1. Are you able to empathize with grieving people?

Yes, very much so. I feel I would be able to help them take some of the heaviness off their heart and soul and carry them forward with their memories.

2. Why did you choose to become a Funeral Attendant?

I feel I have been chosen to do this work. To give back, to help others and to share and be supportive to others during their struggles with loss and honouring the life of their loved ones.

3. Have you ever dealt with grieving people?

Yes i have dealt with my own family greiving and i have dealt with customers from the bank who have lose a loved one.

4. Do you know What Alternatives Are Available for Disposing of the Body?

A reputable funeral director will mention not only the most common types of final arrangements, such as embalming and a traditional earth burial, but will also be willing to discuss other possible options, such as cremation, above-ground burial in a mausoleum, or donating the body to a medical school or clinic as an anatomical gift.

5. How Long Have You Been in Business?

There are, of course, many businesses that offer stellar services from the day they open their doors -- and some that manage to operate for years despite shoddy service records. But a funeral home that's been in business for a long time is usually more apt to provide dependable service, along with a list of clients you might consult if inclined.

6. How do you handle stressful situations as Funeral Director?

I remain composed, even if i do not feel composed, I deal with the situation in a cool calm and collected manner.

7. What is Included in a Charge for a Cash Advance?

Some providers also charge to cover amounts paid up front for funeral goods and services purchased from outside vendors and providers. These include charges for incidentals such as flowers, obituary notices, and an honorarium for the officiating clergy. Bear in mind that these costs are optional and may be negotiable. For example, if you or another person is willing to write and place an obituary, you can save on this cost.

8. Suppose I am interested in a "green" burial. No embalming, no vault, burial within 24-48 hours, biodegradable casket. Can this sort of burial be pre-planned so I wishes will be granted and no fussing within the family?

There has been more interest in that sort of disposition recently. I have read a couple of articles about the practice of green burial, but I'm not aware of any public cemeteries offering that option in the Triangle region.

Because no casket will withstand the weight of the soil, most traditional cemeteries require an outer burial container. It is both a matter of surface maintenance and a concern should there be a disinterment requested at some future date. However it does not have to be a protective vault. A two piece concrete grave liner meets the cemetery requirement.

I believe the Jewish tradition follows the idea of green burial in that it is held that the body should return to the earth in a natural progression; neither retarded by preservation nor sped up by cremation. Embalming is not required in most cases. But without embalming, the funeral director can refuse to offer public viewing.

Wood is of course biodegradable and there are many choices of wood caskets. Jewish caskets are meant to be of simple design and are made without any metal fasteners. A green cemetery may offer other options.

You do need to be aware however that there will be someone who will have the ultimate legal authority to determine the disposition of your body upon your death. That person (or people) would normally be your next of kin. So once again, you should talk with your family about your wishes.

9. What Are the Basic Costs Involved?

Some people are uncomfortable bargaining or comparison-shopping when it comes to funeral goods and services. But there may be a lot of money at stake. Ironically, dying is one of life's most costly expenses -- third in line after a house and a car, for most people.

The Funeral Rule, the federal law that regulates funeral services and purchases, allows providers to charge a basic fee for overhead and services common to most arrangements. The basic services fee commonly includes these items:

☛ Funeral planning
☛ Securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates
☛ Preparing the death notice
☛ Storing the body
☛ Coordinating arrangements with a cemetery, crematory, or other providers

While you can't decline to pay the basic fee, you should be aware of exactly what services are included in it.

10. Tell me what type of personal protective equipment is worn by morticians to prevent exposure to unknown infectious agents that the deceased may have in their body fluids or tissues?

If you've seen a surgeon ready to do his or her job, you can imagine that an embalmer looks the same. Embalmers practice universal precautions when working in the preparation room. This includes wearing gloves, mask, gown, and eye protection.

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11. Explain, when dealing with an unexpected death in the family, how can one feel confident choosing the right funeral home? We used to shopping around for the best price on the things we buy, but we sure in a tragic situation we would not feel up for that. How can we be sure we are not getting taken for a ride? Do people actually shop around for funeral services?

As we have become more of a consumer oriented society, most people seek the best value for the money we spend. Fortunately for the consumer, the funeral profession is highly regulated.

We must comply with Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding our price information. And regulatory state boards of funeral service provide a secondary measure of protection against anyone who might be tempted to be unethical. Funeral directors as a rule are good people and funeral homes are generally interested in only making a fair return on their investment.

Death often does come unexpectedly, but the best way to feel comfortable making any funeral arrangement is to do so well in advance. That way you can make important decisions with a clear head and not be influenced by grief. Otherwise, my advice would be to ask friends which providers they have used. You can ask if the funeral home you intend to use has a satisfaction guarantee and whether the staff is required to complete ongoing training and professional development.

Also you can select a funeral home by its length of service to a community and its reputation. And one final note about shopping around for the best price, Jen. And that is "You get what you pay for. Or the converse, you don't get what you don't pay for." Consider the added value of benefits like bereavement travel services, aftercare support services, and transferability of pre-arranged plans that some funeral homes provide

12. Competency Based Funeral home interview questions:

► Tell me about a difficult experience you had in working.
► What was the most complex assignment you have had?
► What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
► What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
► Did you feel you progressed satisfactorily in your last job?

