Questions to Ask in An Au Pair Interview
Ask the right questions to find the best au pair for your family.
An au pair will be taking care of your children and spending a lot of time with your family so it is important that you get the best match possible. One of the most important aspects of the matching process is the interview. By asking the right questions you can get a good sense of who the candidate is and determine for yourself if they will fit with your family.
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As the au pair will be from a different country, it is likely that your interview will take place on Skype or over the phone. Be sure to talk clearly and slowly, taking special care if English is not their native language.
Make sure you ask open-ended questions so you get a sense of who the candidate is. You want to find out what their motivations are for becoming an au pair, are they comfortable being away from their home and what experience they have with children.
Here is a list of example questions that you can ask au pair candidates:
General and personality questions
- Why do you want to be an au pair?
- Have you been to the United Kingdom before?
- Have you ever stayed away from home before? If so, for how long?
- Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? If so, how do they feel about you going abroad?
- Tell me about your family.
- Do you have brothers and sisters?
- How do your parents feel about you being away from home?
- What do you do in your free time?
- Do you like pets?
- Do you smoke?
- Have you been an au pair before? If so, where?
- What other childcare experience do you have?
- What ages are the children you have cared for?
- What is the longest period you have looked after a child for?
- Have you ever had an emergency while looking after a child? If so, what happened and how did you handle it?
- What do you love most about caring for children?
- What do you find hardest about caring for children?
- What do you do if the child is misbehaving?
- Are you willing to do light housework as well as take care of the children?
- Do you cook? If so, what kind of food do you cook?
- Would you be available for extra babysitting duties? (Compensated)
- What age-related activities would you plan for the children?
- Do you have a driving license? If so, how long have you had it? Have you ever been in an accident?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you have any childcare qualifications or certificates?
- Do you have first-aid training? Can you provide a certificate?
- What educational qualifications do you have, e.g. GCSEs or university degree?
You should have a minimum of two interviews with the candidate before deciding. If your children are old enough, you should introduce them to the candidate in the second interview and let them ask a few questions. This is a good way to see how the au pair will interact with your children and if your children are receptive to them.
While this list provides a base for questions you should ask au pairs, it is important to throw a few curveball questions in there too. This will show you if applicants have learnt off answers to general questions. However, it is important to remember that a first-time candidate may be nervous, especially if they are not speaking in their native tongue.
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