Interviewing: When An Au Pair Has Special Experience To Offer

by cv harquail on March 6, 2014

Every au pair has his or her ‘thing’ — a hobby, a life experience, a skill or two, a great sense of humor  — that sets them apart as an individual.  

In most matches, this stuff is the icing on a cake.

cat bird susie ghahremani

For some families though, these skill could help make that au pair a fabulous addition to the family.

For example, I’d love to find an au pair who had some experience with horses, so that s/he could drive my kids to lessons and keep an eye on them around the barn and make sure they were handling the horses safely.

I’d have loved an au pair who knew how to play the violin, back when DD1 was screeching her way through the Suzuki curriculum.

If you are an au pair candidate and you have something out of the ordinary about you, PLEASE highlight that in your application.

Your ability to speak three languages, the fact that you practice meditation, your agility with a glue gun and felt might be JUST THE THING for you to bring to a host family that might help them grow or might offer some extra support to their dreams.

Even though au pairs get a lot of coaching about how to present themselves, I wish every au pair candidate would get this message loud and clear:
Share What’s Special About You.  

Otherwise, we get emails like this one, from an au pair who wanted to know more about whether there were some ‘unusual’ questions that an au pair could ask that might make her ‘stand out’ in a positive way. She seems to overlook the laundry list of great qualities that make her an outstanding candidate in general, and perhaps a perfect one for a family who needs something extra.

 Hi Au Pair Mom!

I would very much like to become an au pair in the USA next September. However I was wondering if you could advise me on what (more unusual) questions you would like to hear from a prospective au pair you were interviewing? Obviously there are the standard questions (what does an average week(end) day look like? Etc.) but is there anything that might make you take more notice of me if I asked it? Or is there one question you always forget to ask that I could bring up!
My background:
  • I absolutely love children, and would like to use this as a “test year” to decide which age group I would like to train to teach (primary or secondary).  As such I have Pinterest boards full of ideas for things to do with children- both educational and just plain good fun.
  • I have been an au pair before in Luxembourg with an American family however sadly we lost contact when they moved back to the USA.I’m 22 and will be 23 when I come over.
  • I will have a degree in French and German as a foreign language, and speak both languages fluently as well as some basic Spanish, and very basic Italian and Russian (I’m currently in my last year at university).
  • I’m from the UK, a native English speaker and I’m also qualified to teach English as a foreign language.
  • I play piano to above the UK grade 5 level, basic guitar, violin and recorder and am very familiar with music theory.
  • I have been living on my own since I was 18 years old, and spent 2.5 years living and working abroad, as such I’m good at taking care of myself and making decisions, and can can do all the basic household skills from dusting to balancing a checkbook!
  • I also love to cook and can cook French and German dishes as well as British dishes.
Thank you very much for reading this email, sorry if the background information is an overload, I wasn’t sure what you would want/need to know!
Best wishes,   Rose


Seattle Mom March 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Gosh she sounds great.. I’m sure she’ll have no problem finding a family, as long as she has the childcare experience to back up her enthusiasm and no unusual issues.

She just needs to share her enthusiasm, experience, and interests and she will stand out from the crowd.

Should be working March 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I like to hear a super-qualified au pair, or any au pair, ask questions that show me that s/he is not just trying to sell her/himself to me, but trying to figure out if we truly are a good match. Like, “Were there issues with former au pairs that you are especially sensitive to now?” or “How would you feel if I didn’t join you for dinner so often/joined you for dinner every night?” or “How much do you like the au pair to figure out her own way of handling discipline/kids’ lunches/homework issues vs. having the au pair do things in a specific way that you prescribe?”

Should be working March 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Semi-related point: Some au pair candidates might have “issues” that would make them perhaps less attractive to some families but extremely attractive to a few specific ones. Example: I interviewed a candidate who was lovely but her severe/deathly nut allergies just made me too nervous (thanks for the advice here on that, folks). But if I had a kid with nut allergies, or some difficult dietary issue that made choosing food complicated, I would totally love to have an au pair who either has the same restrictions, OR even could just be a role model for my kid in dealing with whatever restrictions. Same with asthma. Or more ‘social’ issues, like a disabled sibling, or a biracial family.

skny March 7, 2014 at 8:16 am

agree! We interviewed a vegetarian au pair and decided it was not for our family. We eat meat a lot and didnt feel comfortable. BUT I am sure there are vegetarian families out there who would rather a vegetarian au pair.

