Questions Caregivers Should Ask Their Home Care Provider

As a caregiver, it can be difficult to know which agency is right for you. Among finding support, negotiating finances, and balancing time schedules, choosing an agency to work for can be confusing. Here are some questions you should ask during interviews to find the perfect fit for you.

What do I need?

Certifications? Training? Paperwork?

From certifications to background checks, each agency has different hiring requirements. Ask what materials are required before beginning work to help you discern between opportunities. Make it easy by creating a list of any certifications you have, trainings you’ve completed, and any other important paperwork. Before the interview, be sure to look into requirements that the agency wants for its caregivers. Want to add to your resume even further? When interviewing, ask agencies for additional certifications or trainings that would make you a competitive candidate. Take advantage of training and certification options that the agency may suggest to make yourself more hirable.

What should I know?

Guidelines? Values? Laws? Mission?

Before your interview, take time to review the laws and guidelines under which the agency operates. Familiarize yourself with these factors and keep in mind that some laws may vary by state. Aside from operations, ask about the company’s mission and goals. Do their values align with your own? Common values are crucial to feeling like you truly belong at an organization and experiencing a sense of community.

What is my daily role?

What’s in a typical day? Who am I working with? What if…?

For caregivers, no day is the same. While this question may be difficult for the interviewer to answer, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into. Ask what a usual work day would be like in your position. Do you have any specific questions about the job? Now’s the time to ask. For example, you might ask about common challenges you may face on a daily basis or about communication with the company through working. After choosing a workplace, you can still ask about many more situational instances, so try not to fall into excessive “what if” questions during the interview.

“After choosing a workplace, you can still ask about many more situational instances, so try not to fall into excessive “what if” questions during the interview.”

What support will I receive?

Respite care? Mental health resources?

When constantly caring for others, you may lose yourself in the work and neglect your own needs without even realizing it. However, this can ultimately lead to caregiver depression or burnout. Ask your interviewer what resources the company has to prevent these outcomes, in addition to its respite care policies. Whether it’s a support group, connections to mental health resources, or a strong dedication to checking in with each caregiver individually, it’s important to know how the company can support you in times of need.

What benefits are available?

Healthcare? Training? Overtime compensation?

When applying and interviewing for any new job, don’t ignore the benefits. Ask about healthcare benefits, plans, and pay. With pay, you should have an understanding of how often you’re paid and if it’s negotiable. Ask about required trainings and if the company offers the trainings itself, or if they offer alternative options to earn certifications and complete trainings. This information will help you in deciding if this company can offer benefits that fit with your specific lifestyle and schedule.

How does the provider manage logistics?

Communication methods? Schedule changes? Skill building?

While it’s necessary to know what your job will entail, it is also crucial to know how the company plays a larger role in your work life. Ask about communication with caregivers, including how plans are communicated, how schedule changes are managed, and how available the agency’s team is to you during and after work hours. How can the company help you become a better caregiver? Don’t be afraid to ask how they can help you build your skills and confidence in the job.