Families want to know that you are interested in their family, and are well informed on what life with their family will be like. If there is something said that you don’t understand, ask the family to repeat themselves, or to rephrase the question. It is important that you are calm and focused during the interview. Be honest about your past employment history, without breaching the confidentiality of your previous employers. Talk about the children you cared for, what you enjoyed most, how you handled difficult situations, your responsibilities etc. As much as these answers of of the utmost importance to the client, to insure a good match there are some important questions you may like to consider asking the family. Family dynamics and how you fit in with the family are of the utmost importance to these roles. We have found the following top ten questions invaluable in making a good match for an au pairing role and they all generally revolve around family dynamics.
- If there is more than 1 child in the home that you will be caring for it is important to know how the children get on with each other as this may affect your relationship with them and your relationship to the parents.
- Ask the parents what forms of discipline they use with their children so as to ascertain if you are comfortable with this. Remember though that at legally, you may never physically approach a child in an aggressive manner, even if the parents do this.
- What does the family and parents do over weekends? Is there an expectation that you will be available over weekends and how comfortable are you with this. Are the activities they partake in closely aligned with yours?
- Find out what the parents find most challenging about their children, what they struggle with the most, day in and day out.
- Ask what a typical family day is like at the moment and how you will fit in to the families day to day life, what the expectations are for them considering your assistance and whether these are viable expectations.
- Ask about the hours you will be expected to work, if they advertised for a certain set of hours but in the interview indicate a vastly different set of hours or have an expectation for you to be available outside of the normal working hours this needs to be thoughly discussed so that you can be adequately compensated for making yourself available during ‘off’ time.
- How many interviews is the family intending to have and what sort of waiting period can you expect to know by if they would like to see you again, short list you or hire you.
- Does the family, or either parent travel alot? Would they want to take you with on these trips or would they want you to possibly live in if they do go away, or if one of the parents is away?
- Ask if the family has had previous au pairs. If they have ask for an example of a problem they had previously and how this was resolved. Then perhaps ask how you and the family could avoid having such problems in the future.
- Have you had previous au pairs? What is one problem you had with your previous au pair? How did you handle it? How can we avoid having similar problems
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If you are looking for an au pair to assist you family find out more about our placement service here or if you are looking for work as an au pair, apply for listing with Sitters4U here.