Getting to know your au pair: Questions to ask

The more you know in advance about a prospective au pair, the better your decision will be in making a final choice. Use these questions to find out more about au pair candidates you are considering.

We recommend that you have extensive contact with young persons whom you are considering as possible au pairs. Communicating with a video connection via Skype is very helpful. Speak in your own language with the au pair – this way you get a direct impression of their current language skills. Use the questions presented below to be sure to find out everything that is important for your family. And take some time to add questions of your own! 

Basic conditions of the au pair placement:

  • Why have you decided to become our au pair?
  • Have you ever been to our country before and if so, did you have the opportunity to learn more about our culture?
  • How long do you want to stay and when would you like to start?
  • What are your expectations concerning your stay as an au pair?
  • Are you willing to accompany us on our holiday and take care of our kids during this period of time?
  • Is your driving licence valid in our country?
  • Are you an experienced driver?
  • How often do you wish to travel home?
  • What are the things you wish to do and see in our country?
  • Would you help us with light housework?
  • Which kinds of meals could you prepare for our children?
  • Should you be a vegetarian, would you still be prepared to cook meat dishes for our children?

Childcare experience:

  • Do you like children and have you had any experience in childcare?
  • How old were the children you were taking care of?
  • Have you ever taken care of children for a longer period of time?
  • Have you worked as an au pair before?
  • Can you provide references for your childcare experience?

Daily routine with children:

  • Can you help the children with their homework?
  • Imagine you are given two hours to play with the kids. How would you keep them occupied?
  • How would you handle situations in which the children disobeyed you?

Personal questions for the au pair:

  • What are your favourite foods?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you feel comfortable taking on responsibility in a childcare situation?
  • How would you describe yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Is there anything important we need to know about you?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you wish to be fully integrated in our family's life or do you prefer to have more space and time for yourself?
  • Do your family and friends support your idea of becoming an au pair?
  • Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
  • If yes, will they be supportive during your stay as an au pair?
  • Do you think you will both be able to cope with the situation of being separated for a longer period of time?
  • Would you like your family/friends/partner to visit you while you are at our home?

If you have pets:

  • Do you like animals?
  • Are you prepared to take our dog for a walk/feed our cat, etc.?

If your au pair needs to enter your country on a visa:

  • Have you already applied for your visa? When could you arrive?

Furthermore, you should provide your au pair with sufficient information on your family and life. Thus, they will understand your daily routine. We wish to give you some more tips:

  • Draw up a work schedule for your au pair in which you define the most important aspects of the au pair stay, such as duties, dates and free time.
  • Discuss the exact working hours together with your au pair. How often are they expected to babysit for you? When will your au pair get the opportunity to take some time off and participate in a language course? When can they take their holidays?
  • Apart from the amount of pocket money, you should also clarify who will organise the language course and pay for it. 

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