A guide to interviewing:

So you have either been contacted by a Respite Carer or they have responded to your post for a carer what should you ask to make sure they are up to the task?

Always prepare for the interview

It’s best to have a similar or the same routing when interviewing candidates, this will make sure you ask consistent questions and can more easily compare the candidate responses.

Always ask for a CV in advance and as much detail as possible

The Interview

Typically an interview will last around 45 minutes to 1 hour, if care requirements take longer to explore then you will need to take this into account based on your specific needs. The following gives a reasonable structure to the interview process:

Give background on your family and the details of the care that they are required to give. Make sure you cover anything that is particularly difficult or challenging in a general sense.

Explain the position that is available, the hours and days of work and what they are expected to do. Make sure you make it clear if there are household duties that you expect them to complete or any trips out to clubs, swimming etc.

Ask the candidate for some details about their history and why they are interested in this position.

Go through their CV in detail and ask about their experience and how it is relevant to the position offered


Example questions

Why did you get into providing Respite Care?

What’s the most challenging behaviour you’ve had to deal with and how did you cope?

What do you enjoy most about this type of work?

If our child did XXX then what would you do?

How would you handle discipline when it is required? Give specific examples if you have any.

The position is to look after xxx for x number of hours what would you intend to do during this time?

If there was an emergency then what would you do?

Have you got any experience of coping with – dietary requirements/ medication/ incontinence/ whatever is specific? If so please elaborate

How many siblings do you have, what are your family relationships like?

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about why you’d be great for the job?

Ask if they have any questions.

Extra points for consideration

Ask open ended questions that avoid yes no answers if they still answer with a yes or no then ask them to elaborate.

Make sure that the person who needs care is involved during the process and is available for part or the whole interview so you can gauge how the candidate interacts with them.

Go with your gut feeling quite often initial responses can be good

If you like the candidate then let them know during the interview.

Have a trial session to see how they cope

For the first few sessions make sure you are around

Only leave them alone once you are totally comfortable in their ability to care for your child.