Interviewing multiple candidates

Absolutely this.

I have no issues with being on a shortlist as an HS so long as I hear back from the HO in a timeline manner.

As an HO, I will only offer video chats to people I feel strongly about… this is after sharing parts of our welcome guide to make sure they are comfortable with everything, thoroughly reviewing their profile, etc.

…and usually it means talking to 2 or 3 people to determine who is the best fit. I get back to people within a 24-36 hour window so as not to block them from other opportunities, and I take communication and transparency around both the matching process and follow up very seriously.

For us, due diligence is really important because we have strong dog that needs a confident handler and due diligence helps to make sure everyone is set up for success and ensures very clear expectations.

As @Cuttlefish mentioned though, if you have a problem with someone who is considering you alongside other sitters, you can just say you’re no longer interested in the sit…no harm done. I personally do not mind because I want to fit the HO’s needs as much as I want to ensure I’d be comfortable with what’s needed from me as an HS. I will not accept a sit or a sitter without having an opportunity to talk with the other party over a video chat, see/show the space, potentially see/introduce the animals, ask all my questions, etc…it goes both ways.

Something else of note is that in discussing with multiple sitters, I’ve actually built out a nice network to save to favourites. I even met up with a sitter who wasn’t selected but ended up coming to our city anyway for tea and we had a lovely time! I’ve sent suggestions and some of our travel notes to others who’ve come but not sat for us as well. And in truth, for some, I’d be more than happy to have them sit another time and they are effectively on our short list of people who I will reach out to first when we have new dates in case they would work for them since I already know they’re strong candidates. So again, I think this community is what you make of it and you should use it in the ways that work for you…this is just our example of what it looks like for us, but there’s not set process or rule. X


Wow. This is so surprising to read. As a HO, I want to give everyone who applies a chance. I wouldn’t confirm until I’d talked to everyone, that seems unfair to those that I couldn’t schedule first. That said, I never make anyone wait more than a couple days to decide.
We have a sit coming up, and the 2 applicants were a single woman looking to move to our area, and a family with 2 kids. We liked them both very much, but weren’t sure whether our house was still child friendly. We went with the other, then didn’t hear from her (she never confirmed). Finally, she responded that she had decided to get an apartment by then and wouldn’t be available. We were lucky that the family was still available and willing. I think the key is open communication. We don’t lead people on, we don’t keep them hanging, we’re honest about our process. It’s worked for us so far!


@JudyY I am a sitter and from my perspective I think its not necessary, and also very time consuming, to have a video call with all applicants -that’s assuming you mean by ‘giving everyone a chance’ that you would speak/video call with all of them?. The whole purpose of a sitter creating a great profile, collecting 5 * reviews and writing a winning application is that you, as a host, should- with all that information- be able to filter out who stands out to you. There will usually be one or two stand out applications/profiles that you’d like to pursue further and others that are clearly not suitable. Just because people have applied does not, by any means, indicate that all applicants are equal and must be treated equally! Be polite and acknowledge every applicant (sitters really appreciate that) but no need to speak with all of them-just the stand out ones. You want to find the best sitter for your individual sit needs. You do not need to be fair- You can choose whoever fits the bill the best!
Ofcourse you must do it the way that works best for you but I’m with @Cuttlefish and @Katie - if we know a host wants to ‘interview’ other/all applicants we will withdraw and let them choose someone else. No problem!. It just feels like a waste of time for us. With 5 years experience and 90 reviews we are in such a strong position that if a host is still not certain about us and wants to compare us with others by ‘interviewing’ then we know we are not their no.1 choice- otherwise they’d grab us straight away! We know we will never be everyones first choice and that’s absolutely fine! We just don’t want to waste our time!


Huh. We’ve done both sides of THS, first as owners and now as sitters. Yes, owners should be up front about “interviewing” other sitters if they are fortunate enough to have several strong candidates. However, I don’t get why this is an afront to sitters, so much so that they’d withdraw their application. We always assume that we are going to be competing with other sitters. If one applies for a paying job in the real world, you can expect the company/owner/HR to interview and screen multiple candidates before choosing the best fit for their company’s needs. Why would THS sitter applicants find it off-putting to be one of several sitters interviewed? When that happens to us, we know that we have made the short list - yay! Sometimes we end up disappointed and sometimes we are excited to be chosen for the sit. To us, it’s simply part of the process a homeowner goes through to choose the best fit.


