Interviewing multiple candidates

Hello again! I need your opinion about “interviewing” all 5 applicants. Is it a new standard?
I joined THS 1,5 years ago. I did 10 sits through the website. I always had a video chat with a pet parent, but it is clear from the beginning that I am the chosen one and they like to meet me and talk about some details before arrival.
Recently I applied for some sits. After a couple of days I received two responses. Both of them asked to have a video chat with me. I agreed. Those were pretty standard chats, asking about my experience. At the end of each one I was told I am one of 5 interviewed. It wasn’t clear from the beginning, but I didn’t ask. I made assumption based on experience that I am the chosen one.
Maybe I was lucky until now. I didn’t know people interviewing all the candidates and then making the decision. What’s your experience?

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I’d say approximately 90% confirm us immediately after a video chat and 10% speak to other applicants before making their final decision.


Wow! I never thought I had to interview our sitters. I just thought I’d have a chat and if they or we didn’t like them for whatever reason, we’d decline, although at that time, I was just thankful someone wanted to cat sit. Couldn’t believe my luck basically.


I’ve only done two sits (one on THS and one on another site) but both of those were confirmed immediately without any interview, although in one case we had a videochat after confirming. I did have another HO offer to add me to her list of interviewees (she was interviewing three others, I would have been the fourth) but I declined and suggested instead that she get back to me if the other three weren’t suitable. I don’t mind a videochat before confirmation but I don’t really want to be one of many interviewees. If the request came immediately (or within 24 hours), I might consider it but if I am left hanging for days and then receive a request to be one of many interviewees, I’ll decline. If they’re interviewing 5, you’re no further forward than when you first applied. Seems like a waste of everyone’s time.


If HOs wanted to “interview” us alongside others then we would decline and move on. It’s only happened once or twice and they mentioned it at the end of the video call rather than in the pre messaging which we thought was rude and a bit presumptuous. As in, “you can wait for our decision”. No thanks, if you’re not delighted with us as sitters then we’re off. #toodlepip


Of 10 sits, I’ve had one host say they were going to talk to other candidates. But after we chatted, they decided to offer me the sit. Since it was in London, I was pleasantly surprised to get it.

In another case, the sitter they were chatting with ended up going with another sit and they offered it to me. They told me when I applied that they were already chatting with that person.

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100 percent this.


I’ve found this is becoming more common. Don’t remember it happening so much in the good old days

I always have a chat with at least 2. I’ve read here that many feel that the video call is just a last perfunctory step when a decision is pretty much sewn up, but for me it is the most important factor in making a decision.

I do tell sitters that I’m speaking with others and give a timeline for a decision (soon, I never leave sitters hanging for long).


I don’t think there is a rule. As a sitter, I’ve gotten every sit where the owner wanted to chat with me and one where I was confirmed immediately withou a chat. I also apply for a certain kind of sit and usually within the application email I’ve been able to make it clear why my skillset would work, how I’d get there, etc. I don’t know whether or not those petparents talked to other sitters. I don’t even consider it my concern.

As a petparent, I will set up videochats with more than one sitter, but I will only set up chats with sitters that I already think I’d be comfortable with. I live in a popular destination, so usually I get a lot of candidates. I try to set up all the chats as quickly as possible because I don’t want to lose anyone. Sometimes my final choice is based on logistics. If I interview two people and they both are skilled and nice, but one is on a sit nearby and can pick up the keys, and the other would be flying in and I’d need to leave the key with a neighbor, I’m more likely to go with the one nearby.

I let sitters know that I will be talking to more than one person. I try to do the interviews within one or two days. If even a great sitter tells me they can’t chat with me for a few more days, I just assume they are looking at other sits and not that into mine, and tell them I’ll be in touch if I don’t find anyone before then. If I chat with someone and don’t choose them for the sit, but feel like they are good sitters, I tell them I might send them a private invitation next time, but even if they don’t get one, they should write if they see I’ve posted a new sit. (One sitter who sat for me twice didn’t get the initial sit she applied for.)

I know I might have missed out on some sitters or annoyed some who feel that a video should be the final step and only one person, but I’ve also noticed that sitters are often chatting with more than one homeowner as well, so it works both ways. And I’ve had people decline to choose other sits either after a video happened or after one was scheduled. So there is no commitment on either side until the confirmation.


Just curious. Do you apply for multiple sits at the same time? Have you had a videochat with one pet owner, then gotten a “better” sit and turned down the petparent you chatted with?

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I hope this was implicit in my response as well - I chat with more than one, but anyone I chat with is someone I will likely be comfortable with.

I did lose one really great-seeming sitter because they took another sit after our chat. I’m sure she would have been fantastic, and I sent her a message saying it was my loss, congrats, best wishes etc. But the person I chose for that sit was the best sitter I’ve had, and we are already planning another sit, so… it’s all just part of the flow.

That’s a great strategy - I always assume sitters are looking at other opportunities, but I hadn’t quite thought about sitters scheduling chats out a few days due to other applications.

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I started doing my “not going to wait” thing becuase I’d had some great messages with a sitter who was traveling (not on a sit) and couldn’t schedule a video. We finally scheduled one – I’m thinking “This is a done deal” – and in that case there was nobody else I wanted to talk to. She wound up cancelling the chat the morning of the afternoon when it was scheduled, and told me she took another sit. Again, I viewed it as “part of the flow.” But it changed my strategy. I won’t wait around for a chat. And I “unpause” to get more applications until I can find at least one additional person to interview.

