Busy Mom has been very busy, thinking about how to make the Au Pair Selection Process better. She wrote a long guest post, complete with several suggested polls. Because her effort was so comprehensive, it was a bit much for one post and one conversation theme. So, I’ve broken it down (and added some things too) to create a series:
Your Family’s Au Pair Selection Process
Posts include: (full list forthcoming as I get them scheduled ;-) )
Now, from BusyMom….
BusyMom’s Au Pair Interview Process
Several posts during the past two weeks made me curious about other families’ selection processes. I thought that it might help our community, and particularly families new to the AP program, to share details about our search processes.
Probably the most important part of our family’s u Pair selection process is the Interview.
My mantra for the interview is “no surprises.”
In the interview, I try to cover everything so the prospective AP knows what she is committing to, and cover some of the most important points multiple times in writing and verbally. Knock on wood. We are on AP 3 and have never rematched. We pretty much used the same process through 6 searches for live-in nannies prior to having an AP and had only 1 who was a complete mismatch for our family.The last 4 nannies came from other parts of the US.
We spend a lot of time in interviews with candidates we like. With our previous, current and next AP, I spent about 2.5 hours in skype or in-person interviews over two sessions. Plus, DH spent 20-30 minutes and the kids collectively spend another 30 minutes – also on skype. That’s a total of 3.5 hours of talk time with our family. And that doesn’t include initial information exchanged via emails prior to the first interview.
We ask tons of questions. We also proactively share a lot of information as I’ve found that most AP’s are either too nervous to ask the tough questions or don’t know the questions to ask (in other words, the questions I would ask if I were interviewing for an AP position). We also verbally cover the highlights of our handbook in advance of sharing it.
Our interview process is a significant time investment, but, compared to the hassle of a rematch situation, it’s trivial. Not every candidate gets the 3.5 hour treatment. In the past 3 searches, we have reached the 2nd interview stage with only 3 candidates and matched with all 3. Only 3 others received the full 1-hour initial interview and those three rejected us.
Length of Interviews
Excluding the candidates that just don’t fit within ten minutes:
Duration of Process
Considering the time between your 1st email exchange to acceptance of match for the au pairs to whom you have extended offers…
Prior to the most recent search, I decided that we would not hire anyone we were unable to Skype with. I wonder, though, to what extent this limits our pool and was curious to know how many candidates have access to Skype.
Since I have a bit of an analytical, process-improvement mindset, I’m interesting to learn how the interview processes and timing that our family uses compares to processes of other Host Families. I look forward to your comments.