It's Wiktoria again. Today, I will talk to you about the first meeting with the Host Family on Skype.
As I had many of them, I want to share my experience with you and give you my advice to make a good first impression. From my personal experience, I know that this can be quite a stressful moment, especially the first conversation (because with each subsequent one it gets better). Therefore, I have prepared ten basic questions for the first interview, which I consider to be the most important and crucial. I would also like to advise you on what is NOT worth asking right away, so that you can avoid making a bad impression. I will then give you some examples of questions that I was asked every time by a Host Family during conversations. So let’s get right into it!
Of course, during the first conversation, we’re not going to find out everything about the family. In my experience, I know that it's worth repeating the conversation at least two or three times before choosing a potential family to find the perfect match. The most important thing is that the family fits what is most important to you, and you need to be sure of that because you are going to live together under one roof for a shorter or longer period of time.
The first step, of course, is to find a family on the website, to which you will send a message, or it can also happen that they will contact you directly. It is important to write basic information and a short note about yourself in your profile, so that the family has some information about you and can ask you some questions during the conversation, without wasting time on basic issues that should already be written in the profile. Honestly, the more you dedicate yourself to preparing your profile, the more potential families will contact you, because they will see that you are serious about being an Au Pair.
Once you make contact through the platform and start to write messages, sooner or later one of the two parties will propose a Skype meeting. This point is extremely important, because during a Skype meeting you can get to know each other better.
First of all, when it comes to asking questions, you have to pay attention to what habits you have at home, what suits you and what doesn't suit you; what you like, what you don't like; which behaviors you accept and which you don't accept, etc. So the most important thing is to write down on a piece of paper what you definitely will not accept and what you care about the most.
Now, let's have a look at my list of questions:
1. How old are the children and what are their names?
2. What do the children like to do? (Passions, sports, games and activities etc.)
3. Why are you interested in hosting an Au Pair? Have you had Au Pairs before?
4. What is your lifestyle like? (Active or relaxed, etc.)
5. Will I be responsible for any household duties?
6. How many hours per day will I have for myself? How do you spend your weekends with your children? Will I have free weekends?
7. What kind of rules would you like the Au Pair to follow?
8. Will I be able to use the car? (Do I have to pay for gas? If something happens, will I have an insurance? etc.)
9. What is your religion and how often do you practice it?
10. Will I be able to attend a language course? (If yes, will you pay for my lessons?)
Generally, I don't recommend asking for money and additional benefits right away, because it can upset the family. It is important to ask questions about the children, traditions and customs of the family, so they will feel that you are interested in them and will trust you. In addition, the more inquisitive you will be, the more you will learn, which will avoid any disappointment when you arrive, as you will be prepared for most things.
On the other hand, there are some questions from the Host Family that you should prepare for. I also wrote them down before the interviews with some general answers to them, to prepare them better, because almost every family is interested in these things.
Common questions from Host Families:
1. Why do you want to become an Au Pair?
2. Do you have experience with children? If so, how many hours more or less? What kind of children did you look after and what age?
3. What languages do you know?
4. Can you cook?
5. What are your hobbies and interests?
6. Are you flexible? Could you stay with the children in situations of crisis?
7. What are your eating habits?
8. How many years have you had a driving license for? Can you drive with a manual or automatic car?
9. Do you have siblings? How old are they? Do you have a good relationship with them?
10. What would you do if:
· the child doesn’t listen to you?
· the siblings argue?
· the child doesn’t feel well?
So I gave you ten examples of questions from both sides. Of course, these are just basic questions, you will have to come up with individual questions depending on your situation. There is no reason to be nervous during these conversations: both Host Family and Au Pair will be a bit nervous because it is an important moment. This is why it is crucial to be prepared for it, so that you can be more relaxed and know what to expect from it.
I hope that my questions will be useful to you and help you find your perfect match. Don't be ashamed to ask anything you consider to be important. Try to find out everything so as not to be disappointed afterwards!
Good luck to you all! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for each of you!
That’s all for today.
Stay tuned for more!
If you have any questions for Wiktoria, you can reach her on Instagram: @wiktoriasitarczyk