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  • 14 April 2021
  • 4 min read

The 8 Key Topics You Need To Cover In Your Care Home Manager Job Interview Questions

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    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Liam Palmer
  • 0
  • 2969
"if too many issues and challenges are cited during the interview, you are better off continuing your job search"

An interview for a Registered Manager’s job is your chance to find out if the role is a great opportunity. This article details how every manager should prepare for their care home job interview.

As a Registered Manager or up-and-coming Registered Manager you’ll be aware how the wider issues around a Care Home’s service provision can impact success.

Before taking a new Care Home Manager’s role you need to see the road ahead clearly. That way, if you take the job you will know what adjustments you will need to make and how you will plan to navigate around potential problems.

Or, in the worst case scenario, you will need to reject the offer.

If nothing else, it will give you some pertinent questions to ask at that interview where the Home Manager keeps changing every 6 months.

So - ask about these key factors - they can each affect your likelihood of success:

1. Location

This impacts availability of labour and transport routes / ease of staff getting to work for the usual 8am / leaving at 8pm. If you need to recruit staff (and you will) how hard will it be?

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2. Reputation

What do the local authorities – council, CQC, visiting nurses, GP surgery etc. think of the home? A new Registered / Home Manager cannot influence these perceptions quickly, sometimes ever.

3. Competition

How does this care home compare to other homes in the area in terms of fee rate / mix of private / publicly funded residents?

Every home has their relative ranking within the local homes in the area. Where does this one stand?

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4. Staff

Are there cliques within the staff?

These can be unprofessional / troublesome / old fashioned approach to care – this is more problematic than it sounds.

Long serving staff who aren’t strong tend to have a power base in the home and you cannot discipline someone unless they clearly cross lines within your disciplinary policy.

These staff can cause a manager to fail. Find out about the employees by asking about them.

5. Audits

● How good are the templates?

● Are they updated to recent changes in the law?

● Does the service have a quality team or full mock inspections?

● Which template is used and what is the level of skill of the auditor?

● Does the service give sufficient supernumerary time so that audits are done to an acceptable standard?

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6. Management Info / Data

● Is there a central database with key data?

● Who oversees this?

● Who ensures actions are taken against patterns and how is this evidenced?

7. HR Support

● Does the service have any?

● Are the admin and manager trained in the correct use of the law as applicable to Social Care?

8. Support From Above?

● Does the Home Manager have a manager overseeing them, like a Regional Director (RD)?

● How does that work – do they do audits?

● Do they approve spending requests? Or is there a further Operations Director who determines this?

● Do staff speak to the RD directly bypassing the HM on trivial matters and if so, why?

● Is it a small service where the owners approve basic spending?

● Who is the Nominated Individual?

● Do they take an active or passive role?

● Is the CEO qualified to lead a healthcare service (many in private firms don’t have qualifications for their role, especially as an owner, and may have a limited understanding of the law).

● You can’t ask directly but you can find out a little more about their background (if the owner doesn’t understand the law as applied to Social Care, it can be hard to explain why specific expenditure is required for example).

All of these areas will determine elements of the environment you will work in.

If you aren’t satisfied with the answers then you are forewarned. Which is to be forearmed.

You go into the job with your eyes wide open.

Or, of course, if too many issues and challenges are cited, you are better off continuing your job search and finding a role that will let you grow, not battle!

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About the author

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Liam Palmer
  • 0
  • 2969

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