Personal Support Worker Interview Questions and Answers

So, you’ve done all the training needed to become a personal support worker and recently completed your certification. Or maybe you’re a current support worker looking for a change in setting.

Regardless, you’ve built strong communication skills, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving skills, and you know how to handle challenging situations with ease.

Now, all that’s left is the actual job interview!

Your Education Matters – Start with Cestar College

At Cestar College, we provide expert personal support worker training, teaching our students up-to-date skills that allow them to be the best personal support workers possible.

Our accelerated program option allows you to earn your diploma 4 times faster than the average Personal Support Worker student.

With an education from Cestar College, you’ll be sure to land whatever job you’re looking for – but it’s always good to come prepared.

We wanted to help you on your way to nailing that job interview by providing some interview questions that may be asked of a potential support worker.

Tips For Before The Job Interview

Before sitting down with your potential hiring manager, there are a few things that you should keep in mind!

  1. Remain calm – To provide personal support, you must be capable of providing medical attention in various settings, including during an emergency. In such a situation, you will need to demonstrate level-headedness and quick thinking. Staying calm shows your interviewer that your personality fits the position well.
  2. Research the job first – Make sure to read through the job description before your interview so that your interviewer knows you’ve taken the initiative and are coming prepared.

Possible Interview Questions and Answers

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of possible PSW interview questions and answers you might encounter during a job interview.

It is important to remember that this list is not exhaustive, as many support worker interview questions could be asked during a job interview.

However, we’ve put together a list of some interview questions and answers that may help prepare you for anything your interviewer may be looking for.

What will the interviewer assess during the interview?

In a Personal Support Worker interview, hiring managers look for people who demonstrate all the qualities of a good support worker.

They look for people who can care for multiple patients, are experts at one-on-one support, know how to communicate effectively, handle an aggressive patient, and more.

They want to ensure that a personal support worker’s education is current and that the person possesses all the key skills needed by a support worker.

Here are some questions we feel are good preparation for your upcoming interview. Review these for a higher chance at a job offer!

Question: Tell me about yourself.

This open-ended question isn’t just part of PSW interview questions; this is a pretty standard question asked in every job interview and one you should be ready for at a moment’s notice. The best part about this question is that it’s easy – all you need to do is talk about your personality a little bit! Some things you may want to mention when answering this question are:

  • Your name
  • Where you’re from
  • What degrees/certifications you hold, and which institutions they’re from
  • How many years of experience you have in the field
  • What are your passions, and why you chose to study to become a personal support worker

You may also include a few fun facts about yourself if you wish, but the most important answers are included in the list above! Try to show off your personality in these answers – this is a chance to give an answer that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Interviewers will use whatever answer you give to assess your readiness to take on a position like this, so make sure you highlight your most important skills!

Question: Why would you like to become a support worker?

A hiring manager wants to know that you’re passionate about the job you’re applying for.

They want to see that you have a personal interest in helping others who require assistance and will be able to handle stress during challenging situations.

When you answer a question like this, make sure to show the hiring manager that this profession is more than a job to you – you want to demonstrate that your patients matter to you and that you are willing to provide additional help where needed.

If you have held a previous role as a support worker, make sure to show your interviewer that you’re not leaving that position because of the clients.

Show your interviewer that your goal is to be part of a healthcare team that cares about its patients – switching jobs is about the opportunities ahead, not what you’re leaving behind.

Question: What skills do you have that make you a good support worker?

For this kind of question, draw on your previous experience to show why you’re the best person for the job. Your answer should tell a story, showing the interviewer that the person they’re about to hire is well-versed in a number of skills.

You can bring up many examples, whether you’ve just gotten out of school or are coming from another job.

Let your interviewer know if:

  • You’ve helped develop a treatment plan for a client based on specific medical conditions, either by yourself or other medical professionals (which shows that you are a team player!)
  • You have a history of helping clients through quality care. If you have a specific example of how you were able to provide emergency help or even how you were able to assist a client on a day-to-day basis, show it off!
  • You have experience with meal preparation, dealing with medical records, assisting those with mental health needs, providing emergency services, handling an aggressive client, or operating a mechanical lift.

