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Personal Support Worker Interview Questions


So you have submitted your Personal Support Worker resume and have finally got a call for the interview, now what?

How are you going to prepare for it?

Well, for any type of interview in general and for PSW’s in particular, the best way to prepare you is to anticipate what kind of questions will be asked at the interview.

After you have a list of questions, the next best thing to do is to answer those questions to the best of your ability.
And last but not the least; you can do to prepare yourself for the interview is to practice answering those questions with someone.

Most common questions asked at a Personal Support Worker Interview

Most questions asked during the Interview are scenario based. You will be given a scenario and will be asked one or a few questions based on that scenario.

PSW Job Interview questions

PSW Job Interview questions

Following are some of the questions that are commonly asked during interviews related to Personal Support Workers.

1. How to care for a Palliative patient?
This is an open ended question however your answer should revolve around the care that can be provided within the PSW scope of practice.

Religious views and practices of the client should be respected at all times.

Possible Answer
A palliative patient in a facility or community should be cared with utmost dignity, respect, warmth and empathy.
Client’s right to autonomy should also be respected by encouraging independence.
During the end stages of life, client’s preferences and choices should be respected. A Palliative client should also be provided privacy at all times.

2. A co-worker is arguing with you in the hallway. How will you handle this situation?
Co-worker conflict is the last thing you want to be involved in.

Now, you might not have been involved in such an incident in your career as a PSW however, you still have to answer the question. You can’t just say “I ‘m sorry, I have never been involved in an argument with a co-worker.

Possible Answer
I always advocate an environment of respect, tolerance, and civility at my workplace and have not been involved in a conflict with a co-worker during my career however, in my opinion, it is always important to take your co-worker in private, away from the residents and the family.
I would try to calm my co-worker first and listen to why he or she is angry. If unable to do so, I would immediately notify my charge/resource nurse.

3. If a resident falls, what will be your actions?
Every facility has its own policy on safety and fall prevention. It is best to answer this question based on your knowledge of your past employer policy.

Possible answer
Stay with the patient and call for help immediately. Once help arrives, transfer the patient to the bed or chair safely. Let the resource/charge nurse know immediately and help fill out the incident report by providing all the details related to the fall.

4. Name any five resident rights and explain them?
According to the Bill of Rights for people who live in Ontario long-term care homes, there are more than twenty five rights that they are entitled to.
You should always know these rights.

Possible answer
Respect and dignity
“Every resident has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect and in a way that fully recognizes resident’s individuality and respects the resident’s dignity.”
No abuse
“Every resident has the right to be protected from abuse.”
No neglect
“Every resident has the right not to be neglected by the licensee or staff.”
Proper care
“Every resident has the right to be properly sheltered, fed, clothed, groomed and cared for in a manner consistent with his or her needs.”
Safe and clean home
“Every resident has the right to live in a safe and clean environment.

5. Any other continuing education you have done related to PSW?
A good answer to this question can have a positive impact on the outcome of your interview. You can say whatever you want, but if you can provide proof of what continuing education you have done, it will put you in good books.

There are many courses that can be completed through your workplace and in private. You can check with your clinical educator for help.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offer many free and paid continuing education courses.
Following are some of the courses:
• Personal Protective Equipment course
• Pandemic awareness
• Violence in workplace awareness
• Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia care, Responding to Persons with challenging behaviors
• The Trained Eating Assistant Program
• Creating a Fine Dining Experience

6. Any experience with an aggressive resident and how did you handle the situation?
Some of the common things to keep in mind when dealing with an aggressive resident are:
• Stay calm
• Hold your ground
• Wait out their outbursts
• Be upfront
• Stay clear if not directly involved
• If personal safety is at risk, call 911

7. How many PSW’s are there during the transfer of a resident using Hoyer/mechanical lift?

You should be competent enough to operate the mechanical lift and be aware of safety precautions before, during and after using the mechanical lift.

It is always recommended that two caregivers are present when a mechanical lift is in use. One to steady the patient and the other to operate the handset.

8. A resident is in a wheelchair, he tries to get up when restraints are taken off. Will you use the restraints? What is the restraint policy?
A restraint is any device, barrier (such as bed side rails), garment (mittens, posy jackets), furniture (Geri chair) or medications that limits or restricts freedom of movement or access to one’s body.

You should be absolutely aware of the restraint policy.

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, threatening a client with applying a restraint is considered an assault, and using a restraint on a client without doctor’s order is considered a battery.
Following are some of the key points that can be mentioned as part of your answer:
• Restraints can never be used for staff convenience,
• Always try to determine the cause of the client’s agitation or behavior,
• Restraint use should always be avoided,
• Informed consent is required,
• Restraints can only be used in extreme cases and when necessary to prevent harm,
• A doctor’s order is required for use of restraints on a client, and
• Least restraint method is to be used at all times

Following are some more questions that can be asked during the Personal Support Worker interview.
9. A resident seeks exit all the time. How will you deal with such a resident?
10. You are serving snacks. You notice a resident having a runny nose. How will you deal with the situation, keeping infection control in mind?
11. What type of residents you have experience working with?
12. A resident’s family member yells at you regarding the call bell not answered for the resident. What will be your response?
13. A student is with you for a clinical. How will you teach him/her? What will you teach?

Hope these questions help with your upcoming job interview. If you have any other questions that you think can be asked in a PSW job interview, please share them in the comments below.




Image credit: Used under a Creative Commons Attribution from One Way Stock on Flickr.

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5 comments… add one

  • Balachandran Pillai December 29, 2013, 6:17 am

    When I am searching my mind have this type of questions. This section help me a lot.Thanks

  • Admin January 1, 2014, 6:39 am

    Glad to know that this article was helpful!

  • mayeth January 29, 2014, 10:54 am

    So imfornational and helpul

  • Judy February 19, 2014, 11:46 am

    Finally I found questions that are really asked in PSW interviews.
    I was asked exactly the same questions during my last interview.
    Can’t thank you enough.

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