Hi there Caregivers and welcome to our career training series. I’m Ruby and I’m one of the recruiters here at myCNAjobs.
Today, I’m pleased to talk about best practices when interviewing to help give yourself a leg up in not only getting a job offer, but the job offer you WANT!
I have the privilege of talking with hundreds of caregivers each month and learning what employers like, don’t like, and ultimately why they choose to make the hiring decisions they do.
So whether you’re watching this for your first caregiver interview or you’ve been a caregiver for a long time, my goal is to provide you with 8 quick tips to help you land the job you’re looking for.
Interview Tip #1: Develop Your Game Plan
Make sure you have all the logistics squared away before you leave for the interview. Know the address of where you’re going, how to get there, how much travel time you need, the parking situation, research the company website ahead of time to learn more about them, get an understanding of the documents the company wants you to bring to an interview, and lastly, know whom to ask for when you arrive.
Interview Tip #2: Get Your Documents Ready
With all caregiver jobs, you can get to work most quickly by coming prepared to the interview with a few key documents. Gather everything you can and bring it to your initial interview. Here is a list of the most common requested documents
A Driver’s license or state ID
Your CNA or HHA license if you have one — some companies prefer to make a copy of your original certificate
An additional ID for your I9 Paperwork such as a passport or social security card
TB testing documents
And bring along any training or certifications that you have obtained while working as a caregiver — thing like CPR Certification, First Aide Certification, and certificates from any ongoing CEUs you may have completed
If you don’t have any formal training,you can take the free training courses on myCNAjobs.com and print those certificates to bring along to an interview as well
And bring two copies of your resume, which brings me to interview tip #2
Interview Tip #3: Update Your Resume
The power of a good resume cannot be underestimated. Here are a few things that you want to include in a well written resume
- Your full name, a professional email address, and your mailing address
- All of your work history — but keep your resume to no more than 2 pages and ideally 1 page is best. It’s best to show little or no gaps between jobs. If you have gaps in work, be prepared to explain how you were progressing your career during those times. If you don’t have a lot of experience working as a caregiver or CNA, list personal caregiver experience if you have it — any experience that can show how you’ve cared for others can be helpful in highlighting why you’d make a great caregiver for a company.
- Outline your education including a GED, HS diploma, and any college or healthcare training certificates that you have obtained, including the name of the school and date you graduated
- Create a skills section outlining specific skills that are relevant to being a caregiver. Things like: CPR training, hoyer lift experience, being bi-lingual, the ability to cook diabetic friendly meals, or experience bathing a senior. A strong list can help an employer understand exactly what you know how to do today for their clients and patients.
- And lastly, a good resume includes 4 to 5 strong references. The best references are past employers or clients that can speak to your work. All references should include the references full name, phone, email, and a brief outline of how you know the person.
Once you have a resume in place, have someone review it to ensure there are not any spelling or grammatical errors. Then, print two copies and go to your interview prepared to talk through it. If you want more resume advice, there are free resources available at myCNAjobs.com.
Interview Tip #4: Arrive 5 to 10 Minutes Early
Arrive to the interview 5 to 10 minutes early. Companies tell us that many caregivers arrive a late for an interview and it turns them off. Many companies rely on caregivers to care for their clients in their homes or in a facility setting, meaning that getting someplace on time is critical in providing great care. So, show up 5 to 10 minutes early and wait in the parking lot if you’re earlier than this. It’s also bad to be too early. Map out directions the night before and always check traffic so you allow enough time to commute. When you arrive, indicate that you excited to be interviewing and let the receptionist know who you’ll be meeting with. Be sure to be warm and kind to everyone you meet — this is your opportunity to shine and make a first impression.
Interview Tip #5: Let The Team Know You’re Excited To Be There
When the interview starts, let the interviewer know that you’re excited to be there. Share that you have researched their company and you’re happy to learn more about their opportunities. Ensure that the employer gets to know you, your background, and what you can bring to the table before you start diving into your questions.
Interview Tip #6: Show Your Passion
Answer each question to the best of your ability, honestly, and show your passion. It’s important to talk about why you got into caregiving, why you are choosing this as a career, and why you think you’d be a great candidate for the job. Employers want to hire caregivers that a have a true passion for the industry. Sometimes interviews can be stressful and your passion for what you do can get buried. It’s important to show your excitement about caring for seniors and to come prepared with stories of how and why you feel you can positively impact a seniors life through your work.
Interview Tip #7: Ask Questions
Towards the end of the interview, ask if it’s okay for you to ask a few questions so you can learn more about the company. Here are a few good questions to ask:
- There are a lot companies in the area that do what you do — how are you different?
- How long do your caregivers typically stay on board with you? It’s important for me to find a company where I can stick around for awhile.
- Can you share details on your starting wage, opportunities to grow wages, and your benefits package?
- Do you have any clients or patients right now that you feel I’d be a good fit for?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Interview Tip #8: Say Thank You
When you leave the interview, say thank you! Let the interviewer that you appreciate their time. And always remember to get the business cards of everyone you meet with. After the interview, drive straight to a computer and send a follow-up email! You’re much more likely to get hired and get the cases you want with a prompt follow-up message. Companies love this and it shows your commitment.
Well that’s it folks. Thanks for attending our session today. If you want more tips on how to become a caregiver or take your career to the next level, you can find additional videos and resources on myCNAjobs.
Until next time – best of luck in your job search!