Interviewing multiple candidates

I love that you did that. It sounds like a wonderful spirit of the season thing to do.

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Why do you think that the HO is disrespecting you if he talks with 2 or 3 sitters?

What 30+ sitters really have to understand: It’s not about the quantity of sits, it’s about sympathy. Or: If you had 30 sits in small apartments in the city you are not the right person to take responsability for my hudge house.

We really should come away from this thinking: the more 5* the better. It’s not like this. I really had my badest two sits with 30+ 5* sitters. And you know what? I also gave them 5* what is a shame but I did it. I just didn’t want to risk my 5* reviews.

The experience told me (I am just speeking for myself): more 5* is not better, fulltime sitter is absolutely nothing for me, sitters on holiday which are out for a lot of hours is also not what I am looking for.

My experience has been most (probably 90%) of the HS I have applied for and didnt get rejected for right away has interviewed me along with other people. From that I get picked about 50% of the time. I find it exhausting as someone who also owns a contractual job and is often also interviewing for my next gig. It shouldn’t be this way please HO just pick for profile/references. On most weeks I have 1-2 HS interviews. And often just like for real interviews just I just get the automatic rejection a few days later

As a relative newbie (less than 1 year), I actually would not want to go into someone’s home without a face-to-face PRIOR to confirmation, nor would I expect them to choose me without that.
As a sitter, I first assess their profile; then whatever written correspondence is used to see if the personality feels ‘consistent’ with the profile; and the final piece of that is the face-to-face. I am looking for congruence all along the process.
I figure anyone literate can write anything they want about themselves.
I do understand not waiting, as well. I have already started to withdraw my applications if I do not hear from (or back from) a person quickly or when they say they will get back to me.

There is a sit that I feel I’d be perfect for & really want, but she is not ready to review and will get back after the first of year. I figure she is waiting past the holidays to see if any prior sitters step up, which I find understandable. I would be coming from afar. I understand I might ‘feel’ more risky, even though I plan to be in her country for 2 months. I try to think of things from both parties’ point of view.

I hope the new ‘blind’ ratings help with this lack of honesty. As would a checklist like HOs are able to give us. I do think the reference should be broken down into "parts’

Remember, you as the sitter, are also “interviewing” the pet owner.

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By “sympathy,” I think you mean relevant experience or such. When it comes to that, it seems obvious to me to not apply for sits that don’t match my needs or preferences or various sits’ needs or relevance. Like if I’d done 30 sits in small apartments in city settings, it would be out of choice, so I wouldn’t apply for say a huge house in a rural setting.

In my case, I don’t apply for dogs I don’t think I can handle or too many pets, because I’m a solo sitter who telecommutes. And it would seem that the more experienced the sitter, the more likely they are to have figured out what works for them — they probably don’t apply randomly or for sits that they’re poorly qualified for.

It’s very similar to job hunting — some people apply randomly for openings they’re not qualified for, but hiring mgrs with common sense don’t typically interview them. Or if they do, it’s because the applicant has made a compelling case in their application, which is relatively rare.

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Agree. I think it goes both ways.

I would never say anything like that because it is not true. There are many ways of contacting each other and communication is important. Note that clarification questions and “getting to know you” video chats are not interviews. Although it has never happened to me, of course there can be a change of mind any time before the sit is confirmed.

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I have only had two video interviews since the new system. It wasn’t explicit but I felt it was a formality and that they had chosen us. I guess it give the HO the option of pulling out if interview didn’t go well and vice versa. Bit laborious process but hopefully mutually beneficial in the long run.

I think by “sympathy” she means that people click, feel on the same wavelength. Kind of mutual compatibility, having a good feeling about each other. That’s what the German word "Sympathie " means and I think @Coclico is German, right?

Re topic: like with everything else, this is highly personal. I have over 30 5* reviews now, but don’t expect everyone to choose me just because of this. I respect that everyone’s criteria for choosing a pet sitter are different. For me, a personal connection is very important too.


@andrealovesanimals, you’re right — she could mean that. If so, I offer this for consideration among hosts:

Compatibility is not that important when finding someone to sit your pets and home. The top characteristics would be trustworthiness, conscientiousness and communication skills.

Why I say that: Consider among all your friends and you’ll see that you’re compatible, but those three characteristics actually vary among them. And when you entrust someone with your beloved pets and home, the deal-breakers are how conscientiously they’ll take care of their wellbeing, keep your house and look after security and your possessions. And how well they communicate, especially with questions or about problems.

Some people will do those things terrifically and yet you might not want to hang out with them. Meanwhile, there are plenty of personable people who have questionable conscientiousness, trustworthiness, reliability, etc., who will let you down. Like often you’ll see posts from hosts who’ve had disastrous sitters and they’ll say that those sitters seemed so nice or likable. Frankly, there are plenty of people who can fake likability or compatibility.

Sure, it would be great if hosts and sitters became friends, or were friendly, but if someone isn’t, shrug, it’s not as if you’ll be spending lots of time with them. But if they take good care of your pets and home, you’ve got the key things you need when you leave your pets and home to a stranger.

Again, this is my POV and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Personally, I’ve done a lot of hiring over the years and have had a lot of success building teams by looking for the three characteristics I mentioned, even when people have very different personalities otherwise.

And this also is why LinkedIn can offer useful info about sitters, regardless of field. If someone is conscientious, it will tend to show up in their career progression. It’s not the only way to vet people, but to take a look at a stranger, it can be useful.

