Thursday, 28 August 2014

Seven questions you may be asked in a care worker interview

Social care experts share examples of questions they ask candidates, and insights into the best way to answer them
Woman at a desk
Once you’ve landed yourself a care worker interview, how can you show you’re the right person for the job? Photograph: Alamy
If you like a challenge and no two days to be the same, then care work may be the perfect path for you. There are no specific entry requirements or qualifications, so it's a great option for a young person or career changer.
Whether the role is based in a hospital, day centre, care home or out in the community, your interviewers will need to establish if you're well suited to the position. So once you've landed yourself an interview, how can you show you're the right person for the job?
Most people go through life gaining experiences which are invaluable to this type of work, such as good communication skills, empathy and the ability to think on your feet. Showing this to a potential employer is key, so we've put together a list of typical interview questions you could be asked with expert tips on how to answer them.

Can you describe what you think a care worker does and what type of people or groups you might work with?

Maggie Hennessy, associate director of social care and education at HR company Penna: "This is a very open question and will show the employer whether the candidate understands the expectations of the job – you need to look up a job description and see what the role involves. It's a good test of whether they've done any research, especially if candidates are coming from a different country where the roles may differ."

Can you provide an example of how you've contributed to effective team working?

Roop Bhumbra, director of social care at Hays recruiters: "This is intended to show employers you'll work well with other social workers and your management team. It will also allow employers to find out if you have the softer skills and values for social care. The best example will show how you have listened to colleagues and supported them. Highlight positions of responsibility you had and how you supervised others. Preparation is key here so have an example that clearly shows why team working was important and how your skills influenced the positive outcome."

Can you describe a stressful experience you've had and explain how you coped with it?

Stephen Wilson, managing director of a care at home company, Social Care Alba: "It may not seem directly relevant, but we're looking to find out whether the candidate can identify stress in themselves and if they're good at problem-solving. You can give any example, whether it's a young baby keeping you up at night, a death in the family, moving house or planning a wedding, it doesn't matter. The worst response we hear is 'I never get stressed'. That shows you have no understanding or recognition of when a situation is complex or needs to be handled sensitively. We're not looking to catch people out, we're looking to find out whether they can recognise these situations."

If you were delivering personal support to someone, how would you maintain their dignity and respect?

Stephen Wilson: "This gets candidates to think about how the other person is going to feel. They need to show they can do the job empathetically, encouraging the individual to do as much for themselves as possible, while offering support. The most important thing is to always communicate. Show you understand what needs doing, but highlight that you would give the person the choice as to whether they want to have a bath or go to the toilet, for example. Explain how you would promote the person's independence and help them over time gain the ability to do more for themselves. It shows us the candidate has a deep understanding of the role."

Explain how your understanding of current legislation would inform your daily work

Roop Bhumbra: "Your answer needs to show an employer you have knowledge, experience and understanding of relevant legislation within areas like mental health or child protection. These are always changing so it's essential you keep up-to-date. You may then delve deeper into your areas of expertise in your answer. Refer to specific regulations or guidance, acknowledge why the legislation is important and how you would use it in the role."

Safeguarding is an important and topical issue. When going into someone's home, how would you know they are safe and healthy? If you felt concerned, what would you do?

Maggie Hennessy: "You need to explain what you'd look out for and the signs that someone is in a safe environment. For example, you need to look around at their surroundings; does the person look cared for, do they have somewhere clean to sleep, do they have food and water available, are there signs of abuse, and have there been any behavioural changes? The care worker would need to speak to the person to see if they reveal anything, and if they have ongoing concerns, report it to their manager. We need people who take the time to follow up with someone if they're worried."

Succinctly talk us through a complex child protection case you've worked on, where you have achieved good outcomes for the child involved.

Roop Bhumbra: "An employer will be looking to see you've understood and listened to the twofold question. It is common with such questions that interviewees get distracted answering the first part and forget about the second. Interviewers are not solely looking for case details; they want you to talk about the end result for your service user, and your role in delivering the outcome. Give an outline of the case, but place emphasis on how you were sensitive to the best interests of the service user in your actions and the outcome."
This content is was originally brought to you by Guardian Professional

Monday, 11 August 2014


To all staff, service users and families.  SCA's greatest social event this summer is just around the corner!

You are invited to join us at the SCA Summer Barbecue Party, which will be held on Wednesday 20th of August, 2pm to 4pm at The Meadows. 

Come and meet and greet our new team members whilst having a fantastic time.  Food, drinks, games and prizes provided. We also welcome your families and friends to join us.

We would like to remind you that the venue will be weather dependent.  If it is sunny we will hold the event at the The Meadows. If it is raining the venue will be changed to our office at 20/1 Lochrin Place. 

Please confirm if you are attending or not by sending an email to the office. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Social Care Alba and I.T

It wasn’t long ago when companies around the world utilised type writers as a way to speed up work, enhance productivity, and organise paper work.

Nowadays, computers replaced typewriters and introduced a revolution in the way we do work.

The basics are still the same, the documents are the same, and business is still the same, BUT now all this information can travel at literally the speed of light. 

Now instead of waiting for your mail to arrive by post, you simply click on a button to upload your entire history to this mysterious thing called “The Internet”.

Social Care Alba realise that compared to the giants of the industry we are a small business, but we are a small business with very big ambitions.  We are committed to utilise Information and Communication Technology to meet our business needs.

Our staff operate in different locations across Scotland, and if we relied on traditional methods there would be a big gap and delay in communication. 

This is one of the reasons why Social Care Alba aspires to enhance the way it connects its employees with each other and with the management, we are trying to utilise unique and different avenues for internal communication, such as social media.

When designing a social media strategy, there is always the question of “What social media outlet should I target? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? “

We decided to focus on Google+ as our main social media outlet.

We have also refreshed our Facebook and twitter pages, and I personally would be grateful if you go in a leave a like for our page.

We have plenty of IT projects in store for the future, and hopefully with your help, we will be able to achieve them all to the highest of standards.

Our aim before everything else is to make the life of our service users easier in the first place, but also help our staff do their jobs in the easiest most efficient way possible.

I hope you enjoyed this small brief about my work and our plans for Social Care Alba, and I hope that we will be able to achieve them together.

Jamal Issa – "IT GURU"