Technology changes everything. Or not.
When au pair applicants started doing their own YouTube application videos, and when au pair agencies started to host au pair applicants’ videos as part of their portfolios, it looked like host families would get a great additional tool for evaluating whether or not an applicant fit what they were looking for.
After watching a bunch of au pair videos over the weekend, I’m starting to wonder whether the videos give us good information for our decisions.
Last weekend the weather was so stormy at our friends’ beach house that swimming was impossible. Instead, we immersed ourselves in viewing au pair videos. Another family (also visiting) is looking for their very first au pair, and since my hostess and I have had almost 20 au pairs between us, our friend asked us for our opinions on the applicants she and her DH were considering.
Each of the au pair’s videos was put together well– music, decent lighting, a script or outline she was following as she described herself, and clips & photo collages.
Few of the videos gave us any direct, deeper information than what we might have gotten from each one’s letter.
Instead we looked for context clues…. Low cut shirts and coy expressions? Party girl. Bedroom full of stuffed animals? Maybe not that mature. Video clip of her dancing and playing with little kids at church group? Sweeet.
But what I really wanted to see in the au pairs’ videos?
Clips of the applicant:
- Sorting laundry into lights and darks
- Backing a station wagon into a parallel parking space,
- Sauteing a chicken breast,
- Encouraging a child to put her coat and mittens on,
- Discussing a problem with another adult.
A host mom can dream, can’t she?
We know that au pairs craft these videos deliberately, with some media saavy, to show themselves as they’d like to be seen. So we have to ask ourselves — What can we really infer from an au pair’s application video?
What conclusions are fair to draw from an application video?
What would you really like to see?