Your 2022 Guide to the Most Common PSW 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 PSWs in particular, the best way to prepare you is to anticipate what kind of questions will be asked in 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 prepare yourself for the interview is to practice answering those questions with someone. During this interview, the interviewer will also assess your communication skills, which are crucial for success as a PSW

Frequently Asked Questions

Most questions asked are scenario-based.

You will be given a scenario and asked one or a few questions based on that scenario.

Below is a list of questions collected by industry experts on what you could typically be asked if participating in an interview in the personal support industry.

Some of the questions have an explanation that includes:

  • How to answer the question,
  • A sample response, and
  • The rationale behind the response.

1. A resident continues to push their call button for help. You have already checked on them twice and nothing was wrong. The button goes off a third time. What do you do?

How to best answer the question?

You ultimately still need to check on the patient. You don’t know whether this person is in distress, so it is important the call is not ignored.

A sample response

I would assess such a situation as to why the resident continues to call for help.

It may simply be a case of them not remembering that someone has already come in to help them with a task they require assistance with.

A gentle reminder will help to temporarily ease their mind.

At times it may help to move the resident to an area where they are more visible by staff such as by the nurse’s station so that they can be watched and reminded that they are not alone and there are always people around to help.


This answer is correct as you never want to ignore a patient or resident calling for help.

It also shows that you can problem solve and assess whether a resident is truly in need of help or not.

2. How would you describe your ability to work as a team member?

How to best answer the question?

In a PSW role, you will most likely be working with a team of caregivers including other PSWs and Nurses.

The best answer to this question is one that shows that you are able and willing to collaborate with others and step up and help a colleague out when needed.

A strong answer would also include a specific example of a time when you acted as a supportive team member which resulted in a positive outcome.

A sample response.

In my previous position working in a hospital setting, we had a small team responsible for caring for a large number of patients.

There were times when a colleague of mine was running late caring for one patient who needed extra support that day, which left her falling behind in caring for other patients.

In this scenario, I stepped in and helped with two patients on my colleague’s schedule.

By helping my colleague, she did not have to stay significantly later during that shift, and we were able to ensure that all patients received the proper amount of time, attention, and care required.


This response shows that you have been in a similar busy setting and have taken the initiative to step up and help when needed.

You will demonstrate to your prospective new employer that you are a team player and understand that an organization’s success and a patient’s well-being depend on staff working together, rather than individually.

3. How would you safely transfer a patient/resident from a wheelchair onto the toilet?

How to best answer the question?

It depends on the situation – there are two scenarios.

One in which the PSW can help support a patient or resident in moving on to the toilet themselves,


the second in which a mechanical lift is needed to lift a patient onto the toilet.

You want to show that you know the importance of moving a person properly for not only your own personal safety but also the safety of the patient.

A sample response

It would depend on the specific patient I was working with.

If they are able to put some weight on their legs and can assist in the transfer, I would start by putting the wheelchair close to the toilet and ensuring the brakes are on.

I would then move the footrests and any other obstacles out of the way.

I would position the patient at the edge of their wheelchair with feet flat on the ground.

Next, I would tell the resident to start standing up while I kept my hands around their hip area for stability.

The patient should lean forward toward me so that I can support their body weight.

The patient should then push themselves up out of the chair with their hands on the armrests and feet on the ground.

I would then help the patient by holding them on their weaker side while assisting them to move towards the toilet and sit on the seat.

If the patient or resident is not able to assist in this process, then we would use a mechanical lift.

Typically, when operating a lift, it is advisable to have two support workers use the lift together.

I would slide the sling under their bottom, and lift the person or tilt them to ensure the sling is evenly underneath them.

I would then attach the sling to the lift and then raise the person by turning the lift on.

Once the person is over the toilet I would slowly lower them down and remove the sling once seated.


This response is thorough and shows that you can understand and assess whether a patient or resident is capable of assisting in a transfer to and from their wheelchair without a lift.

It also shows you know how to safely move a patient and utilize a mechanical lift as needed.

4. Have you completed the first aid and CPR course?

How to best answer the question?

This is a requirement of working in the personal care field as you will be administering first aid and in rare circumstances may require CPR.

You need to express clearly whether you have or have not completed these courses, as well as when and where you completed them.

