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Questions when interviewing potential DH?

  1. #9
    fennho's Avatar
    fennho is offline Registered User
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    my helper currently is hopeless too. A lot of basic things she does all wrong. She came to interview telling me she knows and loves to cook. Now, my mom gotta teach her everything, when i reminded her of her answer, she pretended (with all wide eye innocence) that she has NEVER said that she loves cooking! I'm hesitating in firing her becos frankly, i'm fearful of jumping from the frying pan to the fire. At least she is kinda used to the family arrangements now and didnt steal. But god, altho i hate to use this word on anyone, sometimes her stupidity really gets on my nerves. She doesnt know how to iron my hubby's clothes and even handwashing my baby's clothes got it all tainted with colours from god knows where! And mind u, she is not required to take care of my baby cos i'm a SAHM and baby caring i'm doing it myself. (she doesnt have experience). Sorry...but really need to rant a bit. Sigh...do u all think i shud change her? A bit paranoid to do interviews again, it's like striking lottery to find a good one. Aarrgrhhhh

  2. #10
    fennho's Avatar
    fennho is offline Registered User
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    And oh, most of the "good" helpers with the experiences i'm looking for all asked if we're Chinese family. Immediately aft they know we're Chinese, they will pretend they have found an employer! All of them wants to work for Western family!

    My current helper is Indonesian and speaks out of tune cantonese. I do speak Canto altho i'm from Spore and at times wondering if i shud have hired a Filipino instead so that my gal can learn English instead of out of tune Canto!

  3. #11
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Ha Fennho, I know it's really awful and un PC to say someone is stupid but helpers are no different to everyone else so of course some aren't going to be einsteins. Our first helper was really thick. She meant well but she was just so thick it was impossible to put up with her. We tried though, we kept trying to teach her for 8 months before we fired her. She would cook dinner so bad I would gag and just throw it in the bin. We gave up on her cooking in the end.

    But I'll never forget being in the US with her, driving along a freeway from Washington to NY and my 20 month old was playing up a bit so we opened his window to distract him. He loves looking out the window without the glass there. Anyway, she thought it would also be a good idea to give him an etch a sketch at the same time... so of course, he threw it out the window!!!!!!!!! I heard it hit the window on the way out so I asked her what happened, did he just throw the etch a sketch out the window. She was sitting right next to him, saw him do it and looked me in the eye and said no, it's down by his feet.. I asked her to give it to me knowing full well she was lying. She couldn't. I still can't believe how stupid she was to give it to him in the first place especially as he'd calmed down already. Imagine the damage it could have done if it had hit someone driving.

    To make matters worse, we had a 4 month old at the time. Everytime he cried she would try to take him out of his car seat to hold him. Except of course we were driving at the time (again on a freeway) and I kept telling her it's not allowed and it's too dangerous. She just looked at me like i was an idiot.

    Then there was the time she didn't put my baby's strap on when she put him into his pram so he fell straight out onto his head.

    There are so many things she did but like you I said to myself, she knows my family, the kids know her, she doesn't steal...The baby falling onto his head was the last straw. Now I am so glad we got rid off her. Just the other day my husband and I were laughing at all the things she got up to with us, all the shirts she ruined, the ties (oh, you mean you don't wash ties?) all the food she wasted by cooking it so badly it was inedible.... She was fired by her next employer only 3 months after starting out with them so we're not just whingeing spoilt brats!
    Last edited by aussiegal; 10-20-2008 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #12
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    And your comment about speaking out of tune Canto is funny. Our first helper's english was pretty bad and I used to worry thinking about how badly my kids would speak english! Our current one started with goodish english but because she is smart she has improved so much in the 6 months she has been with us that I don't worry at all. My eldest son's (2 and 8 months) english has really taken off in the last few months, he gets his present and past tenses right, has an awesome vocab, speaks full sentences and I put a lot of it down to the fact that at home he hears mostly perfect english, either from us or our helper.

    Our first helper would say things like 'don't touch, it's very danger'. Even after I told her the word was 'dangerous' and even after me saying it over and over again. She just couldn't learn.

    Sounds like you're not happy. Might be time to get someone else.

  5. #13
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    hey fennie,

    actually ur helper sounds alot like my last helper back home. at the interview, she came across as realli someone sincere and honest and her agent old us, she's on transfer because, the 2nd day she arrived, her employer's dad died. she was supposed to look after the old person. hearing that, we felt sorry for her and seeing that she has experience with babies, we hired her.

    it didn't take long for things to uncover. the baby's clothes were always stained from dunno what, at first she said dunno why, maybe it's the water pipes? then we found out she just recycled water from washing her clothes which were coloured to wash the baby's clothes!

    all our clothes had holes she said it was the washing machine, we later found out it was from ironing...she fell asleep!

    the list goes on... it was only much later we found out she only wanted to get away from the philippines, cos she had a big fight with her husband. and when all was well, she did everything to make us send her home. and the story with the last employer's dad dead? well, let's just say he's very much alive and they fired her because they found out she lies!

    anyway, if i ever haf another helper... i guess i wont be so stupid as to believe everything. and stained clothes and holes in them? i will run far away too!

  6. #14
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
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    Those of you who've had problem helpers... looking back to their interviews.. was there anything that stood out that might have given an inkling of the problems to come?

    I want to thank everyone for their advice.. it is invaluable..

    I'm still trying to get used to the idea of domestic helpers.. as much as I have resisted having one it has become apparent we need one...

    I especially love the idea of testing the maid with things like reading out of cookbooks. While cooking isn't a high priority on our list as I love to cook, watching the attitude of the maid at being asked this might be a good indicator to us for how the maid will react to direction... so thanks for that...

    Where do most of you source your good maids from? Agencies? the 'other' website that has quite a list?
    I don't have any friends here yet(except you gals and guys) who I could get word of mouth referral from....

    Thanks again. All of your responses and experiences (good and bad) are a worthwhile learning curve for me.

  7. #15
    spockey is offline Registered User
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    The giveaways:

    (1) Over-enthusiasm/ Over- eagerness to be employed. Yes, Mam, I can do this, do that... The answer was always Yes.

    (2) Employer reference limited to just one... despite being in HK for several years.

    (3) Resumes were constantly filled with completed 2 year contracts with NO renewal.

    (4) Incomplete resumes... gaps of employer information for some years.

    An agency I'd recommend... Overseas Employment... expensive but worth it. On Sundays, you can interview DHs who have completed their contracts and are seeking a new employer... but the queue to interview one will be long. They open at 2. The agent I used was Angel.

  8. #16
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    I'm local chinese, SAHM, so i'm the nightmare for local DHs who'r looking for jobs. I always only hired new DH from the philippines. reason being, if they have had experience, they will compare of what they used to do & how their previous employers treat them. lucky for you if she was tortured, but they'll always think you'r not as good. i prefer them to
    1. speak fluent english,
    2. write tidily, meaning they have a good way of thinking. give her a questionnaire to fill out, then you'll have an idea.
    3. draw up a list of "to do"s by the day e.g. every monday, change sheets, wash in washing machine, then hang dry. wash water thermos. tues, vacuum, wipe cabinets, etc. also set rules, like prepare children's breakfast before leaving on holiday. come back at a certain time.
    4. ask them what they do on their holidays, (i know, they can lie, but you sorta have an idea)

    i've been using Technic for a while. quite good, they train their helpers quite well before they come. so far, i've had 2 & they clean & wash very well. follow instructions well, and very good attitude.

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