Show your possible employer that you’re able to respond appropriately to a variety of different or difficult situations.

All of these things will help you show your future employer that you are job-ready, so make sure that your answer is reflective of!

Question: What is one challenging experience that made you a better support worker?

This question is more for those of you who have previously held a support worker role, as you will have experience dealing with other patients and learning firsthand about the struggles of being a support worker.

For a question like this, we think it’s best for you to think back to an experience that helped you better understand the patient you were working with and then give the interviewer an answer that reflects having learned something important through hands-on experience.

Have you ever helped a patient who was having a heart attack?

Did you learn to stay calm and assess a situation before acting because of your work with a certain patient?

Have you ever found that a certain experience brought forth mental challenges for you as a support worker?

Interview questions like these are looking for you to answer based on personal experience and with emotion, so make sure to show your interviewer that your answer comes from the heart!

The interviewer will also be looking to see that you have specific details to draw on – they don’t want to hear something general like “I learned a lot from taking care of this one client because they gave me many challenges.”

Your answer should reflect the experiences that have made you specifically the best candidate to work with a patient. You should show your interviewer that you have confidence and strive to make each patient feel comfortable and cared for.

Question: What practical skills have you gained working as a PSW?

For a question like this, you’ll want specifics! Your interviewer does not want to hear that you “provided additional support” or “assisted other members in a situation.” Don’t be so general!

Your answer should be about how you can operate a mechanical lift or cook specific types of meals suited to a patient’s dietary needs.

If you learned these skills while working with a small team, use your experience in collaboration to show how you’re better suited to understanding a patient.

Depending on whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned PSW, you’ll have varying levels of experience, so make sure to play to your individual strengths.

Remember that interviewers are not looking for a carbon copy of “the perfect PSW” – they’re looking to find someone that will relate well with every patient they work with, and provide a safe, caring health environment, so let that reflect in how you answer the question!

Question: How do you handle aggressive patients?

In this type of situation, interviewers want to see that you’ll show a patient compassion and care. They want to see that the support workers they hire will be compassionate in all difficult situations, so show your empathetic side in your answer.

Tell your future employer about a time when you had to show extreme patience or maybe even a time when you were faced with having to act as a counsellor.

It’s important that PSWs can provide emotional support to their clients as well, so showing that you’re able to be calm when a patient is having a difficult time is the key to answering a question like this. Also, make sure to demonstrate that you understand how to keep yourself and your patient safe in difficult situations.

Ready for your interview?

And that’s it!

While there are many more questions that an interviewer could ask you, we know that reviewing this blog post acts as great preparation before your job interview!

Remember, the best thing to be in a job interview is yourself. The interviewer will be impressed by your dedication and talents, and your strong PSW education will show through in how you answer every question. Be confident, and you’ll be sure to succeed!

Please reach out if you have any questions or want more information about our PSW program!

The team at Cestar College is more than happy to help you on your way to achieving your career goals.

About Cestar College’s Personal Support Worker Program – Toronto

By applying to Cestar College’s Personal Support Worker program, you’re choosing:

  • One of the most comprehensive personal support work curriculums in Ontario, covering all aspects of healthcare available to PSW graduates. 
  • 700 hours of learning, including 200 hours of Clinical Placement and 110 hours of Facility Placement, giving you the benefits of real-life work experience while still in school. 
  • A campus conveniently located in Toronto, providing students with access to every amenity possible.
  • Small class sizes that foster discussion-based education and provide a welcoming learning environment for all students. 
  • Dedicated instructors with years of experience who take pride in seeing their students succeed. 
  • A challenging but rewarding learning experience full of support from Cestar College’s faculty and administrators.

Don’t wait to start such a rewarding career.

Learn More

For more information about our program, visit our Personal Support Worker program page today!

Have any questions for us about program availability, financial assistance, or just general questions about the curriculum? Please feel free to contact us. One of our representatives will be happy to assist you!