10 Care Assistant Interview Tips
The social care interview process can feel daunting but it’s important to remember that with the right preparation and some thorough practise, you can go into it feeling confident and comfortable. Interviews are a great way for an employer to see if you are the right fit, not only for the role but for the company too.
We’ve put together some examples of Care Assistant interview questions from some Cera recruiters. They’ll help you to have an idea of where to start with your preparation!
What has attracted you to the care profession?
An employer will want to make sure you’re a good match for the Care Assistant role, with the appropriate motivations. This is your chance to talk about why you applied for this particular job and your passion for helping others.
Is there anything specific about the company that makes it stand out to you? This is your chance to show off a little and prove that you have taken time to research the company you are interviewing for.
What relevant experience do you have with respect to this position?
It’s important to be specific and keep your points focused, drawing on areas of your experience that have prepared you to be successful in this role.
You may not have direct experience previously within care but don’t panic. The care industry has ‘entry level’ jobs which means you don’t have to know everything before you begin. Talk about your transferable skills. What qualities do you have that make you a top candidate for this position?
Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
This is a great time to talk about your strengths. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult situation and if so how did you manage a positive outcome? Examples will be helpful for the interviewer to get an idea of how you work when the going gets tough.
How would you handle someone who is confused or upset?
Being a strong communicator is crucial when it comes to being a Care Assistant. Try and think of a time where you have been in this kind of situation and how you managed to handle it.
Dementia is one of the most common conditions that our carers support people with on a daily basis so being able to cope in a calm and safe manner will highlight your strong interpersonal skills.
How would your friends and family describe you as a person?
This is a very popular question in interviews as it gives great insight of you as an individual. What are your best qualities? Do you have the patience of a saint? Do you put everyone else before yourself?
Our clue to you is that they don't want to hear that you aren’t organised… think positives!
What is your understanding of confidentiality?
Confidentiality is really important if you’re going to work in a social care role. From keeping personal conversations to yourself to not sharing details such as addresses or phone numbers. Confidentiality is part of good care practice and should be taken very seriously.
What is your understanding of personal care?
Although personal care is not the sole purpose of a Care Assistant’s job, it is crucial for the welfare of service users. In your social care interview, you will need to express your understanding of personal care and the importance of being able to carry it out professionally.
Please give an example of a time you went out of your way to help someone.
The clue is in the title of the “Care Assistant” role for this one. In a social care interview, the interviewer will want to hear about a time when you went the extra mile and truly cared for someone. It could be a friend, a family member or a complete stranger. Maybe you volunteer with a charity or maybe during covid, you did the weekly shop for a vulnerable neighbour. You might have previous experience in care which will also be great to draw some experiences from.
What is your availability?
Being flexible in social care is a must as, on the most part, employees do not work conventional hours. A lot of care roles will require you to work evenings and weekends. It’s important to discuss this in your interview to get an idea of the company’s needs. The care sector can be a great option if you need work to fit around a busy schedule of childcare, obligations or study.
Do you have any questions?
Interviews work both ways; a company is looking to see if you are the right fit for them - but you should also be exploring whether they are the right fit for you. This is your chance to ask any questions you may have about the company or the role itself. It’s also a great opportunity to really show your interest.
We suggest coming up with four or five questions prior to the interview in case any are answered during earlier discussions. For example:
- What does the training process look like?
- What career progression is available as a carer?
- What kind of support can I expect to receive and who will I be interacting with day to day?
Our advice to you is: do your research, create a list of solid examples and practice until you feel ready.
And good luck!