Trying to find an au pair at the moment. I've put up an ad and am trying to vet some of the first contacts. Bit nervous about it as my last attempt at getting an au pair ended in disaster - she was downright negligent and I had to send her home.
Does anyone have a list of initial questions they ask potential au pairs for the first sorting?
Almost all aupairs come with their own mobile phones and laptops even. I would help them to get a contract if necessary and put a token amount on to start them off but the rest is up to them. If I call them, they don't incur charges. If they need to get in touch, they usually text me or I ask them to use the home phone. I don't generally need constant contact with my aupair but if you want frequent real time updates outside the home, then it would be fair for you to contribute to their mobile charges.
After a few not so wonderful experiences, I now only hire aupairs with previous aupair experience. That way, I know I am getting someone who understands the role and is not too hung up on the 'member of the family' label. Also, more crucially, I insist on getting the telephone number of their previous aupair family and asking them about the aupair.
I find it is better to speak to the host mother than host father, as the 2 dads I spoke to were either deluded or did not want to criticise and I ended up with an aupair that was not particularly good. The host mothers were to the point and absolutely spot on.
Go with your gut feeling would be my main advice. We have used an agency, and have therefore not done so much vetting. After 8 APs, we have a good idea of the things that work / don't work for us, and so concentrate on those areas in the interview.