Interviewing Pet Sitters: Are You Breaking the Law?

Interviewing Pet Sitters: Are You Breaking the Law?

 Interviewing Pet Sitters:pet sitting interviews

A job interview is one of the best ways to make sure you’re hiring the right people as quickly as possible. This also holds true when you are interviewing pet sitters for your pet sitting company.  Whether you’re looking for someone to walk your client’s dog while they’re at work or look after their animals while they’re out of town, choosing the wrong person could come with consequences.

To make sure you’re as thorough as possible in your search, you need to study up on how to properly conduct an interview, with questions to ask, as well as the ones to avoid.


Know What to Ask

Before someone comes in for an interview, you need to figure out which attributes carry more weight with you. Do you prefer the person to have experience walking dogs? Do you feel more comfortable if he or she knows about pet first aid? Do you want someone with a veterinary degree or education? And if not, are you willing to consider someone who only has babysitting experience?

Apply preferred qualifications to your questions and be specific when discussing his or her previous experience. Communication skills are important, so it’s OK to let him or her do most of the talking; that way you have more time to get a good read on each individual personality.


Know What to Avoid

One of the keys to conducting a compliant interview is knowing exactly which questions or areas you need to avoid. For example, you can’t ask for details about a disability even if you’re concerned it may impact his or her ability to walk your dog or care after your animal while you’re out of town. If his or her disability is not apparent, don’t mess with this topic.

Legally speaking, you also aren’t allowed to dive too deeply into personal matters regarding sex, family status, pregnancy and others. In addition to being illegal, it would also have no impact on a person’s ability to interact with animals and provide them with the proper care that you require. If it is unrelated to the position, do not bring it up.

You also can’t ask whether or not they’ve ever been arrested, even though that is something you should be concerned about if you’re giving this person keys to your house to take care of your animals while you’re away. Instead, an employee background check can provide you with this information — although, you cannot ask for more information about charges listed on his or her background check results.


Meet in Person

Once you have narrowed down your candidates after the interview process, have an in-person meeting. Have any remaining candidates come to your home so you can see how he or she fits in the environment. Or, if it makes you more comfortable, meet in a pet-friendly place in your community, like a dog park, to see how he or she interacts with your pet. Most of the time, your pet will let you know if he or she likes the candidate. Use this as the final step in making your decision.