Caregiver Interview Questions

Caregiver Interview Questions: The Opportunities and Pitfalls

Given the important role that home health care providers play in the lives of medically and physically vulnerable adults, it is not surprising that families and businesses hiring home health caregivers are going to ask tough questions — to assess the candidate’s professional expertise and their commitment to providing outstanding and compassionate care. They want to make sure that they are hiring people who can make a positive impact in the lives of those who they are caring for. Any interview question can leave someone hemming and hawing, wondering what the right answer is. But, not all questions are equally difficult to answer. Some of the most challenging questions are hypothetical cases that ask the interview subject what they would do if something happened.

What to expect in an Interview?

An interview will generally start with establishing basic facts about the candidate who is being considered for the role. This may include asking about the person’s experience in a similar role, as well as establishing their educational credentials and additional training that they may have in CPR or first aid — these are the very basics for any caregiver position. Once the interviewer is comfortable that the candidate has the basic skills, they will move on from there — working to establish that the caregiver’s personality and values align with the client’s specific needs. For example, if the client has an explosive temper (perhaps as a result of his/her dementia), the interviewer may have questions about how the candidate would hypothetically deal with a client who became infuriated when he/she had to take medicine. There is not necessarily a perfect answer to this question. However, the interviewer is probably looking for a response that would underscore the candidate’s ability to deal with this anger respectfully and to listen to the client’s concerns, as well as to re-direct the client if necessary or appropriate.

Caregiver Interview Questions

It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all way to respond to caregiver questions and answers. Different interviewers are looking for different pieces of information, and all caregiver candidates have various life experiences and personalities. Rather than trying to guess what the interviewer is looking for, it is important for candidates to authentically communicate their goals, values, and personality. The interviewer wants to make sure that they are hiring someone who is genuinely committed to providing best practice care and ensuring that clients live their best quality of life.

To capture this authenticity, many interviewers will ask questions, such as: Describe your personality in three words? Or what five words best capture how you approach your job as a caregiver? Again, there is no correct answer to this. Instead, the answer should be personally consistent and meaningful for you. One excellent word to use in any description though is the word compassionate. Given the fact that many clients are going through emotionally or physically challenging periods of their life, it is important that care providers have the skill sets to listen to, understand, and build personal and nuanced relationships with the clients.

Another popular line of questioning is designed to elicit the person’s motives or desire for wanting to get a job in this sphere. For example, the interviewer may ask you why do you want to be a caregiver—looking for the best answer to this question? Also, the interviewer may have questions about why the interviewee specifically wants to work for their company or why they should hire you as a caregiver? When answering this question, it is important that the candidate demonstrates that he/she has done research on the company — he/she should know what sets them apart (positively and negatively) from their peer group companies. And answers should highlight these differences in a compelling way.
Interviewers understand that being a home health care provider is a challenging career to tackle. During the interview process, they want to find the best candidates who can make a positive difference in the lives of others.