Waiting *patiently* for an email saying that a host family is looking at your profile and wanting to interview you is something even I had a hard time with! It is important to really have a chat with the family and have a list of questions that you don’t have to ask in a formal fashion but need to know.
You don’t have to do this:
Family: Hi, so nice to meet you!
You: Hi, nice to meet you too. I have a list of questions that I would like to talk about.
Do it super casual but there are some IMPORTANT things you should know before matching with a family. This will focus on the job aspect of being an Aupair and the more “culture” aspect will be in a different blog.
QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT WORK
- What precisely are your expectations of me?
- How do you see an au pair fitting into your family?
- Describe your perfect au pair?
- What type of au pair are you looking for?
- Do I need to drive? If so, how often?
- Will I have private access to the car?
- Have you had an au pair before and for how long?
- How did you find that experience?
- Is it possible to get in contact with your previous au pair?
- What part was your favorite part about hosting an au pair?
- What are you excited about more to host an au pair for the first time/again?
It is also very important to talk about kids and family dynamics. It shows that you care about the children and family and really, that you are not selfish and there for the wrong reasons. Some things that you can ask are:
KID RELATED QUESTIONS
- What are your kid’s personalities like?
- How do your kids get along with each other?
- How do your kids get along with you?
- How do your kids get along with other people/friends?
- What do they do in their free time?
- What are their favorite activities?
- How can I participate in their favorite activities?
- What are the kid’s schedules like?
- What is a typical day like for the kids?
- What languages do they speak?
- Can I teach them the language from my home country?
- Do you have any house chores set in place?
- Do you have any house rules set in place?
- What disciplinary styles do you implement?
- What do you want my role to be in your household?
- What would you say is the most challenging thing about your children?
- What would you like me to do more with your children?
- Are there any different activities you would want the kids to do?
- Are the kids potty trained?
- Do they have any allergies?
- Do they have special needs?
- Do I need to prepare meals for the kids or the rest of the family?
- Do you have any pets?
- Have you had an au pair before?
- How do the kids feel about having an au pair?
These are just some of the things that you should consider asking and finding out before matching with someone. Also- remember that there are a lot of families out there so don’t take the first one just because you are scared to wait. There’s a great family out there for you. (also- why does it sound like I am giving relationship advice?)
However, if you think the first family is good and what you want you really should match them. I matched with the first family and I don’t regret it! I am going back to them this year which tells you a lot about the relationship I have with them.
Remember that the kids are your first priority so you need to ask questions about them, you need to be interested in them! Everything else can take a back seat and visited at a later stage.
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READ MORE: What to pack for a year of Aupairing