Interviewing multiple candidates

@Cuttlefish & @las et al
I’m curious…does your initial “application” email to HO’s include something like “upon reviewing my/our profile, please contact me/us only if you intend to offer me/ us these sitting dates.
We no longer entertain response inquires from HO’s due to our many 5 star reviews; we respond only to sit invitations from HO’s. Thank you.”

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No we don’t @HelloOutThere but we don’t apply to a volume of sits. They tend to be at least two weeks long, in obscure destinations and always new. (No UK, no USA, no NZ or Ozzie). It would feel a bit abrupt and not our style to write that in there but appreciate your input :+1:t3:

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A bit off topic, but you mention 2 “local” applicants. As I assume others do, we sit to travel. The closest sits we’ve done that I’d consider local were to a city 3-4 hours away. What motivates someone to accept a local sit?

I’m fairly new to THS and this forum so hope I’m making the comment correctly!

This topic has been really interesting and helpful as I thought I should speak to every sitter who replied just out of courtesy. Reading a profile is all very well but actually speaking to someone is much more helpful in making a decision.

Having said that, I think I will follow some of the advice here in future and try to choose just one person to speak to initially. For my current sit, four people answered very quickly and they all seemed really suitable. I spoke to them all before deciding on one but it was so difficult and it did feel like letting someone down after an “interview”.

So glad I’ve joined this forum and look forward to getting more helpful advice.


@Neil great question - this has been discussed previously

Hi @Neil
I took local sits to start our reputation.

We also have areas in New England that are enjoyable to revisit and now that I am a THsitter (& HO), I would take sits in such areas to save on accommodations but also to be an “active” member/sitter to help out other HO’s in my area.

I’m in NYC. The rent is too high and many people who aren’t true “nomads” live in not great situations and can use a break. I have had 4 local sitters. One sitter lives far from the city center by mass transit, so this gives her a chance to be closer to the city center. Another was a new grad, living “at home” so sitting was a way for her to be more independent build reveiws while still getting to her job, and eventually travel. A third had recently sold her home, travels a lot for work, and was staying in a friend’s guest room while planning her next move, so sits to give her friend some space. A fourth in a similar position had given up her lease and has a somewhat regular catsitting gig for a friend who travels a lot for work, but takes sits when her friend is home.

Back to the topic: In the case of 3 out 4 of those sitters I discovered some “local connections” during the video chats that helped build trust. The new grad had graduated from a school I’d attended. The person staying in a guest room was 10 blocks away and a graduate of the university in my neighborhood.


Hi @Neil that’s a great question! Many new sitters start off with local short sits to get some experience and collect a few reviews. It can be helpful, if the sitter and/or the host is new, to be able to meet each other in person to be sure its a good match.
There are many other reasons. @Marion above has given several great examples.
In our case I am from the UK but have not lived there in 25 years. We are here right now on a lovely peaceful Christmas sit and return to the UK annually for a visit. Since becoming sitters we now sit here often as there are so many opportunities. We have done quite a few sits that are within 10-50 miles radius of my hometown (Brighton) and whilst I thought I knew my ‘neck of the woods’ quite well actually spending some time in a new neighbourhood or nearby town is so different and refreshing! Sitting locally also enables us to visit old friends and familiar local haunts! And sometimes we have sat in local country mansions tucked away in beautiful countryside that I had no idea existed! Even a sit in Brighton itself, in a different house/part of town with a dog or cat would be interesting as I did not grow up with pets!


@Neil Sometimes one does a local sit just to be helpful. I hadn’t planned on doing a housesit over the Christmas period. However, a homeowner who lives only 2 km from my place Invited me to apply. Our town is perfectly fine but certainly not a sought-after destination. I did a home visit and agreed to care for her 2 cats (literally the most shy that I have ever met). It is kind of nice because I can pop to my place so easily.


A pool! It gets very hot in the summer and I don’t have one.

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As a sitter, I want to go straight to a video call. I want the HO to be confident that they’ve made the right decision. I want to be confident with what I’m dealing with from the outset. I don’t want to go to the trouble of writing a lengthy application that’s going to be ignored (as some are). As soon as I’m interested and they respond, I suggest a video call. It’s the sensible way forward and it’s not an interview, it’s just a normal conversation that you’d have with anyone.


