Get to know your host family before your departure. Here, you find information on the telephone interview and the most important questions you should ask. You should get to know your host family as best as you can during the application and placement process to avoid any disappointments.

The best way of getting to know your future host family is through a videocall!

Interviews are important and might give you very useful information about your future host family.

You put a lot of effort in the preparation of your stay abroad to make it as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. Therefore, it is important that you take enough time and consideration to find the right host family for you.

We know that the selection of host families can be overwhelming and finding your perfect host family can be difficult. This is the reason why we put together a guide with the important questions to ask your host family during the first telephone interview with them to ensure that they are the right host family for you.

A good way to get to know your host family is by exchanging e-mails and by having a telephone interview. Talk to your future host family a couple of times before making the decision whether you want to become their Au Pair or not. The telephone interview is also a good opportunity to ask the host family to explain any things that should be unclear to you in their application. Take your time to find the right host family for you and to really get to know your host family before making the decision to become their Au Pair.

Introduce each other during the first telephone interview. You can ask your host family to tell you a little bit more about their family, their daily routine, your future tasks and responsibilities and so forth. Do not hesitate to ask them the things you want to know.

Questions for Your Host Family

In the following, you can find a list with helpful questions you can ask to get to know your host family better. The subsequent questions are divided into categories. You can look at the questions from all categories and select the ones that are important to you to ask in order to get to know your host family better.

What will your Daily Routine with the Host Family Look Like?

  • What are the expectations of the host family?
  • What does the daily life of the host family look like?
  • What will your daily life look like?
  • What are your duties and responsibilities in the host family?
  • Does the host family expect you to cook for the children?
  • Are you expected to drive a car?
  • Will the family prepare a schedule for you, stating your duties, working hours, free time etc.?
  • What are your working hours?
  • What are the host family's working hours?
  • Do you also need to work in the evenings? If yes, how many evenings per week?
  • When is your day off?

What is the Host Family Like?

  • What does the host family like to do?
  • What are the host family's hobbies?
  • What does the host family like to do on the weekends?
  • What do the kids like to do? What are their favorite games?
  • Do your host children have any hobbies?
  • Is there anything you need to know about the children? Do they have any special needs, allergies or diseases?
  • Does the host family have pets?
  • Why did the host family decide to host an Au Pair?

About Fundamental Conditions of your Stay

  • Does the host family follow a special diet? What do they usually eat?
  • What will your room look like? (If you have a video call with them, ask the host family to show you your room)
  • Will you have your own bathroom?
  • Can you easily reach the nearest town/city/language school etc. by public transportation?
  • What about holidays and vacation? Will the host family take you with them? Are you expected to look after the children during that time?
  • How much pocket money will you receive each week/each month?
  • Will your host family take out a health, accident and liability insurance for you?
  • When can you attend a language class?
  • Will your host family help you to find a suitable language course and to enroll in it?
  • Will they pay for the language school?
  • Does your host family have a curfew?

What About other Au Pairs?

  • Are there other Au Pairs in the area?
  • Are you the family's first Au Pair?
  • Does the host family currently have an Au Pair? If yes, ask your host family if you can get in touch with their current Au Pair (or their previous Au Pairs) to talk to them about living with the host family
  • Is your host family willing to take you to Au Pair meetings close to the host family's home?

The above-mentioned questions are meant to give you an idea about what questions you can ask in order to get to know your host family better. You do not need to ask all of the questions. If you use the service of an Au Pair agency, you need to ask different questions than when you use an online agency to find your host family, as a lot of the things mentioned above are already regulated by the conditions of the Au Pair agency.

Tips for Preparing for the Telephone Interview

Most Au Pairs are nervous about the first telephone interview with their host family. We know that it is exciting to get to know your host family for the first time and talk to them in a foreign language. But don't worry. Your host family is as excited and nervous as you are.

It is always a good idea to prepare a list with questions that you want to ask your host family in advance so that you don't forget to ask a question that is important to you.

You can also think about questions that your host family might ask you and already prepare an answer in advance. Possible questions are:

  • Why did you decide to become an Au Pair?
  • What is your child care experience? Where did you babysit?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • How do you feel about leaving your family and friends for such a long time? Do you think you will get homesick?
  • What is your family like at home?

You don't need to be nervous about speaking to your host family in a foreign language. It is always okay to ask if you did not understand an expression or word they used or to ask them to repeat things or speak more slowly. Your host family does not expect your language skills to be perfect.

Host families always like it when you show interest in their children and when they see that you get along with them, as this will be most important during your stay abroad. Show that you are interested in the children and ask them, for exmple, what their favorite games are or if they have any hobbies.

In case that you are still unsure about the host family after talking to them on the phone, make an appointment for a second (or third) telephone interview. Don't feel compelled to agree to the first family right away. if you don't feel that it's the right family for you, keep looking.

This post is also available in: German