A sample response.

Yes, I recently completed first aid and CPR course through (insert name of organization here) and learned a great deal about how to help individuals in day-to-day minor injuries as well as more serious situations.

I completed the course in May of this year.


Essentially, they are looking to see whether you have this training. Answer the question in a straightforward manner.

5. Why do you want to work for our company in particular?

How to best answer the question?           

When answering this question, you want to ensure you demonstrate that you have knowledge about the organization you are interviewing with, and express your specific interests in the organization.

A sample response.

I am hoping to work for your organization as it has a wonderful reputation in the community and your mission of (insert company mission here) resonates with my personal values.

I know that at this organization I can contribute a lot and my contributions will be valued.


Showing your interviewer that you have done your research and understand the mission and purpose of the organization you are applying to will impress him or her.

Essentially the answer above shows that your values and interests align with the organizations’, and that is ultimately what hiring managers are looking for.

6. 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 provided care with the utmost dignity, respect, warmth, and empathy.

The client’s right to autonomy should also be respected by encouraging independence.

During the end stages of life, a client’s preferences and choices should be respected.

The palliative client should also be provided with privacy at all times.

7. 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 to that they are entitled.

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.

A safe and clean home
Every resident has the right to live in a safe and clean environment.”

8. 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

9. How many PSW’s are there during the transfer of a resident using a 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.

10. 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 bedside 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 by applying a restraint is considered an assault, and using restraint on a client without a Doctor’s order is considered 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
  • The least restraint method is to be used at all times

Following are some more questions that can be asked

11. A resident seeks an exit all the time. How will you deal with such a resident?

12. You are serving snacks. You notice a resident having a runny nose. How will you deal with the situation, keeping infection control in mind?

13. What type of residents you have experience working with?

14. A resident’s family member yells at you regarding the call bell not being answered for the resident. What will be your response?

15. 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, please share them in the comments below.

Resources you need as a Personal Support Worker

On this page, you can find anything there is to know about how to become a personal support worker, how to succeed as one, and how to continue your education. This is the place to come to and look for all the PSW resources and information that you may need on your journey as a Personal Support Worker.

PSW job interview questions

If you’re determined to pass your next PSW interview with flying colors, we’re here to help. PSWHQ has put together a thorough online guide with PSW interview questions and appropriate sample answers to these questions that hit the target, and are concise and supportive.

Performing well in the interview is just one part of many others needed to secure a PSW Job. First and foremost, you’ll need to have an impeccable résumé and cover letter in order to be called for an interview. 

Guide to finding PSW jobs

After you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker and completed the course you are now at a point to start looking for work. It is important that you explore all the jobs listed under different job titles, which is why you should go through our ultimate guide to finding PSW jobs.

We also help you find PSW job postings from hospitals, long-term care homes, and community and private settings. 

Advertising with PSWHQ

Over the past few years, PSWHQ has achieved a dominant ranking in major search engines such as Google and Bing. As a result, we offer a limited number of advertising opportunities to individuals, colleges, companies, and organizations we see as a good fit for the unique audience of PSWHQ.

Once you get called for an interview, you can make avail of the following resources to help you better prepare for the interview:

Interview Best Practices Before, During, and After the Interview

Three Keys to Success at Your Next PSW Job Interview

32 Tips for Getting that Perfect PSW Job

How to Get Your Résumé Selected and Land an Interview

Preparing and Handling Your PSW Job Interview with Success


None of the authors, contributors, administrators, or anyone else connected with Personal Support Worker HQ (PSWHQ), in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in or linked from this or any other web pages.

While we’ve tried to provide you the best and most accurate information possible and we highly believe that these sample interview questions and other content on this website are of great quality, however, PSWHQ assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omission in the content presented on this page and throughout the website. PSWHQ does not guarantee your success at the interview after reviewing these questions. 


1. What questions will I be asked at a support worker interview?

The questions asked in a support worker interview will depend on the organization and the specific position you are interviewing for. Some common questions might be:

-What is your experience working with people with disabilities?
-Can you describe a time when you had to deal with an angry person or difficult customer?
-How do you handle conflict situations at work?
-Do you have any allergies or medical conditions that would affect your ability to perform this job’s duties?

