If you’ve got yourself an interview for a role in care, congratulations – you’re one step closer to a rewarding and fulfilling career with great progression opportunities. But your work isn’t done yet. To help you land the job, we’ve shared some simple steps to show you how to prepare for a care interview.

Be specific in your research

Care employers don’t expect you to know everything about the industry but they will want to see that you have a basic understanding of the sector and are hungry to widen your knowledge – so it pays to do some research beforehand.

Skills for Care’s website is a good resource for care candidates as it contains training materials, industry statistics and blogs and articles. You can also get ahead by taking the Placed care quiz!

You should also spend some time researching the company you are interviewing for by looking at their website, social media channels and Placed profile (if they have one). Make sure you know what their company values are and try and jot down some notes about how you can reference them in the interview. And be prepared for that common question: so, why do you want to work for our company?

Back up your skills

Just because a role doesn’t ask for much experience, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can wow them with your personality and enthusiasm alone. Your potential employer needs to be 100% sure that you have the key basic skills to succeed in the role and the only way you can demonstrate that is by talking about the things you have done in the past.

Before the interview, write down a list of skills that you think you will need to succeed in the role. Care work, in general, demands empathy, resourcefulness, reliability, people skills, self-motivation and flexibility – so just use those if you’re stuck. Once you have built the list go through each one and write down some times when you’ve successfully demonstrated that particular skill. It doesn’t have to be related to a job, it could be an example from your social life or education. Make them memorable and be prepared to reference it in the interview.

Plan some questions of your own

Remember that interviews are a two-way process and a good opportunity to get a few questions of your own answered. Not only will this help you decide if it’s the right role for you, but it demonstrates to your potential employers that you are proactive and are engaging with this specific opportunity rather than just going along with it because you need a job. Plus, honesty is a trait that is highly valued in care.

When you’re doing your research, if there’s something that you’re not getting about the company or how they operate then make a note of it and take it with you to the interview. Another valuable exercise is to go through the job description again and make a note of anything that you can ask about. Furthermore, if there’s a question you’re asked that you don’t know the answer to, don’t be afraid to say you’re not sure, and use it as an opportunity to ask about it. The more relevant questions you can ask the more impressed the interviewer will be.