15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Home Care Worker on Your Own


If you're hiring an in-home health care worker without going through an agency, these questions should help you find a reliable match for your loved one. Involve the person you're caring for in the interview process as much as possible. It's his interview, with you asking the questions for him (if he's able to ask them himself, even better).

Do you have any work experience in caregiving or similar areas?
Start with a broad question that encompasses more than in-home health work to give you a general sense of the person. Try to identify patterns or trends that show experience in caregiving, companionship, and working with people, even if it isn't specifically with older adults. Look for experience that indicates an ability to work independently, without close supervision.

What specifically makes you qualified for working with my loved one?
Here's where you ask about specific training or courses pertaining to in-home health work. Also ask for details that apply to your loved one's needs, such as experience bathing, feeding, dressing, cooking, cleaning, or lifting from, for example, a wheelchair to a toilet or bed.

Why are you interested in this type of work?
You're looking for someone who enjoys working with the elderly, or a caring, sociable, and nurturing person.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Are you comfortable dealing with my loved one's emotional or mental state?
You'll need to adapt this question depending on your loved one's state of mind, but it can cover such things as anger, silence, sadness, moodiness, and memory problems. (Obviously, you'll probably want to ask this particular question without your loved one present.) Laying this out before hiring someone is a win-win for you and job applicants. You can get a sense of how they'll be with your loved one, and they'll get a sense of interpersonal skills required for the job.

What days and times are you available and how many hours are you looking for?

What are your vacation, holiday, or time-off needs?

Do you have a car and are you comfortable driving my parent?

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Are you a legal resident?

Does the salary work for you?

Are you bonded?

I plan to do a background check on all applicants who are strong contenders for the job. Is there anything you'd like me to know first?

Are you comfortable signing a work contract?

If we offer you the job, can we agree on a two-week trial period to see how we all feel -- you, me, and my parent?

Can you provide at least two references?

Do you have any questions or concerns at this point?

If you're hiring through an agency, see 15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing an In-home Healthcare Worker From an Agency.

Kate Rauch

Catherine Anne Rauch, senior editor, has spent more than two decades writing about health for websites and print media, including WebMD, Drugstore. See full bio

almost 3 years ago, said...

straightforward article with common-sense advice that's easily digested.

almost 4 years ago, said...

These are wonderful questions. One I would include is: Tell me about your experience of one of your clients. This is a very rewarding field and if they dont feel that way, then that is a reason not to hire them. I have had great experiences with all my clients.

over 4 years ago, said...

Great questions!

almost 5 years ago, said...

It was specific.

about 5 years ago, said...

Are you bonded? Are you comfortable driving my [spouse]? I actually have someone new coming to stay with him for 1 1/2 hours this evening while I am at a meeting a short distance away. Got the name off a bullitin board in town. I'd like to know how to do a background check..subject for another article?

over 5 years ago, said...

Some of the questions were very helpful, especially about the background check. I would not have thought to ask about the insurance either. Thanks.

over 5 years ago, said...

Great refreshers on the questions. Like you Brad, I need to adjust the questions for our needs of a care provider in home.

almost 6 years ago, said...

Great tips. In addition, at customcaretrust.com, there's a workbook you can download and print out that is more geared toward patient/individual specific likes/dislikes, needs, personality, history, etc. You can fill out the responses about the elderly person so that caregivers can easily learn about the person they are caring for from how he or she likes his or her meat cooked, to hobbies and character traits. The book you compile will ensure that the elderly person will be able to keep his or her integrity and voice, and receive the best care possible. It's a great resource for multi-caregiver situations or when you're introducing a new caregiver, and for caregivers as important personal and medical information is at their fingertips. They thought of everything...definitely check it out.

about 6 years ago, said...

some items I would have neglected.

about 6 years ago, said...

Talk to a lawyer about employment law. If you or your family member is the only source or major source of income for the individual caregiver you hire, YOU are probably considered their employer and you are legally responsible for withholding taxes (Federal, State, Social Security, and Medicare), worker's comp, unemployment insurance, etc., etc., no matter what kind of contract you have with them. The small amount of money you will have to pay a lawyer (I'm not one) will be well worth what it could cost if you don't handle this correctly!

about 6 years ago, said...

To Youngest Daughter, call the phone company and explain your Mom's Illness. Usually, the phone company will not charge you any longer. Speak only to a supervisor.

about 6 years ago, said...

If your loved one has Alzheimer's disease, you should definitely ask if the potential caregiver has experience working with people with dementia. It is critical that a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's have experience and know about the disease!

over 6 years ago, said...

This is very helpful in knowing, as a caregiver, and having a family member with caregiver needs. Thanks!!!

over 6 years ago, said...

How about asking an individual caregiver for proof of their professional liability insurance and workman's comp insurance so they are covered if they are injuired in the home. Since this is the employers legal responsibility I don't want mom to lose her home because a caregiver became injuried and sued for damages. Caregivers win in court when they are private / individually employeed.

over 6 years ago, said...

How do I fix the phone so my Mom cannot call the operator? She had over $100 in operator calls in one month.

almost 7 years ago, said...

Liked list of basic questions so I could adapt it to my own preferences.