Nothing looks worse than a candidate who knows nothing about the company. Connect your ability to the company's requirements. A successful interviewee should give examples of past experiences when these skills came to use.

13. First Assistant Funeral Director interview questions:

► How do you communicate goals to subordinates?
► Give examples of steps taken to make each team member feel important.
► How open-minded are you to other members ideas?
► What types of information did you use to choose your school?
► If you were hiring a person for Assistant Funeral Director job, what would you look for?
► Would you rather write a report or give it verbally?
► Time when you have encountered conflict in the workplace.

14. Basic Funeral home interview questions:

► Have you done this kind of work before?
► How long would you stay with our company?
► Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
► Example when you went above and beyond the call of duty.
► Are you planning to continue your studies?

15. Video Based Funeral home interview questions:

► Tell me about your proudest achievement.
► Describe a situation in which you had to collect information.
► What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
► What was the most important task you ever had?
► What would you say are your strong points?

16. Face to Face Assistant Funeral Director interview questions:

► Does your Assistant Funeral Director work relate to any experiences or studies you had in college?
► Tell about a problem that you solved in a unique or unusual way.
► How do you usually solve problems?
► What would you say are your strong points?
► When you achieved a great deal in a short amount of time.
► What is your biggest regret and why?
► How do you maintain a positive discussion?

17. Situational Funeral home interview questions:

► What do you think, would you be willing to travel for work?
► Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
► Which subjects did you enjoy during your qualifying degree?
► What parts of your education do you see as relevant to this position?
► What relevant experience do you have?

18. Basic Assistant Funeral Director interview questions:

► What is more important to you: the money or the work as Assistant Funeral Director?
► Try to define processes and methodologies you use in your Assistant Funeral Director job.
► Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
► How much preparation on files for trial do you do?
► How do you evaluate your ability to handle conflict?
► Did you ever make a risky decision? How did you handle it?
► Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Always associate your skills and experience with the requirements of the job. Furthermore, try to use verbs, not adjectives in your interview answer. Having a plan for your future demonstrates motivation and ambition, both of which are important qualities.

19. Strengths and Weaknesses Based Funeral home interview questions:

► What has been your most successful experience in speech making?
► Time when you made a suggestion to improve the work.
► Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation?
► How do you see your job relating to the overall goals?
► What do you believe are your key strengths?

Keep your answer simple, direct and positive. The best strategy for effectively answering these tough Funeral home interview questions is to prepare for it.
The interviewers want to know the real you, the potential candidate they may accept in.

20. Phone Based Funeral home interview questions:

► Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
► When were you most satisfied in your job?
► What are the qualities of a good leader?
► Tell about a time that you had to adapt to a difficult situation.
► What has been your biggest professional disappointment?

The most important thing you should do is make sure to relate your answer to your long-term career goals. Find out about which type of interview it is, how many interviewers and candidates there are, it is a formal interview or informal one.
Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

21. Funeral Director Job Interview Questions:

► Describe the most stressful situation you have had at work. How did you handle the situation? What would you have done differently?
► Tell me about a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on another person or group of people.
► Describe a time that you went above and beyond when consoling someone.
► Tell me about a time you served as a team leader for a project. How did your leadership help the team accomplish its goals?
► Describe a time when you had to multitask at work. Do you find multitasking difficult?
► Imagine that there is a conflict between two people at a funeral service. How would you resolve the conflict?
► What does excellent customer service mean to you in this industry?
► What demographics are you most comfortable working and interacting with? Are you more comfortable with elderly customers than younger customers?
► How did you become interested in funeral service?
► Why do you enjoy working in funeral service?
► As a funeral director, how important is customer satisfaction?

22. Communication skills based Funeral home interview questions:

► What have you done to support diversity in your unit?
► Describe a recent unpopular decision you made.
► What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?
► What do you see yourself doing within the first days of this job?
► Who has impacted you most in your career and how?

Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. Connect your ability to the company's requirements. Make sure to tell the interviewer about the positive results your actions produced.

23. Informational Assistant Funeral Director interview questions:

► What will be your key target in this Assistant Funeral Director job if we appoint you?
► If you were interviewing someone for Assistant Funeral Director position, what traits would you look for?
► What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
► What was your major disappointment?
► Do you find your job exciting or boring?
► What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?
► How did you assign priorities to jobs?

These Assistant Funeral Director interview questions reveals the candidate's ability to identify the need for personal improvement. Remember, when you're interviewing, you are being screened for a certain skill set and cultural fit. Having a plan for your future demonstrates motivation and ambition, both of which are important qualities.

24. Behavioral Funeral home interview questions:

► Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
► How do you keep track of things you need to do?
► What kinds of situations do you find most stressful?
► How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?- Give examples of ideas you've had or implemented.

Try to avoid specific classifications, whatever it may be. Describe your weaknesses as strengths. Say something relevant to the objective line in the resume.

