Congratulations! You just received your certification as a nurse assistant (CNA). Now the search for employment begins. You only get one shot at a first job, so it’s important you start your career off on the right foot. One of the best ways to achieve this is to not only be ready to answer interview questions, but to ask them as well. While there are general queries that you should make, keep in mind that you’ll have to tailor some of your questions to the specific job.
What is your orientation and training process?
You may have studied hard and passed your certification, but you don’t have the actual experience. While you’ll learn on the job, the more involved the training the better off you’ll be. This is also a good time to find out the length of the probationary period.
How many patients can I expect to care for during a shift?
The number of people you are responsible for during a shift is critical. In a hospital setting you’ll need to find out if the number is static, or if patients are moved on and off your floor. At any job’s location, you’ll need to know if assistance is available when you need it.
How would you describe a typical day on the job?
Be sure to ask the interviewer what your typical day will be like. Some CNA positions are consistent and you’ll work with the same patients every day. Other jobs will not be “typical” –– meaning patients and their needs will shift constantly. You may want the excitement of a hospital setting, but are interviewing in a nursing home; the job descriptions of each will be different.
What advancement opportunities are there?
CNAs work hard. You need to know if there are any brass rings to be had. You should find out if further certifications, experience and time on the job will bring more responsibility and higher wages.
Who would conduct my evaluation and what’s the process like?
You don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected review. You want to know when you can anticipate your evaluations, how they’re structured and who conducts them.
For a home health interview
If you’re interviewing for work at a home healthcare agency, you may also want to ask about travel pay, locations and patients, such as smokers, whose behavior may affect your own health.
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