As a caregiver, you may consider working for multiple in-home care agencies as that can lead to a consistent and constant offering of work – this is one of the main reasons I started FrannyCares. I saw too many amazing caregivers go without work because their clients had moved away, went to live in an assisted living community, went to the hospital or passed…the list goes on. When working with multiple agencies or looking for that perfect fit at an assisted living community, SNF, hospital or wherever you want to work, you will inevitably have to interview. Interviews can be scary but don’t let it be! You are an amazing, caring, qualified and in-demand caregiver. Let your skills and personality shine with these 5 Interview Tips:
- Make it Personal – Your experience as a caregiver is your most valuable asset. Being a caregiver means ensuring another person’s comfort, safety, health and dignity. It’s incredible work! When an interviewer asks you about your experience as a caregiver, think of a special interaction, a current/former client that showcases your ability to overcome an obstacle while using your skills and ensuring the job gets done. For example, “ I remember when Bill, who has dementia, did not want to bathe. Bill was a physician and he felt comforted when I included him in what we were doing before I did it. So I would say, “Bill, we are going to take your socks off now and test the water” and then I would put the warm water on his feet first to get him comfortable with that step. Taking small steps with that and communicating what I was doing helped me bathe Bill regularly.”
- Look the Part – Most in-home care agencies and facilities have a few dress code rules such as no visible tattoos, no long fingernails and wear minimalist jewelry. Whether it is their corporate preference or for the safety of their caregivers (I know a caregiver who had her hoop earring pulled through her earlobe by a client!) you want to make sure you are adhering to their standards. Wear clean scrubs to your interviews or business casual and you should be fine. Regardless of what you wear, make sure your fingernails are short and clean, long hair is pulled back and neat and you wear minimal jewelry. This demonstrates that you understand the safety reasons behind their dress code. After all, long nails breed bacteria and can rip gloves and long hair can interfere with bathing or toileting. You want your interviewer to be able to picture you in their client’s house or their facility.
- Plan your Time – Caregivers are so in demand that once an agency or facility meets you they may not want to let you go. That means you may be there for a while. You may have to look over paperwork, meet other team members, test your skills etc. It is completely fair to ask before the interview how long the interview will last. Besides, we all are juggling so much: childcare, transportation, other jobs or errands! Just ask in a professional manner. For example, “I am looking forward to meeting you and I want to plan accordingly for our interview. How long do you think the interview will be?”
- Prepare your Documents – To expedite things and to show your preparedness, bring all relevant documents. Below is a checklist of documents you may need depending of the type of job you are applying to and in which state:
- Print out your FrannyCares profile
- Two professional recommendations (not friends or family)
- Driver’s license
- Passport/Work Visa
- Recent TB test
- Recent COVID test or proof of vaccination
- HCA, HHA, CNA certifications
- Ask Questions! – Your skills and experience are in high demand. It is your duty to find out more about the company you are choosing to represent. The last thing you would want is a bad fit! Read a list of sample questions here.