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How To Prepare For Your Au Pair Interview

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Preparing for your au pair interview may be one of the most nerve racking things you can do while getting ready to work as an au pair. Considering that every family is different with different wants and needs, not every interview will be the same.

I think one of the most important pieces of advice that I can give you right off the bat is to remember that while they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them! This is your opportunity to ask all of the questions you can think of to see if the family that you’re interviewing with could be the perfect place for you.

While nerves are absolutely to be expected, keep in mind that they may be nervous too, so you’re likely in the same boat!

How To Prepare For Your Au Pair Interview

Photo of the Loch Ard Gorge, the ocean is very blue,
Working full time in Australia meant I got to take some awesome weekend trips, like this one to do the Great Ocean Road trip!

Location Specific

If you’re in the interview process then you’ve likely already decided which country you want to au pair in. This can be a really difficult part for lots of au pairs, deciding where to work and live. With so many cool places to live in the world, narrowing down one place can be tough.

I decided on Australia, firstly because after watching Our Lips Are Sealed by Mary-Kate & Ashley I knew I needed to go there, but also because Australia is so far from Canada that this was the perfect chance for me to explore the country without being restricted to a two week vacation. Australia is HUGE, so trying to fit in a visit during a two week vacation isn’t a great way to see the country. It works if you’re looking to focus on two or three spots, but to see as much as possible there’s simply no way it can be done in two weeks.

First off the flights from Toronto, Canada to Melbourne (where I wanted to live) take no less than 24 hours. My original flight was a three legged journey taking close to 40 hours before a flight delay had me wait instead 9 hours in the airport, then take just two flights to Melbourne, that still took almost 26 hours. This is a long flight for a two week vacation. And this isn’t even including jetlag!

I think deciding to live and work in Australia was the perfect choice for me as it gave me the most time to travel the country without feeling rushed. But that being said, I need to go back to see more!

So when you think about where you’re looking to live and work as an au pair, think of why the country you choose is right for you. And then in your interview you can talk about why you want to live in the host families country, what interests you most, where you hope to visit while there. It shows the family that you’ve really done your research!

Koala sleeping in a tree
On a weekend day trip to the Great Ocean Road we stopped and saw lots of koalas sleeping in the trees!

If you need advice on which au pair company to choose, I have you covered!

Au Pair Interview Questions

While I have an entire post dedicated to au pair interview questions, I’ll add a few questions here too.

  • Have you hosted an au pair before?
  • What would my work hours look like?
  • What are some of the children’s favorite activities?
  • Do you have any house rules I would be expected to follow?
  • Will I be allowed to have friend and family visit.

I think that last question, whether or not friends or family are permitted to visit, is an important one. Depending on your contract you may be away from home for a year. A typical au pair contract is between 6 months to a year, so that’s quite a long time to spend away from friends and family. While plenty of host families are happy to have you invite people to stay for a short time, I would ask in advance just so you know whether or not that could be a make it or break it factor for you.

Now that you have all of the questions that you’ll need for your au pair interview, what else do you need?

A Hobbit house with a green door, under the Party Tree
Once I finished working I traveled up to Cairns, then on to New Zealand before heading home! Seeing Hobbiton was incredible!

All About You!

Now that you’ve asked all of the important questions, it’s time to talk about you and why you want to live and work abroad!

Opening up about who you are as a person not only shows your friendliness, but learning more about you will make you stand out in host families minds when they think back on who they interviewed. By discussing your passions, life thus far, work expectations, and travel goals, this gives parents more information on who they may be bringing into their home lives.

Any potential host family will love to learn more about your experiences in childcare and what activities you like to do with kids, they’ll want to get to know you on a more personal level and imagine how you may fit into their home.

Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up and show off all your positive points!

Show Interest In The Host Family

Both au pairs and host families read through quite a few profiles, so make sure you have some direct questions or nice comments to make about what you’ve read. Showing that you’ve taken the time to thoroughly read through the family profile will give a good impression of you and show that you’re truly interested in getting to know them.

If I were a host family, knowing that the au pair took the time to get to know us a bit even before the interview would definitely impress me!

If you notice in the profile that one of the kids is in a certain sport you can ask questions about that, such as if that is their favorite activity, how long they’ve been doing it, if you become their au pair could you go to the games, questions like that.

Me crouched down petting a small brown kangaroo
In Australia I got to pet my first kangaroo, Kiki!

To Conclude Your Au Pair Interview

You’ve done the interview, you’ve asked all the questions, and you’ve shown interest; great job! Once you finish your interview, if you’re interested in the family, you could send a follow up email the next day saying you appreciated getting to speak to them during the interview.

Now it depends if you’re going through an agency or on your own how next to proceed. I went through an agency and I was able to message the host family my thank you. They reached out to me for another interview just to talk again to develop a rapport, and then my third time speaking with them they officially offered me the position, but I could tell from the second interview that it was coming.

If you are not interested in the job you can always decline, but do it professionally and quickly so that way they can continue on their au pair search.

If you are interested then say yes and get to planning your contract and flight!

Choosing to live and work abroad as an au pair is not for everyone. You need to truly love children and be happy to dedicate your work week to them. But if you do love children then I think that working as an au pair is the perfect way to work and travel. Good luck on your au pair interview!

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Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn. Like many, I thought my purpose in life was to go to university, settle down and have kids. But that is not me. 

My aim is to inspire you to travel as much as you can while you can, whether that be through au pair work, or on your limited vacation days. It CAN be done. This world is incredible, let’s explore it!

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