Are you ready to hire a private caregiver? Finding a provider with excellent caregiving skills who fits your family and home setting can be challenging. The following checklist includes common questions to ask when interviewing a private caregiver.

It’s important to evaluate the experience, skills, and character of the person/people who will be providing care. We also added hypothetical scenarios to give insight into a caregiver’s critical thinking and safety awareness.

Lastly, detailed instructions on how to do a background check are included. We hope this checklist helps you find the right person to provide the best care for your loved one.

Interview Questions To Determine Caregiving Experience and Skills

These interview questions for caregivers will help determine a candidate’s past caregiving experience and skill level.

  • How much experience do you have caring for older adults?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Tell me about your education.
  • What level of training do you have?
  • Which areas of caregiving do you feel most confident in?
  • Which areas of caregiving do you find most challenging?
  • How much experience do you have working with people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia?
  • How much experience do you have working with people who have chronic illnesses?
  • What do you hope to accomplish in this job?
  • What is your proudest achievement from a prior position?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to problem-solve with a difficult client.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge. How did you resolve the challenge?

Questions To Assess Character

Assess the character of your candidate with the questions below.

  • Why did you become a caregiver?
  • What made you apply to this specific job position?
  • Why do you think you are the best fit for this job?
  • Tell me what qualities make a good caregiver.
  • What do you think are some of your best qualities? How about your worst qualities?
  • What is your proudest achievement outside of work?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • What’s the most rewarding thing about being a caregiver?
  • Tell me about some of your personal and work-related goals.
  • Who inspires you and why?
  • How do you motivate yourself during hard times?
  • How would your family and friends describe you?

Hypothetical Caregiving Scenarios

Check your applicant’s thinking process with hypothetical caregiving scenarios.

  • How do you deal with a difficult client?
  • If your client doesn’t want to take a shower or eat their meal, how will you handle the situation?
  • Describe a circumstance where it’s okay to be late for work.
  • If you have a disagreement with me/our family about how to handle a situation will you follow our preferences or your own judgment?
  • How would you respond to a client who uses derogatory language towards you?
  • Describe the steps you will take during an emergency, for example, a fall.
  • If you have an important personal matter to attend to but can’t find anyone to cover your shift, what will you do?
  • How will you maintain a positive environment?
  • If your client tells you something in confidence that might put them in danger, will you divulge their secret?
  • If you were the one hiring, describe the ideal kind of caregiver you would hire.

How To Do A Background Check

Doing a thorough background check is important when hiring a caregiver. Here are the steps to take to do a background check yourself.

  • Ask for their full name, birth date, phone number, address, and Social Security number.
  • Ask for two or three work references you can contact to check their former employment.
  • Ask for photo ID cards such as a driver’s license, green card, passport, school ID, and other government-issued identification.
  • If the caregiver will be providing transportation, ask for a copy of their driver’s license and check for a clean driving record.
  • Ask them to sign a waiver of confidentiality that allows you to check their personal history and background.
  • If the applicant claims that they are licensed, check with the appropriate licensing body.
  • Conduct a criminal background check to see if they have prior misdemeanor charges or convictions.
  • Verify that their education and employment history is accurate.
  • Before hiring a caregiver, conduct a pre-employment drug screening. Your job offer should state that employment is contingent upon a passed drug screening.
  • Conduct annual checks of criminal records and drug screening post-hire to ensure your caregiver remains qualified for the position.

If you do not feel comfortable doing the screening yourself, you also have the option of hiring a background check agency.

Ask the Right Questions to Find the Best Private Caregivers

If you have been tasked with hiring a private caregiver for a loved one, this list of questions to ask can help guide you through the process.

While each of these questions is important and will provide some insight into how a caregiver will mesh with your family, it’s also imperative that you follow your gut.

If you feel uneasy about the compatibility of a potential caregiver, or aren’t happy with the answers they provide, move on to the next candidate. You know your loved one and your job is to advocate for what is best for them!

Are there any questions we missed? Have you been through the process of hiring a private caregiver? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

An expert in senior care, Amie has professional and personal experience in senior housing, caregiving, end-of-life care, and more from her 24 years of working with older adults.