How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

 

FlyAwayU | How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

You scored!

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!

FlyAwayU | How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

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:

  1. Your health or life is in danger.
  2. You have a serious family emergency.
  3. 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.

FlyAwayU | How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

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.

FlyAwayU | How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

The List

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.


27 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Your House Sit Interview

  • 30/01/2018 at 17:23
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    I’ve always been interested in the idea of house sitting but never actually done it. I think it’s a good tip to do a face-to-face interview because people can lie. I also like the idea of a live tour so you can see how things are in real life rather than how they appear in photos.

    Reply
    • 31/01/2018 at 23:19
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      Suzanne, it’s all about following your gut. If it’s saying no, don’t take the job! We’ve taken jobs with only photos of the places but we always insist on a live interview. You can’t always get the tour because some clients only have large computers. We’ll be posting more tips on how to get into house sitting and are always happy to answer questions if you would like to talk 🙂

      Reply
  • 31/01/2018 at 00:14
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    Very helpful post! You’ve pointed our all valid points to consider for a home sit. Requesting photos of the home and pets ahead of time is a great idea. Making a list of questions and checking for basic amenities like internet is equally important.

    Reply
    • 31/01/2018 at 23:13
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      House sitting is a fun for to travel for sure! You just have to make sure it’s an equal exchange 🙂

      Reply
  • 31/01/2018 at 19:10
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    This is really helpful! My partner and I want to look at doing house sitting on our travels, so I’ve bookmarked this for future reference. The ‘remembering your value’ part is a really good point – after all, house sitting is benefit to both parties involved.

    Reply
    • 31/01/2018 at 22:30
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      Chesca, house sitting an awesome way to travel. We’ve been at it for over 3 years now. If you’re interested we’ve got a couple other articles already on the site and more coming up. Or I’d be happy to chat with you if you want more insight.

      Reply
  • 31/01/2018 at 23:15
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    Very informative. I have often considered using the house sit network in order to take an extended vacation and not worry about our pets and house. Currently, I use local house sitters, but that is not always fool-proof either.

    Reply
    • 31/01/2018 at 23:43
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      It really isn’t Jen! It’s just about doing the best interview you can and trusting your gut when choosing one. Please feel free to contact me to talk and we can always put your sit out to our network of experienced sitters when you need someone 🙂

      Reply
  • 01/02/2018 at 06:08
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    We haven’t ever thought of doing a house sit and it seemed simple but now we get how difficult it could get if we are not well informed of all that is expected of the sit. Virtual tour of the home and a live interview is definitely a great idea. And preparing a list questions prior to the interview is certainly going to help. Thanks for this insight on housesitting.

    Reply
    • 01/02/2018 at 15:29
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      There is a bit to know about house sitting before getting into it. Check out our beginner article coming out next Tuesday for details on getting started 🙂

      Reply
  • 01/02/2018 at 11:52
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    We have never done a house-sitting before and we are definitely looking forward doing on our next long-term travel this year. You advices and tips are really great and I am sure if we are following them we will get a house-sittiing job!

    Reply
    • 01/02/2018 at 15:28
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      Dada, if you’re planning to get into house sitting, we have a beginner’s article coming out next Tuesday that will be a great place to start because if you’re going to sit while traveling you need to start sitting at home first to build your references. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have as well 🙂

      Reply
  • 02/02/2018 at 05:48
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    These are so useful tips! I have never house-sat before but would love to consider it someday. It is a good idea to ask for a virtual house tour for a more realistic view!

    Reply
    • 02/02/2018 at 14:50
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      It really is an awesome way to travel. And yes, getting a tour helps you determine if the sit is one you want to take. It’s gotta be the right fit for both parties or it doesn’t work 🙂

      Reply
  • 02/02/2018 at 10:18
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    I never knew of House- sitting stuff existing, before reading your post. So dumb of me. It is a boon for long term travels, as sometimes during traveling, I am always worried about my house. You have given helpful tips on what points to consider, going for live photo tours of pets n house. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • 02/02/2018 at 14:49
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      Yukti, it’s an amazing way to protect your home while you’re away. We’ve got another article coming up next week on it, so keep a lookout for that. And if you’d like to chat and get some personal insight, let me know. We’re always happy to answer questions and help people get into the house sitting world, including introducing you to our network of experienced sitters 🙂

      Reply
  • 06/02/2018 at 01:36
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    I’ve never done this but I know when I see an helpful guide. And this is one. I hate to come back to meet my house in a quite different state so it looks like a good idea to have a house-sitter handle things. Also, being a house-sitter somewhere else might as well be a good idea to explore the area properly. Something like a staycation but with a differences. Sounds really cool.

    Reply
    • 06/02/2018 at 04:49
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      Lydia, it sorta of is like a staycation, except you’re in someone else’s home! I highly recommend it! If you’re thinking about getting started, check out tomorrow’s post for beginner house sitters 🙂

      Reply
  • Pingback:What is House Sitting? House Sitting Basics + How to Get Started ~ FlyAwayU

  • 06/02/2018 at 18:17
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    Perfect timing for this article! We have just started thinking about international housesitting as an option for us. I love the idea of the virtual tour because as we travel we find that many people post photos that aren’t current or don’t quite capture the reality of the Airbnb! I suspect the same applies for housesits! Thanks for the helpful tips!

    Reply
    • 06/02/2018 at 18:59
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      Robin, I would love to have a virtual tour of Airbnb units as well. I wonder if we can suggest to Airbnb that HOs put up a walkthrough video 🙂

      Reply
  • 06/02/2018 at 18:41
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    These are great suggestions! I like your suggestions about curating questions to your own needs. I also work online so a home with great wifi is a necessity. Again, knowing about an owner’s pets ahead of time also helps. Sometimes owner neglect to tell you how needy their pets are, which can definitely put a damper on your house sit.

    Reply
    • 06/02/2018 at 19:01
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      Yep, can’t function without the wi-fi! And the needy pets things. Yes, that can be a problem at times for sure. The only thing you can do is ask and hope that you get the answer you need 🙂

      Reply
  • 08/02/2018 at 00:59
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    This was super helpful!!! I have a friend who is interested in house sitting so I’ll pass this over to her for tips. I didnt even know you needed an interview first. Also a virtual tour, YeS!!! Omg photos can be so misleading lol. Better safe then sorry !!! Great tips overall 🙂

    Reply
    • 08/02/2018 at 04:59
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      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for sharing! And yes, there’s a bit to getting into house sitting and then doing the sit 🙂

      Reply
  • 08/02/2018 at 21:39
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    Great post. House sitting is always on the back of my mind, but not until our kids are way older and possibly doing their own thing. Even if we could find homeowners willing to have a whole family house sit at their place, I would be deadly afraid of my kids ruining their house, lol.

    For the time being, we still do couchsurfing with the kids, and it’s such a wonderful way to travel. People who don’t do it don’t understand that it’s not about a free place to stay, it’s really a lifestyle. We’ve also hosted several solo travellers and a number of families as well. It’s a great way to live 🙂

    Reply
    • 09/02/2018 at 00:05
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      Mariana, you would be surprised at how many people love house sitting families. It actually helps with trust factor 🙂 But I also understand your worries 🙂

      Reply

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