Top Tips for Interviews: Helping you Find the Right Carer

by | Nov 20, 2019 | Australia, Top Tips

Selecting the right care professional for your children can take a while. You want to find someone who can help your child work through their behaviour, while also supporting their needs. You also need someone you can trust to be in your home, taking care of your household. But finding the right person can be difficult.

We have collated some questions that could prove helpful as you navigate the interviewing process to find the ideal live-in carer for your children.

  1. How long have you been caring for children?

This question should be one of the first ones you ask someone. You need to know if they have ever cared for children before. If they haven’t, they won’t be a good fit for you and our family. You want to hire someone who has experience working with children, and more importantly with children of a certain age (your children’s ages).

  1. What were the best and worst things about your previous job?

If you ask the candidates you are interviewing this question, you’ll get an idea if they will be a good fit for your kids. For example, if they said that they didn’t enjoy the fact that their previous employer had a cat and they didn’t like animals, it won’t work out if you have furry pets.

This is also a good way to learn what they enjoyed about their former job. Maybe they liked the relationship they built with her previous employer’s children or they liked reading stories to the kids. All of these answers will give you an idea of what type of support person they will be.

  1. What activities do you like to do with kids?

Not only will the care professional look after your children, or provide therapy assistance, but they should also be playing with them too. They should be okay with doing arts and crafts, story time, and any other activities your kids enjoy. If you ask them what activities they like to do with kids, you can see what they would do with your little ones.

Also, this is a great question to ask to see how creative they can get when they watch kids. So, make sure to ask this question when you are interviewing for a childcare provider.

  1. Why did you leave your previous position?

This is a must-ask question that you need to ask any candidate that you are willing to hire to look after your kids. Asking about them leaving their previous position could be a simple answer like the kids outgrew a carer, they wanted a change, experience their profession abroad, etc.

But this could also lead to more serious answers like they found it hard to handle the kids or an incident occurred that the parents didn’t approve of. Any of the latter answers would be red flags to not hire that person.

  1. How comfortable are you enforcing rules?

Every family has house rules. Some rules are easy, like taking off your shoes at the front door. Other rules can be not jumping on the couch, no sweets before a meal and anything else a parent decides is a good idea. You need to feel comfortable that whoever you leave with your kids with, they’re going to enforce any rules your family has in place.

This will ensure that no matter who the children are with they know what is expected of them.

  1. How do you handle a situation when a child is having behaviour issues?

As much as we wish our children were perfect angels all the time, that just isn’t true and kids can get upset or throw a temper tantrum when things don’t go their way. You need to know that if your kids are acting out that your care professional will deal with their behaviour issues in a way that you approve of.

Make sure to ask this question to any person your interview to see how they will handle your children if and when they get upset and see if it is a way that you would handle it too!

  1. Are there any activities or responsibilities that you can’t or won’t do?

Sometimes you will find during the interview process that there are certain things that the caregiver won’t do. For example, sometimes you will find someone who will not cook for kids or help in the house. Your children are going to need to have dinner and if you cannot prepare something ahead of time then that might not be the caregiver for you. Of if your little ones are still in diapers and the person interviewing says that won’t change any dirty diapers than you need to find someone else.

  1. How much time do you allow for watching TV or playing on tablets?

Kids today love their technology and even at a young age, they will want to watch TV or play on a tablet. But by asking this question you will see how much time your children will be paying attention to a screen, while in the care of the person you are interviewing.

Many parents do not want their kids having too much screen time and want them to engage in stimulating activities. So, if the person that you’re interviewing says they love putting on movie after movie, then they aren’t the right choice for you and your family.

  1. How will you incorporate your skills and experience into every day?

Your children’s needs can be vastly different; do they need the support of a speech therapist; or could they benefit from an occupational therapist or a physical therapist? Finding that right person, who can share their knowledge and skills with you and your child, enabling them to progress and reach goals, would be amazing!

So, it’s important to discuss the interviewees experience with certain diagnoses, certain therapies and specific age groups. Find out what their skill set is and how often they have had to call upon their training in their previous role. 

Why not arrange some interviews with some of the care professionals currently looking to join a family?