Yes to applying for multiple sits at the same time. You have to, would be ludicrous not to as full time sitters. Once we’re in process then we make our position clear. Have never turned down a sit post video chat because of a “better offer” as that chat is either a clear yes or no as soon as it takes place @Marion


TLDR Can no longer delete.

We find it a real waste of time if a homeowner is interviewing multiple people.

We have our profile, we have our reviews, we have our long personalised application that we sent so we expect HOs to have read through this info and to have picked the most suitable applicant.

A video chat to us should just be making sure any final details are ok, organising the fine logistics and we have at least established a brief face to face before the sit.

If it’s all a hypothetical type of interview ‘if we were to pick you’ it just becomes pointless and we don’t really get down to the bits we need to know.

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People tend to get upset by the word 'interview", but what you describe is the same thing as an interview AFAIK.

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@Enjaybee We’re absolutely with you on that one. If the host wants to ‘interview’ multiple applicants we withdraw. Our profile is so strong, are applications are enthusiastic, detailed and personalised and we have so many great reviews that if an HO still wants to ‘interview’ others then we know that something about us must not be ticking all their boxes. This is an unpaid ‘job’ and we do not want to be ‘interviewed’ as if it were! Most hosts who want us respond very quickly to our application, set up the video chat (if they want one) and we confirm the sit during the call.
We had one (really positive) video call where the hosts told us -at the end - that they had another call lined up. We were annoyed and deflated they’d not been upfront. They really liked us and wanted us but felt obliged to go ahead with the other call- when they could have just confirmed us on the spot and cancelled it (and not wasted the other peoples time). They didn’t want to do that so after the call we withdrew our application. This was not the first time having this experience and we were fed up being mislead.
(HOs PLEASE be upfront if you want to ‘interview’ others!! Many sitters don’t like that and will withdraw.)
20 mins later they wrote- very upset that we’d withdrawn- as they had not gelled with the other sitters. Sorry guys! Too late! We soon confirmed another (better) sit for those dates.
The most annoying and disrespectful experience we had was in Australia a few years back. We applied for a sit which had been around for a while and had 4-7 apps (before the 5 limit) but hadn’t chosen anyone yet. They contacted us immediately inviting us over for a personal visit. We assumed it was a done deal. We were a bit naive in those days so we drove 100km each way to visit & spent a very nice hour with them being shown everything- ‘our’ room etc. At the end before leaving we suggested confirming - as everyone seemed happy- and they looked at each other and said ‘Well actually we’ve got another couple coming in 10 minutes- we’ll let you know later’!!:flushed: Instant change of atmosphere! We felt pretty angry and let down and as soon as we were in the car we withdrew our application. They completely wasted our time. Fortunately we’d also arranged a pop in to another-already confirmed sit- nearby. So it was not a totally wasted trip but- Lesson learned!! Since then we’ve only ever- occasionally- done a pre-sit visit for a confirmed sit- if in the area and only if its needed e.g we won’t meet the hosts.
Now we always check if we are the first choice before setting up a call. Ofcourse it can happen we don’t click on the call and we withdraw or agree mutually its not a fit & we all move on. That has happened a couple of times.
Very recently we almost got caught out when a host- at the end of the video call (where we thought we were the chosen ones) asked us how she should choose her sitters as she’d spoken to another great couple too!!! Again- immediate deflation. We told her why she should choose us and the Hubby asked if she was going to decide now? She said no but she’d get back to us within 24 hours…
We were not happy and agreed- privately-to withdraw if she didn’t decide within a couple of hours even though we really wanted the sit! Literally Five minutes later she messaged that she’d love us to sit & we confirmed it! She must have realised she’d lose us if she didn’t decide fast.
We are on that sit now and its the perfect Christmas Sit! So it all worked out. What is meant to be will be! :pray:


(A bit tongue n cheek-ish) but …one more thing I’ll need to add to my listing:
No smoking
No visitors
Sorry, no children
Sorry, no pets

Sorry, no guaranteed on the spot sitter decision

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Every sitter and host makes their own decisions about how much they’re willing to do or require. The key thing is to find a match that works for you.

Generally, though, the more experienced and better reviewed a sitter, the more choosy they can be, because they’re in increasing demand by hosts overall. Plus, they start getting more and more invitations to do repeat sits, which don’t require screening at all. And meanwhile, hosts with greater criteria vs. others (and those slower than others) essentially shut themselves out from the best sitters.

For example, I’ve found that I’m getting more immediate offers. And today, I was asked to do a repeat sit. That was friction- and wait-less. I’m not even the kind of sitter who plans far ahead, because I like flexibility. And I’m not generally keen on repeat sits, because I value new experiences. Yet with little effort, I’ve already got sits booked through mid-2024. So I don’t see need to wait for slow hosts any more. Now, I withdraw my application within 24-36 hours if the host doesn’t indicate interest in chatting.

Recently, I’d applied to two sits in the same area. Both hosts picked times to video chat, because I was flexible. One ended up picking a morning and another the afternoon on the same day. Because the morning one immediately offered the sit once we’d chatted, I accepted and canceled my video chat with the other host. That person was disappointed, but there was no need for me to wait.