Interview Preparation: First Impressions Checklist


Interview Preparation: Importance of Company Research
Interview Preparation: First Impressions Checklist

Posted on 24May

This article is the second in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Our first post covered the importance of company research in your preparation for a job interview, today we’ll share how to create great first impressions. Check back into the blog for more tips on preparing for a job interview.

Remember that a first impression only takes seconds, and you don’t get a redo. That means, how you present yourself online, look, smell, carry yourself, and speak – as well as what you say and bring to the table – all play a part in the interview process. Read on to learn about how to make a good first impression and to download our First Impressions Checklist.

What does your online first impression look like?

Steal your Interviews with Great First Impressions | Radiant Careers

First impressions can actually happen before you even walk in the door. As we suggested that you check out a potential workplace online, many potential employers are doing a simple check of your online profiles as well. Public profiles and online articles are available for anyone to view and play a part in their first impressions of you as a potential employee.

Note: Employers are still required to follow employment rules such as anti-discrimination laws, background check laws, and off-duty conduct laws. But, it is still wise, to give your public profiles a once-over before applying to jobs.

Be ahead of the game and smart with your social media presence:

  • Make a LinkedIn account and request up to date references from friends and colleagues for your profile. In conjunction with this, make sure that your LinkedIn profile has up to date employment information.
  • Make sure you look professional in all of your social media profile pictures, especially your on your LinkedIn. A smartphone photo is fine, just make sure your attire and posture look professional.
  • Make sure to privatize or delete any pictures or posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blog platforms, online photo albums, and YouTube, that you would not want a prospective employer to see.
  • If you have a blog you are proud of that has to do with the profession in which you are applying make mention of it.

Mastering a Great First Impression Look

While no one wants to suggest you change yourself for a job, each company will have guidelines for appearance based on their industry and standards. Considering those standards before your interview will show potential employers that they will not have issues with you regarding their attire policies. Extra effort in your appearance may also make it appear that you are going to give extra effort on the job. As the saying goes, “Dress for the job you want.”

For appearance, make sure that you are clean and have dry hair that is neat and presentable. Dress appropriately for the interview. If the company at which you are applying has a very relaxed dress code, they may tell you not to show up in sharp interview attire, in which case, business casual is a good bet. But never assume that casual wear will be fine for an interview.

What to Bring to your Interview

Once the look and all that goes with it are good, make sure you bring all the right stuff.  Make sure you have:

  • A professional bag, briefcase or purse
  • Work history information
  • Reference contact information
  • Your personal information
  • Copies of your resume and cover letter
  • A notepad that is nice for an interview
  • A couple of pens for taking notes

Be Genuine, Be Polite

The next areas to focus on for setting a good impression include facial expression and body language. A potential employer wants to know the authentic you, so it’s not a good idea to put on a fake smile, but it is wise to show that you are optimistic, warm, and friendly.

When you arrive for your interview, it should be no less than 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Make sure to check in and let them know that you have arrived. While waiting, you may be tempted to retreat into your phone, but try to resist that. If you see a waiting room book or magazine, that would be a better choice. Remember to have good posture and maintain a pleasant disposition while waiting. If you look bored and/or tired, that doesn’t reflect your readiness. Also, make sure your phone is on silent. An interview is not the time for texting or chatting on the phone.

Make a good impression in your Senior Living interview

Making a good impression at your senior living job interview is similar to any other job interview. Consider what the elderly people in your life may think of your attire and presentation. Perhaps take the time to shadow a position you are interested in and take note of how the team members you feel are doing a great job are conducting themselves. Taking a moment to think about these things will prove fruitful in your overall job search, and make you look like the perfect candidate to join a senior living team.

In all cases, being yourself is absolutely imperative in order to make a great first impression. You want your potential employer to hire YOU and not a version of you that won’t be around a week after hire.

Click the below image to receive your FREE digital download of this article plus our Interview Prep: First Impressions Checklist.

Free Download Interview Preparation Company Research | Radiant Careers

Rewarding Work of Caregiving

Posted on 02May

We asked our caregiver from our Assisted and Memory Care in Salem, Oregon, Farmington Square, to share about her work as a caregiver. Carlynn was awarded the Oregon Health Care Association’s Caregiver of the Year award in 2014. She has worked at Farmington Square for (now) 13 years.

“I’m Carlynn Chewning, I’m a caregiver, and I’ve been a caregiver for 12 years in Salem Farmington Square. And, I’m just making a difference. Because I care for them [our residents], they care for me. They depend on me. They need me, and I feel like I need them too. There are so many things in this world that I could do, but this is what I was meant to do. I love my job, I love what I do. I change life for them. If they’re happy I’ve done something, I’ve made someone happy, I’ve made their day. It’s a good feeling. It’s rewarding in itself, to make someone happy, and it should be for anyone in this world.”

Interview Preparation: Importance of Company Research

Posted on 26Mar

This article is first in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Check back in to read more tips for questions to be prepared for in your interview!

