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Au pair skype interviews

(35 Posts)
clareysage Sat 17-May-14 16:47:37

Does anyone have any set of guidelines for these interviews? I have spent all afternoon on skype waiting to interview au pairs. These interview times were arranged and reconfirmed for today at exact times in their country. Two have been 30-40 minutes late even though I messaged them several times on skype. Is it just me or does this not bode well? I am not happy that I have been on skype for 5 hours with only two interviewed.

rubyslippers Sat 17-May-14 17:39:31

That doesn't bode well

I have been interviewing au pairs and if the avnt be bothered to message to re arrange or not pick up then forget it

Set questions - generally I tell them a rough idea of routine and then ask for experience

A good test is asking them what they want to ask and if it is only about money then I tend to dismiss

Also, get the kids to ask a question to see how they respond

clareysage Sat 17-May-14 17:47:56

Ruby thanks so much. I just rejected them with a message and I feel it was at the very least inconsiderate and I am not happy to live with someone who cannot even keep to a time that they chose.

I have had one or two apply just asking about money and I reject them straight away as it is not a quality I am looking for.

I have now found two very laid back Italian girls and one very forthright Spanish girl. I am not sure how the forthright one will get on with my teenagers but then worry that maybe a very easy going au pair may not be good either.

Do you ask for references? Only 2/3 can provide references. Do you ask for a police check?

rubyslippers Sat 17-May-14 18:13:31

yes ask for references

if they can't provide then i would be wary. Even a college tutor or someone rather than a previous employer plus of course if they have been with a family before, I would speak to the host family if poss

police check - my current au pair had this done as he does vol work

i would ask if they can do this

it is frustrating skyping etc

rubyslippers Sat 17-May-14 18:14:29

au pairs are about interaction

assume if you have older children you don't need so much hands on stuff but someone who can keep an eye on studies etc and chores?

I would go for someone who can hold their own!

Messygirl Sat 17-May-14 18:27:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clareysage Sat 17-May-14 18:36:20

Ruby and Mdrigals thank you very much for that. Very useful info. I am not enjoying this process one bit...

rubyslippers Sat 17-May-14 19:18:15

The other option is to use an agency but they tend to be ££££

Would much rather do it myself aggravating as it can be

librarygoddess1 Sun 18-May-14 09:15:01


We will be doing our first Skype interview of a Spanish au pair this evening. It hadn't even occurred to me that they might not pick up as arranged! Can I ask: have you had hundreds of applications from Spanish girls, particularly primary teachers? I have had so many, I am losing track of which is which.

PS I loathe Skype. I removed it from my laptop years ago and am appalled that I will now have to start using it again!

rubyslippers Sun 18-May-14 14:51:56

I know you didn't ask me directly but I was overwhelmed with applicants full stop and from men in particular

I have a Spanish au pair at the mo

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 15:23:44

I only skype my top candidates, usually 1-2 candidates only. I use it as the final interview like for a job.

The initial interviews are done via email. There I lay out the pocket money and explain the role (good and bad) and set out the timetable, answer any of their questions and make them answer a detailed questionnaire. Most aupairs will drop out along the way which could be because they don't like the terms, the family, English was not good enough (one of our requirements is good English) or weren't that interested in being an aupair in the first place. I get 100s of applicants for the role, get in touch with about 10-15. By the end of the emailing process, maybe 1 or 2 are left standing. I then set a date and time to skype them with the children, having already spoken to the references they have provided me via email. That way, I have a pretty good feel for the aupair by the time of the skype interview that she is a good prospect.

If she is generally pleasant over skype and shows interest in the children and her spoken English and comprehension is good, I give her the job over the phone and use that opportunity to arrange for when she starts and pick up from the airport/train station.

All my aupairs have made the skype interview on time with no hitches.

There is a lot of dross. It would probably be best to do more filtering before the skype interview to avoid drop outs and no shows.

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 15:26:02

rubyslippers, you are overwhelmed with male applicants? Lol wink

rubyslippers Sun 18-May-14 16:25:37

I have a male au pair

He's fabulous grin

librarygoddess1 Sun 18-May-14 20:26:21

Thank you, Rubyslippers and Blueshoes. We did the Skype interview an hour ago. She was one of the first girls we matched with, and yes Blueshoes, there has been beaucoup de 'dross'! It is overwhelming.