I am totally fine with the homeowner interviewing several other candidates, because my experience shows me that things are much better if both parties are really convinced they got the best match possible.

However, what I don’t like are “courtesy calls” - i.e. when homeowners already have made up their minds to choose a fellow sitter and don’t want to cancel the call because they feel obliged to talk to us out of courtesy.

And I don’t like to be left in limbo. If we applied it means we are very interested and would like to have a quick decision so that we can go ahead with our travel plans or find another sit.

If we had a call and think it is not a match made in heaven I also don’t wait to let the homeowners know that we feel there is a better sitter out there for them.

After all, aren’t we all just fabulous sitters?!


I understand that it feels like a waste of time if they’ve already chosen someone else. So here’s my question. If a HO connects with you on Sunday to set up a video call as soon s convenient. You can’t do it till Tuesday. They talk to someone else on Monday. The Monday person is allegedly ready to commit and they like that person. So they’ve already all but offered it to the other person, or maybe they have offered it and the other person hasn’t confirmed yet. Would you prefer they cancel your chat or meet with you anyway? (Additional: If they meet with you, you stilll might be backup if the first person flakes AND you would be considered for future sits in this competitve location.)

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For me, until the sit is confirmed, it’s an open listing. I would leave the appointment on for Tuesday right up until it is certain the other HS has accepted the sit. I think that is better than going back and forth and if I need to cancel the Tuesday, I send a thoughtful note. No harm done.

I.e. it’s open until it’s closed and I make decisions based on my most up to date information and communications.

Similar to jobs, I don’t stop meeting candidates or assume I get the job just because the company says they like me a lot…I consider it mine when I have the signed and completed offer in my hand in both directions.

I usually only have one offer out at a time tho but with the offer sent, I make sure to let them know when i’d need a response back out of respect for whoever else I may be chatting with and those expectations are set at the onset. I’ve found that usually HOs and HSs both understand and have empathy for fast turn arounds because none of us like to be left hanging. And that transparency has been very helpful to keep within a 24-48 ish cycle time.

I’ll also typically contact the sitter I want to move forward with on both WhatsApp and I the app and say I’d like to move forward with you, lmk if you’re still up for the sit and I’ll send over the confirmation…that way it’s not left open and waiting and is tied directly to a seen communication.

I think in that case it is still real interest and not just a courtesy?

I know it happens rarely, but I had a call, where the homeowner said, they had already committed to another sitter and just wanted to say hi. It probably was with the nicest intentions, but a bit of a bummer, because I had adjusted my schedule to accomodate their schedule…

@Catlover96 As a sitter I interview 4-5 HOs before deciding which sit is best aligned with my holiday. I think of them as chemistry calls.

The chat/ call/ interview is a two-way evaluation of fit.

I’m looking for a lot of factors, but most importantly that I ‘click’ with with HO and they they understand their role as host of a homestay — to make sure it’s a perfect ‘exchange’ and in the original spirit of THS.

If there’s an obvious 2-way click we agree on the call right away and I accept the invitation to sit via the site.

If I don’t feel a click with any of them I book holiday accomm on airbnb or booking.

I do think that “hi” might be valuable. The sitter they chose might wind up cancelling for some reason. There could be another sit coming up that would work.

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If possible, you might reframe your thinking from perceived arrogance to those who are instead unwilling to be disrespected. It is ultimately teamwork. Disrespect from HO seems evident in the multiple video chats w/o a decision. And, yes, gratefulness for the ones who show up on your doorstep is a healthy response for the sitters, highly experienced or not.

Hi am new to THS and have completed one sit successfully. I would say interview all your applicants. You obviously go with your gut as regards people but unless you really think someone is unsuitable at first glance then chat to all. If you don’t choose them on one occasion it’s not to say they won’t be suitable for another.

As a sitter, I’m not bothered or offended if the HO is talking to multiple people. I do think they should let the sitters know up front so that those who would feel slighted by this can simply bow out.
I’ve only had it happen a couple times where they said they were talking to others. Most of the time, they are pretty confident prior to the time we had a video chat and in almost every time, they are ready to make a decision at the end of the call and we confirm that we are, too and the sit is confirmed & accepted immediately following the call.
I’m not offended by the multiple chats but I’m also not committed to them yet either so if another sit comes along before they complete their talks, I may not be available when they do decide.