The interview process is a tricky one when you’re hiring an au pair because you have to get creative in the ways that they’re conducted since your au pair is usually coming over from a different country. If you’ve narrowed down your options and are ready to start interviewing then pick a one or more of these ten different methods of interviewing to get the most out of your interview:
- Traditional Application – When you initially begin weeding out potential au pairs you can have them fill out an employment application that answers all of your basic questions and so they can provide you with references. Having this on hand will serve as a good base point for any follow-up interviews.
- Video – When you are starting the interview process a good way to get a grasp of your candidate is to have them send you a video application in addition to an application they’ve filled out. This way you’ll get a good foundation for what to expect from your interviewee. However don’t limit yourself to this way, and be sure to follow-up with a live video chat or phone interview.
- Email – It’s a good idea to begin conducting interviews with your au pair through email. This will help you clarify any questions from their initial application and help you learn a little about your potential employee. Emails are a great way to get the dry information out of the way.
- Online chat – If you can coordinate a time when you’re both available online you can set up a time to chat via GChat or Instant Messenger or some other sort of chat service. Because the answers will need to be immediate it gives you a little more insight than email does, though your interviews should not be strictly limited to this method.
- Phone – Conducting an interview by phone gives you a chance to see how well the au pair speaks English and to have a more in depth conversation your potential caregiver. You always need to have an actual conversation with an au pair and not just interact solely through email.
- Skype – Skype offers an even better interview than phone or email because you get a chance to actually see who your prospective au pair is. You also are able to pick up on social cues that you otherwise are lacking in interviews done via email or over the phone.
- FaceTime – If you both have access to an Apple device then FaceTime will provide you with the same benefits that Skype will in that it allows you to video chat with your interviewee.
- In person – The best option for interviews by far is always going to be in person, though face to face interviews are rare when it comes to hiring an au pair. Still, if you have the opportunity to do so then a face to face interview will give you a better understanding of the au pair all around.
- Trained Interviewer – Most agencies have trained interviewers that screen all potential au pair applicants. If you have the opportunity to communicate with one of the interviewers, they may be able to give you some insight that you missed through other forms of interviewing.
- Have a trusted source interview them – This method won’t work for everyone, but if you have a relative, friend, or someone you trust living or visiting the same country as your potential au pair then have them conduct an interview while they’re there. Getting feedback from someone whose opinion you value can help the interview process.
Using multiple forms of interviewing will give you a more well-rounded feel for any au pair you’re potentially interviewing, so don’t limit yourself to one method. Interviewing them multiple times and in multiple ways will minimize any surprises that may occur after the hire.