Activity assistants take on a lot of planning and one on one work interaction with residents. Asking the following questions can help you understand the person’s confidence, interest, and personality.

The interview is a chance to explain job duties and to get to know the applicant. The goal is to find a compassionate person who is comfortable with the elderly community makes a positive, upbeat fixture in the facility long-term.

1. Do you have experience? If so, in what capacity? With what population?

The first question of an interview sets the tone and foundation for both interviewer and interviewee. An application will likely answer this question, but gaining more information ensures the experience lines up with your definition of experience as well.

If needed, consider following up with more questions. Be sure to understand leadership in their past position(s) and who they worked with closely.

Additional questions include: Were you making decisions? Did you lead a team? How long did you work in these positions?

2. What draws you to this position?

Similar to question one, this question gives a good idea of the interviewee’s values and interests. It also provides the interviewee with a chance to clarify job duties before getting into more specific questions.

3. What are your expectations for this job?

Expectations between boss/employer and employee/staff set you up for success. Getting expectations out of the way can help both parties gauge if the position is a right fit.

Not only is this question a good addition for laying a foundation, but the interviewee will also show if they have or haven’t prepared for the interview with how thoughtful their responses are. Fill in the blanks where needed, mentioning general expectations including punctuality, teamwork, compassion, etc.

4. Tell me about a few activities you’d like to run?

This question can access the experience and creativity of the applicant. Answers can vary based on experience, but applicants will stand out when they have previously run successful activities in the long-term care environment.

If the applicant cannot come up with ideas for activities, you might share a few examples and discuss how these fit into the activity schedule.

5. What would you do if there was an accident or an unhappy resident?

Like all jobs, staff should be prepared for an accident or a dissatisfied person. This gives the interviewee an understanding of the expectations for these situations and can help to weed out applicants unwilling or unable to assist in these circumstances.

If the applicant is unsure of the correct steps in handling this situation, they may still give a quality answer to this question by showing they are okay with asking questions and getting help when needed.

6. How do you plan and execute events successfully?

Regardless of what type of event the applicant has put on, this question gives insight into the thought process, organization, and confidence with event planning.

You may use this opportunity to lay out the typical steps to planning and executing activities in your community, and any issues that can arise.

7. How do you plan and stay organized?

Staying organized takes the stress off the boss by having independent and trustworthy staff. Additionally, an organized person is more likely to follow correct procedures and meet expectations.

8. How do you gauge the interest of activity members?

Running activities can be difficult when balancing community members’ interests and keeping activities rotating and engaging. A key part of the activity assistant job is analyzing resident satisfaction and enjoyment and making improvements accordingly.

9. What makes a good team member? Share a time you leaned on your team members for help.

The relationship between staff within and across specialties directly relates to the success of events and quality care.

Having all staff on the same page for scheduling, resident needs, and collaboration is essential. An example of teamwork and asking for help is a great way to forecast the applicant’s choices in the position.

10. If you got this position, what do you think you’d struggle with most?

Similar to the common interview question, “what are your weaknesses” this question is specific to the job and gives a good idea of the character and experience of the applicant.

11. Are you familiar with the elderly population? Are you familiar with common elderly health conditions like dementia, hearing impairment, ambulation trouble, etc.?

Perhaps the interview’s most important set of questions will be how experienced, comfortable, and knowledgable the applicant is in this environment and working with this vulnerable population.

Communicating well, understanding limitations, and having patience for residents is critical and can set the applicant above other applicants.

12. What questions do you have about the facility, position, or the elderly population?

An applicant prepared with questions shows some effort in planning for the interview and taking it seriously. Additionally, inquiries related to what was covered in the interview can access the general interest and goals of the applicant.

Interviews Make a Difference

When activity directors are short-staffed or overwhelmed with work, it is easy to quickly interview and bring on a new activity assistant to help immediately. If possible, asking these questions can help to find a quality, team-oriented, interested assistant.