Chapter 3: Getting Hired as an IHSS Care Provider

Interviewing for the Job

Usually, a consumer’s first step in the hiring process is to respond to calls from prospective care providers and conduct phone interviews. First impressions are important, so be prepared when you call consumers. Being prepared shows the consumer that you are well organized.

You may find the consumer is not an exact match for you, or may not be the type of consumer you prefer or offer the type of work you were looking for. This may be because the Registry staff was not aware of all the consumer’s needs or medical conditions. We hope you are willing to consider working for any consumer you have the ability to serve. However, if you do not want to accept the job, simply tell the consumer in a polite manner.

The Phone Interview

During the phone interview, what you say and how you say it may determine whether the consumer asks you to a face-to-face interview. Some consumers will ask many questions, some just a few ones. The amount of information that consumers give you or ask from you will vary. Some consumers wait until the face-to-face interview to hear more about you. Judge how much to say and how many questions to ask.

By the end of the phone interview, you should have the answers to these basic questions:

  • What days and times are you needed by the consumer?
  • What is the required total number of hours?
  • What is the start date?
  • Will all the hours be paid for through IHSS?
  • Is there an IHSS share of cost? If so, how much and how will it work?
  • What tasks need to be performed?
  • Is this temporary or for a time-limited period?
  • Will lifting or transfers be required? If so, ask for more details.
  • Do they have pets?
  • Do they want a care provider to provide transportation?
  • Will the consumer pay for mileage?
  • Does the consumer smoke or use alcohol or illegal drugs?
  • Is there special care, equipment, special diet, cooking, etc.?

If you are scheduled for a face-to-face interview, get the consumers name, location of the interview and phone number.

Be Prepared to Discuss:

  • Your availability and your experience.
  • Whether you smoke or use alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • The kinds of tasks you have performed in the past.
  • Which duties you will not perform, and if you are willing to be flexible.
  • Any health limitations that may affect your job performance.
  • Whether you are OK with pets in the house.
  • Any special skills or training you have, such as lifting, transferring, preparing meals that involve special diets, bowel and bladder care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), personal grooming and hygiene experience (if you have a face-to-face interview, bring copies of certificates or proof of training).
  • Why you enjoy working as a care provider.
  • The qualities that make you a successful care provider (such as: being quick to learn, dependable, hard-working, able to follow directions).
  • Your driving record, licensing and insurance.
  • If you only have family references because you have primarily been a family care provider, let the prospective employer know that if you are accepted for work, you would ask for a recommendation to file in the Registry.

After or during the phone interview, if you do not want to accept the consumer’s job, inform the consumer in a polite manner. Please return calls to the consumer even if you are not interested in the job.

Disclosure of infectious diseases

Consumers and care providers are strongly encouraged to disclose to each other any health conditions that may adversely affect the health of the other. This includes all infectious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis and others. The Registry advises the care provider to use universal precautions against infectious disease in all cases, whether or not a medical condition is disclosed. (See Chapter 6 for Universal Precautions.)

The Face-to-Face Interview

At the interview, you will be judged on such things as:

  • Attitude
  • Appearance
  • Listening skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly

Be sure to bring

  • References. (Even though the Registry checked your references, the consumer may also request them.)
  • Documents for identification and showing your right to work in the U.S.
  • You may be asked to provide proof of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test. If you are concerned about your own possible exposure to TB, you may ask to see proof of the consumer’s negative test.
  • The Recipient Designation of Provider form (mailed to you in your Registry care provider acceptance packet).
  • If you are driving your own car on the job: Though you verified to the Registry your ability to drive, be prepared to show your most recent evidence of insurance, a current California driver’s license and a DMV printout. Your local Department of Motor Vehicles office can give you a DMV printout for a fee.
  • If you are driving the consumer’s car, be sure to check that the consumer’s insurance covers you in case of an accident.

If the IHSS Consumer Agrees to Hire You

  • Fill out the Recipient Designation of Provider form with the consumer immediately.
  • Mail the Provider Enrollment Agreement form to the Registry in the envelope provided in your Registry acceptance packet.
  • Report to your Registry Coordinator at (707) 565-5700 that you have been hired.
  • Completion of this process will enroll you as the consumer’s In-home Support Services care provider

Contact Information

Adult and Aging Division
Human Services Department
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
3725 Westwind Boulevard
First Floor
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.510185, -122.796579