8 Best Caregiver Interview Questions & Sample Answers 
A caregiver is a paid or unpaid individual who assists those with disabilities or the elderly with their daily activities and daily living. A caregiver is an informal professional, choosing to take on the responsibility of the individual in need (a “patient”). This professional provides direct care and assists with grooming, dressing, toileting, and exercise of the person in need.
A caregiver is often a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or person in need. This includes children with disabilities (special needs), the elderly with hospice care needs, and other qualifying medical factors. Interview questions are asked to a paid helper or care provider to qualify them for overseeing the personal care of a child or older adults. The paid caregiver may come from a home care services provider or home care agency.
A caregiver is sometimes referred to as a family caregiver or senior caregiver. A paid prospective caregiver may be hired by a family in need or directly by an agency that places paid caregivers inside of homes. A group interview format may be utilized by a family in need, who is hiring for the caregiver job directly.
Common Caregiver Interview Questions and Answers
When interviewing a potential caregiver, each interview question should be asked to ensure a qualified caregiver is being hired for the job:
- What do you feel the act of “caregiving” is?
- How do you assist those with dementia?
- How do you assist those with Alzheimer's disease?
- Tell me about your previous personal caregiver experience.
- Tell me about a time you worked with an elderly client as a senior caregiver.
- How do you work with the loved ones of your patients?
- How do you handle time off as a caregiver?
- Tell me about a time you were involved in a difficult situation while employed in the caregiver role.
These questions may be asked by the interviewer to assist with finding the “right caregiver” for the family in need. Below are common interview questions and sample answers. Depending on the interview process, these questions may be asked in a phone interview or in-person interview for the job. Behavioral questions should be asked, these are questions that begin with” Tell me about..” or “Tell me about a time..” which are questions that can help judge a candidate’s core competencies and future job performance of the applicant.
1. What do you feel the act of “caregiving” is?
Sample answer: The act of caregiving is being aware of the patient and their needs. This includes having a healthy routine of daily personal care needs that are being addressed as well as more optimistic goals like exercise, stretching, or other physical activities that increase blood flow.
2. How do you assist those with dementia?
Sample answer: Patients with dementia can be difficult. They require a healthy amount of patience and compassion. Daily activities may need to change based on the severity of dementia that day. Plans may need to be adjusted to account for progress. And ensure a comfortable environment for the patient is being provided. We don’t want to put the patient into stressful situations or scenarios.
3. How do you assist those with Alzheimer's disease?
Sample answer: Similarly to handling patients with dementia, we want to be cognitive of the progress of that day. We don’t want to be triggering emotional responses on days where the patient isn’t comfortable. Addressing progress in real-time is key to assisting those with Alzheimer’s.
4. Tell me about your previous personal caregiver experience.
Sample answer: I’ve assisted three families in the past with senior care needs. All of which were suffering from multiple issues and ailments. The family needed to be a core part of the caregiving experience. Ensuring that they were aware of their loved one’s progress and informed or part of making the decisions. It’s a family experience and that’s how I like to treat caregiving.
5. Tell me about a time you worked with an elderly client as a senior caregiver.
Sample answer: Ruth was a patient of mine in the past. She was suffering from multiple cancers in the body. It was a difficult experience but one that required attentiveness and working closely with the family to make sure that she was comfortable during her end-of-life experience. I had a deep emotional connection with Ruth, we talked on a regular basis, told stories, and became friends.
6. How do you work with the loved ones of your patients?
Sample answer: It’s important for the family to be part of the process. They need to be informed of progress on a regular basis, various activities that are being done, and general caregiving. It can be helpful to include group text messages and pictures that show the care that’s being provided.
7. How do you handle time off as a caregiver?
Sample answer: Time-off can occur. What I like to do is make sure we have access to respite care, which is short-term assistance for the caregiver in the event that I’m unavailable.
8. Tell me about a time you were involved in a difficult situation while employed in the caregiver role.
Sample answer: Ruth was suffering from an acute issue and I was unsure if she was in need of emergency care or not. I was waiting patiently for her to make a change in her behavior. But when I realized that she was in need of emergency assistance, I called 9-1-1 immediately. This was a difficult situation because I felt like the symptoms of Ruth’s issues were mild but it just happened to be that Ruth was calming the symptoms herself.
Qualities and Skills of a Caregiver
- Compassion. A caregiver will be working with disabled individuals or the elderly. Compassion is a strong requirement to excel in this role.
- Patience. Similar to compassion, a great caregiver is someone who is able to understand that there may be changes to plans and a need to be patient about progress.
- Attentiveness. Paying close to attention to changing elements, changing needs, and emotional or physical damages can be important for a caregiver.
- Dependability. A caregiver is often required in-home. Dependability is important because the patient is depending on the caregiver.
- Trustworthiness. Trust between the caregiver and the patient is critical.
- Adaptability. Being adaptable to changing environments, changing conditions, and being motivated by needing to approach new problems with new solutions.
- Critical-Thinking. The ability to “think on your feet” is critical for a professional caregiver.
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