An employer - someone who has care needs or their loved one - will be looking for a variety of things in a personal care assistant during the first meeting (the interview), these include personal qualities as well as skills and experience (although these aren't always needed). You can visit our blog post which gives advice on what qualities employers should look out for in a personal care assistant here.
Interviews for a personal care assistant usually take place in a relaxed environment within a public space, most likely a local café.
Here are five tips on how to interview well:
- Make sure you are on time or, even better, arrive early - doing so will allow you to get a feel for the setting, choose a quiet table away from the till - that's if you are meeting in a café or somewhere similar. If the place is too busy, have a look to see if there are other options. Suggesting this to the employer when they arrive, shows that you think ahead and are able to suggest alternatives.
- Think about your personal appearance - don’t just ‘look good’ - what looks good to you may not look so good to someone else. Instead, dress simply, smartly, and respectfully, preferably have your hair tied back if it's long. Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes are clean and do not have any creases (if they are, make sure you iron them first), and do not slouch - you need the employer to see that you care for the role. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes - what are they hoping to see when they meet you for the first time? What do they expect you to be wearing? How do they expect you to present yourself? Remember, first impressions are the most important.
- Be honest in your answers but always respect the privacy of the people you have cared for previously - don’t divulge too much info on specifics about them, never give away names, after all, you wouldn’t like someone discussing your personal life with a stranger.
- Answer questions by providing examples from your previous experience, this will work in your favour as you will be proving to them why you would be a good fit for the role, for example, you could mention that you are driven, focused, and punctual, then you provide an instance of how you were on-time in your last role.
- If you don’t get asked about your greatest skills or accomplishments, you can always ask, at the end of the interview, if you are able to provide them with additional information about yourself. First, make sure those things are relevant and will HELP you to get the job role - always showcase your positives.
UKCIL wants personal care assistants to give themselves the best chance of getting a new job role. Our tips blog series is set to do just that. The UKCIL platform allows PAs to take control of their career by directly connecting them with elderly and disabled employers. Signing up is free and you can view the list of available vacancies here.