2. How do I prepare for a personal support worker interview?

In order to prepare for a personal support worker interview, you should research the company beforehand. This includes reading about their mission statement and values as well as looking at the job description. Once you have done this, it is important to make sure that your resume is up-to-date and contains all of your relevant skills and experience. If possible, try to find out what questions they are likely to ask during an interview so that you can be prepared with answers. Finally, dress appropriately for the position, be honest and be yourself during the interview.

3. How do you answer PSW interview questions?

A PSW interview can be difficult to answer because the questions are often vague and you never know what they want.
A good way to answer these questions is by talking about how your skills, experience, and education would help you do the job well. You also need to show that you have done research on the company and understand its goals.
You should include examples of how you’ve been successful in previous jobs or projects at school so that it shows them why they should hire you for this position.

4. What are the main duties and responsibilities of a personal support worker?

The main duties and responsibilities of a personal support worker are to provide care for their clients. This includes assisting with personal hygiene, feeding, dressing, toileting, transferring from bed to chair or wheelchair, providing physical assistance with activities such as walking and bathing. They also help the client manage their medications and monitor their health conditions.

5. What are good questions to ask at the end of an interview?

The interviewer will want to know if you have any questions for him or her. You should never leave an interview without asking at least one question. It is a good idea to ask about the next steps in the hiring process, such as when they plan on making their decision and scheduling your follow-up interview.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

Articles: 226


    • This question is very helpful,they ask this when I was interviewed at Michael Garron Hospital. I pass my interview,but they revoked my Certificate coz they want George Brown college Certificate.they didn’t consider my PSW Certificate coz I took in private school.

  1. 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.

  2. I would like to know much about support work and how to get to the very top as a professional support worker.increasing my knowlegde in the area of handling critical
    situations with inmates/client and colleagues .

  3. Hello Avtar
    First id like to thank you for all you do your knowledge is so helpful and informative.
    Im a psw working in the communitiy
    The company i work for is involved in the PSW WAGE Enhancement as of apr
    2016 our salary was apox 12.50 indirect plus 4.00 psw enhancement. =16.50 direct..which is correct. How ever my question is…after Apr 2016 why wasnt the 4.00 wage enhancement transfer to the indirect pay 12.50. To equal a one salary of 16.50 perhour? Our direct and indirect pay should have been the Our company has been incorreclty distributing our undirect pay for two year. 4.00 should have been in the direct not in the indirect (Millege, time spent traveling, meeting, training.non PSW work). So im i right our company owes us 4.00 for indirect wages for the last 2yrs
    .who should i talk to about this. If my Company is not forth comming?
    Labour board, PM,
    LIHN ?
    And i havent even TOUCH ON THE 1.00 wage enhancement we should have had apr 2016 til… right? If we had the 4.00 increase why not the 1.00?
    our pay should have been min.17.50 indirect and 16.50 direct! No?

    • Lynn…thank you for your comment.
      As per the Government’s “PSW Workforce Stabilization Strategy” and the “Wage Enhancement Initiative“, PSWs providing direct personal support services that are publically funded are eligible for the wage enhancement (a minimum of $16.50 and up to a maximum of $19/hr).
      If I’m getting your question right, as long as you’re getting a minimum of $16.50, I would not be concerned.
      The other aspect of your question: wage enhancement of up to $19 per hour.
      The Ministry of Health and the Long-Term Care issued an addendum, sometime in 2016, issuing mandatory directives to enhance PSWs wage by $1 upto a maximum of 19 per hour.

      Here’s what the 2016 Directive Addendum mandates:

        Sets a minimum base wage of $16.50 per hour for individuals providing LHIN funded personal support services.

      Requires an hourly wage increase of $1.00 per hour up to a maximum of $19.00 per hour for individuals providing LHIN funded personal support services retroactive to April 1, 2016.

        Requires employers to maintain hourly wage increases established in the Directive and Addenda for the duration of that individual`s employment.

        For more details, check out this article on PSW Salary.

  4. hi Avtar
    After completion of this online certificate , can we work as PSW in long term care or other facilities and can we also registered our self as a PSW in Ontario registry

  5. Thank u so much sir , ?this is really helpful. Can you please put questions and answer for enrolled nurse and registered nurse interview! Will be really appreciated. Thank you once again

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