This young woman is not a teacher, but a chemistry graduate and her references checked out. As she lives in a resort, she also had babysitting experience for English families. She seemed lovely in the interview, and DD liked her. Her English was good.

Thing is, I have no compelling urge to Skype any of the others on my not-very-short shortlist. There's nothing that makes any of them stand out, and in truth, I am still waiting for references from the majority of them. My au pair-world stats say that I have fielded 157 applications, and sent 246 messages or replies in the fourteen days since I registered (for some reason it seems like longer). I'd quite like to do something else of an evening.

Would it be silly to offer the role to the first I've Skyped? We have been talking a lot via e-mail, and I've laid everything out for her. How do I actually offer her the 'job'? Just message her, and if she accepts, send a contract?

Messygirl Sun 18-May-14 21:10:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubyslippers Sun 18-May-14 21:25:40

Offer it over email / she sounds good, interviewed well so go for it

Lay out routine, pay and notice period etc

blueshoes Sun 18-May-14 22:55:41

Library, if you like the Spanish aupair, then offer her. I don't place too much store by the Skype interview. It is not the easiest medium. So long as the aupair seems normal and does not completely balls up like not turn up or look uninterested or hasn't put a comb through her hair for days, I don't think an interview on skype is definitive.

I have skyped all my aupairs and some were brilliant, others were poor and some just so-so. The important thing is she knows the score so she can decide if it is not her cup of tea and I would have saved myself a failed aupair. I have a written timetable, houserules, roster and deal with problems early on rather than let them fester.

If it becomes obvious it is not working after performance management, then I move them on quite quickly. It is not possible to get the hiring process 100% or even 70% right, so if it looks like it could work with this candidate, just play it by ear. Great if it works but don't beat yourself up if it does not. The hiring can be much of a muchness.

librarygoddess1 Mon 19-May-14 07:29:18

Madrigals - yes, we are thinking about a trial weekend, but probably not for this particular prospect.

Blueshoes and Rubyslippers - I offered it via e-mail and she is getting back to us. We are not the only family who has offered her a position. I sacked off all but two others on my 'shortlist' and will keep looking in case she goes a different way.

We are always going to be competing with people who live in more well-connected parts of the country. We've been really clear about where we are, etc.but I am still getting daft questions about 'are there other au pairs where you live?'

sj73 Wed 21-May-14 12:35:25

Clarey: I wonder if I interviewed the same forthright Spanish au pair as you did?? I interviewed one last night who was so forthright she scared me! She even answered her mobile during the interview ARGHGHGH.

I've had loads and loads of applications from Spanish teachers and am starting to go off the idea. Their English doesn't seem to be that good in general and I'm slightly worried that being good in the classroom doesn't necessarily mean they will be good au pairs. They might think the task is 'beneath them' and be crap at handling the more mundane stuff.

I've been emailing a few applicants and setting out exactly what I want and don't want. I've emailed them with a list of questions. I've then set up skype meetings for a few but use these meeting to try and get a feel for what kinds of person they are and whether they are likeable or not. I ask them how their day has been, hobbies etc. Very easy questions so they feel comfortable enough to be themselves so I can try and suss out what they are like.

Still haven't found anyone though....

jacketpotatowithtuna Thu 22-May-14 13:27:34

May I ask you, girls, which countries do you select for searching for an au-pair? I tend to select Spain, Portugal and Germany. I realize this is too narrow.

Johnogroats Thu 22-May-14 13:37:10

All of our APs except one have been French. The one exception was German. The first 7? were female, and we have just recruited our 3rd male to start in Sept. The guys we have had have all been excelent with the boys, and somewhat less complicated than some of the girls! They are much better at running around and playing with the boys, although less good at housework.

jacketpotatowithtuna Thu 22-May-14 14:04:17

Good point Johnogroats . I have two boys so I will try look for male au pairs (their profiles first).

SiLovell Sun 01-Jun-14 14:54:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

giraffescantboogie Sun 01-Jun-14 15:04:24

<snort> at answering mobile during interview

meadowquark Wed 04-Jun-14 21:06:45

Help! Help! Placed my ad in Au Pair world yesterday and got overwhelming loads of responses for male Spanish guys (I am actually looking for a male au pair). The first one replied and I think he sounds lovely, so I need to arrange the first interview on Skype with him.

What do I ask?
Do we have to do it via mic or webcam?
If I think that trial weekend would be good, who pays for that?


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