Interviewing an Au Pair Candidate

Once you have applied to our program, a matching specialist will work with you to find suitable matches for your family. They will hold one candidate at a time for you and you will have access to their full application, pictures and contact information. One-on-one matching will ensure that each au pair candidate is only being interviewed by one host family at a time, and will prevent “competition” between different families for the same au pair.

After reviewing the application, you will want to e-mail the au pair with some initial questions and set-up a time to talk. You will want to talk to the au pair at least twice before making your decision.

Remember that most au pairs are not used to speaking English on the phone, and you loose 80% of communication without body language. So speak clearly, slowly and be patient with your potential “perfect match”. Remind them that it is okay if they makes some mistakes when first speaking with you, make them feel comfortable.

It is best to prepare all your questions ahead of time and advise them to do the same in your e-mail or text message. Here are some sample questions you might want to use to guide you during your telephone interview.

General Questions about the Au Pair’s character and personal interests:

  • Have you ever been to the United States before?
  • Why do you want to be an Au Pair in the United States?
  • Will this be your first time away from home?
  • What will you do if you feel homesick?
  • What do you think will be the most difficult part about spending a year in the US as an Au Pair?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • Do you have any plans for when you finish your year and return home?


Questions about the Au Pair’s general childcare experience:


  • What were the ages of the children for whom you cared?
  • What were the specific responsibilities? (refer to one job in particular)
  • What was the most difficult part of that job? What did you like most about that job?
  • What do you like most about taking care of children?
  • 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?
  • How long have you been driving? How often? Where do you drive? Would you be comfortable driving the children to and from school every day? (adapt the question to your own need, vehicle type and driving expectations. (i.e. local vs highway driving etc.)
  • What do you think children most need from an Au Pair?


Questions relating to the care of an infant (3 mos- 2 yrs):


  • Infants sleep a lot, sometimes for several hours during the day. As a result, this job can sometimes be boring (assuming there are no other children). Do you think this will be a problem? What will you do to remain active and challenged by your responsibilities?
  • What activities might you be able to do with a baby?
  • Babies can cry a lot for no apparent reason. What would you do if the baby just won’t stop crying in his/her crib after ten minutes?
  • What would you do if the doorbell or telephone rang while you were giving the baby a bath?


Questions relating to the care of a toddler (1-3 yrs):


  • What do you think is the best way to handle a toddler who loves to explore into everything?
  • What activities or games might you plan on a rainy day?
  • We do not allow the children to watch more than one hour of television each day. How do you feel about this? How will you keep the children active and occupied?


Questions relating to pre-school and school aged children (4 yrs and above)


  • On a day when school is closed (i.e. bad weather related), what kinds of activities might you plan with the children?
  • Would you be willing and able to help with the children’s homework? Are you interested in helping the children learn phrases in your language?
  • How would you react if the child says “But Mommy and Daddy let me watch TV after dinner,” even though we told you under no circumstances could the children watch television after dinner?

About FrenchNad

English to French Translator & Interpreter; blogging at about a French word of the day, the challenges of interpreting and translating, and my adventures in Oregon!
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