How to prepare for a care assistant interview

How to prepare for a care assistant interview

Let’s face it - interviewing for any role can be a daunting process.  It is totally normal to feel nervous before you attend. This is why preparing in advance is important - you can give yourself confidence and walk into your interview knowing you are ready.

Doing your research

Make sure you understand the job role fully and why you will be good at it. Check the job advert to ensure that you understand the duties you will be fulfilling, and your working hours and shift patterns you’ll be expected to work.

We hear countless stories of candidates accepting roles and then realise that the hours of work aren’t suitable for them. So they leave. Be sure to understand this and be honest about your commitments

You will also likely want to do some research into where you are hoping to work. If you don’t have any experience, we have a blog dedicated to helping you understand more about getting a role in care. The majority of the interview is likely to be about you as a person and the skills and attributes that you can bring, as the care sector regularly follows values-based recruitment.

The goal of the interview is to understand who you are, what you are looking for from the job and what you can bring to the organisation and the people you will be supporting or caring for.. As a result, the interview will likely use open-ended questions to get you to talk about yourself.

The key to presenting yourself well in the interview is understanding what types of questions you may be asked, and knowing what qualities the interviewer is looking for, so you can include them in your answers.

We can start with the most common opening question:

Please tell me a little about yourself, and explain why you would like to be a care assistant?

This is often the first question you will encounter, and if you are not prepared, it can be a difficult one to answer. There are seven qualities that are proven to make for  a great care assistant. These are:

  • Communication
  • Compassion and Empathy
  • Dutifulness
  • Teamworking
  • Inclusivity and Respect
  • Adaptability and Resilience
  • Procedural Compliance

Your goal when answering this question is to let the interviewer know you have these qualities.

Here is an example of how you might want to prepare for a question like this.

Things I want to say:

  • About myself - I’m positive, I work hard, I look for the best in situations, I am reliable
  • What experience do I have? - caring for a family member, working hard in other jobs I have been in
  • Why do I want to be a care assistant? - to help others live better lives, it’s rewarding, I’m excited about making a difference

This way of structuring out an answer, as well as the values of care, can be applied to many of these questions. Here are some more common ones you will encounter:

Can you talk to me about any time you have cared for someone, whether a loved one or professionally?

  • What makes you a good fit for this position?
  • Can you explain why you chose our company to apply to?
  • What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

All these questions can be answered similarly by preparing in advance. Think about the key points you want to discuss; why you love caring for others, what you are good at, what transferable skills you have and so on. By having these basic ideas ready to go, you can answer most questions confidently.

When talking about why you’ve applied to the organisation, show your research by discussing the things that stand out to you about that care provider. Is there a particular piece of news on their website that excites you? Do you reflect the values of the organisation?

It is important to remember that it is okay to have weaknesses, especially if you know the ways that you are trying to work on them. Remember in your strengths to include the qualities carers need such as compassion, empathy, and reliability.

Remember the key points

To succeed in these interviews, you do need to prepare, but try not to memorise a speech word for word, as that will make it more difficult to adapt your answers in the interview if you need to. It can also make you sound unnatural, and it won’t go so well if you forget any of it.

Instead, you may want to prepare bullet points for questions, so you have an idea of what kinds of things you’d like to say, but with the ability to stay natural and adaptable.

Ultimately, when it comes to interviewing, be yourself, speak in your own way and include the important bits you have researched. With your research ready you can answer with confidence, and get that job you are looking for. Good luck!