Interviewing Caregivers

Interviewing a prospective caregiver can be daunting.  You are making a decision about someone who will provide intimate care for your loved one(s).  They will become an essential part of your family. Having a face-to-face, in person, or video conference discussion is a great way to get to know potential candidates.

Align on a time that works for the two of you. Prepare a list of questions in advance of the discussion.  The questions can be based on the resume provided, those traits most important to you, and the activities you want the caregiver to complete.  Also, think about if you require any certifications like, First Aide, CPR, a degree in Child Development/Child Care, or a Certified Nursing Assistant. Do you want the person to live within a certain radius from you, within say ten miles?  Ensure there is a quiet surrounding while minimizing interruptions.

At the beginning of the interview, build a level of rapport with your candidate. Let them know you appreciate having a conversation with them.  Ask how they are feeling?  How is their day thus far?  If they appear nervous, share some reassuring words to calm them down.

As you begin your discussion, be mindful of the time.  If you set aside thirty minutes, stick to it.  With that said, ensure you start by asking your most important questions early on, so you do not run out of time.

Early on, you may quickly confirm some of the basics like their hourly rate, if they live within your designated radius, if their availability aligns with your need for support and their potential start date.  You may ask about the number of children they can care for at any given time while   confirming if there are any issues with or allergies to pets.  Just to re-confirm, you may ask if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime in their lifetime. You may also confirm they have a reliable, inspected and insured vehicle, especially if there are transportation needs.  If all these questions are answered to your satisfaction, you can then jump into questions that relate to their experience, education, and what you will need from them as a caregiver for your loved one(s).  You can also provide a full description of your family and why you need assistance.

General questions:

How many years of experience do you have as a babysitter, nanny, senior companion, tutor, personal assistant, or housekeeper?

Did you go to school or were you an apprentice? Do you have any certifications?

Tell me about your best experience as a …

Tell me about a hard experience you had to navigate through as a …

What would you do differently?

Tell me about the worst experience you had as a ….

What would you do differently?

How many children or clients have you provided care for at one time?

What would your last family tell me about your services?

What would the person you were caring for or helping with, tell me about your worst and best qualities or traits?

Availability questions:

Are you currently working with another family or with another position that can potentially impact your availability for this role?

Do you have any planned time off on the horizon?

Although I am looking for full-time or part-time support, are you flexible with occasional overtime?  I will provide you with notice as best I can.

Experience questions:

If you need specific expertise, now is the time to ask.  Do you have specific experience with newborn children, twins, triplets, potty training, sleep training, tutoring, being a senior companion, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc?

Have you ever had to deal with a client emergency where you had to involve calling 911, the fire department, or paramedics?  How would you describe your demeanor?  You want someone who will be calm, cool, and collected.

Are you comfortable administering medicine(s) as prescribed by a doctor or over the counter?

Are you available to take trips with the family?  Your room and board will be handled, and you will secure your normal daily rate and hours.

Why do you like doing this type of work?

Can you tell me about some of your favorite activities to do with …?

If your client is uncooperative, explain, in detail, how would you handle them or the situation?

If driving your client(s) around, has your car passed inspection, has working seatbelts, and all essential parts of the car work as needed? (i.e., brakes, windshield wipers, or HVAC).

Is your driving record free of charges against you?

Will you provide references so I can speak with prior families you have worked with?

You may consider having your family members spend time with the person you are considering, just to ensure there is a level of chemistry and they can build rapport with one another.  Remember to trust your instincts when weighing the answers to your questions and whether the person is a good fit for you and your family.

The Nannies of the Woodlands can help.  Call NOW at 832.482.4639.

Nannies of The Woodlands, LLC

1095 Evergreen Circle, Suite 200

The Woodlands, TX  77380



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