When I first joined, I felt the way you did. As soon as I listed the first sit for a Thanksgiving week, saw there were two sitters coming in from Europe, two local, and one coming in to visit family from another American city, I changed my mind. I thought about travel delays and what could happen, and after a couple of back and forth emails to clarify, I was able to rule out the Europeon sitters for that sit. Then in trying to set up the video for the person in another city – who’d be visiting family in my city – there was suddenly another person accompanying, and the realization that he didn’t have much cat experience. It made sense to interview the two local sitters. I chose one for that sit, but both wound up sitting for me twice. A later experience taught me that setting up chats with at least two “standouts” makes sense as people’s plans change before and after the videos happen.


I do not regard it as an affront. But when the HO tells me that they will conduct interviews with all applicants and decide afterwards, I may not be interested in scheduling a time for that. I would only do that if I really really wanted that particular sit, but that is not usually the case when I apply. There are plenty of other possibilities.


Thank you for this perspective. Maybe it’s because we’e fairly new to THS, or maybe because we aren’t in the most glamorous location, but we haven’t had applicants with lots of years’ experience and lots of 5 star reviews. In fact, we’ve sometimes invited very new sitters to apply figuring we’d both be taking a chance on a newbie and this could be the opportunity to boost reviews for both. In any event, I guess I fall more into the same camp as lonnajp64. I interview a couple of the top candidates to get a sense of who we click with.
Takes all kinds, I guess. That’s why this is such a great community - something for everyone!


@JudyY Its great to give first timers a chance- after all we were all first timers once! We are forever grateful for the lovely hosts who took a chance on us. They were first timers too and we all took a leap of faith!
Go with your gut when choosing, however many people you speak to, and it will usually all just fall into place! :blush:


I think we,ve now earned our stripes that enable us to refer to ourselves as experienced sitters.

Yet it seems only yesterday that I was on this forum daily asking basic questions and sucking up knowledge like a vaccum cleaner from really kind and generous sitters that had, and still have far more experience than us and were happy to pass on their knowledge and wisdom- never once making us feel that they were in any way better than us because they had many sits under their belt and we had none or very few.

However, now the fact that we have done more sits than 'less experienced ’ sitters in no way makes us the best fit for every sit we apply for so we have no problem knowing that we are not the only ones that the home host is having a video call with.

Home hosts ‘click’ with sitters for all kinds of reasons, the amount of sits we have done definitely shouldnt be the only deciding factor.

We were chosen once because I am Vegetarian as were they, another host chose us because my husband is Greek as was her deceased husband.

We have to remember that if a home host gets five applications, there is a very good chance that they will have five excellent applications to choose from, I am sure it’s not an easy decision to make.

We are always delighted when chosen for sits, but never offended when someone else gets chosen- whether they be more experienced than us or a total newbie.

It’s got to be a better feeling to win a race that had more than one runner :wink:


I think ALL applicants is a lot… I’m usually only scheduling with 2-3 people (i.e. I’ve already made a short list) and have a tight turn around. I can see how someone in a more remote area may want to meet all if they’re used to low application, which seemed to be that poster’s situation.

To your point, though…on either side, the moment I feel someone is wasting time or taking too long to decide without context, I move on.

Lovely to read your perspective. Thank you for sharing! X


That tone they had with you is something else :joy:

One thing I will say though, I oftentimes will say I’ll get back to you even if someone is my first choice because if my partner is not on the call, I want to make sure I’ve had a chance to discuss with him before we confirm a sitter. (I make it clear up front though that I may speak with a few sitters and typically I talk to them all within the same day because I don’t like making people wait and in general, I tend to be the fast decision-maker between me and my partner :face_with_peeking_eye:) @Colin also makes a good point in his post below in that people sometimes just need more time to work out how to put their feet in the right place and make sure they’re doing the right thing for their pets…may not have anything personal to do with you.

