’s latest guidance on managing/working during this time.
Ask the Parents to Engage with the Kids While on Video Chat
While it’s the parents who conduct the interview and ultimately make the hiring decision, don’t forget about the most important stars of the show: the kids! If you and the kids don’t jive well together, this job might not be the best fit for you.
While it may be a little more difficult to “meet” the children while interviewing remotely, it’s still an important step to familiarize yourself with the kids, and them with you. This will make for an easier transition should you take the job. You can ask the parents if you can meet the kids—whether over the phone or video chat. Offer to read a book to them, play a game together, or show them a science experiment. This is a great way to see if providing digital care is an option with this family as well. Even if the kids are shy and take a while to warm up to new people, the parents will appreciate that you made the effort to get to know them.
What Isn’t New
Outside of the above, a lot of interview best practices remain the same for digital interviews.
Be on time. Or even a few minutes early. Whether this is a phone interview or a remote face-to-face interview, make sure you’re near your phone or have your computer/phone set up and ready to go.
- Have good light. It defeats the purpose of a remote face-to-face interview if the other person can’t see you! Natural light is best and make sure you are facing the light, rather than having it coming from behind you.
- No distractions. Make sure you’re in a place where you won’t have any distractions. If you’re at home, this means that no one will come to interrupt you during your call. You want to make sure you can remain focused during the entirety of the interview.
- Dress comfortably and professionally. One of the most common questions sitters ask is how they should dress for an interview. While you probably already know what not to wear (for the record, a low-cut top or something too revealing), what should you wear? Dress professionally, even if you are only seeing each other through the screen, but go with something comfortable. You want to be able to put your best foot forward, and wearing something that you are comfortable in will help with that.
- Be mindful of what’s around you. Make sure that when you’re on the call, whatever is behind you remains professional. Parents don’t need to see personal belongings or other things that may be distracting during the call.
Remember that eye contact and a great smile go a long way.
Overall, as the situation with Covid-19 rapidly changes, it’s important to be on the same page about keeping the environment in which you will work, whether that be the family’s home or elsewhere, safe and healthy. Having awareness and diligence to ensure safe working conditions as a caregiver is important to protect your health and the health and safety of those you care for. In general, please refer to the CDC’s current recommendations for keeping shared spaces safe from the spread of respiratory infections.