Last Updated: March 2nd, 2021|Categories: Employer, Guideline|Tags: , |

Interview Questions for Employers

When interviewing a potential domestic helper, we recommend you structure your interview in five parts. The questions you ask should help you figure out if the applicant is a good personality fit with your family.

Read more: Tips for Selecting the Right Helper

Part 1: Helpers’ Background

In a sense, your helper will become your family’s household manager. Ask her about her experience as a foreign domestic worker and her personal background.

  • Where does she come from?
  • Does she have kids?
  • Why is she interested in this job?
  • What is her current job like and why does she want to leave that employer? Is her reason for leaving related to her living arrangements, or does she feel the care duties are excessive?
  • How many past employers have you had and how long have you worked for them? Do you have any recommendation letters or contact information? Where were they located?
  • Latest contract status and how early you expect them to start. Depending on your country of residence and the status of the applicant (i.e. whether she is a finished vs. broken contract, or terminated, etc.) the delay to process the application varies.

Part 2: Situational questions

It is a good idea to find out how the applicants will react in different scenarios. The goal of this exercise is to improve your understanding of their personality and how they problem solve.

Remember personality and problem solving are not things which can be easily taught or learned. We like to do this by asking ‘situational questions.’ We’ve included some examples below:

  • You accidentally drop a plate. What would you do?
  • You seriously cut yourself with a knife. What would you do?
  • If a child uses abusive words with you, what would you do?
  • Imagine you are home alone and a workman rings the doorbell. Your employer didn’t tell you anyone was coming. What do you do?
  • What is the first thing you should do before you cook any meal?
  • The children are arguing with one another over a toy, how do you handle the situation?
  • How would you put a baby to sleep? What if she cries for a long time?

Part 3: Work experience questions

Next, you should try to understand the domestic helper’s previous work experience. Try to figure out the management style of the previous employer. Think about how this differs to your own style and whether or not the domestic helper worked well with this. Some example questions might be:

  • Did she manage her own tasks?
  • Did she work to a set schedule?
  • Ask for her to explain her approximate schedule.
  • Did she cook using recipes or was she shown how to prepare dishes?
  • What kind of food can you cook (Chinese, Western, vegetarian, etc.)?
  • Did she have any problems with her previous employers? How did she resolve these conflicts?
  • What do you like and dislike in your previous employments?

Part 4: Your schedule, required tasks and living condition

A good Employer- Helper relationship starts with the right expectation. You should be transparent about the tasks at your house, the rest schedule and the living conditions. Examples:

  • Go over your basic weekly schedule and the tasks you expect a domestic helper to manage.
  • Make sure to clarify the anticipated rest day. How flexible is she to changing it if needed?
  • Does she know when she would be taking her annual leave?
  • Will you give a food allowance or will you provide food for your helper?
  • Will the helper share a room with another helper or baby?
  • Go over any specific important home rules you have.

Part 5: Applicant’s questions

The domestic helper may have questions for you. Make sure you allow some time for her to ask questions and offer her the opportunity to ask. This will help her determine if she is a good fit with your family.

Mutual interview

Remember that the candidate has to also decide whether she would like to work for you.

To give the candidate a taste of your life, you can introduce your lifestyle, your children and/or pets to them as well as the tasks the helper will be responsible for. Make sure to ask if the candidate has any questions for you.

If you are willing to pay bonuses or pay for additional flights home, make sure to tell them. The best candidates get snatched up quickly. If you particularly like a candidate you can ask them to contact you if someone else offers them a job so you limit the possibility of losing your first-choice candidate.

Can I meet a helper before hiring her?

If the applicant is in the same country as the employer, or even nearby places, we recommend to ask for a meet up for an interview.

Even better, you can invite the shortlisted candidates to your home to meet your family and see the environment in which she would work. This will make sure that you both feel comfortable with the living and working conditions.

If this is not possible, you can simply arrange a video call to conduct your interview or screening process.

Read more: Tips for Selecting the Right Helper

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