Before I list potential questions, I want to post a warning: “Perfect” is a fantasy. Within the business, we call “looking for the Perfect Au Pair” “Searching for a Unicorn”. It is a mythical idea.
BUT. It is critical that potential Host Families and Au Pairs ask the right questions when interviewing, so that you can really get a sense of who this person is, and what their experience and expectations are, so that you are not taken off guard when your assumptions clash with reality.
When you are searching for your match, make a list of 3 “MUST HAVE”s, and then make another list of as many “WOULD LOVE” as you like.
For example, if you have 3 boys- one with special needs and the others with multiple after school activities- your 3 “MUST HAVE”s might include Strong Driver, Punctual/Able to disperse medication on time, and Patient/Calm Temperament, but you “WOULD LOVE” it if the person was male, had strong English, had tutoring experience and an interest in cooking. You might find two out of four of the “WOULD LOVE” list, and if you do, and if you have a good feeling and rapport, don’t wait! Match with that Au Pair!
Here is a list of possible interview questions I have picked up over time, to help you understand the habits and temperament of the person you will be living with for a year:
- What is the hardest job you have ever liked? What made it hard and why did you still like it?
- Tell me about a time you were caring for children but were not told what to do with them…what did you do?
- What do you do to help children feel bonded to you?
- Have you ever taken care of more than two children at the same time? Please describe that experience.
- Would you want to go on vacations with us as a family? Then get more personal: How do you envision a flight with our 4 year old? How do you feel about sharing a hotel room with a 4-and 7-year old?
- We are XXXXXX religion. Do you know anyone of that religion? Would you feel comfortable celebrating our holidays? Are there holidays you will NEED to celebrate that you can share with us?
- What kind of household duties do you do at home? Can you walk me through your typical clean-up routine?
- Have your parents ever asked you to do something you did not want to do? Tell me about it. What happened?
- Can you show me around your room? What is important to you in that room?
- Who pays for your car? Housing? Clothes?
- Do you ever do the grocery shopping for your family? What kinds of things to you buy?
- What does it mean to you, to be a “family member”?
- Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? How would you handle it if you broke up during the year?
- When have you had a boss (or teacher) you felt was being unfair to you, and how did you handle that situation?
- What is the longest you have ever been away from home? If you were homesick, what did you do to cope and feel better?
- How would your best friend describe you in three words?
- What kind of music do you like to listen to?
- Do you wear perfume?
- In our family, we shower every day. Is this how you were raised in your family?
- Do you like to be early, or on time to an appointment?
- What is your passion?
- What are your plans after your Au Pair year?
Are you great at interviewing? Feel free to list your favorites in the comments section below!
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 3:24 PM