5 Questions to Ask Caregivers During An Interview

It’s hard to get a good grip of someone’s ability to care for your clients before they start. Here are some guiding questions that can make you feel more at ease.

Asking the right questions during an interview can get you top-notch caregivers

Interviews are a great opportunity to get to know an applicant and to see how good of a fit they would be for your company and clients.

Caregiver recruitment is no easy task, but by asking the right questions, you are on your way to growing your agency into the future.

These interview questions will give you insight into your applicants' ability to improve your current roster of caregivers.

1. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

It’s important to get a gauge of where applicants want to be in a few years. This way, you can see (with what changes you’ll make in that time) how they’ll fit with your agency through that time.

For example, if one of your applicants wants to become a nurse during the next four years, you can expect that they will have advanced medical knowledge that can be of value to your team. You can also prepare for their schedule needs and changes, and the nurses on your team can be a resource for them during their nursing school years.

It’s also important to a caregiver that they’ll have an understanding employer that will support, nurture, and foster their growth. Take some time to share an example of your ability to support an employee, and mechanisms in place that keep the support going. Show them that there will be a career for them with your agency.

2. Can you describe a time that your opinion or thoughts conflicted with a coworker or supervisor?

It’s important to understand how your staff responds to feedback or comments that they might not agree with. Understand their thought process and how they address or tackle the issue.

Are they defensive about their perspective or do they open themselves up to a compromise, seeing the merit in others’ thoughts? Once you see how their thinking works, you can have a much better understanding of how this caregiver would be when working with your clients, other caregivers, office staff, and more.

3. What improvements do you want to see in the senior care industry moving forward?

This question isn’t directly linked to the hiring process necessarily, but it’s a good ice-breaker to see what improvements can be made. Whether it’s an idea for a marketing campaign or a volunteering opportunity that your agency could take on, hear what these caregivers have to say in improving the industry. Caregivers have a unique perspective on changing the industry than what you may have had in mind.

For example, many people might be interested in working in healthcare but aren’t drawn to working with older adults, etc... This could be an opportunity to address stigmas of aging, ageism, and to brainstorm ways to attract caregivers into the senior care industry while working with people in their homes.

This could bring up blind spots that you might not have thought about before, and strategies to improve caregiver recruitment and retention. Incorporating your staff’s ideas and suggestions into your operations shows that you listened and genuinely care.

4. If you had a personal matter come up that conflicted with one of your scheduled shifts, how would you handle it?

Working in home care, you’re probably no stranger to no-call-no-shows and situations of the like. It’s almost impossible to prevent this from happening entirely, but asking applicants how they would address a similar situation is a possible indicator of how they will respond in real-time as a caregiver.

They may outline what measures they have in place to ensure that they can be at work on time, whether it’s informing a supervisor of what’s going on ahead of time, or that they have family who can watch their children in the event of illness, etc…

This question isn’t just to learn more about the applicant. Reassure each caregiver of your humanity as an employer. Despite how many things can be put in place to prevent tardiness and illness, life always finds a way of creeping up on us. Take some time to let applicants know that their life comes first and that you’ll be for them when something is going on.

5. What are some hobbies and activities that you do outside of work?

Happy employees are those that have a strong work and personal life balance. Having a strong understanding of what your employees do outside of work is crucial to understanding how they manage their time and to learning more about what they enjoy doing. Asking questions like this one during an interview is a great idea for personalizing recognition because you can now get individualized gifts for caregivers that they can use and find meaning in.

By asking this question, make sure to take a minute to explain how you, as an employer, will be respectful of the time that caregivers spend outside of work. For example, you could say “We’ll only communicate with you between the hours of 9-5 Monday through Friday, however, if there is an emergency, we will contact you regarding important information. We are available 24/7 for additional support whenever you need us.”

In addition, you could list some of the activities that your agency hosts throughout the year such as annual lunches, holiday parties, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Caregiving is more than a job, it’s a career.

When you’re conduction an interview for caregivers - by asking these simple questions - you can make smart, informed, and quality hiring decisions.

Your staff are in charge of the health, wellness, and livelihood of many seniors, and hiring decisions shouldn’t be made lightly. Medication reminders, nutritional support, transportation, among all other non-medical service offerings require skilled and trained personnel to execute them.

Want some help coming up with interview questions for your potential caregivers in particular?

If you are wanting an extra set of eyes on your recruitment and hiring efforts, schedule a 30-minute call with one of our home care recruitment experts. From crafting your job postings to hiring staff, we are eager to help you grow your business.

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