These are some suggestions for thorough interviews with candidates, gathered over the years.
Before the Interview
- clarify your requirements (primary and secondary responsibilities of the au pair)
- read the information provided on each candidate
- write down a list of questions you may want to ask during the interview
During the Interview
- the application forms completed by each candidate are very extensive and a good springboard to asking general and more in depth questions
- briefly explain your requirements of the au pair, then allow the candidate to talk and ask you questions, you can go back to specific job requirements later in the interview
- observe the candidates communication skills and over all demeanour. Nervous au pairs can be closed off and some probing may be necessary to allow their true personalities to become evident
- trust your instincts, ask ‘difficult’ questions that come to mind and try to ‘get to know’ the candidate as much as possible during their interview
- questions such as ‘how they would handle certain behaviour or issues’ or ‘their general approach to discipline’ and ‘some examples of activities they feel are appropriate for your age group’
- if your children are at the interview observe the candidates interaction with them. Children have excellent instincts which should not be discounted, regardless of age
- ask yourself whether you can see this candidate fitting in to your home environment
- what do you intuitively feel about the candidate
After the Interview
1. after each interview, spend some time reflecting on the candidates strength and weaknesses
2. identify your top candidate/s and invite them to spend some more time with the children at your home
3. during the time the candidate is in your home observe the following:
- are the children at ease with the candidate?
- did the candidate instinctively interact with the children?
- is an effort being made to talk and play with the children?
- has a bond naturally occurred between them?
- are your children relaxed and do they display enthusiasm at spending time with the candidate?
- what is the atmosphere like in the room/house?
- do you feel relaxed and comfortable with the candidate around?
4. do some telephonic reference checking and ask questions around any concerns you may have - we will have done relevant checks ourselves, but do advise you to contact some previous employers yourself
- ask your children about their feelings on the candidates. Who they most favoured and why
- who would the children best benefit from and what would they bring to your family
- who is the best match
- please do not delay in making a decision as you may lose your chosen candidate to another family
- once your decision is final we will send you the necessary paperwork to complete the placement process