You’ve found the perfect pet-sitting listing on TrustedHouseSitters.com and you’ve contacted the owner. After reading your profile, the owner has replied to you and wants to do a Skype interview. This is very good news and likely, if the call goes well, you’ll be heading out to your next pet sit.
But the telephone interview with home owners is often more than just a formality, and your answers and your personality will be what ultimately land or lose the job for you. Don’t let this stress you out! If you follow these 8 tips, you’ll put yourself in a very good position to win over the home owners and land your dream pet sitting job.
These are not sleazy tactics.
These are honest answers and methods that will make the home owner feel safe and secure leaving their pets in your hands. We’ve had many Skype interviews and after landing the jobs almost every time, we’ve spoken with the owners about what they expect from those calls and why they decided to hire us. From their answers and our successes, we’ve compiled this very effective list.
Immediately let the home owner know that your word is your bond. If they’ve had many pet sitters in the past, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ve had a few of them cancel at the last minute. This is a homeowner’s worst nightmare and it is your responsibility to commit to them 100% and make sure that they understand that if you agree to the job, you’ll be booking your tickets and coming no matter what.
For home / pet owners with a history of unreliable sitters, this is the most important thing you can say during the call.
Ask Questions About the Pets
You may be surprised at how many pet owners we’ve spoken to who recall countless Skype interviews where the sitter never once asks about the pet! This is a complete no-no and while you will be staying in the owner’s home, the most important part of your job is caring for and spending time with their beloved animal.
Questions you have should be about the animal’s personality, what they like / dislike, what medications they’re on, how old they are, if they’re good with other animals / people, etc. You should know the pet very well before arriving at the home.
Even if the owner has sent you a long email or document explaining every aspect of the animal and the jobs required of you, you should have at least 5 – 10 questions to ask during this call. You must make it known that you are taking the job seriously and that you care 100% about the pets.
If you are uncomfortable with something the owner has said, or you aren’t qualified to care for their pet etc., it’s important that you tell them. Also, if you’re not a clean person, don’t act like you scrub the walls and floorboards on a daily basis. If you’ve never owned a horse, don’t pretend that you grew up on a farm.
This all may sound very obvious, but you’d be surprised at what people have said in order to land that beach front house in the Caribbean. Honesty is your number 1 asset as a sitter and the owners will likely hire / deny you based on how honest you are.
Emphasise Your Qualifications
While you shouldn’t exaggerate or lie about your abilities, you should emphasise areas where you do have experience. If you’ve administered medications, walked multiple dogs, been to veterinary clinics, cleaned pools, done landscaping or if you are able to do repairs yourself, tell the owners all about it. They will be happy to know that there is a capable person looking after their pet and home.
Also, if you have first aid or any special animal care certifications, you should let them know immediately, and if you’ve ever treated a dog which had health issues, this is the perfect opportunity to set yourself ahead of the other applicants.
Disclose Your Limitations
Let the owners know right away if there are things that you’re not comfortable with. If you’ve never administered a needle (and don’t want to!), tell them. If you can’t drive and they require you to drive to different locations for walks, vet visits, etc. then you have to be honest with them and resign from the application process.
Don’t let the prospect of pet sitting in an exotic country cloud your logic. The home owner should be well-informed of all sitters’ limitations, so that he or she can make an educated decision about who to hire.
Tell Them How Clean You Are
The last thing someone wants is a messy home when they return from a long vacation. Tell the pet owner how clean you are (but don’t lie or exaggerate). Explain to them how often you clean and how tidy your house is. This is not only important for the upkeep of their home, but pets can contract diseases like kennel cough if a house is left dusty and messy.
Being a clean person is a very good thing to add to your pet sitting resume and you should make sure that you keep the owner’s house spotless while they are away.
Inform of Previous Experience & Re-hires
The best thing a pet owner can hear is that you’ve pet sat before and been asked to return by the homeowners whom you sat for. This is the ultimate testimonial and having this kind of experience in the past will likely solidify your job. Tell the owner what previous homeowners have thought of you and why they decided to call you back for another sit.
Tell Them Why You Pet Sit
One of the first questions that many owners ask is: “Why do you pet sit?” The answer to this question should never be: “So I can get free accommodation around the world”. This is definitely not what the owner wants to hear. While we often exclaim on this blog that we get free accommodation, it’s mostly to shock people into considering this lifestyle.
But in reality, we pet sit because we love animals and our travelling lifestyle doesn’t allow us to have them. For us, stopping for a few weeks or months and having a furry companion is the ultimate joy of pet sitting. That’s an honest statement and it’s always our answer when home owners ask us this inevitable question.
Think about why you pet sit and have an answer ready, just make sure that you don’t use the words “free accommodation”. It goes without saying that you’ll enjoy their beach home in the Bahamas, tell them why you enjoy Pet sitting, not house sitting.
While all 8 of these tips should be taken into consideration when doing the Skype interview, the most important points to take away from this article are to be honest and care about the pets. The owner deserves to have the perfect person for the job, just as you deserve to have the perfect job.
If you don’t fit the bill, back down and try applying for a different posting. Pet sitting is a wonderful network and we all need to help the community to grow by properly matching home and pet owners to the best possible sitters.
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Are you a house/pet sitter? What would you add to this list? How did you get the job – share your secrets with us! 🙂
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