Caregiver Interviewing Tips

Senior caregiver positions continue to be available for both companion caregivers (no formal professional experience needed) and certified nursing aides and home health aides.  As turnover in positions will always be present in caregiving (as client's conditions improve or when client's pass away), ongoing openings for caregivers will continue.  In addition, there is an increased need for caregivers to assist senior's with memory loss as ongoing care is often needed as the memory loss progresses.

How can you properly prepare for an interview to be hired by a leading senior care company?

1) Be professional in all your interaction with the company.  What is your e-mail address? If your current e-mail is silly or could be misleading (or perhaps a bit sexual - you wouldn't believe the e-mail addresses we have seen, from "yourhotmamma" and well, we could go on and on, but you get the idea), go to "gmail" or another free e-mail service and create a professional e-mail address that just contains your name and use this for your caregiver job search.  If your name is not available, piggy-back your name with numbers to come up with something professional.

2) Communicate clearly you previous experience.  Don't be shy - share information about your caregiving skills from both personal experiences and professional experiences.  This allows the hiring company to see beyond the basic information and will help your application stand out from the crowd.  Be sure to proof anything you write to make sure there are no spelling errors and your sentences read well as hiring companies do look at your communication abilities as this is also important when caring for a senior.

3) Refresh your caregiving skills.  Are you a certified nursing aide or home health aide?  If so, revisit your school training manual, take a nursing aide Sample Test or nursing aide Practice Test.  This will allow you to talk about specifics and toss out correct answers to questions you may be asked in the interview.  Read information about communicating with a senior with memory loss or hearing loss and learn about other age-related diseases.  This way you will be able to provide specific examples of ways you apply your caregiving skills on the job.

4) Don't be on time - be early for your interview.  Dependability is very important in caregiving. When working as a senior caregiver, it is very important you are always on time for your shifts.  This is because a senior will worry if you are not there on time and this not only will cause problems for your employer but potentially negatively impact the senior's entire day.  Consider being "on-time" as late and always be 5-minutes early for interviews and assignments and tell your employer this is your policy, the 5-minute rule:  5-minutes early is on-time.

5) Secure references.  Show you are prepared by having names and phone numbers of at least 3 business references (former managers or co-workers who can verify you worked at a company previously) and 3 personal references (friends or neighbors who can provide a character reference).  If you have to collect this information later, you will slow down the hiring process so bring this information with you to the interview.  This also shows your future employer you are organized and prepared.

6) Follow-up with a thank-you noteGo the extra mile and send a follow-up note to your interviewer to tell them you enjoyed meeting them and learning about the company. Mention that you look forward to working with them as you see yourself as a good fit with their team.  Feel free to share some specific reasons why you see yourself as a good fit based on something you learned in the interview.

Submit a caregiving application to reach senior care companies in your area and be sure to communicate accurately your availability and share a story about your caregiving experiences to make your application more standout.

 

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