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Aged care job: Preparing for an interview

 If you're starting out in your aged care career attending your first interview can be daunting. For those aged care workers with little experience it can be hard to get your foot in the door of a well known aged care provider.

Whilst work experience and your clinical skills are important, many aged care providers are willing to train candidates they believe are the right fit for their organisation.  

Aged care is now considered a profession in it's own right and preparing for an interview will be key to your success. Even if you don't have the clinical skills needed for the job your past experience may prove helpful. 

Many people are attracted to working in aged care after caring for a frail family member or someone with dementia. Use these stories to highlight your personal attributes. Patience, working under pressure, time management and flexibility are all essential skills for personal care workers.   

Above all aged care workers require excellent communication skills, both written and oral. This may sound obvious but personal care workers must be able to communicate with a range of health professionals, co-workers and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

A large part of your job as a personal care worker will involve documentation. If you're applying for a job in residential care make sure you have a general understanding of documentation requirements.

Be prepared to answer questions about the Aged Care Accreditation Standards or the importance of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI). 

It's not uncommon for nerves to get the better of you in an interview especially when asked complex questions. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  •  Describe a stressful clinical situation and how you handled it?
  •  What personal qualities do you think are important for this position?
  •  Can you give me an example of a standard precaution?
  •  A dementia client refuses to have a shower and is becoming aggressive, what would you do?
  •  Describe the principles behind manual handling and infection control
  •  You find an elderly client on the floor, what actions do you take?
  •  Describe an incident when you contributed to a resident's quality of life
  •  What is person centred care? 
  •  What attracts you to the role of a personal care worker?

Ensuring you present neatly, are polite and enthusiastic is important. Listen to the questions carefully and take your time to answer them correctly. And don't be late, arrive 5 to 10 minutes early and take essential paperwork with you.

Have you got any tips for aged care interviews?