[The following is a guest posting from Andrea Roman of
Most Au Pairs are nervous about the first video call – interview with their future host family. Meeting the family for the first time as well as talk to them in a foreign language can be as exciting as overwhelming. That’s why it is important to prepare the interview: the more prepared you are, the less nervous you will feel. Also, you will be ready to answer all type of questions.
Here are 6 helpful tips that will help you get in the right mood for the interview and be prepared to meet and delight your host family. From preparing for the most common questions, to practicing your responses, or planning some questions to ask the family.
1 – Research the family
Prior to the interview you will have exchanged some emails and information with the family. It is important you go through everything you have in order to:
- Understand who is in the family (routine, family structure)
- Identify what your role would be (tasks, timetable, conditions)
- Think about any questions you might have
This is a great starting point. Having identified who the family is, and what type of au pair are they looking for, will help you structure your answers as well as set the mood and tone for the interview.
2 – Prepare a brief about yourself
Most of the interviews start with the question “Tell us a little bit about yourself”.
This is a great opportunity to break the ice and introduce yourself. There is no right or wrong answer for this question, but ideally you should describe things about yourself that match, or are connected to, the au pair job (personality, interested in childcare, etc.)
Another important aspect you should mention is the reason why you are looking for an au pair job. This first question will give the family an overview of who you are and why you want to work for them.
TIP: write down 4-5 lines about yourself and practice your answer (the more natural and confident you seem, the better you will deliver your answer in English).
3 – Be ready for most common questions
There are plenty of questions you will be asked, which you should be prepared to answer. The Internet is full of questionnaires which will help you identify the most common questions, and how to answer them properly.
Here are the types of questions, and some examples that may come up in your interview:
- Conditions and goals: Why do you want to be an au pair? Have you ever traveled abroad, or lived away from home before? What are your expectations and goals? How long are you planning to stay? What do you know about Ireland and why did you choose to come to Ireland?
- Childcare experience: Do you like children? Have you got any experience in childcare? Have you ever taken care of children for long periods of time? Can you provide references for your childcare experience?
- Job specifics: Is your driving license valid in our country? Are you an experienced driver? Can you help with the homework?
- Personal questions: How would your friends describe you, and what are your hobbies and interests? What is your biggest concern or fear about becoming an au pair? How do you handle conflict? What are your plans in life?
- Behavioral questions: Children do not always listen to their parents, or their au pair – what will you do if my child just won’t listen to you? Babies can cry a lot for no apparent reason – what would you do if the baby wouldn’t stop crying in his/her crib after ten minutes? What would you do if you were driving and the boys are fighting, or take off their seat belt?
4 – Be relaxed, be natural
Here is the most useful hint: keep in mind that the family is as nervous and excited as you are!
Think about it: they are trying to find someone they can totally trust, someone who will take care of the most important people in their life – their children. That is tricky as well! So you should be natural and honest – don’t worry about your English, or if you don’t understand one of the questions – the family is aware of your language limitations (which is one of the reasons why you are looking for an au pair experience) and they are trying to see how your personality will fit in the family and the kids.
TIP: Be relaxed and friendly, if you don’t understand a question ask them to repeat it. Always be yourself, and be aware that they are as nervous as you are, so you are both in the same situation.
5 – Make sure you meet the children
When scheduling the interview with the family you will normally be told who will be interviewing you – you will either be meeting the whole family, or you will only be meeting the parents. In order to show your interest, and to make sure you meet the kids you will be minding, we strongly recommend to ask the parents if you could meet the children too.
TIP: remember the interview is about making a great impression. Asking if you can meet the children is a great opportunity to show off your childcare skills. Being spontaneous and showing your interest will also help you.
6 – Ask questions
Last but not least, it is important to prepare some questions to ask the family. Asking questions will help you understand your role, as well as show your interest to the family. Make sure you prepare great questions related to the role – the family routine, the kids’ personalities, hobbies, routines, etc.
Remember – if you want to be successful in an interview for an au pair job, make sure you learn about the family from the questions you ask. Prepare your introduction, prepare for most common questions, be relaxed and ask questions.
Follow these tips and sure your future host family will love you!
If you want to have a chat with experienced Au Pairs before your interview, to get more tips or practice your answers, contact Dublin Au Pairs and request your 1:1 mentoring session with a member of the team.