Before you shell out for sponsorship, you’ll need to find the right person to hire as your helper.

  • Talk on the phone first to get an idea of language skills. Text messages can be misleading.
  • Arrange to meet at your home – this is useful to check if the prospective employee can find the property, will arrive on time – or evens show up.
  • Talk about salary, expected duties and working hours as early as possible. There’s no point in taking discussions further if you can’t agree on basics.
  • Make a list: If you’re interviewing several people, it might be useful to print off a sheet with typed questions (like this one!) rather than relying on scribbled notes.
  • Multiple candidates: If you are speaking to a number of potential employees, make sure they all know that there are other candidates.
  • References: Always speak to previous or current employers to get an understanding of salary, why the contract ended and to get references. Remember that if it was an expat employer who is leaving the country, they might to keen to have their help re-hired fast to save them having to pay for her return airfare.
  • Go with your gut – if you feel the candidate will fit into your home and family life, remember that some skills can be taught and that finding someone trustworthy, reliable and likable is incredibly important.

[Looking For A Full-Time Maid in Dubai? Compare at]

Questions to ask when interviewing for a full-time maid

  • What is your current visa situation?
  • When does your passport expire?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What do you like and dislike about the job?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • How long have you worked with your previous families?
  • How old are the children you have cared for?
  • Are you married and do you have children yourself?
  • Do you have any dependents (e.g. elderly parents) in your home country?
  • Do you have any family in the UAE?
  • Do you like pets? (If you have animals)
  • Are you qualified in first aid? What would you do, for instance, if my child started choking?
  • Do you do any additional part-time work? (Remember that this is illegal)
  • What dishes do you like to cook? Can you follow a recipe?
  • Do you have any allergies or medical conditions?

    [Related: How to comply with the new maids’ law | The cost of hiring a maid in the UAE]

This article first appeared in Good magazine