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Direct Support Professional Interview Questions

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  1. In your opinion, what is the most challenging part of being a direct support professional? See answer
  2. Tell me about a time you had to treat someone with patience as a direct support professional. How difficult was it? See answer
  3. Do you have experience preparing meals as a direct support professional? See answer
  4. As a direct care professional, would you be able to help an adult with their personal care routine? See answer
  5. Tell me about a time you used kindness to treat a patient. See answer
  6. As a direct support professional, do you have experience helping individuals with computer programs and using the internet?
  7. Give me an example of helping a patient become more independent.
  8. Are you comfortable in helping adults with their personal care? Please explain your answer.
  9. Describe a project in which you had to do a lot of multitasking.
  10. Is time management important? Please explain your answer.
  11. Tell me about the computer programs you use frequently as a direct support professional.
  12. Is compassion important to this job? Please explain your answer.
  13. Tell me about your experience in working with children.
  14. Describe your biggest challenge in working with minors.
  15. Tell me about your personality traits that best suit a direct support professional job.
  16. We want to increase our customer base. Describe a strategy you would use to help us do so.
  17. One of your patients complains about your service. How do you handle it?
  18. Educating and supporting a patient’s family are key duties of a direct support professional. Tell me about your experience in these areas.
  19. Describe a work experience in care delivery that you’re proud of.
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6 Direct Support Professional Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

In your opinion, what is the most challenging part of being a direct support professional?

A:

The ideal candidate will understand the challenges that come along with a direct support professional position. Focus on how the applicant overcomes any obstacles that come with assisting those with intellectual and physical disabilities. Take note of their tone when explaining their answer. Does the applicant seem nervous or confident with their ability to overcome work-related challenges? What to look for in an answer:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Confident tone of voice
  • Specific situations that the applicant found difficult and how they overcame obstacles

Example:

“I learned that caring for adults is more difficult than for children and that understanding an adult’s routine is essential to creating a bond.”

Q:

Tell me about a time you had to treat someone with patience as a direct support professional. How difficult was it?

A:

Having patience is critical as a direct support professional because things can change in a second when assisting someone who has a physical or intellectual disability. Direct support professionals quickly learn that they must be quick on their toes to avoid outbursts and tantrums. Listen to how the applicant explains the situation. Do they sound caring or annoyed about the situation? What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands the importance of having a calm demeanor as a direct support professional
  • Actual experience deescalating a situation
  • Shows interpersonal skills

Example:

“The patient was upset because I put on a movie she did not like. I remained calm and change the movie to suit her.”

Q:

Do you have experience preparing meals as a direct support professional?

A:

Direct support professional wear many hats, and having the ability to cook is one of them. The ideal candidate will have time-management skills and experience preparing meals catered to the individual’s preferences and diet. Does the applicant have experience using kitchen appliances, such as an oven? Some parents and caregivers leave food instructions for direct support professionals, so it is essential to know if they know how to cook from scratch or reheat meals. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with kitchen appliances
  • Time-management skills
  • Ability to follow recipes and reheating instructions

Example:

“In my last direct support professional position, I cooked three meals a day using a combination of reheating instructions and recipes.”

Q:

As a direct support professional, do you have experience helping individuals with computer programs and using the Internet?

A:

The ideal candidate should be well-versed in using their computers for professional use. When working in the home with an individual, the direct support professional may be asked to show the individual how to use Microsoft Word or how to access Netflix. The applicant’s answer should help you determine if they are capable of teaching their patients technological skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understands basic computer operation
  • Ability to teach those with disabilities
  • Knowledge of a plethora of platforms and social media sites

Example:

“In my last position, I was asked to show a child how to use his iPad. I taught him how to navigate the approved apps.”

Q:

As a direct care professional, would you be able to help an adult with their personal care routine?

A:

Direct care professionals are often required to help adults with disabilities bathe and get ready for the day. The ideal applicant will have experience bathing patients and assisting individuals with hygiene-related tasks. Some individuals require more help than others, so it is essential that the applicant is aware of the importance of knowing how to perform these duties professionally. Is there any personal care task that the applicant finds challenging? What to look for in an answer:

  • A solid understanding of professional hygiene care
  • Ability to assist individuals with personal care routines
  • Awareness of one’s own ability

Example:

“I assisted my last client with brushing his teeth in the morning, making sure that he spat out the toothpaste and rinsed his mouth.”

Q:

Tell me about a time you used kindness to treat a patient.

A:

Relating to people with disabilities and tailoring treatment that meets their needs are essential skills for direct support professionals. Try to analyze the candidate's tone and nonverbal cues as they explain the situation. An ideal candidate would demonstrate the ability to create bonds with patients.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Compassion for others
  • On-the-job experience in using kindness effectively

An example answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"While helping an IDD patient, I found out that my patient loved 80's music, so I made a playlist of her favorite tracks and used it while training her on the use of adaptive devices to become more independent. The music really helped her to improve her attitude, learn faster and enjoy the lessons."

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