Conducting the Interview

The Personal Interview

Call all those applicants that appeared to be good prospects and schedule each for a face-to-face interview. Allow plenty of time between each interview. About one hour for each interview is usually good. The interview is important because this is the time when you let the applicant know about the job in detail and gather information about the person you may hire as an assistant.

When the prospective assistant arrives there are a few suggestions that can make the interview successful as follows:

  • Help the person feel as comfortable as possible, and get to know each other a little.
  • Tell the person about your needs or that of your family member.
  • Ask the applicant to fill out your application. Applications are useful because they are a good way to keep up with the prospective assistants that you have interviewed. They also simplify record Keeping and are an easy way to have quick reference to the information you will need to make a final decision. It will give you good background information to form your questions.
  • Give him/her a copy of your job description to read. If you have one, and explain the duties and job responsibilities of the job thoroughly. Ask if they can easily and safely perform the functions of the job. (I.e. lifting, transferring, positioning, use of medical assistive devices) as checked on application form.
  • Ask them to tell you about themselves. Be sure to question about past work history, reasons for leaving other employment, any past experience with personal assistance and why they are interested in this position. Ask about their career goals and why they are pursuing this type of work.
  • Describe the work schedule, pay method, benefits and your method of evaluating an assistant. Review holiday coverage.
  • Give the applicant an opportunity to ask you questions.
  • Tell the applicant you will call them as soon as you make a decision. (Be sure to call the applicant even if you decide not to hire them)

Sample Questions

The following are a few questions you may choose to ask during the personal interview to help choose your assistant:

  • How far do you live from here? (Turnover seems to be higher among workers who commute long distances, especially in bad weather.)
  • Have you had any experience giving personal care?
  • Do you smoke or drink?
  • Do you object if other people smoke or drink when you are present?
  • How would you handle multiple tasks at the same time and ensure that all are performed?
  • Are you comfortable performing personal care duties such as bathing and toileting?
  • What do you think will be the best and worst part of this job?
  • What are your strong and weak qualities?
  • Why are you interested in being a personal assistant?
  • Give an example of how you have handled disagreements with your past employers.
  • Have you ever been convicted of or are you presently being charged or under indictment for a crime? (If answer is YES- ask for details)
  • Do you object to obtaining a criminal history check?