So you’ve advertised the role for a new PA and people have started to apply for the position but what next?
Well, you need to decide who you want to interview. Like my post about advertising the role, it is crucial that you decide what’s important for the PA to have.
- CV filtering
This is probably if I’m honest the most tedious and boring task you will ever do when recruiting but it will be worth it! The way I filter out CV’s is by looking at experience. Have they worked in care before? Or studying in the field? How much experience do they have? Have children? These are all questions I think about.
However all is not lost if you have an applicant that isn’t experienced as some people want a career change or to try something new. They way I decide if I want to interview these people is to see what other information they give. By other information I’m referring to what’s in their covering letter or email and just the way they generally conduct themselves. Do they sound passionate? Empathetic? Caring? Or even fun?
- Tell them about you
This is not crucial at this stage but I find it opens up the dialog. Once I have decided who I like I send them a profile about me. In terms of profile/personal information I usually tell the applicant a little about my disability, the job in terms of the team set up, my living arrangements and little bit about what I get up to and the fact I have a cat and a dog! 🙂
I find this profile helps put the potential PA on the same page as you with regards to role. It also helps to make sure the person applying is right for the role as their can often be confusion with what being a PA actually entails. (Despite the expert job description you’ve written!)
- Arrange and have the interview
Once you’ve finally decided who to interview, whether it’s one, two or even all the people that applied you need to find a place to interview. Where is entirely up to you! Whether it’s in a café, a library or even in your home, this is your choice!
The most recent time I interviewed I had a two-part interview process. The first part was held at the local council offices and with the interviewee I ran through what the job entailed and asked my standard interview questions. I ask things like “What made you apply for the role?”and “what is your understanding of personal care?” I find it really important to ask questions that relate to the specific role with you, rather than general PA/Care role questions. I ask, “How would you preserve dignity or confidentiality?” This allows both you and the interviewee to make sure you’re on the same page.
Timing is also important when interviewing. I usually limit the first interview to 30-45 minutes. This allows enough time to get to know each other but enables the interview to remain concise and to the point.
Final point about the first interview is to TAKE NOTES!!!! I can not stress just how important this is. Take down things like why they applied for the role, any commitments and how far they live from you.
- Start thinking and arrange further steps
So you have interviewed maybe one, two or five new people for your team of PAs, but now it’s all about thinking!!! In order to make my decision I think back to how I clicked with the person and also what they can bring to the role.
You may also want to think about any previous experience that they had and the way they introduced themselves and addressed you. You can tell a lot about a person and how empathetic they are based on how they address you.
If I think I may want someone to join my team of PAs I invite them to my home for a further interview. During this interview I discuss the logistics about the team, talk further about the role, how the role would work if they joined and it also allows the candidate to see their potential place of work and the equipment that they may be using.
- The decision is yours!
So you’ve met the new PAs twice and probably know them quite well. You’ve decided who you like and who you don’t, but now the decision is yours – crunch time!!! EEEEK!
I usually tend to leave it around 48 hours before I offer someone a position as this gives you time to make the right choice. One little tip – don’t be offended if the person doesn’t want the job, sometimes people change their minds. Also remember to inform the people about the decision either way, whether they get the position or not!
These five steps are just a guide and the way you interview people is entirely up to you! Just be friendly and honest with the people you meet. And remember not everyone you meet will be right but you will also learn about yourself as well as others. During interviews and running a PA team in general you learn what’s important to you and a maybe gain a new form of confidence! Practice and experience makes perfect so don’t panic!
Happy Interviewing!!! 😀