May 4, 2013

Unique au pair or nanny interview questions

2 minutes
Advice for host families

If you have never interviewed a childcare provider, the responsibility can seem daunting. How do you determine if this nanny or au pair candidate, who looks good on paper, is going to be a good fit for your children, your family and your household?
Start with basic au pair interview questions. Cultural Care Au Pair provides an extensive list of general au pair interview questions, interview questions related to childcare experience and interview questions that are appropriate for the care of children of certain ages. Despite the fact that you are literally an ocean apart, you can get a pretty good sense of an au pair’s personality, experience with children and background by asking these questions.
Here are a few more examples of the type of interview questions for an au pair or nanny that might give you further insight into whether someone is the right match for your family.
What is your favorite place in the house?
This interview question is particularly good for an au pair or live in nanny since it will give you some insight into what her life at home is like. Her answer might also tell you if she likes cooking, being with family, or watching TV and whether she likes her privacy and being alone in her room or spending time in the kitchen or family room with others.
If I walked into your room right now, what would I see?
You might be able to tell if the au pair is organized or disorganized and if she likes things extremely neat or cluttered but cozy. As she talks about specific items in her room (books, music, art, workout gear, etc.), you can gain insight into her interests and lifestyle.
What do you think children like best about you?
This interview question allows the au pair to answer from the child’s perspective – can she be funny and silly, does she like to play what they like to play, does she make delicious snacks?
How do you feel about taking care of a child with special needs?
With increasing rates of autism and ADHD, chances are your au pair will come into contact with special needs children in play groups even if your child does not have special needs. Her response will give you insight into her flexibility, temperament, confidence, and empathy.
What’s something that I should know about you that I wouldn’t know to ask?
The au pair has a chance to be creative in her answer by telling you about something truly unique about her or this gives her an opportunity to tell you about one of her accomplishments. What is it that she is proud of? What does she want you to know about her?
What scares you the most about working for our family?
Is she at all worried about the childcare? Is she afraid she cannot meet your expectations? Is she just concerned about navigating a new community and settling in? The answer to this question can be very telling and allow you to alleviate some of her fears.
And of course, you can always ask them a challenging question about their culinary skills. In a recent episode of the television show The New Normal, there was a comical barrage of near-impossible-to-answer nanny interview questions. We liked:
Our child is hungry but there is only swiss chard, a can of sardines and marshmallows in the house, what do you make?

Read more interview questions.

Do you have any other interview questions to share with parents?