You landed a house sit interview.
Time to buy plane tickets and make travel plans.
But during your happy dance, you stop – realizing you have an interview coming up.
You don’t have the sit in the bag just yet!
Feeling just a little nervous?
It’s okay! With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to wow the homeowner and land your sit.
David and I start by making a list of questions.
The list keeps us focused and acts as talking points for breaking the ice with homeowners. Plus, we look cool, professional and put together because we’re prepared.
And we don’t forget to ask the important questions!
This advice also works for homeowners who are preparing for interviewing a house sitter!
What questions should you ask?
Anything and everything that is important to you.
Get the details of what the homeowner expects. Do they need you to pick up the mail, water plants, care for pets, mow the lawn or meet repairmen? Find out if the sit meets all your basic needs and requirements. Does it have high-speed internet, a washing machine, a decent bed or close to grocery stores?
Consider this house sit interview your lifeline. Because if you don’t get the good, bad and ugly, you may end up agreeing to something that you wish you hadn’t. And backing out of a sit is a huge no-no once agreed too.
We only recommend three situations for backing out of a sit:
- Your health or life is in danger.
- You have a serious family emergency.
- The homeowner flat out lied to you about the situation.
Otherwise – if you didn’t do your due diligence and get enough information – suck it up and complete the commitment.
Walking away in the middle of a sit kills both your reputation and trustworthiness factor.
The House Sit Interview
We HIGHLY recommend that you schedule a live interview. Skype, Facetime or any live video feed is good. Or even meeting in person, if possible.
Use this opportunity to interact with the homeowner and pets. Use your list as a guide during the conversation, but allow the conversation to flow naturally.
Ask for a virtual tour of the home while you’re talking. And see the pets. Photos can be staged. Doing a live interview gives you a chance to examine the details of the home and pets in real time.
The majority of homeowners are as honest as possible because they want the sit to work for you both. If you’re happy, they’re happy. Sometimes what others think of as normal, such as levels of cleanliness or clutter, may not be normal or okay for you. Having a live house sit interview can help take the guesswork out of these situations.
Honesty from you is important as well. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you see something that doesn’t work for you, let the homeowner know. And remember your value. Some homeowners think they are giving you everything, so a gentle reminder of the value you are providing is perfectly okay.
Pay attention to your gut during and after the interview. Listening to our gut has kept us out of trouble more times than not. Not every sit is the right fit. If your instincts are screaming “NO” you probably should skip the sit and move on.
In reality, we use two lists. The first is a basic list of questions that we ask everyone. The second we base entirely on the sit we are interviewing for. We request photos of the home and pets ahead of time. Using these photos and already provided details, we are able to formulate this second list of questions.
While our list may look unorganized, there is a method to our madness. When you’re sitting pets, it’s good to bring the focus back to the pets several times throughout the interview. As a result, we intersperse the pet questions through the whole list. It shows the homeowner that you care about their pet’s well-being, not just your own.
We’ve determined our house sit interview questions through experience as important to us. We work online, so having good internet is very important. After sleeping on a futon for three months, we decided having a decent bed is VERY important. Make up your list of questions that are important to you.
If you’re still feeling stuck and don’t know what to ask, let us know. We’re happy to help. And if you’re wanting a complete in-depth course for getting into house sitting, get the one that got us started, The House Sitting Academy by Nat and Jodie.