Potential Au Pair Laura writes with a question about how to interview host families…. any ideas for her?
Hi, I’m from England and I am in the process of applying to be an au pair in the USA. I have not yet spoken to any host families, but will be soon. Any tips on what to ask?
I’m just quite nervous about getting it right, as it is the first time Ive done this.
What sort of things are host families looking for?
PA AP mom was first to reply, with this advice:
As a former host mom, I recommend asking a lot of questions about where the family lives, what activities they enjoy doing a family and about the kids, their schools, activities, routines, etc.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is BE HONEST when you speak to host families. If you don’t like driving in snowy conditions or on highways, just say so. It is much better to be upfront about it and find a host family that is right for you!!!
Taking a Computer Lunch offered some ideas:
As a HM, I definitely want to hear questions about the kids (although I must admit, HD likes to reveal all), but I also want to hear about what’s important to you.
One AP wanted help in finding piano lessons at a reasonable cost. Another AP made it clear that she was from a diverse community and was not interested in living in a place where she didn’t feel welcome (our community has no clear majority).
And darthastewart added:
You should ask questions about the family dynamics:
1. Kids’ personalities- how do they get along with each other?
2. What forms of discipline the parents use?
3. What they consider to be most challenging about their children?
4. What is the family’s typical day like??
5. What kind of hours would you be working.?
6. What are the HP’s looking for? Can they tell you? Would you be first ap, or one in a long line??
7. Typical activities? What does the family do in its leisure time?
Laura, as you prepare to interview host families, you should also be sure to check out these posts:
What other advice do we have for au pairs who want to get the information they need to make a good match?