Should be working March 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm

I’m seeing a LOT of vegetarian candidates these days. Do they even get families? There aren’t THAT many veg’n families around.

I weighed briefly an extension candidate who was vegan. Extension, great. Vegan, when I considered it, was a setup for us to have a relationship with the AP that would be too distant. We’re all foodies and meat-eaters.

Host Mom in the City March 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Where are you seeing all these vegetarian candidates? We’d love one!

Should be working March 7, 2014 at 9:05 pm

CCAP, Germans!

Taking a Computer Lunch March 8, 2014 at 8:17 am

We had a “vegetarian” AP. It turned out that all she would eat was pasta, pizza, yogurt, bread, cheese and lots of chocolate. I serve salad almost every day, and I think she ate it less than 5 times in her entire year. I tried to talk to her about how I work to mix my proteins, and she couldn’t have cared less. She was a typical “white food eater.” My kids had a wider palate than she and we had to work with her on what was appropriate for them to eat. As a result, we now ask candidates “What was the last meal you cooked?” Invariably it’s pasta, but over the years some of our APs have been great cooks, and others relied on us for meals to reheat and serve. In addition, we also ask about what they ate that day to try to figure out what candidates are accustomed to eating.

CAmom22 March 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm

We also had a “vegetarian” AP. Turned out after he arrived that he ate chicken and fish. When we interviewed I just made sure he wasn’t opposed to making meat-based meals for the kids. It was no problem.

American Host Mom in Europe March 10, 2014 at 4:50 am

I’ve actually had several vegetarian au pairs (for my meat-eating family). I don’t love it, and have now stopped, but it isn’t the end of the world — as long as they agree in advance they’ll cook meat/fish meals for the kids. When it became a problem was one time they served undercooked meats to my kids, because they weren’t used to cooking meat, and “couldn’t” taste it to ensure it wasn’t still cold. Can be a pain if they are really particular, like about not eating from a spatula that also touched meat. I don’t mind the ones who won’t put it in their mouth, but aren’t ridiculous about it (but find most of them err more on the ridiculous side). I’ve been a non-meat eater, so can relate…but I used to just push the meat to the side and eat the rest of the food.

Seattle Mom March 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I also agree. We passed on an applicant who had allergies and stressed that she needed to keep her home clean and free of dust. She was used to doing a lot of cleaning, because of her allergies and she lived in her own apartment for years. But I knew I couldn’t keep up with all that cleaning and I wasn’t going to make her clean our house, so i let her go. But some other family that places a high value on cleanliness probably would like an AP who goes after the dust like that.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I appreciate applicants who are honest about who they are. That means 1) don’t write the same letter to your future HF that everyone else writes – don’t use the template! – I guarantee that if you write from the heart, then you’ll stand out; 2) if you make a video, then don’t use the template – once again, there is nothing more boring to a host family than watching the same video over and over again – if you have a special talent, then make the focus of your video; 3) no matter why you REALLY want to come to the U.S., remember that HF’s are looking at your application because they want childcare, so make children a major feature.

My first LCC (13 years ago) emphasized looking for candidates who had played an instrument or played a sport for several years because it showed that they could persevere and see their AP year through. You may not match with a family that will put your talents to their best use, but even so, they may have selected you because your application stood out.

Multitasking Host Mom March 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Several years ago, when looking through AP applications, I noticed one of the potential APs was wearing a clown nose in her picture. You bet she stood out from the crowd! I was never able to interview her because another family had already matched with her before I could get my placement manger to put her in my profile, but I still remember that fun picture.

dcmomof3 March 7, 2014 at 8:09 am

Are you with Cultural Care? Because I got the clown girl a few years ago and she was awesome! She stayed with us for 2 years and just came back to visit over Christmas. The clown nose definitely showed her fun personality, her love of working with kids (she is an elementary school teacher in her home country) and ability to always find amusing ways to deal with any situation….

