male home health aide helping a patient enjoy his meal

7 Helpful Tips When Interviewing a Home Health Aide or Nursing Assistant

Given the size of the aging baby boomer population, also referred to as the 2030 problem population, home health aides are in higher demand today than they have been in recent years. Whether you’re looking to hire a home health aide, a certified nurse assistant (CNA), a nursing assistant, a direct support professional (DSP), or one of the many other qualified individuals to fill your open position, it’s essential you hire the right fit to decrease the cost of turnover and maintain morale. To support you in hiring the best home health aide for the job, start with a reliable candidate sourcing and interview process.


1. Create a Job Ad Highlighting the Nursing Assistant Skills You Need

The clearer you are as to what you’re looking for in a home health aide or nursing assistant, the more likely you are to receive quality resumes from potential candidates. Stamina, a good sense of humor, empathy, efficient problem solving abilities, attention to detail, effective communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, and due diligence are some of the top qualities to consider when you hire a home health aide. Your job ad should highlight these keywords.


smiling nursing assistant and patient together in a hospital room


2. Ask About Minimum Salary Requirements Early on in the Interview Process

Since some organizations and hiring managers have a limited budget, especially if the organization is a not-for-profit, it can make hiring quality home health aides more challenging. It’s helpful to hold a brief phone interview with a candidate before bringing them in for a face-to-face interview. This will help you avoid wasting time with candidates who aren’t a good fit based on salary and other job requirements.


3. Share the Total Compensation Package You Offer

When discussing salary with a candidate, be sure to share medical benefits, bonuses, and other benefits you offer as part of the total compensation package. Many home health aides consider items like medical benefits just as important as the base salary and will evaluate the total compensation package when deciding whether to accept a job.


two nursing assistants working together at a computer station


4. Understand What Motivates a Home Health Aide and Address It

Given that it’s a job seeker’s market, the competition is steep for organizations looking to fill home health aide positions. When pay falls short, respect and the way they are treated top the list of what is important to many paid caregivers. During the interview, be ready to share what your company has to offer that goes beyond compensation, and consider how you show respect and appreciation to your staff as you think through your responses.


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5. Be Consistent With Your Interview Questions

When interviewing candidates, it’s best to use the same or very similar interview questions with each candidate. This will allow for more consistency in your assessment after the fact. Of course, you’ll want to ask follow-up questions to the answers provided, which will not be predetermined, but having a framework to start with will help you be better able to compare each candidate and keep you on track during the interview.


home health aide helping a patient complete paperwork


6. Don’t Ask Illegal Questions

You want the interview with a potential nursing assistant to be comfortable and relaxed. However, you don’t want it to get so relaxed that you move into the “not allowed” territory. Illegal interview questions are any questions that involve or speak to age, race, gender, disability, religion, and marital or family status (i.e., having children or pregnancy).

For example, it’s illegal to ask, “Do you have to take care of children after school?” Or, “Have you had any serious medical conditions in the recent past?” You can ask, rather, “Are you able to meet the demands and requirements of the position?” Or, “This position will require you work evenings and some weekends. Will you be available to do that?”


7. Follow Up in a Timely Manner

If a candidate is in the running to receive an offer from you, be sure to follow up with them and have several touchpoints throughout the interview process. Otherwise, they may accept an offer elsewhere if you drag your feet.


Caring for patients is not an easy task, nor is hiring the perfect fit for your home health aide job openings. Planning a thought-out hiring and interview process will support you in hiring the right fit for your positions.

By iHire | September 11, 2019