When hiring a Home Health Aide, the circumstances of your case should frame the types of questions asked. Make sure to talk about the person(s) who will be receiving care so that way your candidates can get to know your unique needs. The interview process can help further establish your candidate’s clinical experience and personal values.
A Home Health Aide who can be expected to provide quality care will be approachable, compassionate, and patient. Look for a candidate who appears to be highly observant and quick to respond. Overall, the type of person who excels as a Home Health Aide is passionate about helping people, They should understand the needs of older patients who may be suffering from cognitive or physical deficits, and younger patients who may be battling illness or recovering from surgery.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Home Health Aide interview questions to help you get started:
1. Why did you become a Home Health Aide?
What you want to hear: The difference between a good Home Health Aide and a stellar one is the passion they bring to their work. Listen for your candidate’s motivations for becoming a Home Health Aide. Do they truly enjoy helping people, or are they simply collecting a paycheck? Do they have a story about a family member or friend that they assisted and that motivated them to pursue this career? You want to find a candidate who is emotionally invested in the work.
2. What training and certification do you have in the Home Health Aide field?
What you want to hear: While their resume should give the exact answers, this question gives your candidate the chance to describe their accomplishments with a level of enthusiasm. If a candidate’s initial response is to simply to identify their training and certification by name, ask follow up questions to probe how they felt about the experiences, including what they most valued.
Red flag: A candidate who doesn’t openly discuss their training and certification may have done the minimum to get by. Home Health Aides must be able to formulate insights based on what they see and hear or be a risk for missing important observations in patient care.
3. Tell me about a time you’ve worked with a patient with cognitive impairments.
What you want to hear: A qualified candidate will be able to provide details about past cases involving cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. You want to hear patient profiles (e.g age, gender, stage of impairment), techniques used to manage care, challenges that were overcome or incapable of being improved, and length of time spent caring for that patient. Listen also for how the candidate handled communication with family members and medical professionals.
Red flag: Cognitive impairments require a specific skill set to properly manage the patient. Your candidate may not have required experience if they don’t know how to respond when a patient yells, makes insults, resists care, or fails to comprehend basic communication.
4. What would you do if your patient doesn’t think they need help?
What you want to hear: Situational questions can help you gauge your candidate’s personality and caregiving skill set. A great answer reflects a candidate’s sympathetic attitude, calm and patient demeanor, and persistence in ensuring needed care.
Red flag: A candidate who appears to get frustrated by resistance, or doesn’t show a level of persistence in completing care activities despite resistance, can put a patient at serious risk from insufficient care.
5. What would you do if you notice new or disturbing symptoms in a patient?
What you want to hear: An experienced Home Health Aide knows how to carefully observe a patient and either provide care or report in a timely manner to the appropriate medical professionals. Your candidate should be able to readily outline their process for observation, treatment, notification, and documentation. They should also clearly explain their protocol if emergency care is required.
Red flag: A Home Health Aide who cannot provide a clear and thorough response to this question is a serious risk to the patient. As well, a candidate must have absolute clarity on what treatments they are trained and authorized to provide as a non-medical assistant, and those that require professional medical attention. Not being able to explain this information clearly should be a serious concern.
6. How will you keep family and medical professionals updated on your patient’s condition?
What you want to hear: Working as a team with family, doctors, and other professionals is central to the role of Home Health Aide. Listen for a candidate who understands the importance of properly recording all daily activities, including food intake, medications, exercise regimens, hygiene, sleep habits, and the like. Assess their ability to communicate this information verbally to all those who inquire.
Red flag: A candidate who appears to lack diligence when it comes to recording and communicating daily activities will make patient care more difficult for everyone. The result can be very dangerous for the patient if a diagnosis or treatment is missed because of such lapses.
7. How would you deal with a patient who isn’t satisfied with their care?
What you want to hear: The candidate should acknowledge that patients frequently complain about care, whether such complaints are justified or not. Often patients who are uncomfortable, or suffering from dementia, or are recovering from surgery are quick to vent frustrations at their caregiver. Look for a candidate who will patiently inquire about the source of dissatisfaction, figure out potential solutions, and aim to help the patient feel heard and attended to.
Red flag: A candidate who appears to interpret every constructive criticism or direction as a personal attack will not grow as a caregiver. Each patient has a different personality and different needs, and a Home Health Aide who cannot adapt will simply frustrate the patient and further reduce the quality of care.
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Home Health Aide position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Have a passion for helping people in need
- Understand the role of non-medical care
- Possess the proper credentials and training
Need help writing a Home Health Aide job description? Check out our Home Health Aide job description template.
What are three traits you consider to be essential to this role?
What is your technique for staying friendly and on task while caring for difficult patients?
Do you specialize in any physical conditions or age groups? Are you interested in specialization? Why, or why not?
Despite close relations, you are required to keep the patient’s personal information confidential. What is your strategy for maintaining the privacy of your patients?
If you suspect your patient is being abused by family members or friends, how would you respond?
Are you comfortable doing light housework for certain patients? Why, or why not?
Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision regarding a patient. What was the outcome? What did you learn from the situation?
This position requires you to assist patients with health care duties they don’t always enjoy. What is your method for motivating a patient to complete something they dislike?
Imagine if thirty minutes after your shift has ended, your replacement still hasn’t shown up. How would you handle the situation?
What is the most difficult part about being a Home Health Aide, and what techniques do you use to overcome it?