Seattle Mom March 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Haha our first AP had as her profile picture herself blowing up a balloon- it was kind of silly and fun, and perfectly showed her personality! I tend to avoid the “glamour shot” type poses…

jblv March 7, 2014 at 5:34 am

Based on those qualifications, I would definitely interview you and consider you “high on my list.” Should be Working is right, because you are so highly qualified you should focus on finding the right family for you. Consider:

* Location? Where do you want to be?
* Do you want to be a “part of the family”? Or would you prefer to do your own thing in your off time? Or something in between (the typical)?
* Do you want to drive? In most parts of the U.S. driving is necessary. Do you feel comfortable driving, and driving on the opposite side of the road?

Your au pair agency should provide you with a good list of questions, but here are some questions you might want to think about:

* How would you expect me to discipline your children?
* What kinds of activities would you like for me to do with the children?
* What kind of food would you expect me to prepare?

Emerald City HM March 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

That site doesn’t seem to be for au pairs in the US. There are some things on there that don’t jive with the state department regulations (such as extra babysitting).

Personally, I’m put off by a candidate that doesn’t seem to know much about the US program and asks, will I have my own room? If she asks, where in the house is my room located? I know she knows about the program and is asking more about her living arrangements.

I’m also less impressed with candidates that ask simple information I took the time to write out in my host family letter that describes our family, their hours, their chores and such.

I’m much more impressed with the candidate that asks thoughtful questions that show she is looking for the right family.

If the family has hosted an au pair, ask what there biggest issue with their current au pair is.

I prefer the question, “How do you discipline your children?” or “What is your parenting style?” when you want to get a feel for that. I want my au pairs to treat my children the same way I do. I would also be put off as a discipline question as the first question, but it should still be asked, just not first.

What impressed you about my application?
Do you have any concerns about me fitting in with your family?
Why do you choose to host au pairs instead of hiring a nanny?

Host Mom in the City March 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I agree with Emerald City HM. I put a lot of time into writing a very thorough introduction letter. I think ask a couple of specific questions in my opening email to the au pair. If I get a generic response that just says “when can we Skype??” I typically pass. If I get a list of questions that I’ve already answered in my letter, I pass. I really like questions that tell me the au pair has thought about what experience she wants and what type of family she would be a good fit for. So many au pairs seem like they would match with anyone who contacted them at all – it tells me they haven’t put any really thought into knowing themselves and the goals of the program.

This au pair sounds great. I would suggest she highlight these neat things about her in her letter and make sure she views matching as the time to make sure she finds a good fit for her, not just any family.

Should be working March 7, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Unfortunately, the agencies coach the candidates to ask things what the kids like to do and what the family does together as activities, and to ask about expectations like housework. Of course the candidate should learn these things—but if it’s all in the letter, then it is a very unimpressive start for that AP candidate. The agencies, in my view, like people to think that common recreational activities are an important ingredient to a match (for me they aren’t, for others I imagine they are one among many other more important ingredients).

And I don’t fault the APs for asking these same old questions about what the kids do in free time, because the agencies tell them to, and they don’t really have any idea what host families want otherwise. And they are also on Facebook telling each other to ask these questions. It is a big waste of time all around when the HF profile is full of info. The agencies have such low levels of insight about what HFs want, it is amazing.

My beloved DiSC personality profile test is such a big sell for me (CCAP), but the agency has a really silly explanation of how to use it. Example: If you are a very active family with lots of activities, you would fit best with an AP who also likes to do lots of different things (translates to low S in the profile). But in fact maybe the family who does lots of different things needs precisely someone who can help the kids focus on one thing at a time. Or who knows what. The assumption in their explanation is that families should pick APs who are similar to them. I did this last round and realized that what we most need is someone who is NOT like us (or at least me).

Emerald City HM March 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I’m not saying they shouldn’t ask about things in the letter. I’m just more impressed by the knowing the au pair has actually read our letter when she asking follow up types of questions. I do lead by example with this and see if she picks up on it. For example if the au pair lists photography as one of her interests, I will ask her what style of photography she enjoys.

I know some of this is interviewing skills, but it kind of tells me that the au pair is more interesting in finding a good match and she is interviewing for an actual job rather than hoping to match with any family that chooses them for an interview.

For me, a lot of what makes an au pair stand out is the questions she asks either by Skype or email. I do somewhat fault them when one of the first questions they ask is, “How old are your kids?” Because I talk about that in the first paragraph of our letter. So I do expect them to ask some ‘standard’ questions, but I also expect some initiative that shows me she’s actually interested in our family, not just any family.

