It’s a match! How to interview your new home carer

16 Feb 2021 / Artisan Aunties

However urgent the need for an in-home carer, taking the time to ensure you get the best person for the job will be better in the long run. There are a number of questions it would be useful to ask when you’re interviewing your new home carer to ensure you get the right person for the job.

Going through an agency is a good idea because its experienced recruitment staff will already have gone through the initial interview process, appropriate reference checks and made sure a potential carer’s skills and certifications are up-to-date. They will introduce you to a shortlist of trusted carers with the personality and skills they need for the job, so all you need to work out is whether they will be the best person for you and your loved one.

elderly couple Interviewing a female carer

Interviewing carers

Before drawing up your list of questions, you first need to be clear about what you are expecting from your carer, in terms of what your loved one’s care needs are now and will be going forward. For example, are you only looking for temporary support as they recuperate from an illness or accident, or are their needs progressing and they’re likely to need greater care as time goes on? Your circumstances will dictate the kind of questions you’ll need to ask.

The purpose of an interview is to find out if the person is the right one to care for your loved one. You can rest assured that if you’re coming through an agency like Artisan Aunties, everyone we introduce you to has the right qualities they need to make a positive difference to someone’s life. It is our policy to only take on candidates with a great personality and attitude, who is respectful and sympathetic, is willing to go the extra mile and has, for want of a better term, ‘excellent customer service skills’. You can rest assured that all of the shortlisted candidates we’ll introduce you to will do a great job. What you need to decide is if you and your loved one will get on with them, and that they will work well with you.

A few key questions

  • What kind of experience do you have as a carer?
  • How long have you been providing home care services?
  • Why did you choose to become a carer?
  • Have you done any other kind of job and if so, what?
  • What training have you had?
  • Is there anything you can’t or are unwilling to do in this role?
  • Can you give me an example of a caring thing you have done for someone, and explain why you did it and what their reaction was.

You could also ask questions specific to your loved one’s lifestyle and personality. For example, if your loved one is a keen gardener, then it could be useful to ask questions about gardening; or, if they have a beloved pet, you’ll need to know that the carer likes animals. It’s these little details that could be the difference between someone being nice to your loved one, and someone who will bring them joy.

“Whenever I turn up, P is so happy to see me, and she always says it’s been lovely having you when I leave. This makes me feel really good because I know I’m making a difference.” Stacy, an Artisan Auntie

The reason we call our carers Aunties and Uncles is that they love their job and genuinely want to make a difference to someone’s life. In terms of relationship, it’s a bit like the role of the people you used to call Auntie or Uncle when you were little, but they were close family friends rather than relatives. We give our carers the more familiar and friendly title of Auntie or Uncle because we want them to be more like an honorary member of the family, rather than someone who simply provides a good service. And that’s the difference between a good carer and a fantastic carer.

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