On your job hunt, once you’ve managed to secure an interview, you may already feel pretty accomplished. After all, you’ve found a job you feel suits you, completed an application, shared your resume and cover letter, and a potential new employer is interested in speaking further with you. It’s a great position to be in. It’s also the crucial point when preparation could propel you forward into a new position or lack of preparedness could hold you back. To seize the position you seek, there are many ways to indicate to an employer that you are prepared for the interview – and the job.

Prepare for a Job Interview by Conducting Company Research

Prepare for Your Job Interview with Company Research | Radiant CareersPreparing for an interview should start as soon as you are offered one! One way to begin your preparation is to research the company that you are interviewing with and think about what you can offer that company and what you hope to gain from being employed at that company.

If you haven’t already, make sure you look at the company’s website, their mission statement, their “About Us,” and their social media. Know what they do and why they do it and be prepared to tell them why you want to be part of that. Begin compiling questions you have for them about the information they may not offer online, or which you would like them to expand upon. Come up with at least five open-ended questions to ask in your interview.

Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • Can you describe your corporate culture?
  • What challenges, if any, is the company facing?
  • What are your plans for growth going forward?
  • How many employees do you have company-wide?
  • Who do you consider your direct competition?
  • What types of skills are you seeking in your ideal candidate for this role?

Note: Use our Interview Prep Free Download to take note of your questions!

Tips for Preparing for your Senior Living Job Interview

Senior Living is similar to other industries in that your interview prep for a senior living job will take many of the same steps as listed above. In addition to the questions you’ve found above, you may consider some industry-specific questions to ask yourself and to consider before taking a job.

Senior Living Specific Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • What was your latest state survey score and how did your team address any issues found during the survey process?
  • What would my role be in working with your residents?
  • What specific training or certifications are required to do this job successfully? Is training provided?

Click the below image to receive your FREE digital download of this article plus our Interview Prep: Company Research Worksheet.

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Senior Living Jobs
Free Printable Valentine’s for Senior Living Team Members

Posted on 13Feb

Valentine’s Day is upon us and with that comes the opportunity to show the people in our lives that we care! This day doesn’t have to be limited to celebrating with significant others, but it can also be an opportunity to show your co-workers or employees that you appreciate them.

Free Printable Valentines for Senior Living Teams

We’ve created some free printable valentines perfect for your senior living co-workers or team members. Simply click on your favorite design and it will open up to a PDF that you are then able to save to your computer and print as needed. We recommend printing on cardstock weight paper for the best results.

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers |

Caregivers are a Work of Heart

Show your favorite caregiver (or really any senior living team member) that they special by printing of these “Caregivers are a Work of Heart” valentines. Make the Valentine extra special by attaching it to some markers, paint brushes, or colored pencils!

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers |

Roses are red, Violets are Blue. Our residents are happy because of YOU!

Share your appreciation with your staff by attaching this cute poem to a rose and handing them out on Valentine’s Day. Then you can know that while roses are red and violets are blue, your staff will be touched by the thoughtfulness in you. (Cheesy, we know!)

Free Printable Valentines for Caregivers |

Winter brings no shiver, with you as a caregiver!

Show a little warmth to your team this Valentine’s Day with this free printable Valentine’s Day gift tag. Add to a blanket, pair of gloves, or mug to make a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift for a caregiver.

Free Printable Valentines for Senior Living Staff |

Free Printable Valentine’s for Senior Living Co-Workers and Staff

While all senior living employees are contributing to the care of their residents, sometimes it is nice to highlight the particular contributions of different senior living jobs. These printable valentines highlight different senior living team member roles such as the Maintenance, Life Enrichment, Nursing, Caregiving, and Dietary teams.

We hope you enjoy these free printable valentines! If you share them with your team we’d love to see pictures. Share with #RadiantValentines on social media.

Working in Senior Living

Posted on 25Jan

We asked some of our team members to share their experience working in Senior Living. Here is what they shared:

Rachael, Community Relation’s Director: “My job doesn’t feel like a job. I feel like I come to work every day and I get paid for doing what I love to do.”

Carlynn, Caregiver: “They depend on me, they need me…and, I feel like I need them too.”

Erika, Food Service Manager: “The thing is to give them the joy, the happiness of the moment, [make them] feel special.”

Misty, Med Aide/ Caregiver: “When I come to work, this is my home away from home. And, you get really attached to the people you take care of. And, what’s important to me is to make sure that they feel that their at home as well.”

Matt, Director of Environmental Services: “We had a resident whose family wasn’t able to make it for his birthday party. It was his 98th birthday party, and he wanted a steak. He wanted to go out for a steak. And we took him to the Outback Steakhouse.”

Erika:  “If they require things I run. If they don’t have it, I make it happen.”

Matt: “When I looked at him, I could see my grandfather in his eyes.”

Misty:  “You sit down with them and you just talk with them about anything. They might be talking about their family, their past, what their future plans are…”

Matt: “You don’t get experiences like that from any other job that I can think of.”

