If there is an issue that really troubles many moms with young children, it is that of finding a suitable house girl. It certainly is not easy, and can actually be frustrating. Today, I share some few helpful tips that can help you when interviewing a prospective house girl. I had a chat with Ms. Edith Murogo Kanyingi, who heads Centre for Domestic Training and Development in Nairobi, and she offers insights on the essentials when interviewing for a house girl. She says that you should:
1. Ask for her age. This will help in ensuring that you do not employ an underage girl which would otherwise land you in trouble with the law.
2. Confirm her identity during the job interview. Ask for her identification documents such as a national Identity Card, Passport, Driving License etc. Ensure that the document she produces has her photo, and is a valid original copy (since photocopies tend to disguise alterations).
3. Ask about about her family. What kind of home did she grow up in? Does she have any living parent? Does she have siblings? Is she married? Does she have children? Which next of kin can you contact in case of an emergency?
4. Ask about her work experience, about her last job and why she left it. Observe her keenly as she offers her responses. Find out if she has ever handled children before, and what ages they were. It would be good if she has handled children that are around your child’s age.
5. Ask her for references, and take time to personally contact them. Their reviews of her and her work will guide you into making a decision.
6. Ask about her level of education. When hiring someone who will watch over children, it is good to settle for one who has some level of literacy. This is because she may be required to perform tasks that require reading or writing, such as when she needs to record baby’s fever, or when she needs to dispense medication.
7. Ask her about any health problems or diagnosed medical conditions that you should know about such as epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, HIV or any allergies. Doing so will help you know if having her taking care of your child will endanger her life and/or that of your baby. It will also help you know how you can assist her accordingly.
Go to Page 2