Your profile is absolutely stellar so to be fair, I can’t imagine anyone not selecting you in a heartbeat! I feel like there are a handful of profiles that would clearly be a privilege to have come sit for your animals and yours is definitely one of them :laughing: :black_heart:

Just sharing this perspective as food for thought, i.e. people may have decent reasons for not confirming you immediately. X

About hiring in work life: Personally, I’ve done a lot of hiring. I don’t intw multiple candidates if I have a great one, because I know the market and labor pool at a given time. I also know that great candidates are in demand, often even during weak economies. So if I’m slow and/or make a mediocre offer, I damage my company and team by letting someone else grab them (especially competitors) before we do.

I’ve managed many managers, including developing new ones from scratch. What I’ve observed is, some people are simply better at decision-making and/or are more confident, and sometimes that happens regardless of experience — some people simply have a harder time making decisions, all things equal. They sometimes need more info and/or time. You can ask experienced sales people and they’ll tell you the same thing.

In the U.S. years ago, there was a game show called “Name That Tune.” They’d play contestants a note or up to a few, and whoever identified the song first gained points. In life or in THS context, some people need the equivalent of more notes than others.

Personally, I prefer to partner or work with folks who are better at decision-making. Not only do they tend to decide more quickly, they also tend to problem-solve more effectively. That means if there’s something to work out — including potential hiccups or problems — things tend to go more quickly and smoothly with them. Like when I work or partner with some people, we can skip a lot of needless discussion. That’s actually one of the things my most recent host observed in reviewing me. We partnered well.

For folks who are nervous and/or inexperienced, we wouldn’t sync anywhere as well. In THS context, I don’t find that experience is necessarily required — some newbies are simply faster or better at it. Like I sat for a pair of first-time hosts who were just as good or better than some experienced hosts. I chalk that up to their innate intelligence, their personalities and their life experience.

Personally, I’ve never found THS to be hard to figure out. And I don’t think I’m significantly better with 10 sits behind me vs. when I started. But I now have enough reviews to make a difference, which help me land sits quicker with some hosts. And as long as that’s true, what’s the incentive to go through unnecessary steps or lag with slower hosts unless they have sits that are significantly better?

Logically, all humans tend to avoid wasting time or doing extra steps. That’s not meant as an insult to anyone. It’s just rational.


Well that’s made our morning @bakindoki - thanks so much, that’s very kind of you to say! We do approach house sitting as we would our day jobs in terms of commitment. We can’t be right for everyone, just as long as all the cards are on the table from the off! Now when do you need us in Budapest?? :rofl::rofl: (I think that’s you from memory)


Lmaoooo! That’s us! Lol we’d be so happy to have you! :black_heart:

I’ll add you to our faves :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

1 Like

Hello to the Group. We’ve been with THS for five years. As a HO, your conversations are really helpful. About the multiple interviews - in the past, we chose the person/s we thought the best fit and spoke to them to confirm. I can see the interview process is a pain - on both sides. I think THS providing five candidates may lead a HO to think we’re supposed interview multiple people - that it’s common practice. For our latest sit, we narrowed the candidates to three. This is the first time that the first two of the three sitters we spoke with weren’t a great fit, and we wouldn’t have known it without speaking with them. From now on, I will be mindful of sitters’ time, but I can say the conversations clarified what we and they were looking for. All the best and thanks to all of you!


@Riffi thanks for posting your thoughts!

I can’t see the problem with multiple chats by the pet owner. As a sitter you can either refuse and give your reasons or go with the flow but make it abundantly obvious that you won’t be waiting around for a decision if another pet owner decides first.
Ultimately, we all crave a good match and how better than have a live chat. I know we have turned down sits after a chat because we realised it wasn’t a good match for us but it looked so good on paper.


After sitting nearly full time for close to 2 years, I have recently decided no more interviews - although I do love the “getting to know you” chats! I am glad to read your comment, Cuttlefish, and I agree. I guess a simple question “are you interviewing others for the position” could save a lot of time.

You know, after two years petsitting I don’t mind if homeowners have other people with whom they want to talk. It is such a big decision. I think people on both sides have to feel confident that they can trust each other and that they have the same values. Even after reading all that you can about the other parties, it might not be the best fit and both the homeowner and the sitter may not know that until they talk with others. I always hope we are chosen, but if not, perhaps there is a good reason why. There are other sits and new adventures.