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Hiring advice

Why Do You Want to Be a Support Worker


Unsure about where to begin with your support worker job search? Do you know how to stand out amongst the competition when interviewing for support worker roles? Discover what support work involves and how to craft the perfect interview answer with our handy guide below.

What is a Support Worker?

Support workers offer mental, physical and emotional support to vulnerable people, allowing them to live independently. Work may be carried out in a variety of settings, such as within an individual’s home, in supported living facilities or in residential care homes. The role is  highly rewarding, as you’ll play a key part in helping others achieve their full potential.

What Does a Support Worker Do?

The role of a support worker can be extremely varied, as each person you care for has individual needs and requirements. Daily tasks include:

  • Supporting people with life skills such as money management or travel
  • Helping with household chores such as cooking or cleaning 
  • Encouraging individuals to undertake various hobbies and interests
  • Assisting with health care requirements such as administering medication, performing checks and attending appointments
  • Providing personal care tasks such as help with washing and dressing
  • Offering emotional support to vulnerable people and their families
  • Collaborating with fellow professionals to provide the highest quality of care

How to Become a Support Worker

As many support worker roles are entry-level positions, there are no set entry requirements. The qualifications needed can differ massively depending on the company, so it’s important to complete your research first before determining which route may be suitable for you.

GCSEs & A-Levels

Job ads for support work often do not specify required GCSEs or A-Levels. However, having these qualifications can provide you with valuable knowledge and skills. You will benefit most from biology, maths, and other science subjects, as these will further your understanding of how to help individuals with specific health conditions. 


To expand your options when searching for a support worker role, you may consider undertaking a diploma in care. This will provide you with a better understanding about which area of support work interests you. You might begin with a Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care, before moving up to a level 4. GCSEs will be needed for entry to the level 3 course, whereas a level 4 course will require A-Levels or a level 3 diploma. 


An NVQ is a more specific qualification that enables individuals to improve vocational skills and knowledge. Entry level support worker roles may require an NVQ2 in care, whereas more senior positions may ask for an NVQ3. You don’t necessarily need to have completed the qualification when applying for support work, however you should be able to demonstrate that you are working towards an NVQ. Although you can study these qualifications in a classroom setting, you can also work towards an NVQ whilst on the job.


Another route into support work is via an apprenticeship, allowing you to gain hands-on experience and education by combining on-the-job training with study time. At least 5 GCSEs including maths and English will be needed to qualify for a Lead Adult Care Worker Advanced Apprenticeship. Throughout the course of the apprenticeship, you will learn how to create a care plan, follow support worker standards, and carry out tasks independently.

Additional Training

Once you begin your role as a support worker, some employers may ask you to complete additional training such as the Care Certificate. This course requires you to demonstrate your competence against a set of 15 standards, for example by displaying duty of care and managing fluids and nutrition.

How to Craft the Perfect Answer at Your Support Worker Interview

As discussed, there are various routes to obtaining a support worker role. However, there are a few key things you can do to stand out amongst the competition when interviewing for support work.

Highlight what you can bring to the role and showcasing any unique qualities and soft skills you possess. To succeed as a support worker, you’ll need to demonstrate key healthcare skills such as empathy, patience and resilience. As with any interview, take some time to research the company. Read the job description in detail and ensure you have a good understanding of the key roles and responsibilities.

In an interview, you may be asked specific questions that will assess your people skills and work ethic, such as:

  • Skills questions – these will help the interviewer determine your current skill set and any opportunities for development
  • Personality questions – these are designed to discover more about your values and whether these align with company standards
  • Scenario questions – these will provide a good understanding about how you would react to and approach different scenarios


Ready to take the next step in searching for a support worker role? Safehands is currently recruiting for a wide range of permanent and temporary healthcare roles across the UK, including careers in support work. View our latest job opportunities or get in touch with the team today to kickstart your career in support work.

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