Maid Interview Tips
What is the difference between nanny and maid?
Two very important roles in a busy family household are that of the nanny / maid or maid. There are many reasons why one or both may be needed and it’s vital to know the responsibilities of both jobs as they aren’t the same.
Consider what you are looking for
When deciding who you are looking to employ, think about the tasks they will be undertaking – or not, such as:
– All aspects of childcare
– Cleaning the whole home or the children’s bedrooms only
– Laundry for the family or only the children
– Cooking meals for the children – or all the family
– Managing household administration
Whilst there will be some crossover between some of the tasks, there are some areas which are purely associated with being a nanny and some with a maid and knowing the scope of each role will help you decide who you really need.
The role of a nanny
With more and more mums now working full time, young children need a nanny to care for them for part or all of the day.
A nanny is an invaluable member of the household and can either be in a live-in nanny or live-out nanny position. Usually with formal qualifications, a nanny will have full responsibility for the care of the children and will be given full responsibility to carry out a number of tasks whilst the parents are at work. These include preparing meals for the children, bathing and dressing them, doing the school run, nursing them if they don’t feel too well and perhaps helping with school work.
Cleaning duties would normally be limited to the cooking utensils and crockery used by the children and the tidying of their bedrooms. A nanny would not be expected to clean all of the house and they wouldn’t normally be expected to make meals for the rest of the family.
Nannies are dedicated, loyal, experienced and love working with children. They are honest and trustworthy and will have impeccable references.
Being a maid
A maid does more than a cleaner but is not tasked with the responsibility of caring for children. As with a nanny they will either live in or out depending on the circumstances of the family.
A maid is a central part of the home. They manage many areas such as cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping and can often be asked to undertake administrative responsibilities such as financial record-keeping.
Cleaning will be a pivotal responsibility for any maid but they will also have the task of ensuring that there is food available for meals on and that errands are carried out. In a large household, the maid may have cleaning staff they manage who will carry out the deeper cleaning jobs or have certain areas of the home they clean each day.
A maid will certainly have interaction with any children in the household but they won’t be expected to care for them; this is the job of the nanny.
Maids will either have professional qualifications or a raft of experience. Some will have specialist skills such as being a professional cook.
Luckily in UAE in General and Dubai, most maids have nanny experience, theirfore they can be a maid and nanny in the same time. However in such case you need to balance the tasks, for example do not expect the maid and nanny to take care of more than 2 children and do the complete household chores perfectly. Some moms are a stay home mom who can take care of the children if the maid is busy finishing her housechores.
Choose who is right for you
Choosing the right person to be responsible for the care of your children or having the responsibility for the running of your home is one which takes careful consideration.
With the knowledge of the differences in the nanny and maid roles, talk to the professionals about your needs and they can set the ball rolling to find you someone who is experienced, hard-working and qualified. Maid Finder has been placing nannies and maids with families for 10 years and can answer all the questions you may have and then find you the right homecare to step in to support you in your busy life.
Although we do take all measures to select the right maid or nanny and post her in our website, the maid may turn out to be a bad fit for your family. In the interview, you will be able to assess the nanny’s working skills, communication skills, and motivation. The following are tips that we strongly recommend that you read carefully.
1. Candidates Selection
Shortlist several candidates; screen and interview a minimum of 3-5 candidates so you have a basis for comparison and do not make rushed decisions. Moreover, good candidates get hired fast so make sure you select several candidates to avoid disappointment.
Shortlist candidates that meet your criteria; examine carefully the skills, salary, and vacation expectations listed in their profiles. While some aspects could be negotiable the candidates tend to stick to their request and the market is competitive.
2. Interview Scheduling Tips
Contact maids and wait for replies; use both phone and Whatsapp when reaching out, and allow time for maids to reply to your inquiries.
Pick a location and time that suits the candidate to avoid cancellation; consider the maid’s time constraints, especially that they might still be working and finishing their contract. Hence, most may only be available to meet for an interview on weekends. Also, consider the distance of the meeting location, how close is it to a metro and any transportation costs she would incur. We recommend that you cover this cost if possible, as many agree to the meeting to satisfy potential employer but might cancel last minute if time and location are challenging.
Interview personally shortlisted candidates; interviews can happen face-to-face or via a video call. This process is difficult to outsource as it all depends on your click with the candidate and intuition.
Choose a quiet location; a place where you feel comfortable so you can fully concentrate on the interview. If you decide to meet a candidate in public, do it in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. If you interview via phone or video call, make sure you have a good connection and will not be disturbed by your boss or crying children.
Introduce your child and other family members to the candidate, examine how well they interact.
Allow ample time for each interview, it may be tempting to meet as many candidates as possible in one day, but make sure you allow sufficient time for each one so you get to know the candidate as well as possible. Being rushed could mean overlooking some important personality traits.
3. Interviewing Tips
Prepare a summary of what you expect from the role; in terms of duties, working hours, days off, and the package you are offering. You can also use this summary to introduce your ethical and personal expectations to the candidates. Give all these aspects thought in advance and prepare a concise summary to share with the candidates in the interview.
Prepare a concise list of questions, it may be tempting to ask as many questions as possible, but the answers may overwhelm you, which will make it difficult to remember all the details. Make your own checklist, with a couple of important pointers with targeted clear questions.
Tailor your questions to what is most relevant to you, for example, whether they have experience with babies if your child is very young, or whether they are comfortable with pets if you have a dog.
Print out the question checklist in advance; this will help you recall the important details of your interview.
Show your best side; remember Interviews are mutual the candidate has to also decide whether she would like to work for you. Do not forget to smile but also act professionally.
4. Selections and Trial
Make a prompt decision, as employers may snatch up the best helpers quickly.
Carry out the working trial, once you find someone you like, you can opt to try her out for a day or two on a paid trial where you can start to show them the ropes, and see how you get along.
Trust your intuition; if none of the candidates feels right, don’t settle. It may be frustrating to contact more helpers, but after all, it is your family life that is at stake.
How to make your offer appealing
- Relationship with the employer (respect and living conditions and freedoms)
- Salary (many maids have a network of family members back home who rely on her for financial support)
- Allowances (provisions for food, toiletries, mobile, etc.)
- Type of work and responsibilities (workload and demands)
- Weekly time off, and daily work hours
For guidance on the interview questions visit our Sample Questions
For further information, we invite you to visit the FAQ section
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