Interview Tips / Guidance
When you work with us, we can provide expert tips and specific guidance for each interview to make sure you go in prepared.
We’ll give you honest feedback on how you present yourself, show you how to highlight your specific strengths, and steer you away from any potential pitfalls, so you’ll shine at interview in your best light.
Below are some of the basic tips we give to all candidates, including how to answer some of the most common interview questions you’ll hear in the elderly care sector.
1) Do your research
Go beyond looking at the organisation’s website before your interview. Search for news articles about them, check out their social media, and find out about their executive team. Then weave that information into the conversation.
2) Look sharp
Dress conservatively and keep it plain and simple. The interviewer needs to be focused on you, not your accessories or makeup. For in-person interviews, also avoid dousing yourself in perfume or aftershave.
3) Come equipped
For in-person interviews, make sure you bring:
Several copies of your CV Business cards References Pen and notepad (taking notes during the interview makes you look engaged) Photo ID in case you need it to enter the building.
4) Arrive early
Aim to arrive 10-15 minutes early. This goes for online interviews too – you should have all your tech fully set up, tested and working 10-15 minutes before the start time.
5) Project enthusiasm
Bring some energy to the interview; show that you’re passionate about elderly care and the role you’re applying for. Speak distinctly and confidently, and make plenty of eye contact (for online interviews, remember eye contact means looking at the camera, not the screen!)
6) Listen carefully
Showing you’re a good listener is particularly important in elderly care. Don’t interrupt, make sure your mobile is off, and in person, lean forward and face the interviewer directly.
7) Give specific examples
Use anecdotes to demonstrate your skills. Include quantifiable achievements – that means using numbers where possible (“I improved x by y%.”)
8) Ask questions
When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” – “no” is the wrong answer. Here are a few suggestions:
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Are there opportunities for additional training and education?
- How is performance measured in this role?
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 90 days?
Always end by asking, ‘What are the next steps from here?’”
9) Follow up
Stay at the top of the interviewer’s mind by writing to thank them for their time. Let them know you’re still very interested in the role and happy to answer any further questions they might have.
Sector-Specific Interview Questions
1) What makes you well-suited to elderly care?
Your interviewer is looking for a balance. Use emotion words suggesting empathy, compassion and genuine enjoyment of helping others, but also reference your training, years of experience, reliability and responsibility.
2) How do you approach care for people with special needs such as dementia?
Highlight any training or experience you have in special needs and make it clear that you focus on positive reinforcement. Name specific techniques like positive redirection, distraction or diversion.
3) What would your previous employer say about your abilities?
Your body language and expression matter here – if you don’t look pleased to be asked the question, you’ve already answered it! As well as mentioning qualities like professionalism, compassion and reliability, try to get across that the employer was sorry to see you go or that the circumstances of your leaving were positive.
4) How would you deal with a difficult situation such as a client who refuses to bathe?
When asked how you’d handle difficult situations, the best response is to describe a similar situation that you did handle successfully. Other than that, again, make sure you demonstrate empathy and a focus on positive reinforcement.
5) Why do you want to work here specifically?
Show that you understand the organisation’s culture and clients, what distinguishes it from the rest, and why you’re a good match for such an organisation. Don’t be afraid to mention personal connections, such as a friend or relative who was a caregiver or client.
This is just a taster of the one-to-one support you’ll receive when you register with us. To find out more, click here to submit your CV today.