Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Interviewing your home care candidates: Top 10 questions you should ask

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Home care is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. Care work is a special type of work and it requires kind-natured people who have a true passion for caring.

Becoming a carer does not require undertaking a particular course or complete years of study. As a result, getting into the care world is not particularly difficult. Wanna-be carers can start off on this career path by caring for their relatives or friends, volunteering or signing up to agencies which can train them on the job.

However, carers also have the option to study for a degree in Health and Social Care. There is also a myriad of accredited courses which offer carers qualifications in different areas such as manual handling or dementia care, just to name a few.

Finding a home carer candidate

If you are looking to interview home care candidates, you need to take into account that not everyone will have a degree in Health and Social Care, for instance, but their qualities and experience will certainly make up for that.

If you are looking to hire a home carer, Guardian Carers can assist you in finding the best person for the job. The expert consultants will conduct all the background checks for you beforehand, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Expert Guardian Carers consultants will recruit home care candidates especially for your role. They will conduct the initial interviews, where they will verify each candidate’s skills, experience and qualifications.

More than this, they will verify that each candidate has a valid enhanced DBS check. They will also speak to two previous employers to verify references. If you require the home care candidate to have a First Aid certificate, for instance or experience in a particular care field, then the expert consultants will check for these things as well.

Once all these checks have been completed, you will receive a profile for each candidate who has been proofed to be placed in your <>a href=''>home care role. At this stage, you will get the chance to conduct your own interviews with your top picks. This will allow you to get a real sense of who these home care candidates are and whether they will be the right fit for you or your loved one.

In order to help you throughout the interview stage, we have put together some tips and our top 10 questions you should ask.

Questions to ask in an interview

While each interview will be different, it’s always a good idea to have some prepared questions. Here are our top 10 questions you should ask a home care candidate:

1. What do you enjoy about caring?

This is a great way to start the interview. An open-ended question such as this will allow them to open up and share a personal side of themselves.

2. What qualities do you bring to the role?

Aside from technical skills, softer skills provide the basis for care work. Some answers you may expect from a home care candidate include motivation, good listening skills or a jolly personality which puts clients at ease.

3. Can you provide an example of previous teamwork?

Home care often involves sharing the work with another carer or working on a rota, for example. Being a good teamplayer is extremely important in care work. During pressure situations it’s essential to be able to rely on a colleague and cooperate effectively.

4. What qualities do you think are important to have as a home carer and why?

This is a great question to ask, as once again, it allows the home care candidate to offer their own perspective and also speak from their own experience. This question will allow you to get a clear picture of what type of home carer the candidate is.

5. Can you describe a stressful situation and explain how you dealt with it?

Through this type of question you can find out if the candidate are good at problem-solving and how they can react in a stressful situation. Through their answers, you will be able to decipher if the candidates are able to recognise when a situation is complex and needs to be handled sensibly or with a matter of urgency, for example.

6. How can you ensure the care receiver’s dignity and respect when providing personal care?

This type of question will get candidates thinking about how the care receiver is going to feel. You will be able to tell if the home care candidates can perform the role empathetically, encouraging the care receiver to do as much as possible for themselves, enabling them to be independent and preserving their dignity.

7. When going into someone’s home, how would you know that they are safe and healthy? If you felt concerned, what would you do?

You should expect the home care candidate to explain how they would look our for the signs that the care receiver is in a safe environment. You may expect them to say that they will observe whether the care receiver looks care for, if they have somewhere clean to sleep, and whether there are any noticeable behavioural changes, for example.

8. What would you do if the care receiver collapses?

This question will test the home care candidate’s ability to take initiative in an emergency situation. If the care receiver collapses, for instance, the home carer must be able to provide basic first aid response. Ask them to detail what they would do in such a situation.

9.How would you care for a care receiver with a particular condition?

If your family member or care receiver suffers from a particular condition, such as dementia, you would have to ask the home care candidate how they would care for them and whether they have the necessary knowledge and experience to deal with such a condition. You would not want to hire someone who has no idea how to deal with someone with dementia.

10. Do you have any final questions?

It’s always recommended to close with such a question. This will enable the home care candidates to ask you their own questions and therefore show you their interest in the role. If a candidate doesn’t ask any questions, it typically shows that they are not very enthusiastic about the role they are applying for.

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