Suggested Telephone Interview Questions for Host Families to ask Au Pairs Host Families are asked to call the au pair at least twice prior to accepting an au pair. It is generally a good idea to have the first call be more informational about your family; tell the au pair about your community, about your family, the typical schedule of your family and what might be expected of the au pair in their household. End the call by saying that you will call the au pair back at a d designated time, and that the au pair should be prepared to ask questions about your family that s/he might have thought of, and to be prepared to answer questions from the host family about his/her application to be an au pair. The first call generally allows the family the opportunity to tell the au pair about their family and ask some brief questions of the au pair. The second call is generally an opportunity for the au pair to speak more fully and ask his/her own questions of the family. The second call will allow the family to get a better understanding of the au pair's English level. Host families should also inquire as to whether the au pair in currently enrolled in English classes and is working on his/her English level prior to coming to the United States. Sample first call questions a host family might ask an au pair Why have you chosen to become an au pair? Have you ever been away from your family before? How do you feel about leaving your family for a year? Have you had any friends that have been au pairs? What have you studied in school? What type of job have you had recently? How many years have you studied English? What do you enjoy most about working with children? Do you drive? How often? Have you ever driven an automatic car? (Many Americans expect au pairs to drive large Mini Vans or Sports Utility vehicles). Would you accept a family that has pets? Would you be willing to take the dog for walks or feed the dog? If you are a vegetarian, will you cook meat for the children? Do you smoke? How often? Have you been to the United States before? Are you familiar with American culture and family values? Sample Second call questions a host family might ask an au pair: What is your childcare experience? Have you baby sat for kids or worked in a camp or kindergarten? Have you ever bathed or cooked meals for children? What are the ages of the children you have cared for in the past? How do you discipline children? How were you disciplined as a child? What type of relationship do you have with your family? How do they feel about you coming to America for a year? Would you be happy in the host family's community? It may be: isolated, a city, suburban, or rural. What type of area do you currently live in? What types of household chores is expected of you in your home? Do you have to make dinner, wash the dinner plates, take out the garbage? Etc. Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? How do they feel about you leaving them for a year? Are they going to want to visit you? What type of hobbies do you have? Do you like sports, travel, swimming, the beach, etc? Do you understand what it's like to spend 45 hours a week with young children? Have you ever cared for a child for an extended period of time? Do both your parents work? Do you cook? What types of meal do you envision cooking for the children? Do you consider yourself a tidy or messy person? Would you have a problem joining a very messy or very neat household? Who do you live with at the moment? If you live by yourself how will you leer about joining a family and having to respect their house rules? Suggested Telephone Interview Questions for Au Pairs to Ask Host Families Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions. Host families want to know that you are interested in their family, and are well informed en what life as an au pair is like. lf there is something said that you don't understand, ask the family to repeat themselves, or to rephrase the question. Don’t pretend that you have understood them. lt is important that you understand all aspects of the phone conversation, or ¡t could lead to problems once you arrive with the family. Be open and honest with the level of your English language skills, or ¡t could lead to serious problems once you arrive at your host families home. lf you feel you are caught off guard and are too nervous to speak, ask the family if they would mind calling you back in 15-20 minutes, so that you can just take a few minutes to feel prepared and put your thoughts together. lt is important that you are calm and focused during the interview. During the interview, the family's main goal is to figure out if you are the type of person who will fit in well with their family structure and values. Once the family decides to call you, it means that they have read your application and are impressed with what you had to say in it. Understand that a prospective host family has your application exclusively for 48 hours, so be prepared to be available for at least two telephone conversations with the host family during that time period. The first phone call will generally be more informational. The host family will tell you about their family and their community, ask you some questions about you and why you want to be an au pair, and ask you to think about what they have told you and to think of questions that you will ask them when they call you back. Sample questions an au pair might ask a host family: Ask about the children, their ages, their friends, what they like to do. Ask about the climate, and what types of cultural activities are available in the area. Has the family ever had an au pair before? lf so, have they had an au pair from your country? What type of area does the family live in? What types of activities does the family participate in? Are they active? What does the family do en weekends? Do they like sports, movies, computers, etc? Why has the family chosen to host an au pair? Are there other au pairs in the area? What type of clothes should you bring? What type of jobs do the parents have? Where do the parents work? What is a typical day like for the family? What are your typical working hours? Will you be asked to prepare meals for the kids? What type of food does the family eat? Would the family like you to prepare meals from your country? Are there specific recipes you can learn to cook before you arrive? (A great idea is to prepare a recipe book or menu of meals you would be willing to cook for the children.) Discuss: driving, weather conditions, how often you will need to drive. Will you be expected to drive the children to school and activities? How do the children feel about a new au pair joining the family? Did the family have a good relationship with their last au pair?
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