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Suggested interview questions

Here are some questions you might want to ask a prospective respite care provider; they are applicable to caring for a child or an adult. Select the questions that are most important to you.


Remember, limit the interview to about 10 questions. And keep in mind how much time you will have for questions and answers.

  1. Tell me about yourself. What are your hobbies and special interests? What do you do in your spare time?
  2. How would you describe yourself? Describe your personality. Describe your strengths and areas you are working on.
  3. Do you have any special training or experience you would like me to be aware of? Have you made use of available training?
  4. Discuss your experience working with individuals with the special needs of our family member.
  5. Have you had any experience caring for a person with (the particular illness or disability of our family member)?
  6. Why are you interested in providing respite care services?
  7. Why did you leave your last position?
  8. What do you like best about this work?
  9. What do you like least about this work?
  10. Why are you the right person for the job?
  11. What kind of employer do you work best with? What are your expectations from this family?
  12. What would you do if we disagreed about something?
  13. Do you have any health problems that could affect your ability to do this job?
  14. What situations make you tense or nervous?
  15. Describe a difficult situation you’ve had to handle with a child or an adult. How did you handle it?
  16. This position will require that you make independent decisions. Can you give an example of a situation in which you made a job-related independent decision?
  17. Do you believe in discipline? If yes, how would you discipline? If no, what would you do?
  18. If my child cries when I leave, how will you handle this situation?
  19. What would you do if a child deliberately hit another child?
  20. What would you do if our family member did not respond to your request?
  21. What would you do if you found a child with an open bottle you suspected contained a poisonous substance?
  22. If my family member has to be taken to the hospital for an emergency, what steps will you take?
  23. (Describe situations that are likely to occur while your child is being cared for and ask them how they would respond.) What would you do if:
    • He/she throws food on the floor?
    • His/her older sibling has been on the phone for two hours?
    • He hits you when you try to get him into his pajamas?
    • He/she is whining and appears bored?

  24. If our family member is unable to communicate, how would you know if my family member likes a particular food or activity?
  25. What kinds of activities do you do with the individual you care for? Are you willing to take our family member to outside activities?
  26. Do you have CPR, first aid, and medication assistance training?
  27. What are the sleeping arrangements in your home for naps or overnight care?
  28. Are you easily able to awaken at night and respond to the needs of our family member?
  29. Are you willing to have a criminal background check? A driving record check?
  30. What are your rates and payment procedures? (If these are determined by a publicly-funded program, it is important that both the provider and the family have this information.)
  31. What hours are you able to work? During the day, weekends, holidays? Are there specific times when you are unable to work? How much prior notice do you require before scheduling?
  32. Do you have a valid driver’s license? Do you have your own transportation and car insurance?
  33. Do you smoke?
  34. Are you comfortable working with pets in the home?