PhillyMom March 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

May I contact this Au Pair:))))))? She may be interested in our family:) We are looking for new Au Pair to start in September.

Host Mom in the City March 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Only if she doesn’t want to match with us ;)

WestMom March 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

You sound like you have a wonderful background that would be appealing to our family. To reserve the situation a bit, I would ask you my standard list of questions but I would probably probe more on your background… Specifically I would want to know more about your career goals. I like to know that the candidates I pick want their au pair experience to help them in their future career, which seems like it is the case for you. I would be curious to know why you are not in touch with your past host family anymore (because we are still in touch with our past 5 au pairs, regardless of performance). I would also probe more on your cooking skills, because it is an important criteria for us. Most candidates from the country we normally source from say they can cook, but usually it means they like to bake a cake every once in a while.

In terms of questions to ask us, I expect questions about activities we like to do, about our philosophy on discipline and how we support our au pair in this approach, about how are children adapt to a new au pair. I would also expect questions about how the au pair integrates in our family, and if she will be involved in celebrating holidays with us. I would definitely be put off by any questions related to benefits too early in the conversation (car, room, or even negotiating hours—yes, this has happened to me in a first email exchange!).

Best of luck! I am sure you will find a great family!

German Au-Pair March 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm

OT, but I have to ask:
“Most candidates from the country we normally source from say they can cook, but usually it means they like to bake a cake every once in a while”
Germany? :D Sounds so German.

WestMom March 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm

French ;)

German Au-Pair March 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I really thought every single French person can cook for some reason :D

Host Mom in the City March 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

That was the one red flag that jumped out at me too and I would definitely want to know more about it. We’re in touch with all of our au pairs, and I can’t imagine living with someone for a year and then just losing touch. I would want to explore that a bit.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I passed on a returning AP once because she didn’t use her first HF as a point of contact. That told me the relationship was less than perfect, and without an opportunity to learn whether the HF was the cause or the AP, I passed on her application.

Host Mom in the City March 10, 2014 at 6:54 am

Yep – I have too. I actually once almost matched with an au pair, but I had asked her early on for some references and she couldn’t give me a single one other than a friend of hers. She said she didn’t know anyone that spoke English at all and didn’t want to be a translator with them on Skype with me. I was really sad because she seemed terrific otherwise, but if there’s no one who will vouch for your excellence, I will pass. And actually, if an au pair gives me a friend of ours as her main or only reference, all that tells me is that she doesn’t get what host parents are looking for.

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I was only their au pair for 2.5 months, and they didn’t stay in touch with me sadly. After I left at the end of summer they did ask me to babysit but the hours just didn’t work (too far away, bad timing), and while I kept in touch via email after they returned to the USA they stopped replying. I don’t know why, it’s a shame – however it may have been something to do with trying to help the kids make the transition with greater ease.
They did mention to me they were somewhat happy their previous au pair (who left they morning I arrived) didn’t keep in touch, as they thought the children would then get upset about her no longer being there. However they also confided several issues about that au pair as well (drinking, lying, and similar things) – so I don’t know how much of the relief was due to that.

WestMom March 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm

A note about special skills…

A few years ago, we matched with a lovely au pair who was very passionate about soccer. She played in a league in her home country. We thought this would be a perfect match for our soccer family! She could bring the kids to practice, cheer on the sideline during games; kick the ball around the backyard after school. Turned out she did not attend games because they were outside her work schedule, nor did she practice with them (although they played tennis a lot, go figure…). So the skills were great, but not necessarily an asset to our family.

Meanwhile, there is another side to this. Will your au pair with a special skill want to continue to progress while she is here? Is there an outlet to do so? Will it be compatible to her work schedule? How far is it from home? I would suggest checking up on this before making any promises.

In our case, it was important for her to continue to play soccer while here, for which we had to bend the schedule a bit, and agree to transportation arrangements outside of our normal approved zone (her team played 25m away). We were supportive, but we did have to discuss how much we were willing to sacrifice to support her passion.

That being said, I am enthusiastic about a candidate’s extra-curricular interests, especially if they reflect passion, persistence, and diligence. But turning those interests into an asset for our family is not a necessity for us. I put more emphasis on making sure she is a great driver, great tutor, and she can make a good balanced meal for my kids.

