Interviewing Suggestions – What Info to Give When?

When interviewing a prospective au pair, some families give a lot of information on themselves and their children right up front.  If you do that, you may be answering some of the au pair’s questions she may have about your family.  But, you will never know, because she will not ask you then.  The type of questions an au pair asks, will help you judge her interest in your family and motivation for becoming an au pair.  So, it might be a better idea to just give a brief intro like this: “Hi, I’m Mary Smith from Silver Spring, Maryland.  My husband and I have two children, a girl who is 6 years and a boy who is 10 years.”  Then, go into your interview questions.  Once you have all your questions completed, let her ask any questions she may have.

Once you have completed that phase of interviewing, if it seems like you are both still interested and possibly a good fit, you want to provide a very clear picture of what being your au pair will involve and what living in your home will be like.

This could include (conversations and emails) about:

  • Anticipated schedule and list of duties
  • Child care and discipline (ask for responses to possible scenarios)
  • House rules  – car use, curfew, smoking, guests, computer and phone use
  • If driving is required, have serious discussions about the frequency and type of driving experience she has (what vehicles, which side of the road, city or country and any accidents)
  • Lifestyle issues (physical active or sedentary, interests, values)

This may seem like a lot to discuss, but being thorough up front can prevent problems down the road like au pair and host parents having different expectations and perceptions.

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