Tips for the Interviewing Au Pair Candidates
We understand that the interviewing / matching process can be stressful. We reached out to a few of our experts, who have had au pairs themselves, to share some tips for interviewing candidates.
1. Be open and honest during your interviews
When interviewing candidates, you should be open and honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly with your family. You are interviewing the candidate for your family, but they also want to make sure that your family is a right fit for them. Au pairs cannot make sure they are a right fit and handle any concerns if they are not aware. Being honest will help you have a more successful program!
2. Complete your household guide
Our household guide is an essential piece of the puzzle. We provide you with the template, all you have to do is fill in the blanks with your family’s information. This guide will help you with topics to discuss during your interview.
3. Make sure you ask questions that will give you a thorough understanding of their experience
Au pairs go through a rigorous check to make sure that they fulfill all of the program requirements. However, that does not mean that they fulfill all of the requirements that you are looking for in your au pair. Make sure you ask follow up questions that will help you determine if they will meet your requirements. Ask open-ended questions and have candid conversations. We recommend saving the tougher questions for the second call.
Example: If you need someone with a lot of driving experience, make sure you ask about how often they drive, what the roads are like where they drive, etc.
4. Have multiple interviews with your potential au pair
You had a great first interview with an au pair candidate, now what? We recommend having 2-3 conversations with an au pair before matching. Your first call should be an introductory call to get to know the au pair candidate, ask simple questions, and to get a feel for if they might be a good fit for your family. If you think they might be, we recommend getting more in-depth on your second and third interview. Ask more detailed questions for specific requirements you have, share your schedule, rules, etc. We recommend having your child/children join the second or third interview. This gives them a chance to interact with each other.
5. Communication is key
Always conduct your interviews in English, even if you speak their native language. Au pairs English language level varies from candidate to candidate, so it’s important that you interview them in English to get a better understanding of how advanced their English is. Remember, English is often a second or third language for your candidates. Make sure you speak slowly, clearly, and give them a change to think about their response before answering. Speaking a different language can be stressful for your candidate.
Use video calls whenever possible because it allows you to read body language and facial expressions. Candidates typically have an easier time understanding the conversation when they can see you during your conversation.
6. Let the au pairs interview your family!
You are interviewing the candidate for your family, but they also want to make sure that your family is a right fit for them. Make sure you give your candidates a chance to ask you questions and learn more about your family, community, etc.! You might also consider sharing the contact information for your current au pair / childcare provider so your candidate can reach out to them too.
7. There is no common sense, there is cultural sense!
It is important to remember that every country is different when it comes to culture, traditions, and everyday life.
Considerations for if it’s a good time to get an au pair:
Big life changes, like a divorce or separation, is not the right time to get an au pair. Wait until the dust has settled and your home is more stable to welcome an exchange visitor.