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For an updated, expanded version of this article see 65 Caregiver Interview Questions to Help You Hire the Right Caregivers.

Studies show that interviews predict job performance; however, not all interviews are created equal. Before diving into the hiring process, carefully selecting interview questions can make the difference between hiring an employee who’s rehearsed versus one who’s actually ready to take on the challenges of home care.

With caregiver turnover on the rise, it’s especially important for home care providers to hire quality employees right from the get-go. One way to ensure that you find these valuable recruits is by choosing questions that filter for excellence.

On-the-job success can often be difficult to gauge in the interview process when you can’t see the caregivers work in real-time. These four key question types, when used in balance, will give you a well-rounded view of your interviewee’s qualifications, personality, and success rate before even taking part in your agency’s home care operations.

1. Direct questions about past experiences and what led them to your agency

These questions, as their name suggests, get right to the point.

  • How do your skills qualify you for this job?

  • What experience do you have working with clients with Alzheimer’s?

  • Why did you leave your last job?

  • What made you apply to work at this agency?

  • What do you do to motivate yourself to work hard in times when you are lacking motivation?

Straightforward questions aren’t usually a challenge to the interviewee, but they should help you to understand the caregiver’s background and skill set. Usually, these questions require a specific answer or range of answers, which is also a great way to quickly identify if the potential caregiver will be a great fit for your home care agency.

Direct questions can also be used to find out more about one’s interest in working in the position at your specific agency. It’s always important to determine the level of their career goals and how they hope to evolve within the agency – making sure that they can meet your needs and you can meet theirs. Hiring is always a two-way street and direct questions help to emphasize this.

2. Behavioral questions

The idea that old habits die hard is the root of behavioral questions. If you have acted a certain way in the past, you’re likely to act the same way in the future. For this reason, behavioral questions ask about past situations to try and predict future work potential. For example:

  • Describe a time when you faced a difficult client and what you did to resolve the problem.

  • Share with me an experience when you had to be reprimanded at work. How did you receive the correction?

These questions tend to look more at personality and interpersonal conduct of the caregiver rather than specific skills.

As an employer, it is your duty to make sure that you are onboarding candidates who have the temperament and etiquette necessary to carry out the job functions successfully. Behavioral questions can be used as indicators of how interviewees feel under pressure.


They attribute it directly to one specific tool.

3. Hypothetical questions

While behavioral questions refer to the caregiver’s past actions, hypothetical questions look at possible future situations.

  • What would you do if your client didn’t want to take her medication?

  • How would you react if your client began to shout at you?

These questions measure how the caregiver’s past experience could be applied to their future work in the home care industry and determine if they would act appropriately in a difficult situation.

In home care, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to handling every single client. It’s important that caregivers can quickly assess situations and identify how to best handle the situation at hand.

4. Skills questions

Skills questions and tests are used to measure very job-specific knowledge and skills. While some companies choose to use pre-employment tests to evaluate these areas, targeted interview questions can also help.

These questions can address what to do in case of a stroke or the basics of medication management to ensure that your caregivers have the knowledge necessary to get started.

While having the principles to react to certain situations in a calm and collected manner is critical. Knowing the ins and outs of the industry is just as important.

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Other Caregiver Interview Questions

  • What skills can you bring to the table that other caregivers can’t?

  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?

  • Why did you leave your previous job?

  • What are three positive things your past clients would say about you?

  • How do you want to be rewarded/recognized?

  • Describe your career goals.

  • How long do you expect to work for this home care agency?

  • What do you know about our home care agency?

  • What do you find most rewarding about being a caregiver?

  • Can you perform CPR?

  • Do you know to cook according to special health requirements?

  • Are you comfortable performing care/hygiene tasks for an elderly client?

  • Tell me about a mistake you made while caring for a client and how you handled it.

  • Are you able to work the hours needed?

  • Do you have a driver’s license? Do you have reliable transportation and insurance? How far can you drive to visit clients?

  • Are you willing to go to all caregiver training sessions?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Is there anything in the job description you are uncomfortable doing?

The interview process can be exhausting and at times frustrating, but if you ask the right questions, your caregiver interviews can be a time to discover employees who will aid your company for the time to come.

See 65 Caregiver Interview Questions for a more extensive list of example caregiver interview questions you can draw from.

Other topics in caregiver recruitment that you may find helpful:

  1. 101 Ways to Recruit Caregivers
  2. Writing compelling caregiver job postings
  3. How to help more caregivers show up to interviews (and their first day)
  4. Creating an employee referral program
  5. Best practices in hiring caregivers
  6. Setting competitive wages for your caregivers

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

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  1. Callum Palmer March 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    There are a ton of questions that you need to ask before choosing a caregiver for your elderly loved one and I think it’s great that the article breaks these down into different types. I particularly like that one of the categories that the article creates is skill questions. After all, you want to make sure that the caregiver has the necessary skills to care for your loved one.

  2. Barbara Cooper November 29, 2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    This is a good thing that you have a guide to caregiver interview, thank you for sharing!

  3. Derek Dewitt January 2, 2019 at 10:16 am - Reply

    My wife is thinking about getting a caregiver for her dad soon so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about asking the potential caregiver about their past experience with difficult clients. This sounds like an excellent way to evaluate how he or she would handle a difficult situation.

  4. Taylor Hansen June 29, 2020 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I appreciate the advice about asking different caregivers about their experience with challenging clients. My wife is wanting to get a caregiver for her dad since he is needing more help every day. This sounds like a good way to narrow down the best caregiver for a difficult situation.

  5. Zoe Campos November 13, 2020 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I totally agree that caregivers should know how to assess the situation with the client quickly so they’ll be able to provide immediate solutions. My grandfather often gets into minor house accidents and is a bit stubborn, so we’re looking for someone who can attend to him well. I just hope that we’ll be able to find a professional in in-home senior care services who can ensure that he’s well taken care of.

  6. Levi Armstrong January 5, 2021 at 7:09 am - Reply

    I like that you said I should ask a caregiver behavioral questions about their past experiences to predict their future work potential. My mom is suffering from stage 4 cancer, and she has opted to get home care. We’re looking for a caregiver for her, so thanks for the tips!

  7. Angela Waterford April 12, 2021 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    It really helped when you mentioned asking a potential caregiver how they respond to facing a difficult client. My grandmother has dementia and is often disoriented and can be difficult to talk to. My family wants to hire an in-home caregiver to take care of her full-time so this article will definitely be helpful.

  8. senior care May 5, 2021 at 4:49 am - Reply

    It’s great that you have a caregiver interview guide; thank you for sharing!

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