Momma Gadget March 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Westmom- We’ve just gone though a similar experience. Our AP was on the lower spectrum of an”elite” athlete in his country. We took this to mean that he would be hard working, and dedicated, just as he had been to achieve the level of success he had in his chosen sport. Not so. Unfortunately for him his talent fell short of going pro as he had always expected to do. His dedication and work ethic did not extend past the sport he loved. his success made him a bit arrogant, and his failure made him judgmental & opinionated. He may have been great as a coach, but was a mediocre AP at best. Once he realized that my kids had little interest in his sport, he made no effort to make a meaningful connection with them, or learn anything about the subjects/sports anyone else was interested in.

On the other hand what did stand out for us with one of our best APs was that she was musical and played the cello. This was a great match for us because our youngest was learning to play the violin Suzuki method ( the bane of my existence) which required an adult to sit through each lesson and each daily practice . It was this special skill that made her stand out for us, yet it was her positive attitude, ability to empathize, interest in other people and sense of humor that ultimately made her years successful

Should be working March 9, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Yeah, all that sports-focus and coaching doesn’t speak much to us on its own. We aren’t sporty and not competitive, and coaching kids’ teams is different than caring for individual kids.

Jen hill March 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Everything u stated makes me think your an awesome candidate for an Aupair! My prerequisites are advanced swimmer because we have a pool! Also really important driving skills, how long, what kind of cars? I look for an Aupair who has experience caring for more than one child and not just short babysitting Stints. I have 3 kids and am gone 10 hours at a time. I personally only look for Spanish speaking aupairs because its my preference but I look for a girl who likes sports, art, and who is flexible! You sound like a great young woman any family would love to have, but most importantly families and Aupair should click, connect when they Skype! I look for easy conversation laughing with was in conversation! My connection took with Aupair is most important in my decision. Then I way everything I’m looking for and do pro and con lists! So far I’ve chosen we’ll and have had 1 good and now one awesome Aupair! Jen

Taking a Computer Lunch March 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

We were swayed by a Skype conversation with AP #8. She was bubbly, engaging, and fluent. It turned out that she was very good at communicating, and we failed to listen to the nuances of her conversation. She appeared to be a fantastic candidate, and what became apparent within 24 hours of her arrival was that she was in way over her head. We limped through the year with her, pushing her back toward mediocre when her work performance became bad, and did a lot of job coaching. Long way to say that don’t just judge the Skype interview.

Should be working March 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I agree with TaCL, I think skype is way overrated as a way to judge candidates, exactly for the same reason: skype favors high “I” personalities, i.e. cheerful, talkative, ebullient. Skype doesn’t show things like patience, low threshold of resentment, flexibility. Skype gives me a “social” impression of the AP and in the end (I only realized this by experience) that social impression has not so much to do with how good an AP someone will be.

I write a lot of emails. Some candidates do want to go right to skype, but I calmly keep up with the emails. A carefully written (I don’t mean English skills), thoughtful email tells me more than a bubbly skype interview. I also like phone calls a lot, because I don’t have to worry about my face and she doesn’t have to worry about hers, we just talk and it forces me to really listen to what she says.

German Au-Pair March 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I think that depends on how fluent you are. I loved talking on the phone instead of skype because of the same reasons you mentioned but I was pretty fluent. If I had to interview in Spanish I would prefere if someone could see my gestures when I struggle to find words. Then again, phone connection is usually much better and safer than skype so that’s a plus, too.

JenNC March 8, 2014 at 9:06 am

I agree and don’t mean you go by just ” Skype” I also email a lot, and talk many times via Skype or phone until I feel or don’t feel connection. I interviewed a girl who was great on paper, and no doubt would be a great aupair, however I couldn’t “talk” with her it was uncomfortable it would have been a tough year even if she was awesome with kids, if I don’t feel it and I can’t just laugh and talk with my aupair it just won’t work. For me a connection is something I can feel, because this is the type of relationship I want with an aupair , easy,, open and flowing. But they also have to meet a long list of requirements for me to even interview them, I don’t change my mind on certain musts, in our first search I really liked a girl, but her answers regarding “swimming” were vague, and I inquired deeper, finally making the decision that I couldn’t have her as my aupair because I wasn’t sure of how good a swimmer she really was, and my childrens safety comes first and foremost. We had to go into rematch because of personal reasons with my first aupair, not our fault and not her fault…. I quickly realized that the small pool of in country aupairs weren’t for us, none would have ever gotten an interview with me in my search so I couldn’t even consider them, so back out of country we went and we have a superb aupair. I like Skype a lot and for me it helps the process, because what’s an aupair can some time be fudged, and you can see their reaction to questions and probe more in a talk. Jen

