Interviewing with a host family is an exciting and important part of the matching process. The most successful au pair experiences come when au pairs have open and honest communication and dialogue from the start!
- Review the family’s application and write down questions you would like to ask.
- Find things you like about them, similar interests or hobbies and talk about this during the interview.
- Be professional! Remember that this is an interview.
- Make sure your phone can accept international calls.
- If you use Skype, make sure your webcam and audio device are functioning properly before your interview.
- Be online or available for your interview five minutes before the scheduled time.
- Communicate your strengths and who you are; don’t focus on perfect grammar.
- Be honest and direct with the family.
- Stay calm, take your time, remember to breathe and smile!
You will find a few examples of interview questions below. You must speak with a family over Skype or telephone at least one time before you can agree to match with them. You should ask several questions from each section (do not ask every question during your first interview). Remember that the answers to some questions may be in the host family’s application.
Your Host Children
- How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
- What are your children’s personalities like?
- What do your children like to do in their free time?
- How well do your children get along with each other?
- Do your children have extracurricular activities?
- How can I participate in their favorite activities with them?
- Do you want me to speak my native language to the children?
- What do you consider to be most challenging about your children?
- How should I behave in situations when your children will not listen? (Ask about disciplinary styles.)
Your Host Family
- What do you (the parents) do for a living?
- Where do you work and what are your work hours?
- What kinds of activities does your family do together?
- Would you say you are an active family?
- How do you spend your weekends or free time?
- Do you like sports, film, computers?
- What is your family’s typical daily routine?
- Do you like to travel?
- Would you expect me to accompany you on family vacations or trips?
Work as an Au pair
- What precisely are your expectations of me?
- How do you see your au pair fitting into your family?
- What types of household chores does everyone do in your family?
- How many hours will I work a day?
- Will I typically work one consecutive shift a day?
- Will you need me to work in the morning or in the afternoon?
- Will I need to drive? If so, how often?
- Will I need to drive the children to school or to their extracurricular activities?
- What are the most important rules I should know about?
- Describe your perfect au pair. What type of au pair are you looking for?
- Are there any expectations for a curfew?
- What are your expectations during meal times?
- Can I spend my free time away from your home?
- After we get to know each other, would I permitted to invite friends and family to visit?
- How do you plan to include me in your everyday family life?
- What are the rules for using the Internet? (Be mindful that some households have bandwidth limits!)
- Will I have access to a computer with an Internet connection?
The Neighborhood and the Home
- What is your neighborhood like?
- What kinds of cultural activities are available in your area?
- Are there parks, playgrounds, bike paths, etc. nearby?
- What is the weather like?
- How would you describe the surrounding environment of your home?
- Are there usually other au pairs nearby?
- Will I have opportunities to meet up with other au pairs in the neighborhood?
- What kinds of transportation will I be using?
- How far away are the schools, bus stops, train stations, etc. from your home?
- How is my room furnished?
Hosting a Previous Au Pair
- Have you hosted an au pair previously?
- When and for how long did you host your previous au pair?
- Is it possible for me to be in contact with your previous au pair?
- Did you help your au pair enroll in language classes?
- How often did she or he attend language classes and what school did she or he go to?
- What was your favorite part about hosting an au pair?
- What are you excited to host an au pair for the first time or again?
- (Be sure to share your hopes for your experience as an au pair and the type of family you’d like to match with, too!)