Top Direct Support Professional Interview Questions with Example Answers [2022]

Prepare for your Direct Support Professional interview by going through these most asked Direct Support Professional interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.
  • Question Overview: Working under pressure is a common occurrence for direct support professionals. The ideal candidate will be able to explain a time when they had to work under pressure and how they handled the situation. Did the applicant have a positive outcome?

    Sample Answer: I had to help my client with his homework on a Friday night. I was able to finish it in time for him to turn it in on Monday.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to handle pressure
    • - Positive outcome

  • Question: Tell me about a time when you were faced with a difficult situation and how did you handle it?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will be able to tell you about a time when they were faced with a difficult situation and how they handled it. Listen to the applicant's tone of voice and how they explain the situation. Do they seem confident in their ability to handle difficult situations?

    Sample Answer: I was caring for a client who was experiencing a seizure. I called 911 and stayed with him until the paramedics arrived.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Confident tone of voice
    • - Specific situation
    • - How the applicant handled the situation

  • Question: How would you handle a recent problem you faced?
  • Question Overview: The ideal applicant will be able to explain a recent problem they faced as a direct support professional and how they handled it. Focus on how the applicant resolved the issue and if they were able to find a solution.

    Sample Answer: I was asked to help my client with her bills. I helped her create a budget and set up automatic payments.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Problem-solving skills
    • - Ability to resolve issues
    • - Ability to find a solution

  • Question: What do you know about the population we serve?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of the population they serve. They will be able to explain the different types of disabilities that they have experience with. The applicant should also be able to explain how they interact with individuals with disabilities.

    Sample Answer: I have experience working with individuals who have physical and intellectual disabilities. I am able to assist them with their daily routines and help them learn new skills.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of the population
    • - Ability to explain how they interact with individuals with disabilities

  • Question: How would you resolve a disagreement with your co-worker?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals work in close quarters with their co-workers, so it is essential that they are able to resolve conflicts in a professional manner. The ideal candidate will have experience resolving conflicts in a professional manner. Does the applicant have experience working with people who have different personalities?

    Sample Answer: I would talk to my co-worker and explain how I felt. I would also listen to their side of the story.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to resolve conflicts in a professional manner
    • - Experience working with people who have different personalities
    • - Ability to work with others

  • Question: If you saw an employee treating the clients in an unfair manner, what would you do?
  • Question Overview: Direct care professionals are responsible for reporting any inappropriate behavior to their supervisor. The ideal candidate will be able to explain how they would handle a situation in which an employee is mistreating a client.

    Sample Answer: I would report the incident to my supervisor and ask that they handle the situation.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to report inappropriate behavior
    • - Ability to remain calm in a stressful situation

  • Question: How far are you willing to help someone brush their teeth?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of the importance of dental hygiene. As a direct support professional, you may be required to help someone brush their teeth, floss, and rinse their mouth. The applicant's answer will help you determine if they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that their patients are healthy.

    Sample Answer: I am willing to brush someone's teeth as long as they are not in pain or discomfort.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Willingness to help with dental hygiene
    • - Awareness of one's own ability

  • Question: How would you handle a physical attack?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals are often required to help individuals with disabilities during a physical attack. The ideal candidate will have experience deescalating a situation and will be able to explain how they would handle a physical attack.

    Sample Answer: I would try to calm the individual down and ask them what was wrong. I would then ask the individual if they wanted me to call their parents or another staff member.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to deescalate a situation
    • - Experience with physical attacks
    • - Ability to remain calm

  • Question: What is the mission statement of YAI?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a firm understanding of the mission statement of YAI. The mission statement is to provide quality services and support to individuals with disabilities and their families. The applicant should be able to explain how they can contribute to the mission statement.

    Sample Answer: I can contribute to the mission by being a direct support professional who is caring and compassionate.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of the mission statement
    • - Ability to contribute to the mission statement

  • Question: Have you ever witnessed a person with disability being spoken to inappropriately?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals are often the first to notice when a caregiver is treating their patient inappropriately. The ideal candidate will be able to explain a situation where they witnessed someone being spoken to inappropriately. How did the applicant handle the situation?

