What should I ask in an interview?

Pre-Interview Questions

Before you schedule an interview with a potential candidate, make sure you’ve shared certain details (like how many children you have if you’re hiring a childcare provider, or the general size of your home if hiring a house cleaner) and asked a few useful pre-interview questions. These can help you both decide whether an interview would be worthwhile.

  • Would the commute to my home be manageable for you?
  • Are you allergic to pets?
  • Mention any other critical requirements you have, such as references or training.

In the interview Process:

Get to know each other.

The interviewee might soon be working in your private home, learning about all the joys and stresses of your life, so it can be great to take some time to learn about them! Ask about their family, neighborhood, or community and how they came to work in this field. Undoubtedly, candidates are juggling multiple roles and caretaking responsibilities, just as you are. Share the broader picture of your lives with one another.

Provide Background

Describe the outline of the job you’re offering and ask what’s different and similar about it compared to any previous care/attendant jobs. You can ask them to give you an overview of her work history, relevant experience, and anything else they’d like to share about their background.

Ask for Stories

Look for examples of challenges in their past work, and how they addressed those challenges.
Give a few scenario-based questions, like “What would you do if my child fell and bumped his head?”  “My mother is very independent and likes to do things herself but with some physical activities, we are worried she will fall or hurt herself. How might you approach this situation?”

Introduce Any Key People

If you are hiring a childcare provider or a home attendant for someone other than you, introduce the candidate to the family member who they’ll be working most closely with. It’s ideal for all of you to spend some together, so that everyone can assess whether it will be a good fit.


Some of us have embraced certain philosophies about parenting or personal care/support (you should spell these out in your work agreement); and some of these approaches can be anywhere from unfamiliar to challenging for others to implement. For example, if you are engaged in strict sleep training with your child, be clear about this with a job candidate and ask if they are comfortable letting your baby cry for long periods of time (some childcare providers are not). It’s best to recognize these differences early and explore ways they can be accommodated.

Have the Details Ready

Provide a detailed job description to review and ask if the candidate has any concerns or questions about it or any other issues. If you are seriously interested in the candidate, you could discuss the possibility of her working for a paid trial after which you might make a permanent offer. This point in the interview might also be the time when you introduce the possibility of a written work agreement—but it’s perfectly reasonable to wait to talk about this until you make a job offer.

Request References

Ask if the candidate has at least two to three recent former employers you can call for references.