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hey guys! I’m the one that wrote the original letter to CV, thanks for all the responses, it’s great to get feedback from people really in the know (the agency is helping, but they’re not host parents).
About the family I worked with before, they asked me to do some babysitting after I left them however it didn’t fit in with my schedule (2 hour commute each way, and on days when I had to work), and though I kept emailing them when they moved back to the USA their emails stopped. I don’t know why, I wish they had kept in touch but I didn’t want to send them too many emails.

I’m wondering if part of my problem is that I have too long to think about this, I can’t come over until September but I’ve already started working on my application and video. That said that’s all part of my personality, I prefer to get plans made as soon as I can!

As I’ve lived on my own for so long I’m looking for a family that is happy for me to be independent when I want to be (e.g. weekend plans) but I’m happy to join them for activities in my off time too. I’ve been preparing a list of questions to ask and I think thanks to you all I’ve got everything covered, but unfortunately the family I was hoping to Skype with about pre-matching (friends of a friend of a friend) has decided to enroll their youngest in school a year early and won’t need an au pair :(

My “perfect” family would live close to DC (I have friends there who would like to have me around for weekends if possible), and have children from ages 3 upwards. Under is not impossible, but I really lack experience with children of that age range and wouldn’t feel confident. So I guess I just need to keep looking for now, but thank you all so much for the tips :)

Host Mom in the City March 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Hi Future AuPair (OP) – your description sounds like a perfect match for us (and us for you) and we’ll need our next au pair to arrive for late September. Would love to chat with you – I wonder if there’s a way I could get your email.

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I’d love to talk to you as well! Here’s my email, I hope this works – it’s not my “normal” email in case bots scrape it – I’ll reply to you with that! Try sending an email to rosydoodles [at] gmail [dot] com

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I should have mentioned – any families on here who think I would be a good fit are welcome to email me, I’d love to talk to several families so I can feel secure that I am making the right decision :)

WarmStateMomma March 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

OP – I’m not sure what’s the average amount of time HFs give themselves to find a new AP but I’d be anxious in your shoes to have it all squared away as well. I looked 4 months before my incoming AP’s arrival date and 2 months before for our current AP. Best of luck to you in finding a happy match!

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I’m a little more nervous now as I’ve taken a job working in a summer school for all of July before I go travelling in August, which means depending on my departure date I may need to organise my visa in June!

Thanks for your comments – it’s nice to get a real feel for how everyone goes about the process :)

WestMom March 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Just wanted to mention that we have already matched for an August arrival. I think serious APs and families start this process in advance to give themselves enough time to find the right person. It’s definitely not too early to start!

I would be careful about targetting a city. I know many APs do, but for me it sends the wrong signal. I don’t want an AP to match with us because it close enough to her friends or to exciting social life. I want to make sure we match because it’s the right fit.

FutureAuPair (OP) March 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I understand completely. While I would love to be around DC if I found an ideal family elsewhere I’d be happy to go there – after all I’d rather be happy than miserable!

Thanks for the sage advice :)

BVB March 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I keep thinking about this and I do not ask for more or better to a family, that agencies should not teach us to choose the family , rather that families choose us to us. So many AP are not interested in what they can offer families or so families can bring them to them. We, though in a very small way, we also paid our programs and I think it’s a good thought , know that we will work and share with a family, and we do our job but we must ensure that is what we will find when we get . In short , I think the feeling that the family ” do us a favor ” is not good for either of the two parties. We must be grateful when you choose a family among many AP and I think the best way is to reward your interest. I think some AP complies with the pick , they feel they can offer the same to each family and that makes problems after arriving . Do not know if achievement express and less in another language but it is something that worries me thousands of stories I’ve heard along the way and I’d like to find a family that values ??me for what I do, which I feel good and can really provide everything they need.

Lizzie April 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Im going to be an Au Pair for the first time next December. I I wanted to know what host parents are looking in the video aplication and also in the letter. Im 18 years old that affects host families in some way, i mean are you looking for not so young caregiver?

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