What to Ask Potential Providers

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Posted by Eva Owens

If you're looking for work or looking to hire a caregiver, then you might be interviewing soon... Whether it's on the phone or meeting in person, interviews are an important time to decide if the working relationship is going to work for you. It's better to find out everything you need to know and ask the tough questions now than hire (or get hired) and then find out that it's not a good fit.

We've got some tips for caregivers and providers on how to make the most of the home care interview process. 

First impressions and gut feelings are important. Here are a few things to think about...

🙈 The person you are meeting with may be nervous. Put them at ease by calling them by their first name, smiling, and maintaining eye contact. Research shows that even if you're smiling on the phone, "the warmth" of your smile will come through in your voice!

📝 You should both have a set list of questions to ask so that you can both determine compatibility. Worried about forgetting your questions? Bring a notebook with your questions. 

💭 What are you looking to learn during an interview? This section is describing questions consumers might ask providers. If you are provider, make sure you are prepared to answer these questions.

👀 What to look for during an interview as a consumer: 

  • Appearance: Is the applicant dressed appropriately? Are they neat, well-groomed and wearing clean clothes?
  • Punctuality: If the applicant is late, you deserve a good explanation.
  • Attitude: Does the applicant seem interested? Do they ask questions about the job? Do they seem open and flexible? Does the job fit with their goals, skills, lifestyle, and schedule?
  • Ask about gaps in their employment history and reasons for leaving previous consumers.

 

Here's a list of sample interview questions

Asking job candidates to describe scenarios related to their past work performance is helpful for gaining insight into how a prospective provider might act on the job. 

We don't expect you to ask all these questions. You should focus on what's relevant to you and plan on asking 7-8 questions. 

General

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you think you would like this job?
  • Do you have any questions about the job? What did you do in a typical day at your last job?
  • What experiences have you had that prepare you for this job?
  • What part of this job do you think would be the most difficult?
  • What would you do if you had a disagreement about a job responsibility? 
  • What would you do if… (make up an example that they would have to talk about).
    For example: "What would you do if you were trying to help me transfer from my wheelchair to my recliner and my dog kept getting in between me and the chair?"
  • Describe a typical day in your most recent job working with a person with a disability. What was your favorite thing to do? What was your least favorite?
  • Tell me about the most difficult situation you have ever encountered in your career. How did you deal with it?
  • Describe your skills and experience in providing assistance and support with personal care and household chores.

Food and Eating Arrangements 

  • Do you have experience cooking?
  • How do you feel about taking cooking instructions from me?
  • Are you willing to accommodate special diets?

Transportation

  • Can you drive? Are you a safe driver?
  • Do you have a valid driver’s license? (Ask to see it.)
  • Do you have valid insurance? (Ask to see proof of insurance.)
  • How do you feel about accompanying me for medical appointments and/or grocery shopping?
Housekeeping
  • Have you had experience with housekeeping and laundry?
  • Do you like things tidy?
  • How do you feel about taking cleaning instructions from me?
  • Do you like to have a definite schedule for cleaning and laundry (example: vacuum on Monday, scrub floors on Tuesday), or do you prefer to be more flexible? 

Personal Care (Avoid any questions about age, orientation, disability, marital status, religion, race, and ethnicity.)

  • If needed, can you help me with toileting, catheter irrigations or suppositories?
  • If needed, will you be able to bathe me?
  • Is there any part of my care routine that makes you uncomfortable?

Once you have completed the interview and you are prioritizing your applicants, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this applicant be able to meet my daily living needs?
  • Can I depend on this person?
  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I see any conflicting areas with this person?

 

A special thank you for the above questions and content from our partners at the Home Care Referral Registry of Washington State. For more details and additional tips read their full pamphlet here: How to Hire and Supervise Your Home Care Worker.

 

P.S. Don't miss this quick video on questions providers should ask consumers

P.S.S. Check out safety tips to remember when interviewing in person.

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