What 5 Things Should I Ask a Home Healthcare Aide Candidate?
Tuesday, July 2, 2019


When you hire a healthcare aide to come into your parent’s home, you are a one-person HR department.

What do you need to ask to qualify your candidates?

You’ve been on job interviews before.

“What are your 5 year goals?”

“What can you offer that no one else can?” 

“If you were a zoo animal, which animal would you be?”

It’s all a big cat-and-mouse game to assess your skills but also to find out if you are a good fit for the culture of the company that you are interviewing with. Depending on what line of work you are in, these questions might be enough. But, if you are going for a very technical and skilled position, other questions to ensure that you have the right training and education would be crucial to determining your ability to handle the job. The more responsibility, the more strenuous the interview process.  

Few jobs carry as much responsibility as a home healthcare role. A home care aide is responsible for many day-to-day tasks that are vital to extending the life, and the quality of life, for the patient in their care. As with any position in the medical field, there is training and certification that proves vital to the effectiveness of the person in that role.  That’s why the interview process is so crucial. It’s important to know what you need to ask in order to make sure the hire you are making is right. Here are some crucial questions you need to ask to make sure that the aide you are inviting into your parent’s home is right for the job and for your family!

Question #1: Can you provide me with all necessary documentation needed for me to run a background check?

Why this is important: You need to know who you are dealing with. There could be past issues with employers that wouldn’t come up unless you look into it. Criminal records are public information, and you should absolutely know if there have been issues in the past. This isn’t to say that you can’t hire someone that has a history if you truly believe that they are right for the job, but you absolutely should know as much as you can about a person before inviting them into your parent’s home. 

Question #2: May we contact some of your past patients and employers to ask them about their experience in working with you?

Why this is important: Employers might not tell you much, for legal reasons, and past clients that are referred to you by the candidate are probably only going to give you glowing recommendations because they are being hand-selected by someone looking for a job. With that said, if there is hesitation or resistance to the concept of you contacting a reference, it could be a red flag that there is something the candidate doesn’t want you to know.

Question #3: What specialty certifications do you have?

Why this is important: There are basic certifications for home healthcare, and then there are some specialty certifications that might separate one candidate from the rest. If your parent has dementia, and you find a candidate that has a specialty certification in dementia treatment, that can give them the upper hand in helping your family.

Question #4: What do you like/dislike about home healthcare?

Why this is important: You can learn a lot from this question. If the response is “I like it for the money” or “I like it because I can set my own hours,” this is a person that might not be motivated by the things that you find value in for the care of your parent. If what they don’t like is “dealing with old people - you know how they get,” then you know they are probably not the hire you are looking for. 

Question #5: How many clients will you be working with while you are helping my parent?

Why this is important: If your potential hire has too many clients, will your parent be a priority? Maybe they can handle a heavy workload, so you need to ask questions like “How do you manage that patient load?” or “How do you prioritize your care for your clients?” You just want to make sure that they will be able to give the attention and care that your parent deserves while you are contracting them to provide care.

Home health care is important, as is care outside the home. McGregor PACE is here to help with both. If you are looking for insight into choosing a caregiver, our team is here to help. And if you are looking for activities and care for your parent that places them in a productive social environment, look no further than McGregor PACE. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your family!