So you want to hire a transfer maid!
Congratulations! You have taken the first step!
Transfer maids are usually faster to get than overseas maids, as they are already in Singapore and/or already transferred back to the employment agency.
However, that also means that there was a reason why they left their previous employer.
Here are some possible reasons (ranked from best to worst):
- Employer passed away (for cases of ahkong or ahma)
- Finished contract with employer
- Employer mistreatment (either verbal scolding, or not giving enough food etc)
- Maid and employer mismatch of expectations
- Maid cannot cope with existing workload
- Maid have attitude problems
It is important to properly uncover the truth before you commit to hiring a maid.
Here are several interview questions to ask your potential maid:
- Job scope at previous job
You can ask her what was her daily tasks at the the previous home.
Ask her to recount in detail what her tasks were from morning to evening.
Take note of any recurring events and frequency, e.g going to the market, cleaning of the kitchen, laundry, picking up children from school and see how she arranges her day. If she has a fixed schedule and can plan around it, it is a good sign that she will do well handling multiple tasks.
2. Why is she working in Singapore?
Of course, the common answer to this question is to support her family back at home.
However, understand deeper her motivation for earning money. Is it to support her children she has back home? Is it to support her aged parents that are retired?
Having commitments back home will make sure she is serious about working hard and not getting fired – however it can also be a potential problem if aged parents fall sick or she gets home sick for her children.
Bonus: Ask her how much she saves and how much she sends back / how often. If she spends alot on herself, it may not be a good sign.
3. What she likes / do not like about her previous employer(s)
This helps you understand if you and her will be a good match in future.
Take note of what she expects from her employer (e.g. if employer is fierce, demanding, shouts), and what she likes (give her time off at night to use phone, give her food she likes, talks and asks her about how she is feeling etc).
Of course, language issues may be a barrier for this question so leverage your employment agency to help you on this.
In addition to these 3 questions, here are some additional questions to try:
- Where does she go on her off day
- How often does she go back to her home country
- How does she cope with homesickness
- Who does she meet when she is on her off day
- Does she have any siblings / family here in Singapore
- What kind of food can she cook?
- What does she like to eat here?
- Does she know how to take bus / MRT to certain places
- For Christian – does she go to church on Sundays?
- For Muslim – does she have food preferences
- For Muslim – does she pray everyday and how often