How to Have a Successful In-Home Interview
You found the posting for the perfect job. You sent your resume in. You passed all the initial screening. Now it’s time for “The Interview.” Interviews can be stressful but they are a necessary part of landing your dream job.
Interviewing for an in-home position can be even more challenging than typical corporate job interview. For jobs like Nanny, Family Assistant, Housekeeper, Estate Manager or Chef, not only do you need to have the qualifications, skills and experience, you also need to show that you will be the perfect fit to work in this person’s home. With good preparation and thoughtful follow-through, you can succeed in your interview, and in this blog post we’d like to give you some guidance for how to do that!
Preparation is key. It might feel like over-kill, but make sure you know ahead of time exactly how you’ll be getting to the interview, and how long it will take for you to get there. Map out your trip at least a day ahead of time. Take heavy commute traffic into account if your interview is in the morning or late afternoon. And give yourself a little bit of extra time just to be completely sure that you get to your destination on time.
Print out and bring an up-to-date copy of your resume along with you. Your interviewer already got a copy, but providing another copy will be greatly appreciated and helps show that you really want the job, you are prepared and you are taking the process seriously.
Do your homework! Make sure you have a really good idea of exactly what this job entails. If you are working through Town + Country, take the time to talk to your Counselor to learn as much as you can. Then, with this job in mind, look over your resume for experiences you’ve had in the past that likely fit this employer’s expectations or highlight why you would be a great fit.
Dress for success! First impressions really do affect the rest of the interview process, so make sure you are making a positive one! Your interviewer will form some strong first impressions based on how you make yourself look and how you dress. There is no “one outfit fits all interviews,” so for Town + Country interviews, talk to your Counselor to find out how to dress for this interview. If you don’t have an opportunity to get information ahead of time, the best bet is to dress simply, conservatively and professionally. Limit makeup, jewelry and especially perfume! A blouse that covers the shoulders paired with a nice pair of pants or khakis is a sure way to “wow” your potential future employer!
Start your interview with a warm, confident handshake and make good eye contact. Show interest in what they are saying, keep a nice smile. Keeping a friendly conversation going about the job, your experiences and their needs will help you make the personal connection with the family that shows you can be the right font in their home.
And whatever you do, make sure to avoid two very common mistakes:
- Never, ever bash or criticize a former employer. The family interviewing you will get the impression that you may bash them later after you leave their job, and no one wants that.
- Never, ever lie or exaggerate about your prior jobs, experiences or education. Speak about your experience in complete truthfulness. Dishonest claims will usually be discovered, and even if you only told one little “white lie,” it will tend to undercut everything else you’ve said. After all, if you were dishonest about that one thing, what else are you being dishonest about? For in-home positions, families need to be able to have complete trust in you before being comfortable having you work in their home.
Finish your interview the same way you started it. Emphasize your interest in the position, and say good-bye with a confident handshake, a warm smile and good eye contact.
Follow-up! Send your interviewer an email or, even better, a handwritten note thanking them for their time and again expressing interest. Double check that all names are correctly spelled and that you don’t have any typos.
Prepare, dress for success, show respect and follow-up afterwards – give yourself the best chance to succeed!