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Helper Interview

  1. #1
    Zoska is offline Registered User
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    Helper Interview

    We are planning to hire our first helper and having first interview on Sunday. I m due to have baby in January so newborn expiriance is important, my hubby also wants her to cook well(ish) ;) and we want her to speak good english. The things i was going to ask her are:
    - how libg she has been hear
    - how libg she work for each family
    - what were her duties
    - her expiriance with newborn ( i m not working so she will not be doing solo care for first few months)
    - if she can cook and what sort of food she is most comfortable with
    - of Course request contact to confirm her references and will ask her to do trial afternoon to see if she can take/follow direction well and check her cooking skils.

    But was wondering if you have any other advices as what to ask.

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. #2
    missidealiste is offline Registered User
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    Are you using any agency?

    Ask her about her family background. How long she intend to stay in hk. If she is married, if she got any kids or intend to have any... I once hired a DH who got pregnant shorty after she started to work...

    Another tips I can think of, it's check on how well she is groom.. Is she wearing perfume? Makeup? Nail polish? Will she be willing to keep it "clean"? I had a DH that would not comply to our house rules.. She told me that it was fashion and that her last employer didn't mind... Well I do because she need to take of my kid...

    here some rules you can refer to and ask question around it... Some I do practice, some are just good to know what other ppl r doing


    http://singaporemaidinfo.blogspot.co...es-by-are.html

  3. #3
    cuppatea is offline Registered User
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    That list is absolutely awful. Her maids work 7am - 10pm 7 days a week for an extra $20 SGD pm month AFTER 8 months !
    AND the employer keeps all the money? And the maid's family can only call her via her employers phone?!
    I am so appalled at some of the things on that list...I hope I am not the only one.
    miran and satay sue like this.

  4. #4
    peachylin is offline Registered User
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    Reading that blog gave me a headache! Seriously, is that how a helper should work and be treated??? Please, do not copy those rules or even have that mindset in hiring a helper.

    That blog/post leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.


    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile
    miran, cuppatea and satay sue like this.

  5. #5
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    I wouldn't follow the Singapore guidelines either. Here's a good article written by the author of Helper's Helper


    http://www.geobaby.com/articles/1-pr...iring-a-helper
    elle likes this.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #6
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    That was a great article. I asked a lot about family background with my domestic helper. If they have children it's important to make sure they have made proper arrangements to have them looked after by the father or other family members. I also asked about education level, weekend activities. Also ask about their social life in HK if they've been here for a while and what their expectations are on free time. Lastly I asked about salary and holiday expectations. I interviewed one which I thought was quite good until I realized her salary expectations were far above the norm. I always think it's a good idea to start with the basic minimum and build in bonuses or salary increases later when you feel she is really worth keeping as a valued employee. Maybe that's just me though.
    rani likes this.

  7. #7
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Unhappy

    Your original list of questions are a good start. Personally I wouldn't get too into personal details. I would be incredibly offended if my employer asked me if I was married, whether I had children and how they were taken care of while I was at work (and questions like that would in fact be illegal in the US). That said, I suppose it is a bit different if you are hiring someone to live in your home, but I would keep it pretty minimal. Also, that list from the Singapore blog is appalling.

    I've interviewed a LOT of domestic helpers and nannys in HK over 6 years. We took our time when we hired our helper and she has been with us almost as long as we have lived here - definitely worth the wait. (We rushed into hiring our first helper and it was a disaster for all parties involved.) I think the most important types of questions are not yes/no questions (although those are important at the beginning of the interview to get a sense of her past experience). But, make sure to ask challenging questions that require her to come up with an answer too - if the baby got sick and I wasn't home what would you do? Have you ever cooked fresh baby food before and if so what? Regarding her hygene, it is pretty obvious from just meeting the helper and I'm not sure you need to ask more...
    You should be able to get a sense of her judgment and whether she will think by herself from this type of question. If she is too nervous to answer in an interview I would be concerned about her ability to deal with a real emergency or problem.

    You should also be prepared to discuss YOUR house rules with her. Will you want a very set schedule that she will follow or are you looking for someone who can do what needs to be done when it needs to get done and is able to figure it out with just a bit of guidance from you? How do you feel about her eating your food/ watching your TV/ going out in the evening when her work is done (of course when she is not babysitting :)).

    And, take some time to think about how you want to interact with your helper - a formal employer employee relationship, treating her as a family member or something in between (and keep in mind your relationship with her will change/ adjust as you spend more time with her in your household). Then consider whether you think the person you are interviewing fits with what you are looking for.

    ps. I have no idea why there is a frowny face at the front of this post - I did't put it there!

  8. #8
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    It is worthwhile to get personal in a domestic helper interview. You are letting her into YOUR personal life and into YOUR home to look after the household and family. I understand if it was for an office or other job position, it would be offensive to get personal and could be borderline discrimination, but a domestic helper is much more invested hire for everyone involved.
    satay sue likes this.

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