7 Common Support Worker Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 27 August 2022 | Published 25 June 2021
Updated 27 August 2022
Published 25 June 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Support workers use a variety of technical and interpersonal skills to assist individuals in care homes, residential buildings and healthcare offices. If you are applying for a new support worker position, an interviewer may ask you questions related to your professional experience and soft skills to evaluate how you care for others. Reading common questions and sample responses can help you prepare for your next interview. In this article, we explore seven common questions for support worker positions, and we provide example answers to help you create your own responses.
7 support worker interview questions with sample answers
For a support worker role, an interviewer may ask story-based or behavioural interview questions to learn more about your personality, work ethic and interpersonal skills. Interviewers use these questions to evaluate how an individual may perform in a new role, based on their past behaviours. When answering these questions, try to respond with a specific example. You can use the STAR method, which involves answering with a Situation, Task, Action and Result from your professional experience. Here are seven common support worker interview questions with STAR responses to help you prepare for your next interview:
1. Why do you want this support worker role?
An interviewer may begin with this question to learn more about why you're interested in this career path. To answer, consider the experiences that lead you to this role. A large part of being a support worker is caring for others and assisting them. You can use examples from your own life, interests and passions to show an employer why you care about helping others.
Example: 'I've been working in a support worker role for the last five years, but I've known I love helping people since I was a teenager. In school, I volunteered at a local care home. I delivered food, cleaned and had conversations with the patients. I loved talking with the residents and building connections with them. I knew I wanted to pursue a similar career, where I could foster relationships and help others by making their daily tasks easier to manage.'
2. What skills can you bring to this support worker role?
Support workers use a variety of skills to perform their daily tasks, and an interviewer may use this question to evaluate your personal skill set. This question is a great opportunity to show your professional experience and interpersonal strengths. To answer, think of a few skills that you've developed in your career. Try to give a specific story example to show how you use these skills.
Example: 'I would bring my communication, organisation and patience into this role. In my last role, I worked in a care facility and met with a rotating group of patients. I organised my schedule to ensure I had enough time to meet with multiple clients each day. During this time, I asked them questions and used active listening to understand their individual needs.
I discovered organisational skills were an essential part of managing different patients' needs. I created a personal filing system for my notes and patient progress charts. This helped me create positive relationships, and it allowed me to assist my clients' needs effectively.'
3. What is your process for evaluating a client's needs?
This question may be common in certain support worker roles, such as those involving a client's healthcare. An interviewer may use this question to learn about your technical skills and work experience. To answer, consider how you assess a client's needs. You may customise your response for the specific role. For example, if you're applying to a role that uses a specific process or filing system, and you have this experience, you can include these details. Consider reviewing the initial job posting to learn more about the technical skills the employer desires.
Example: 'When evaluating a new client, I use a three-part process. First, I interview the client directly and ask them some general questions to learn more about their personality and preferences. Depending on the client, I have follow-up questions where I ask about goals and specific tasks the client needs help with. Next, I interview the family members. Then, I create my observation notes. If I am working as part of a team, I also contact my colleagues to gather additional data. I compile this information to determine the client's needs.'
4. Tell me about a challenging experience you've had and how you overcame it
Support work professionals may experience challenging situations as they assist their clients. An interview can ask this question to assess your problem-solving abilities and to learn more about how you overcome obstacles in the workplace. In your answer, try to describe the challenge briefly and focus on the actionable steps you took to overcome the obstacle. By keeping your response positive and actionable, you can help show the employer your interpersonal skills, such as adaptability and resilience.
Example: 'Recently, in my last role, I worked with a client who initially refused my help. I believe it's important to hear the client and understand their needs, but also ensure they get the help they need to stay safe. In this case, I gave the client some space and returned in a few minutes to ask if they were ready. They were, and I was able to help them. The next time I visited, I created a new care plan that gave the client a little more independence. This worked well for the particular person and helped improve our relationship.'
5. How do you continue to develop and grow in this changing support work field?
As health guidelines grow and change, the best practices for support work may also change. Employers use this question to see how you continue to learn and grow in this career path. To answer, think about the ways you develop your technical knowledge and skills. Consider any research, reading, conferences and professional training courses you currently take or plan to take.
Example: 'I think it's important to stay updated on the best practices regarding client care. I subscribe to medical journals to ensure I learn about the changing practices. I also attend an annual conference each year for support workers. This has been very helpful to my professional development. At these conferences, I've learned how to boost a client's self-esteem and how to maintain positive relationships with a client's family members. At the conferences, I receive additional book recommendations I read throughout the year. I plan on continuing these conferences and my regular reading in my next role to stay updated.'
6. Describe your process for monitoring a patient's health
Interviewers may ask this question for health-related support worker roles to evaluate your ability to observe and monitor a client's well-being. When answering, consider your technical skills and observation experience. Try to describe how your observation skills help to keep patients safe and healthy. Consider using a specific positive example if possible.
Example: 'In my last role, my organisation used a client file we updated weekly. I also created an additional note system to monitor a patient's health daily. After each visit, I schedule five minutes where I can write my notes. I find it's helpful to have written daily data I can refer to when I evaluate a patient's progress and needs. I also schedule a monthly evaluation, where I review the client's files and my notes. At this time, I update the client's plan as needed. This helps me ensure I am helping clients with their changing needs.
Last month, my notes helped me move a client to a more independent home. I was working with a client in a care facility, and using my notes, I could see how well the individual was progressing. When the medical team was evaluating the patient, I used my notes as part of my report. This helped the team decide the patient was ready to move into a different, more independent location.'
7. Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team to help a client
Support workers often work with a healthcare or social team of professionals to assist a client. Interviewers may use this question to evaluate your interpersonal skills, personality traits and team-building abilities. To answer, think of a time you worked on a team to help a client. Try to use a positive example to show how you can succeed as part of a team.
Example: 'Recently, I worked with a healthcare team to assist a client. As a support worker, my role was to travel with the patient and help them with their needs. When this client needed a surgical procedure, I visited the client's medical team and family members each day to discuss the treatment plan and caregiving strategy before and after the surgery. After the procedure, we meet weekly to discuss the client's needs and progress. Our teamwork and communication helped the patient fully recover after the surgery.'
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