Top 15 Interview Questions You Should Ask a Potential Caregiver.

Finding the right caregiver to care for your loved one can be a daunting task. Many families find themselves overwhelmed with the idea of holding caregiver interviews on their own, and don’t know where to get started. A caregiver job interview doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little preparation and the right caregiver interview questions, you can easily identify a quality caregiver with the right experience and skills for your family member. This article provides example questions and tips for the family interviewer.

Determine the Needs of Your Loved One

In order to find a well-matched caregiver with the appropriate skills, it is important to first determine the kind of care your loved ones’ needs. If your loved one does not require nursing or medical assistance to be done in the home but does require support with their activities of daily living (ADLs), there is a chance you are probably in need of a non-medical in-home caregiver. Non-medical in-home care can include a range of activities, for example, bathing, dressing, meal preparation, feeding, and companionship. Although it is non-medical, often they can help provide some support, for example, medication reminders, assist with blood pressure readings, and assist with oxidation monitors. In-home care can range from a few hours a couple of days a week to full time 24/7 care, depending on the circumstance and needs of your loved one. This information can help you determine the best questions, qualifications, and skills you are looking for in a caregiver in Fort Worth.

A caregiver assists an elderly person with senior care using a walker.

Deal Breakers

During your hiring process, it is encouraged that the interviewers and/or your family members meet your potential candidates in person, even if that means over Zoom. This type of contact allows you to make the most of your opportunity. It is important to have a set of questions that are non-negotiable topics for you, ready to go at the beginning of each caregiver interview. If a candidate is not able to meet your deal breakers, you’ll know right away that it’s not a good fit. This can save you time and energy when meeting with multiple potential caregivers.

Elderly Home Care Interview Questions

A smiling professional woman extending a document related to senior care.

Below are a set of basic interview questions for potential care providers:

  1. Do you have a driver’s license? Clean driving record?
  2. Do you have reliable transportation and proof of insurance?
  3. Are you legally allowed to work in the U.S.?
  4. Where are you located? How far is the drive for you?
  5. Are you willing to submit a background check, both state and federal?
  6. What is your availability? Are you willing to help find coverage for the days you need to take off?

Dig Deeper with Caregiver

You should feel confident in the potential caregiver at this point if they were able to successfully answer the above questions. If answers to the above questions do not meet your deal-breaker qualifications, the caregiver may not be a good fit for your loved one. On the other hand, if your candidate is able to meet your basic interview questions, it is important to dig deeper into topics regarding their work experience with home care, and specifically senior care. Open-ended questions allow the caregiver to share stories, giving you insight into how they feel about their former employers and families, their communication skills, as well as their senior care skillset and personal qualities. This is also an opportunity to hear if they speak fondly about previous clients, how long they worked with their previous clients, and how those relationships ended. Below is a list of care worker interview questions meant to provide insight into their background and personal experiences.

  1. Tell me about your work experiences as a caregiver. This gives the interviewer the opportunity to review their work history and share stories. This can give great insight into how they felt about previous employers.
  2. Based on your experience, what do you find most rewarding about your home care job? Or what is your favorite home care memory?
  3. Based on your experience, what do you find most difficult about home care? Or what is your least favorite home care memory?
  4. Why did you choose the home care field?
  5. Can you give an example of how you handled a difficult situation with a past family or home care client?
  6. Why did you leave your last job? Or how did your last job end?
  7. How would you handle fear, anger, or a client who is uncooperative? This will allow you to hear their strengths and weaknesses as an in-home caregiver.
  8. Why should I hire you?
  9. How do you deal with someone who has memory problems? Whether your loved one suffers from dementia or just appropriate memory loss from age, it is a common symptom for seniors. The potential caregiver should have techniques and responses for redirection which indicate they have a high level of understanding such concerns.
Two women of different generations engaging in a pleasant conversation indoors, emblematic of quality senior home care.

Be Prepared

Be prepared to review specific topics such as duties and expectations of care with your candidate. Make sure to have an idea of what specific needs your loved one will require support with so you can evaluate the answers. Ensure your caregiver is comfortable and has previous experience with meeting those needs. If toileting is something they need support with, be sure to ask specifically about their comfortability with that care task. If your loved one has specific dietary needs related to their care, make sure they are able to cook food to support those needs.

Safety & Red Flags

Safety is another key area to consider when deciding to incorporate home care. During an interview with a potential caregiver, you may want to take note of whether they have any specific certification training such as CPR, AED, and First Aid. If not, it may be in your interest to offer to compensate them for obtaining such certifications. Although most caregivers rely on job experience and formal education is not necessary for caregivers, you want to ensure some basic certifications and emergency response skills are in place prior to initiating care. Requiring daily records from your in-home caregiver can be crucial to keeping the family members well informed of changes with your loved one’s care and health status. Discuss how the caregiver has documented for families in the past and determine if you are comfortable with their communication skills. Be on the lookout for red flag answers during your interview. It would beneficial to take notes as you speak to different candidates to review after the interview. Take note if your applicant avoids answering certain questions, lacks a specific experience, bad mouths previous employers, lacks an email address or does not agree to adhere to your background check or reference check request.

Two individuals engaging in a friendly handshake in senior home care while smiling.

Post Interview Advice

Upon completion of your caregiver interview questions, allow time for the candidate to ask questions pertaining to your loved one and their care needs. This will help your candidate gather vital information on their potential client, their care needs, and the family’s expectations. Take note of how well your caregiver can listen and show a particular interest in gaining information while exhibiting an understanding. As you begin to narrow your viable candidates, be sure to involve your loved one in the final decision-making process. Their consultation in the hiring process should be valued and taken into consideration. You want to feel that they have found a good fit. Their feedback regarding who will be providing their care can ensure a smoother transition into in-home care. Don’t forget about the importance of social skills, personality, and energy level. These qualities are essential in finding the right caregiver for your loved one. If you are able to determine during your interview that a potential caregiver shares your same family values and will bring a positive attitude and professional experience then use those instincts and trust your gut.

Know Your Options

If the interview process is leading to more stress for you, your family, and your loved one, a home care agency that specializes in senior care may be an option to consider. In-home care agencies in your area are able to appropriately screen potential caregivers for each client. They put time and effort into submitting background checks, both state and federal, driving record checks, licensure checks, state hire records, and contacting previous references, both personal and professional. With a home care agency, you are able to ensure that even if your usual caregiver is sick, another qualified caregiver can be there to help with no lapse in care services. Look for in-home care agencies that work to create personalized care plans for their clients. These care plans are created with your assistance and layout your loved one’s care necessities. The agency then works to establish the most qualified caregiver based on your personal requests. Whether you embark on this process to find health care related services yourself or find support with an agency, the right interview questions and preparation can make all the difference.

ABOUT ameriCARE Fort Worth

ameriCARE Fort Worth is a family-owned and operated home care agency serving all of Tarrant and Denton counties. We are a new kind of in-home care. We offer boutique home care services, accommodating schedules, and flexible length of care with no contract. We help to create a joyful and safe home environment, where happiness and comfort of your loved one is top priority. ameriCARE Fort Worth’s owners’ personal caregiving experiences are woven into the fabric of our agency. We are here to help your loved one stay SAFE, stay CONNECTED, and stay at HOME. We care for your loved one as we care for ours.