Navigating Your Path to the Perfect Host Family
As an au pair embarking on a new adventure in a foreign land, finding the right host family is a crucial step in ensuring a successful and fulfilling experience. The family interview is your opportunity to connect with potential hosts, ask important questions, and get a feel for the dynamics of your potential home. To help you navigate this process, we've compiled a list of family interview tips tailored to au pairs like you.
The most successful au pair experiences come when au pairs have open and honest communication and dialogue from the start. Here are some interview tips for you to help you show the best part of yourself!
1. Be prepared with questions
1. Confirm the interview date, time considering the time difference.
2. Check the internet connection, microphone. Make sure your device is fully charged. Choose a quiet place with clear background as well as enough light.
3. Pay attention to your appearance. Remember that it is an interview.
4. Review the family's information form and write down questions you would like to ask.
5. Find things you like about them, similar interests or hobbies and talk about these during the interview.
6. Prepare some questions that you might be asked by the family. (see appendix)
7. Be proactive in interacting with the host child/children if they show up at the interview.
In addition, prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the host family before the interview. These questions should go beyond the basics and delve into your potential daily life and responsibilities. Consider asking about the children's routines, your schedule, and the family's expectations. This not only shows your genuine interest but also helps you assess if the family's values align with your own.
2.Be Honest and Transparent
Honesty is key during the family interview. Be clear about your expectations, limitations, and any specific needs you might have. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, for example, communicate these upfront. Transparency builds trust and sets the foundation for a successful partnership.
Also, be professional with:
1. Communicate your strengths and who you are.
2. Be honest with the family.
3. Show your confidence, interests and passion.
4. Be polite and outgoing, interact more with the family.
5. Respect the cultural differences and be inclusive.
6. Stay calm, take your time, remember to breathe and smile!
3. Share Your Story
The family interview is a two-way street. Just as the host family wants to get to know you, take the opportunity to share your background, interests, and motivations for becoming an au pair. Highlight your strengths and experiences that make you a great candidate. This will help the family envision how you could fit into their lives.
4. Cultural Awareness
Show your cultural curiosity and openness during the interview. Discuss your interest in learning about the host family's culture and share your eagerness to introduce them to your own culture. Cultural exchange is a significant part of the au pair experience, and demonstrating your enthusiasm can make a positive impression.
5. Be Flexible and Adaptable
Flexibility is a valuable trait for an au pair. Families may have unique routines and needs, so be open to adapting and accommodating their lifestyle. Show your willingness to learn and grow within their family dynamics.
6. Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are essential as an au pair. During the interview, showcase your ability to express yourself clearly and listen actively. This skill is crucial for building trust and resolving any potential misunderstandings.
After reading the family's information form, you may come up with some questions yourself. Here are some examples of interview questions that you can ask.
1. What is the daily routine of the family?
2. What do you usually do during weekends or vacations?
3. Would you expect me to accompany you on family vacations or trips?
4. Are there any special family rules that I should follow?
5. Are there any expectations for a curfew?
6. What are your child/children's personalities like?
7. How well do your child/children get along with others?
8. What kind of activities does/do your child/children like?
9. What skills do you want me to teach your child/children?
10. What precisely are your expectations of me?
Here are some questions that might be asked from the host family:
1. Why would you like to come to China? 2. Can you share with me some of your childcare experience? 3. Can you tell us about your family? 4. What do you do in your spare time? 5. What sports do you like? 6. What do you plan to do in your spare time in China? 7. What is your expectation for us as your host family? 8. What’s your plan after finishing the au pair program? 9. Ask about skills : Can you cook? Can you swim? Can you play any instruments? Can you drive? l What kind of activities do you like to do with children? 10. Is there any food that you don’t eat? 11. What kind of challenges do you think you may face when you au pair in China?
12. What quality do you think is the most important as a good educator? 13. Have you talked with your parents about your decision to come to China? Are they supportive? 14. Do you have any questions for us? 15. Can you share with us your work experience?
7. Childcare Approach
Discuss your approach to childcare during the interview. Ask about the family's parenting style and expectations regarding discipline, routines, and educational activities. Ensure that your childcare philosophies align to create a harmonious environment.
8. References and Experience
If you have references or previous childcare experience, provide them during the interview. This helps validate your qualifications and gives the host family confidence in your abilities.
9. Look for Red Flags
Pay attention to any red flags during the interview process. If something doesn't feel right or if you sense a lack of compatibility, it's okay to explore other host family options. Trust your instincts and prioritize your own well-being and comfort.
After the interview, send a thank-you email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to meet with the family. This not only demonstrates your professionalism but also reinforces your interest in the position.
Remember, the family interview is a crucial step in your journey as an au pair. Take your time, ask insightful questions, and use this opportunity to find a host family that aligns with your values and expectations. By following these interview tips, you'll be well on your way to a rewarding and enriching au pair experience. Good luck!
If you're interested in learning more about Chinese culture and experiencing it firsthand by coming to China, please don't hesitate to reach out to Wanderlust. We're here to help you embark on your own incredible journey of cultural exchange and discovery.
Wanderlust Exchange encourages the exploration of self-awareness and personal development , and fostering of global understanding. We desire to bridge cultural divide and contribute to build the world with more trust, understanding and diversity among all.