Conscientious is a characteristic that tends to run across a person’s life, if they have it. It will show up in how they work, how they handle responsibilities elsewhere, like care-taking, finances, etc. Not perfectly or uniformly, but as a pattern.

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These qualities are definitely a bonus, but for me empathy is very important too. The ability to see yourself in someone else’s shoes, and the ability to admit that sometimes you’re wrong. If someone doesn’t have that, I will only deal with them if it’s totally inevitable :slightly_smiling_face:

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For me, empathy is more important with a spouse or a friend. If I hosted (which is why I’m using empathy for hosts here, since I don’t host), I consider whether I’d want someone who does what they say as a sitter, for instance.

We recently had a chat which went - we thought - really well, but as we were saying our goodbyes, the HO mentioned she would also be speaking to the other 4 applicants before making a decision.

I believe that after a video chat, most people have a good idea of best-fit. We withdrew our application. There are always other sits…

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@Happypets we’ve done the same, more than once.
We always think HOs should be upfront if ‘interviewing’ multiple ‘candidates’. And if we know in advance we usually withdraw unless the HO agrees to an ‘on the spot’ decision at the end of the call. If they are not convinced after a call and with all our other info, application & many reviews as back up, then we know we are not the right fit and we are not willing to wait for further comparison with others.
Our preference is definitely that the HO carefully studies all applications and chooses no.1 to speak with first & if its not a fit then proceed to no.2 But to set up calls with everyone, despite all the huge amount of info provided, is overkill imho.
This us an unpaid exchange and we are not a candidates interviewing for a job!


I don’t mind if hosts chat with a couple of applicants, if they’re transparent and decide promptly. But if a host is slow and/or is chatting with several sitters, I’m out. Some folks just aren’t good at decision-making, all things equal.

Happily, I’ve had good luck to partner with decisive hosts, who’ve been straightforward and easy to deal with. I have confidence in the abundance of such folks, so don’t hesitate to avoid or cut off hosts who are otherwise.

I was just on Nomador with a host who had a great sit, but was slow to reply by his own admission. (I don’t think Nomador has a withdrawal feature, so my application just hung around.) Then we were supposed to video chat and scheduling got snagged, so I wished him well with finding another sitter.

I figure, if communications are slow or troublesome in the run-up to a sit, am I going to potentially be left chasing or hunting someone while they’re on vacation if I need answers or help in a pinch? No thanks.

Sitting is voluntary, unpaid and shouldn’t be unnecessarily stressful. If it starts to feel like a job, I’m happy to pass. I’d rather not sit at all than deal with hosts who need handholding or are otherwise cumbersome, even if they’re nice.

I always ask for a video chat because i want to check the sitter(s) speak(s) the language spoken in the country where i live.
Many pretended to, but did not understand what i asked them on phone, speaking slowly…
They often lied, one told me " i have time to learn". In 4 weeks ? Pretty smart guy!

Sitters answer too quickly ( we received lately a simple “Hi”, waited for another message later on but no message ever came…) but don’t seem to have read our listing…

We precised we wanted sitters speaking french. Quite surprised very few applicants answered in our language…

So yes, we feel free to check through an “interview”. I don’t see why we should not do that. If some sitters don’t like chats, well others accept. 5 stars was not a guarantee. It may change with the blind system (??.)

I’ve done several sits through THS, alongside some similar experiences arranged privately, and I’ve only once been asked for a video chat beforehand. I didn’t mind doing it at all, as the HO had made it clear from their message that I had been chosen for the sit, and had also confirmed the sit via the website, so it was more just to say hello and probably to put their minds at rest about who they had chosen to look after their pets and home, which is perfectly understandable.

However, I’m self-employed, and wouldn’t be keen to spend time ‘interviewing’ on a regular basis for the unpaid ‘job’ of house-sitting. Hopefully my reviews and messages speak for themselves, and a video chat should be the final stage of the process once messages have been exchanged and both parties are on board with the sit in principal, rather than as part of the initial stage.

Hi Lokstar. I have to say as a petparent there is not only a learning curve in terms of how to find a great sitter quickly, but also changing conditions that might not always be in the pet parent’s control. I’ve narrowed things down to setting up no more than 3 chats. Sometimes if I can chat with someone quickly enough, it’s sequential and I’m ready to make an offer. But I’ve had situations where I’ve offered sits to a person after an interview and they basically said “Sure, let me check on a few things!” and then 2 days later or 12 hours later told me they took another sit or fares were too high or something else.

My latest take away is that if I am ready to offer someone a sit but they need time to check airfares or schedules or decide if they are ready to take it, I won’t make the official “offer” but will tell them to WhatsApp me as soon as they know for certain, but meantime I’ll keep interviewing as there are other good candidates I don’t want to lose. That’s not me trying to pressure someone. It’s me having been burned before.

Sometimes the sitter I want is putting off the videos. I’ve learned that that is usually a sign they are waiting to hear about another sit. I won’t wait if there’s another good sitter who can meet sooner, but in case that other sitter then delays, that can delay the process… Don’t lay all of this on whether the petparent is “decisive” or not. I wouldn’t make assumptions about someone’s personality or style or even empathy with sitters. It’s a matching site and we’re all doing the best we can. Please bear in mind that pet parents who make a bad choice have a lot more to lose than sitters in this equation.