Rachael: “It is very emotional. It is, because you’re going on that journey with the family. And, I am very passionate about what I do.”

Carlynn: There are so many things in this world that I could do. But, this is what I was meant to do.”

Misty: “We are their little family in a way. It makes me feel good to be there for them for that.”

Senior Living Jobs

Posted on 23Jan

The Senior Living Industry is unique because it includes a balance of hospitality, residential housing, and healthcare. Senior living jobs are focused in those areas. Due to an aging population with care needs, jobs in senior living are also well-suited to become stable and rewarding careers.

Four General Types of Senior Living Jobs

When it comes to available positions, senior living communities may vary in their titles and roles. State regulations, community size, and/or company brand standards may also dictate the title of a role in senior living. Read on to learn about some of the potential roles that one may find in a senior living company.


While some of the management positions fall within the other categories below, there are management positions that are solely responsible for the operation and sales for the community. The operations and sales managers of a senior living company usually have a combination of education and experience. In addition to education and experience, the head manager, usually called the Administrator or Executive Director, is required to have licensing from the state that they are working in when working in Assisted Living, Residential Care Facilities, Memory Care, or Skilled Nursing communities.

Some of the management titles of these roles include:

  • Executive Director
  • Manager
  • Administrator
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Human Resources Director
  • Business Office Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Community Relations Director
  • Accounts Payable


The care employees of a senior living company directly participate in the health and well-being of residents. Entry-level care positions are perfect for one who wants to get their foot in the door of health care. Entry level positions often offer on-the-job training with a pathway for continued training and job development. Other healthcare positions require licensure, such as a Licensed Nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant.

Some of the titles of a care role in senior living include:

  • Caregiver
  • Medication Assistant/ Med Tech
  • Resident Care Coordinator
  • CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)
  • LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
  • RN Consultant (Registered Nurse)
  • Resident Care Manager
  • Physical Therapist

Types of Senior Living Jobs |

Life Enrichment

One of the major benefits of residential living is that the residents have ample opportunity and choice for things like meals, activities, wellness, and entertainment. Typically, there are entry-level, experienced, and management roles within this category.

Some of the titles of a life enrichment role in senior living include:

  • Activities Assistant
  • Life Enrichment Director/ Activities Director / Health & Wellness Coordinator
  • Server
  • Bus Driver
  • Cook
  • Receptionist
  • Dining Services Manager
  • Dietician

Environmental Services

Like an apartment or hotel, a care community needs regular upkeep, repairs, maintenance, and landscaping. Team members working in the environmental services area of senior living will be a part of their residents’ lives by taking care of the overall environment. Positions in environmental services vary from entry-level to skilled.

Some of the titles of an environmental services role in senior living include:

  • Director of Environmental Services/ Maintenance Director
  • Housekeeper
  • Maintenance Tech
  • Landscaper

Senior Living Corporations

Types of Senior Living Jobs | RadiantCareers.comTypes of Senior Living Jobs | RadiantCareers.comSome senior living companies have multiple locations. When there are multiple locations, there is usually additional support for the communities in the form of a corporate home office. A senior living home office will have additional career opportunities.

Possible titles of senior living corporations:

  • Chief Executives (CEO, COO, CFO, CMO)
  • Vice Presidents (VP of Operations, VP of Sales & Marketing, etc.)
  • Director positions in areas of Life Enrichment, Environmental Services, Operations, Clinical Services, Dietary Services, Human Resources, and Marketing
  • Accountants
  • Payroll
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Administrative Support Positions
  • Marketing Roles (Social Media and Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer, etc.)
  • Clinical Support Positions

As you can see, there are many opportunities in the senior living industry to fit a variety of interests and skills. The one thing that truly sets those who are successful in senior living apart from those who are not is their passion for resident care.

Do you work in senior living? If so, what role did you start out with and where are you now? We’d love to know in the comments!

Mission and Culture

Posted on 10Jan

A company’s mission statement explains the purpose of the company. The values of a company then drive how a company commits to fulfilling its mission. A company’s mission statement and values should be at the core of each decision that is made.

Our mission is to create and sustain comfortable, caring environments for those who depend on us.

At Radiant Senior Living our mission and values not only apply to how we conduct business, but also to how we treat every person that comes in contact with our company. We believe that in order to provide a Culture of Caring for our residents and their family members we must also keep that goal top of mind in working as a team.

Every organization’s excellence depends on the people who work for it. We recognize that to reach our goal of excellence in providing services and living accommodations to our residents, we must have motivated, well-trained and enthusiastic employees. Excellence in care, food service, social activities and maintaining our communities comes about only through the cooperative work of all employees.

This website and blog are just two of the many ways that we aim to fulfill our mission by providing value to our team members, as well as those interested in the senior living industry.

Follow along as we share regular content on topics that are important to those working in senior living. Sign up below to have new posts delivered to your inbox!

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