IHSS PA consumer handbook

The Face-to-Face Interview

It may help you feel safer and more comfortable to have a family member, trusted friend or a neighbor with you during the interview. Your family member or friend may think of additional questions to ask and assist you in reviewing applicants. You may feel more relaxed if you practice what you are going to say to the prospective care provider with someone else before you hold an interview.

At the interview, you will make judgments on such things as:

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

Be sure to:

  • Ask to see an identification card with a picture of the applicant on it, such as a Driver’s License, Department of Motor Vehicles I.D. Card or Passport.
  • Become acquainted with your applicants by letting them tell you about themselves. This also shows that you have an interest in them as a person.
  • Allow the applicant to read the “Notice of Action.”
  • Ask all the questions you want. If you are in doubt or unclear, continue to ask questions.
  • Cover transportation issues:
    • If you need transportation, and you expect the care provider to drive his or her own car, it is important to discuss how mileage costs will be paid.
    • If you do not intend to pay mileage, tell the applicant at this time.
    • The Registry recommends that you pay your care provider for mileage at the IRS rate (in July 2018 the rate was 53.5 cents per mile), or make a different arrangement satisfactory to both you and the applicant.
    • Finally, check that the applicant has a valid Driver’s License, DMV printout and auto insurance (applicants info is checked by the Registry).
  • If you have concerns or doubts about anything an applicant says, write them down, and ask. If the applicant is from the Registry, check with the Registry.

Possible Interview Questions

  • What kind of work have you done?
  • What kind of training, if any, have you had?
  • What type of work do you enjoy?
  • What type of work do you NOT enjoy?
  • Why are you in this line of work?
  • If the applicant has not been referred by the Registry: Have you been convicted of a felony in the past year? What type? Where? When?
  • Do you mind being around someone who smokes or drinks (if appropriate)?
  • Would you be willing to drive me to doctor appointments?
  • Are you allergic to cats or dogs (if appropriate)?
  • If the applicant was NOT referred by the Registry, ask: Do you have a driver’s license and car insurance?
  • Will you cook according to my needs and plan menus with me?
  • Is there anything on my “Notice of Action” that you cannot or would not be able to do?
  • How long do you plan to stay on the job?
  • Do you have any problem understanding written or verbal directions?
  • Are there any problems with the days or hours I would need you to work?

Interview Questions for Special Needs

  • Have you had any experience in caring for a person with severe memory loss?
  • How would you handle a wandering person?
  • How would you deal with a person who refuses to eat?
  • How would you handle aggressive or abusive behavior?
  • What is your training in providing domestic and personal care services?
  • How would you handle a medical emergency?
  • Have you been certified to give first aid or CPR?
  • Do you know how to transfer someone?
  • Would you be willing to learn how to use the Hoyer lift?
  • Would you be willing to be trained to do authorized paramedical tasks?
  • Can you change a bed with someone in it? Or provide a bed bath?

After The Interview

  • Thank the applicants for coming to the interview.
  • Tell the applicants you have other appointments and will contact them after you have made your decision.
  • After the interview, write down your impressions of the applicant, and then discuss them with the person helping you with the interviews. This can help you make the best decision on whom to hire.
  • Select the applicant you feel most comfortable with and whom you think can best help you with your needs.
  • NEVER hire someone without first checking their references, unless the care provider was screened by the Registry. (See the next section on Questions to Ask Applicant’s References.)
  • If the applicant was referred by the Registry, immediately inform the Registry of your choice.

Questions to Ask: Applicant References

If your applicant was not referred by the Registry, you will need to check the people the applicant names as references. Here are some questions to ask references:

  • How long have you known this applicant?
  • What was the applicant’s position with you?
  • What were the dates of employment (beginning to end)?
  • What were the job responsibilities?
  • What were your impressions of the quality of the work?
  • Was the applicant reliable? Dependable? Courteous? Trustworthy?
  • Can the applicant work without direct supervision?
  • Did the applicant follow through on assignments?
  • Did you have any problems with this person? What were they?
  • Why is this person no longer working for you? (Listen carefully to this answer. An unhappy former employer may be able to tell you things you really need to know.)
  • Would you rehire this individual?
  • Would you hire this applicant to work with your elderly or disabled loved one?

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