The initial point of contact with whatever Au Pair agency you go with is generally a short telephone conversation to check you fit the qualifications of being an Au Pair, then, if all is successful, you’ll get invited for a face to face interview at the company offices. Being that I went with the agency Gap 360, the process I went through may be different to others, but as a general rule, it seems to be roughly the same no matter what company you go through and which country you apply from! The interview lasts around two hours and it’s a great way for them to see who you are and how you come across, while also giving you as much information as possible to ensure that the Au Pair programme is right for you. The interview is normally set for about a month after an initial phone conversation, as it gives you enough time to collect all your documents together, getting all of the formalities out of the way before progressing with the full application.
So, first things first – do you even qualify to be an Au Pair?! First off, ensure you’re a citizen of one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom or the Ukraine. If you are, congratulations – that’s one box checked off! Ensure the following qualifications are also met & then you’re good to go!
Aged 18-26 ☐
Hold a full driving licence ☐
Haven’t participated in an Au Pair programme previously ☐
Available to commit for a year ☐
Non smoker ☐
No criminal record ☐
Good bill of health ☐
Finished and completed secondary school or equivalent ☐
Can provide two childcare references (Girls = 200hrs, Guys = 500hrs) ☐
If you meet that criteria, you’ll be invited for an interview. As mentioned, you’ll need to get together the following documents:
x 1 Character reference ☐
x 2 Childcare references ☐
Drivers License ☐
Valid Passport ☐
Qualification certificates (definitely high school equivalent, any others if obtained!) ☐
Completed DBS application, or DBS certificate if still valid ☐
Money to pay the entire programme fee (varies from company to company) ☐
Money for the DBS certificate ☐
Completed medical report ☐
Although a lot of these documents are relatively easy to obtain, some can, in my experience be a little harder to get hold of. The medical report for example; my doctors surgery always tends to make life a little bit difficult for people! They had never had experience of needing to fill out this particular medical form (although, it’s very bog standard to any employee medical reference report!) and so they made it extremely awkward to get it filled out with the correct information, from the correct kind of person. That in itself took three visits to the doctors surgery to rectify! In addition to that, the majority of my childcare experience was done volunteering abroad, so obtaining clear, concise references from the care providers in countries where English is barely even their second language, let alone their first, proved to be a bit of a nightmare! Thankfully however, I did manage to collect everything together in time to bring to my interview!
One key thing to remember is that this isn’t just an interview for you to have the time of your life abroad – ultimately, this is a job! Seems like common sense, but I know so many other Au Pairs and potential Au Pairs that kept dismissing that thought out of their heads, only to have a harsh awakening when they realised it wasn’t all parties and Instagram opportunities! The interview itself is comprised of three parts – a short interview, a quick check through your documents to ensure nothing is missing or out of date and an online psychometric test. The test isn’t about being wrong or right, but instead more similar to quizzes you’ll find in magazines that determine what personality type you are and what general characteristics you have! The results get emailed to you a few days or weeks later and they’re clearly accurate as I wasn’t surprised to find out I am a friendly, organisation freak with a huge competitive streak! Regarding the interview questions, obviously you’ll never know exactly what questions will be asked but expect to be asked things along the lines of:
– What are your plans for your future after becoming an Au Pair?
So, gather all your documents, practice some answers to potential interview questions and get a good nights sleep the night before your interview and you’re well on your way to completing the first stage of becoming an Au Pair!