Are you excited to land a new senior living job and begin or continue your caregiving career? If so, you may have already experienced searching for open positions, completing applications and submitting your resume.
Today your efforts are paying off.
You’ve received notice that a community would like to schedule an interview.
If you’re anxiously wondering what to do next, relax. We can help you prepare.
Interview tips for senior living jobs
Remember, interviews make almost everyone nervous. The good news? There are interview tips that can help you shine and possibly land the job.
1. Be prepared
If you haven’t already, research the organization or community prior to the interview. Learn about their mission and philosophy, number of communities and whether they are local or national. Familiarize yourself with the type of senior care they offer and the number of residents they care for.
2. Arrive early
Practice this interview tip by arriving a few minutes early so you have a chance to take a breath and settle yourself before they call your name. Feeling rushed will increase your anxiety. Be friendly to the receptionist. Engaging in small talk provides a great distraction.
3. Make a professional impression
Dress appropriately for the interview. Business attire creates a professional appearance. A great interview tip? Strive for the image that will present you as someone they would like to invite to join their staff and interact with their residents.
4. Offer a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile
Make eye contact and shake their hands firmly. An often-overlooked interview tip is to smile and be friendly. Let go of your anxiety and view the interview as an opportunity to get to know more about the senior living job opening, their community and introduce them to the advantages of hiring you.
5. Be prepared to make small talk
Most interviews will begin with a few minutes of small talk, whether it’s about the weather, your drive or where you’re from. From there, expect general questions or comments about your interest in this senior living job and why. Specific questions will typically focus on your education, training and experience.
6. Focus on the positive
When answering questions, concentrate on what you can bring to the organization or community. This is your time to shine. Highlight your experiences that directly relate to the position. Follow this essential interview tip and never apologize for any skills you’re lacking. Focus instead on what makes you a great candidate.
7. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification
Listen carefully to the questions they’re asking but don’t panic if you don’t know the answer. Try to find a relatable answer but it’s always best to be honest. Another interview tip is to always ask for clarification if you’re not sure what they are looking for.
8. Avoid any negative talk about past work or employers
This interview tip should never be disregarded. Avoid saying anything negative about other employers or co-workers. It’s hard to present a positive image if you’re reliving negative experiences. Whenever possible, remain positive.
9. Prepare for trick questions
If you’ve interviewed before, you likely have been asked a few questions that might have made you pause. It’s not only the answer they’re looking for but how well you’re able to think on your feet. Follow this interview tip and prepare ahead of time for questions such as “what are your three biggest strengths and weaknesses” or “why someone could find you difficult to work with.”
10. Don’t expect a job offer at the interview
Even if all goes well and you ultimately are their choice, don’t expect them to offer you the senior living job at the end of your conversation. They may have others to interview and will want to take time to discuss who is the best candidate after considering everyone. The hiring process is disrupting to a company and they will do their best to get it right.
Bonus Tip. Follow up with a thank you note
A very nice touch – and great interview tip – is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates and write a short thank you note to mail immediately after your interview. You can email, but a handwritten note thanking them for their time and consideration really stands out.
Joining the team at Sinceri Senior Living
Sinceri Senior Living specializes in independent living, assisted living and memory care, fostering deep bonds between those who live and work in our communities – just like families.
We extend our commitment in creating this welcoming environment to our employees who form strong relationships with the residents and their coworkers. In fact, many of our team members think of the community they work in as their second home because of such strong connections.
The caregiver’s role is to first make our residents feel safe and secure. We strive to ensure everyone we hire is generous, compassionate and as committed as we are to provide excellent service at every opportunity.
We understand the stress that caregivers can experience and the challenge in trying to stay one step ahead of what a resident or family member might need or desire. We fully support their efforts as it truly takes a team to provide quality senior care.
If you’re interested in becoming a care partner with Sinceri Senior Living as we strive together to exceed expectations, we hope you’ll be in touch.
We also invite you to download our complimentary guide, Simple Self-Care for Caregivers and CNAs: 6 Ways to Take Care of Yourself so You can Care for Others, which includes helpful tips and steps you might try.