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The Low-down on Your Au Pair Interview

By Nicola Pearce

Understandably I get asked a lot of questions about the interview stage of the application process so I thought I would put it all down in a post to give you all the details!

Why you have to come in for an interview

As part of the application process to become an au pair in the USA, everyone has to come in for a face to face interview. It is a rule set by the US State Department, we are not allowed to interview you over the phone or via Skype, but I think it’s better for everyone that that’s the case.

What the interview is all about

I like to think of it as more of a meeting than an interview. It’s a chance for me to find out a bit more about you and for you to find out more about the process involved in becoming an au pair.

The interview is just with me, in a quiet room in our busy Gap 360 office. There’s a friendly atmosphere and lots of laughing in the background, it’s a nice place to have an interview.

The point of an interview is two way – I need to know a bit more about you, but it’s also important that you use the time to listen well, ask questions and find out more. I’ll give you the low down on the whole process and I’ll also give you loads of tips on the things you can do to have the best chance of matching quickly with a host family.

There are no tricks and there’s no hidden agenda to the interview. I ask everyone the same questions which are pretty straightforward and are designed to get you to think about the role of an au pair.

There aren’t really any wrong answers, and if you get stuck or tongue tied, I’ll help you. I am quite nosy by nature, so I love to hear about your life, your hobbies, your family and your plans for the future.

But in case you are still feeling jittery at the thought of the interview, look at it this way: when you go for an interview for a job, you are normally in direct competition with a handful of other people. The interviewers are looking for one person, and need a reason to pick one over another. I’m not, I’m looking for as many good au pairs as I can find, and I know that there is more than one definition of a good au pair.

I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking for potential. If I can tell by what you say and what you’ve done that you love looking after children and you are going to do your best to give a year in America everything you’ve got, then you are going to be a great asset to the programme and I’m glad to have you on board!

What to wear

You don’t have to dress up particularly – as long as you look fairly smart, there’s no need for power dressing!

What to bring

I’ll email you before your interview with a list of things that you need to bring with you but in case you are curious, here it is…

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • GCSE certificates
  • Any other certificates or achievements you’d like to include in your online profile: for example First Aid, Child Care Qualifications, Sporting or Coaching Awards.
  • Current DBS if you have one
  • Birth Certificate or recent financial document if we are processing a new DBS for you
  • two completed childcare reference forms
  • one completed character reference form
  • any additional references you’d like to provide
  • medical report form signed twice by your doctor

And Finally…

If you’re feeling nervous, just remember that you have all the answers in your head, you don’t need to do loads of research. I’ve met lots of people who have travelled all the way from Yorkshire, Liverpool and beyond, not to mention those who have made the journey from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If you have made it across land and sea all the way to our little office in Tunbridge Wells, smiling and clutching all the documents I’ve asked you to bring, then quite frankly, you have done the hard part. The interview is going to be a breeze!

So there really is no need to feel anything other than excited about your interview. I am really looking forward to meeting you – so get in touch, get booked on and let’s get you started on your way to being an au pair in the USA!

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