Becoming a support worker
Support worker interviews: questions and tips
While many people feel a bit nervous about interviewing for a job, it’s worth thinking of it as an opportunity to ‘sell’ just how right you are for the role. Take your chance to make a great impression.
When engaging a support worker, the stakes are always high. Use the interview to demonstrate your:
- Understanding of the importance of professional boundaries
- Commitment to listening to needs and wants, and in return communicating freely
- Patience. Life rarely goes to plan, and human beings are emotional creatures – you need to show that you’re willing to roll with the punches
- Absolute reliability. You need to be on time always, plan well and follow through on your commitments.
Before the interview
As an independent support worker on Mable, clients may often respond via messaging or call to your interest in their job posts, or seek you out through the platform, to engage you as their support worker.
Download and install the Mable Mobile App so you can be notified promptly at all times. It’s a good idea to respond to their message through the platform, even if the job post doesn’t suit you in some way. When responding to a client via Mable, you should keep your messages as clear, grammatically correct and legible as possible. This will help prevent any miscommunications between you and your potential client.
The next step would likely be a meet and greet with them. A meet and greet, aside from being an opportunity for the client to interview you, is also one to see evidence of your qualifications, skills and become familiar with you.
Support worker interview tips
To get the best from your interview during your meet and greet, be sure to:
- Carry your documents demonstrating your experience, skills and qualifications
- Listen carefully
- Answer and ask questions with sensitivity and enthusiasm
- Be 100% honest about who you are, your experience and your capabilities.
If you’re asked to ‘tell me about yourself’ in a support worker interview, keep your answer short and sweet – share a bit of personal information, detail on your support worker experience, why you do what you do, and what brought you to this particular role. Highlight the key strengths and attributes your interviewer needs to hear.
Support worker interview questions
Whether you’re a personal, aged care, disability or mental health support worker, there are some common interview questions and answers to practice:
How would you describe the role of a support worker?
This is where you show that you understand the role of a support worker, particularly in relation to your specific client-group. For example, if you’re applying to be an aged care support worker, you’ll want to demonstrate that you know how the aged care sector operates, and what the job might include. If this is a new area of work, you will need to have done your homework.
Why are you the best person for this support worker role?
Show the added extras you bring to the table – the personal and professional experiences that show you really ‘get’ what the role demands, and the ways you can exceed expectations. Share a story about a time you demonstrated the skills/attributes you’re talking about, rather than just saying you have them.
Tell me about a challenging experience and how you dealt with it?
This shows how you react under pressure, and when things don’t go to plan. It’s a way to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, cool head, resilience and flexibility. You’ll also want to offer reassurance that you followed proper processes and communicated appropriately. For example, if you’re a disability support worker, you will want to point to risk management strategies, an understanding of your duty of care and adherence to reporting requirements – all while maintaining your commitment to upholding individual autonomy.
How do you assess a client’s needs?
Talk about the way you gather comprehensive information about the person you support, from them and their circle of family and carers. It’s important to show that your process is inclusive, rather than assuming you ‘know best’.
After the interview
Once you’ve completed the meet and greet successfully, the next step is to get the agreement in place. Once you and your client have decided to start working together, and you are comfortable that you have a shared understanding of what’s involved in the job, clearly set out the details within your Mable agreement. Find out why having an agreement is necessary before you start providing support to clients on Mable.
How much experience do you need to become a support worker?
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