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Meeting and interviewing potential private carers

We give you a list of questions to ask when hiring a personal care assistant or home help to provide care in later life.
2 min read
In this article
First steps Questions to ask at the interview Be clear about rules

First steps

Before hiring a personal assistant or home help, it’s a good idea to meet them for an informal interview. Shortlist two or three candidates, if you can, to give you a range of people to choose from.

 

Of course, there are checks to carry out (detailed below and see also how to employ private carers), but first impressions are also important. Does the person seem caring, friendly and trustworthy? Do you think that they are someone you could get on with? Meeting someone in person, and asking them a few questions, can give you a good idea of whether they will be suitable or not.

Questions to ask at the interview

  • What experience do you have of this kind of work? Please tell me about similar work you have done in the past.
  • What training have you undertaken? Do you have any specialist skills?
  • How much do you charge? Do you work weekends/bank holidays and, if so, are rates different on those days?
  • How would you like me to pay you? How frequently and by what method?
  • What happens if you can’t come in, for example due to illness, accident or bad weather? Could anyone else who is suitable come in your place?

You might also find it helpful to read our checklist of questions to ask a home care agency to see if there are other questions you would like to ask.

Be clear about rules

Have a think about any ‘rules of employment’ you want them to abide by before the interview and write them down. It’s a good idea to discuss these up front to get an understanding of how each carer feels about them.

 

Examples of rules you might want to consider include:

  • they must call you or your nominated family member or friend if they’re unable to come to work
  • they’re not allowed to bring anyone else with them unless by prior arrangement with you
  • no smoking in the house
  • what would happen in the event of an emergency, for example, if you had an accident or fell ill? Could they call on one of your family members or friends? Give details of who the personal assistant/home help should call if they couldn’t get into your home or if there’s an accident.

Further reading

How to employ private carers

We offer guidance on choosing and interviewing potential personal care assistants, with information about the legal ...

Last updated: 18 Sep 2018