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When employing a helper, it is hard to tell if she is a good fit for your family. Mr Michael Chew, Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) mediator and member of the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Support and Training (FAST) shares how to better suss out your prospective helper during the interview, whether it is a face-to-face chat, or a Skype or webcam conversation.


1. Pay close attention to body language

Use this to pick up on her attitude – note if she maintains eye contact when answering your questions, and whether her tone is sincere, for example. This can help you to determine if she’s being honest, or simply telling you what she thinks you wish to hear.


2. Ask open-ended questions

Instead of asking yes-no questions, like “can you cook?”, ask open-ended ones such as “how do you steam a fish?”. To find out if she is capable of looking after the elderly, ask her questions about giving them medication, like how long you should wait between feeding intervals. Questions that require elaboration will help you to ascertain your potential helper’s experience and expertise.


3. Get references

Get records of your future helper’s past experiences and work history from the employment agency or WP online( Also, during the interview ask if she’s willing to give you the contacts of her previous employers for cross-referencing. If she’s ready to do so, chances are she’s confident of her abilities, and the job she’s done previously.