    Sample Answer: I was working with a client who had a physical disability. The client's mother was yelling at him for not eating his dinner. I told her that she needed to speak to him in a calm voice.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to handle a difficult situation
    • - Awareness of inappropriate behavior
    • - Ability to intervene

  • Question: How would you handle a co-worker who was rushing a client and not doing their job properly?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals must work as a team to ensure that their patients are receiving the best care possible. The ideal candidate will be able to work with co-workers and understand the importance of working together. Does the applicant have any experience working with co-workers?

    Sample Answer: I worked with a co-worker who was not doing their job properly. I spoke to them about the importance of doing their job and how it affected our patient.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to work as a team
    • - Experience working with co-workers
    • - Ability to explain a situation

  • Question: Why do you want to join us?
  • Question Overview: The ideal applicant will have a genuine interest in joining the direct support professional team. The applicant should be able to explain why they want to join the team and what they hope to accomplish.

    Sample Answer: I want to join your team because I have a passion for helping others. I want to help those with disabilities live a better life.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Passion for helping others
    • - Desire to help those with disabilities

  • Question: Why do you think that you are a good fit for this job?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will be able to explain why they are a good fit for the job. The applicant should be able to explain their experience with the responsibilities of the job and why they are passionate about helping people with disabilities.

    Sample Answer: I have been working with individuals with disabilities for over ten years. I have worked in a variety of settings and have learned how to adapt to different situations.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Passionate tone of voice
    • - Specific examples of why they are a good fit

  • Question: What would your friends say about you in one word?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a positive outlook on life. The applicant's friends should be able to describe them in one word because they are confident and optimistic.

    Sample Answer: My friends would describe me as a hard worker.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Optimistic
    • - Confident

  • Question: How do you handle criticism?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals are often criticized for their actions. The ideal candidate will be able to explain how they handle criticism professionally. Do they take the criticism personally or do they take it as a learning experience?

    Sample Answer: I take criticism as a learning experience. I know that I can always improve my skills.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to take criticism
    • - Ability to learn from mistakes
    • - Ability to remain calm

  • Question: What have you done when a former client had a behavior in public?
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals are often required to assist their clients in public. The ideal candidate will have experience handling a situation when an individual has a meltdown. The applicant should be able to explain how they handled the situation and what they learned from the experience.

    Sample Answer: I was walking with my client when he started to have a meltdown. I was able to calm him down by getting him to focus on me.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to remain calm in a crisis
    • - Ability to think on their feet
    • - Ability to deescalate a situation

  • Question: What are your hobbies?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a variety of hobbies that they enjoy. The applicant should be able to explain how their hobbies help them relax and unwind. What is the applicant's favorite hobby?

    Sample Answer: I enjoy reading, drawing, and playing video games.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Hobbies that are relaxing
    • - Hobbies that are enjoyable
    • - Hobbies that are interesting

  • Question: How would you describe the job of a DSP?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will be able to explain the job of a direct support professional in their own words. Listen to the applicant's tone of voice and how they describe the job. Are they excited about their job or do they seem bored?

    Sample Answer: I love being a direct support professional because I get to help people with disabilities live independently.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Excited tone of voice
    • - Positive attitude
    • - Ability to explain the job in their own words

  • Question: What is your work history?
  • Question Overview: The ideal candidate will have a work history that shows a progression in their career. A direct support professional should have a minimum of two years of experience in the field. The applicant should be able to explain how they progressed from one position to the next.

    Sample Answer: I started as a direct support professional in 2012 and was promoted to supervisor in 2015.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Work history
    • - Ability to explain progression in career

  • Question: Tell me about a time when you had to go against the rules to get something done.
  • Question Overview: Direct support professionals are often required to go above and beyond to ensure that their patients are safe and comfortable. The ideal applicant will have experience going against the rules to help someone in need. Does the applicant have any examples of when they went against the rules?

    Sample Answer: I had to take my client out of her home for a doctor's appointment. She was not allowed to leave her home without her parents' permission. I called her parents and told them that she was sick and needed to see a doctor.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to think quickly
    • - Ability to think outside the box
    • - Ability to work under pressure