Do you know what it means to go to an interview completely unprepared or partially prepared? It means that you minimize the chances to get the job! Don’t let that happen.
You may be great at what you do, but if you cannot communicate this greatness to the interviewer, you have failed at your job.
What to expect in a companion interview?
There are two types of questions you may expect in an interview.
The first set is aimed to find out what your job knowledge is and if you are capable of handling the work that the company will entrust to you.
The other set aims to find out what kind of person you are and how can you handle different situations. This will also help them decide how well you will fit into their corporate culture. You have to ace both sets.
Here are some interview questions (and their answers) for a companion position:
Related: Live-in Companion Resume
Companion Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a compassionate companion and caregiver with 8 years of experience in assisting patients and clients in the activities of daily living. — from recruiting to training to benefits — for Fortune 500 companies.”
2. What duties have you performed while working as a companion?
I have worked as a companion for 9+ years. During this time, I have performed many duties, such as engaging clients in conversation to make them comfortable and providing them with one on one personal care. Moreover, my duties include planning and preparing meals, handling basic housekeeping, monitoring clients’ health and wellbeing, and driving clients to events, social gatherings, and appointments.
3. Why did you choose to take this up as your career?
I have always been an empathetic person, and could not think of a better career than that of a companion. I feel that I can truly do justice to this work.
4. Have you ever worked as an elderly companion? What was your experience?
I have worked as an elderly companion for three years. It was an interesting experience and got me to realize that the elderly need more compassion and understanding than others. They are lonely and usually quite morbid. I am now familiar with their limitations and needs and can work around them to make them comfortable.
5. What is the essence of working as a companion?
Providing companionship can be done on different levels. It depends on the person to whom you are providing companionship. Some people like to be spoken to constantly. Others want companionable silence. The essence is basically to provide people with whatever they are looking for in both physical and emotional support. And to be kind.
6. How well do you work under tense situations?
I take tension and stress in stride and work extremely well under tense situations.
7. How do you cater to the emotional needs of your clients?
I am a great conversationalist and a superb listener. My personality automatically encourages people to talk about their innermost feelings. And I always have something positive to say to my clients when they need emotional support.
8. Why did you leave your last job? You only worked there for 8 months.
The client that was catering to passed away suddenly. It was a huge shock to everyone, as he was recovering well from his illness, but had a relapse.
9. Do you work well with families?
Since my style is friendly and participatory, I work well with everyone. I feel that working with families is important if you want your client to be in a good place physically, and emotionally.
10. What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to reach out to people effectively. People take to me quickly, which makes it easy for me to provide care to them.
11. What is your biggest weakness?
Sometimes I feel that I care too much. If one wants to work as a companion, one needs to care but remain detached. I have trouble doing the latter. However, I am trying to train myself to be emotionally detached, and still remain empathetic.
12. What makes you right for this position?
My skills and qualifications are a perfect match for your requirements. I know the work inside out, and can effectively provide one on one companionship and care to clients. I also have experience in working with clients with dementia, which is another brownie point.
13. What aspects of the work do you find most likely to wear you down or discourage you?
In my 9 years of experience as a companion, I have not come across a single aspect that will discourage me to work. The death of a client does wear me down momentarily, but then that is just be being human!
14. Do you set personal goals for yourself?
I do. Setting personal goals for myself makes it easy for me to work in a dedicated manner.
15. Do you prefer working with the elderly or children?
I love working with both. I do not have favorites.
16. Do you mind pets?
Not at all. If anything, I feel that having a pet makes it easier for people to recover from their ailments.
17. Tell me about a time when you worked with a difficult client.
I have worked with many clients who were challenging to handle. Recently, I was providing companionship to a dementia patient, who would hallucinate often. At times, the hallucinations were so bad that he would cower in a corner to save himself from something that I could not see. It was heartbreaking to see him so scared, and almost impossible to calm his fears.
18. What is the biggest thing that you have learned from your past experience?
I have learned that a lack of empathy for others makes one a terrible individual.
19. What is your proudest past achievement?
I successfully managed to provide companionship to a 97-year-old man for 5 years (since he was 92). He was left alone by his children, who paid for his care, but never visited or called. A few days before he passed on, he said to me that he was glad to have known me. He also mentioned that he had wished that I was his child many times in the last few years. His love and confidence in me made me realize that I had done something extraordinary for him, even though all that I was doing was my duty.
20. If you were hiring someone as a companion, what top 3 skills would you ask for?
I would want the person to be empathetic, patient, and loving.
21. How do you handle the times when being kind is difficult?
I feel that being kind is never difficult. It takes zero effort to show someone that you care about. I have never come across a time that I felt the need to make an effort to be kind.
22. If your client is in a bad mood, how do you help?
Some clients need to be left alone when they are in a bad mood. So, I do not ask questions when I know that this is what they want. If I feel that the client’s bad mood will be elevated if I offered support, I try to inquire about what is going on in their mind.
23. Speaking of kindness, there may be times when being kind is difficult. How do you deal with that?
True. Sometimes, our patience as a companion is truly tested. People can be rude and behave in a way that is hardly nice. It is in times like these that our mettle is truly tested. No matter what the situation is, we have to be patient and understand that they might be going through an emotional turmoil for them to behave this way.
24. What is your ideal work environment?
I feel that one makes one’s own ideal work environment. I strive hard to ensure that my work environment remains conducive to providing love and care to those who need them the most.
25. When can you start working for us?
Since I am not working anywhere at the moment, I can begin work as soon as it is offered to me.
You cannot work as a companion if your interview hasn’t gone well. Preparing for it in advance is important. You will be asked many questions regarding your work experience, skills, and personality. All these are important for the employer to know because of the nature of this work.