Selecting a compatible caregiver for your family is so important. Au Pair USA is here to assist you through the matching process as you search for an au pair with the right experience and skills for your family to host!
Your Placement Specialist – An Expert Guide
Your Placement Specialist is your expert guide through the matching process. She has in-depth knowledge about the au pair candidates and interviews many of the au pairs herself. Your Placement Specialist will:
- Make personalized au pair recommendations
- Educate you about available au pair profiles
- Provide a second opinion if you need help choosing an au pair
- Answer all of your questions
Setting Up the Interview
When you have identified an au pair you are interested in, place his/her profile ‘On View’ in Passport. You will then have access to interviewing and communicating with the au pair for 48 hours by sending a message to the au pair directly in Passport. Once the au pair is no longer ‘On View’, you may continue speaking outside of Passport.
Make the most of your interview by following these tips:
- Have a copy of the au pair’s profile available for your referral during the interview.
- Prepare your list of questions beforehand.
- Speak slowly as au pairs tend to be nervous speaking in English and are worried about making a good impression. Put them at ease by acknowledging you understand they might be nervous.
- Consider using an online translator tool in case you need to translate a word or phrase. Google Translate is a good option.
- Before committing to a match, plan to speak with the au pair at least two to three times to be sure you are making a thoughtful decision.
Time Difference Calculator
When proposing interview times, keep in mind that au pairs will typically be in their home country at the time of the interview. Look up the time in the country where the au pair is located.
Video Conferencing Tools
We recommend using Skype as the preferred way to conduct an interview. Skype is a free software that allows you to video chat for free. You can download Skype. Another option for many au pairs is WhatsApp. Connecting with your au pairs on this free messaging platform is an easy way to keep in touch between interviews, as well!
Questions and Topics to Discuss During the Interview
- Describe your family: ages of children, parents’ occupations, interests, and activities.
- Describe your home and where you live. Provide pictures, if possible.
- Describe a typical day in your household.
- Cover special circumstances such as dietary restrictions, special needs, unique living circumstances, etc.
- Discuss the pets in your home. Remember, au pairs are not responsible for the care of pets.
- If extended family members are consistently present (ie grandparents, older children, etc), describe their schedules and frequency in the home.
- Describe your childcare experience.
- Review the references: discuss hours worked per week, how many children were being cared for, how long the au pair worked for their reference, etc.
- What ages of children do you have experience working with?
- What do you like most about working with children?
- How would you describe yourself as a caregiver?
- What do you think is the most difficult part about caring for children?
- Have you cared for more than one child at a time?
- Have you cared for children by yourself?
- What types of activities do you enjoy doing with children?
- What types of food can you prepare?
- If applicable, discuss special needs experience.
- Have you ever been in an emergency situation while working with children? If yes, how did you handle it?
- Describe a time you handled a child who was misbehaving. How did you handle this situation?
- When did you begin driving?
- When did you get your driver’s license?
- What are the requirements for getting a driver’s license in your country?
- How many days a week do you drive? Where do you drive to?
- What kind of roads do you typically drive on?
- What are the usual speed limits for the roads you drive on?
- Do you own your own car? If not, whose car do you drive and how do you get around when you do not have access to the car?
- What type of cars have you driven: manual or automatic transmission? SUVs or compact cars?
- What is your daily commute?
- Which cities or towns do you typically travel to and from?
- What is the furthest distance you have ever driven?
- Have you driven in snow?
- Have you ever been in a car accident or received a ticket?
- Discuss the process for obtaining a driver’s license in the au pair’s home country.
- Use Google Maps to look at the au pair’s town and the roads they typically drive on.
Personality and Lifestyle
- Describe what you like to do in your free time.
- Do you have any special hobbies or talents?
- Describe your parents and what they do for a living.
- Describe your relationship with your siblings.
- What are your career goals?
- Describe your experience with household chores (laundry, cooking, etc.).
- Have you ever lived away from your family?
- Do you smoke?
- Discuss any health-related topics that are important to your family; such as vaccinations, food or pet allergies.
Au Pair’s Motivation and Expectations
- Why are you interested in becoming an au pair?
- What do you want to do while you are in the U.S.?
- What excites you most about becoming an au pair?
- Have you ever experienced homesickness? How do you plan to cope with homesickness?
- What expectations do you have of your host family?
- What is the earliest and latest date you are able to arrive?
Expectations for Childcare and Household
- Discuss household rules. Topics could include curfew, personal car use, phone use while working, etc.
- If a second language is spoken in your home, clarify with the au pair when she/he will practice English.
- Discuss the weekly/daily schedule.
- Cover the household responsibilities related to the children.
- Provide an opportunity for the au pair to ask questions about your family and expectations.
After the Interview
If after your initial interview you would like to continue the conversation with the au pair, we recommend the following:
- Send an email with house rules, the schedule, and household duties for the au pair to review.
- Send a follow-up message and let the au pair know you are interested.
- Share additional photos and information about your family with the au pair.
- Ask any follow-up questions you are interested in knowing.
- Schedule a time to speak again. We highly recommend you speak at least two to three times before offering the position.
Offering the Position and Confirming the Match
When you are ready to match, click “Offer a Job” from the “My Candidates” page in Passport. You will then select an arrival date and have the option to send the au pair a message. Once the au pair accepts, go back to “My Candidates” and click “Confirm a Match”. You will receive an official email notification detailing the next steps within 48 hours.
We Are Here to Help!
Your Placement Specialist is available by phone, text or email to support you every step of the way during the matching process.