Employers interviewing DWs – sample questions - ANISYA

Employers interviewing DWs – sample questions

Here are some sample interview questions for prospective domestic workers.  During the interview, you will also get a good gauge of the worker’s level of English comprehension and verbal ability.  Being able to communicate effectively (this goes both ways!) is a key component to a successful future employer-worker relationship.

You can start off with an introduction of yourself and your family. Describe your living situation, how many rooms you have in your house, and what you are looking for in a domestic worker.  List the top 3 main duties she would be performing (for example. house-cleaning, cooking simple meals, babysitting) and stay focused on those responsibilities.  As with any employee, be cognizant of whether you will be overloading the domestic worker to the point where she becomes ineffective.

A list of questions you could ask:

The Show-stopper

  • Has your employer signed the “Letter of Consent” (aka “Release Paper”) – if you are interviewing a transfer worker, having this document signed is critical.

Prior experience

  • Why are you leaving your current employer?
  • What did you like or did not like about your last employment?
  • What problems did you have with your previous job and what did you do to resolve them?
  • Tell me what your daily work schedule is like?

Housekeeping skills

  • Go through the basic appliances – washing machine, dryer, steamer, vacuum cleaner, etc – at home and ask if the worker is comfortable using them.
  • Are you afraid of insects or household creatures?
  • How do you organize your time across various household chores – laundry, cleaning of rooms, toilets, floors; ironing?
  • Do you know how to hand wash delicate garments?

Infant Care skills

  • Discuss the assistance you will require from the worker for infant care
  • Do you experience with newborns? Bathing and burping the infant
  • If the infant is not able to sleep at home, how will you try to make her/him fall asleep?
  • What are some healthy baby foods?
  • Share a prior experience when you spotted something wrong with the infant
  • What will you do in an emergency situation?

Child Care skills

  • If you and your spouse will be away from home at work during the day, ask the worker about how she managed the time with the children.
  • How comfortable are you around toddlers/children?  If child care is to be a key responsibility for the worker, put your children together with the worker and see how they interact.
  • Can you swim?
  • Have you done First Aid training?
  • Do you have experience taking the children to school and picking them up?
  • What are healthy snacks you would pack?
  • Do you like reading to children?
  • Share a prior experience when you spotted something wrong with the child
  • What will you do in an emergency situation?

Caring for Elderly

  • Which of the following activities were you involved with in caring for an older adult – bathing, dressing, going to toilet, eating, walking, standing up?
  • What Eldercare courses have you completed?
  • Have you managed the medicine schedule for an older adult?
  • Have you cared for an older adult with dementia?

Cooking skills

  • If cooking is a big part of the worker’s responsibility, you could ask her to prepare a simple meal based on what’s available in the kitchen.
  • Do you like to cook?
  • What kind of meals are you able to prepare? Can you follow recipes?
  • Would you be able to go marketing for groceries on your own?
  • Are you comfortable operating kitchen appliances?
  • Do you have any food allergies?
  • What do you consider as healthy meals?

Interacting with and taking care of pets

  • How comfortable are you around animals?  Needless to say, if the worker has to care for your pets or be around them, they need to get along well.
  • What prior experience do you have in caring for [your animal]?

Personal/family background

  • Was there a previous employment where you did not get enough rest?  Find out more about the worker’s orientation towards personal time and rest
  • What do you do your day off?  Are you active with religious groups or local charities? Are you taking classes?
  • Can you use a computer?
  • Do you drink or smoke?
  • Do you have any medical history/police/criminal history?
  • Tell me about your family. What financial responsibilities do you have for them? Are there pressing debt concerns?
  • How are you adjusting to living in Singapore while away from your family?

Future plans

  • Many workers engage in continued education, are active in church or mentor other FDWs through NGOs.  These are indicators of being proactive about one’s future and taking responsibility.
  • How long do you plan on working in Singapore?
  • What are your goals for the future?
  • What do you do on your days off?

Preparing to make an offer

  • What is your current compensation package? Discuss salary, off days, public holidays, annual leave duration (whether paid or unpaid)
  • Are you prepared to work on your weekly off days for compensation?
  • Do you currently get Public Holidays off?
  • What is your expected salary?
  • When are you available to start work?
  • When does your passport expire?
  • When was the last medical?

If both of you agree to employment, then it would be helpful to go through each of your expectations by having:

  • A rules & regulations agreement
  • Review of a sample weekly schedule of what you would like the worker to do.  This weekly schedule should show at a high level what happens on each day of the week.

View other categories of FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions by Employers


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