How to interview a FDW before hiring

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Interviewing a foreign domestic worker? Check out this checklist of questions you should ask.

After heading to many maid agencies and contemplating which one to go to, you have finally decided to settle on a particular one. We hope you have settled on a licensed maid agency that trains their maids well and one that allows you to have a telephone or Skype interview with the maid.

This article will touch on how to interview the maid, whether in person, on the phone or through Skype. Note that this list is strictly our opinion and not meant to be a concrete guide.

Ability to understand English

We know the capabilities of a maid’s English through conversing with her. However, it is important to be realistic. Indonesians and Burmese speak basic English, while Filipino speak better English.

Questions to ask include:

  • Please introduce yourself
  • Why do you want to work in Singapore?
  • If married, how old are your children?
  • What will you do if you are feeling home sick?
  • Are you OK with handling my job scope?

Previous working experience / Employment history

Ask the potential foreign domestic worker about her working experience, whether if it’s Singapore, Middle East, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Things that are commonly asked include:

  • Did you take care of the elderly (if applicable) and/or children (if applicable)?
  • How many people are there in the household? How many elderly and children?
  • What is your job scope in the house?
  • Why do you not want to go back to your previous working country? (If not Ex-Singapore). Note that for Ex-Singapore, the agent is required to show you her employment history, which can be retrieved via the Ministry of Manpower website.
  • Willingness and experience to handle your particular job scope

Let the potential foreign domestic worker know about your job scope and see if she is OK with accepting it. Be honest and clear when describing your job scope to her. These not only allow her to be physically prepared, but mentally as well. This will also help her set her expectations.

There are two more kinds of questions you should be asking when you interview a foreign domestic worker. Find out on the next page!

Situational questions

This is highly useful especially if the foreign domestic worker is hired to look after infants. Looking after infants is a very sensitive job and thus, be picky when choosing the right FDW. Questions that we usually ask include:

  • What do you do after you feed the baby? (Answer: Assist the baby in burping by putting the baby on your shoulders and then petting her back)
  • How do you sterilise the baby bottle?
  • What will you do if the baby is crying and the doorbell rings?

Questioning their intention to work in Singapore

Everybody has their own intentions and motives in working. This applies to FDW as well. Ask them why they want to come to Singapore, and not Hong Kong or Taiwan, especially since salaries are higher there.

We hope that this basic list will be useful to employers in searching a suitable FDW for themselves. Good luck!

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