25. General Assistant Funeral Director interview questions:

► What do you see yourself doing within the first days as Assistant Funeral Director?
► Give examples of steps taken to make each team member feel important.
► When you worked on multiple projects how did you prioritize?
► What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
► How did you handle meeting a tight deadline?
► Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
► What are three positive character traits you don't have?

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26. What is the cost of cremation vs. an actual funeral where the body is embalmed and displayed for visitation?

Not necessarily for the reasons you suggest. There are a number of options available for those who wish to be cremated and prices vary depending on what services a family chooses.

Like burial or entombment, cremation is just another form of final disposition. It does not have to preclude having the deceased prepared for a private or public viewing and visitation. Many families who choose cremation have that gathering time and then have the casket present for a funeral ceremony.

The gathering of family and friends to pay their respects has been an important part of our culture and an important step for many in saying goodbye and closing the temporal relationship with a loved one.

27. Are You Locally or Nationally Owned?

Many of the neighborhood funeral homes that were once owned and operated by generations of the same family are now owned by a national conglomerate.

Most notably, Service Corporation International, or SCI, currently operates more than 1,500 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In a practice that some cite as confusing or deceiving, the name, appearance, and even the personnel often remain unchanged after a corporate buyout, leaving the lasting impression that the place remains locally owned. But for better or worse, the local business's policies and procedural controls are usually supplanted by the national corporation's in the interest of consistency.

Other corporations include Stewart Enterprises, Carriage Services, and StoneMor. There are also smaller companies that may be family-owned but not family-operated. For example, a family in Virginia may own several homes in that state and neighboring states. Family owned, yes; but it's still a big company with financial goals that could affect how business is conducted.

If the ownership issue is important to you, ask about it.

28. Can you please explain how long would you expect to work for us if hired?

I am looking for a career i can grow old with so many years.

29. How does a person become a funeral director? Do you know someone that is thinking of a career change? What are the steps to take? Schooling? Certifications?

There are both two year Associate Degrees, as well as four year college curriculum to prepare for a career in funeral service.

Upon successful completion of one of these programs, it is required that you pass a national board examination covering all aspects of the profession from embalming to legal matters, to business operations.

Additionally, there is a one year apprenticeship requirement. Then in order to obtain a license, one must pass a test on North Carolina laws governing funeral service, undergo a criminal background check, and provide witnesses who will attest to your moral character.

North Carolina is a dual license state; meaning you can have a license either as an embalmer or a funeral director. There is also a Funeral Service license which certifies both job titles. Some other states offer a single license.

30. Tell me Do You Hire Any Services From Other Providers?

Many funeral providers pride themselves on being one-stop operations that provide the diverse services related to final arrangements, from refrigerating, embalming, and cremating a body to supplying vehicles to transport surviving friends and relatives to the funeral and burial site. Some, however, contract some of these services from outside providers. While this doesn't always signal an increase in overall costs, it may. Just be sure you're aware of what services are provided by every establishment -- and whether there's a markup for them.

31. What is the process of cremation? I signed so many papers and had to initial here and there so many times to have my father cremated. Why is that?

Cremation is a high heat process that reduces the body to bone fragments which are then usually processed into a finer particulate. Most people commonly refer to cremated remains as ashes. Because cremation is such a final and irreversible process, there are many safeguards in place to protect both the family and the funeral director. We require positive identification and appropriate authorization forms to be signed before we schedule any cremation. Additionally, there are North Carolina laws that govern cremation.

32. Why should we hire you as Funeral Director?

I have much life experience dealing with people, with loss and I feel I can empathize and be compassionate to others. I think I can greatly help others during their time of grieving.

33. How to keep residual emotions from following you home from work? Does being around a lot of grieving people during your work week affect you emotionally, or do you build up an immunity like police officers, homicide investigators, etc.?

Well, caring, compassion, and empathy are some of the personality characteristics that help a funeral director excel in this profession. But there is a difference between the professional relationship we have with our client families and our more intimate personal relationships.

It is natural I think that you would "connect" with someone right away in certain social and business settings. And those circumstances tend to affect me a little more. But just like a clergy person or a mental health professional, I am able to help others who are experiencing deep grief without taking on their emotions as my own

34. What Other Costs Will There Be?

Beyond the basic service fee, funeral homes charge additional amounts for other goods and services related to the final arrangements.

The Funeral Rule is both broad and specific in requiring that funeral homes must provide a written list specifying the costs of the basic services of the funeral director, staff, and overhead, along with all of the following items that it offers:

☛ Forwarding remains to another funeral home
☛ Receiving remains from another funeral home
☛ Direct cremation
☛ Immediate burial
☛ Transferring remains to the funeral home
☛ Embalming
☛ Other preparation of the body
☛ Use of facilities and staff for viewing
☛ Use of facilities and staff for funeral ceremony
☛ Use of facilities and staff for memorial service
☛ Use of equipment and staff for graveside service
☛ Hearse
☛ Limousine
☛ The range of casket prices appearing on the establishment's casket price list
☛ The range of outer burial container prices appearing on the outer burial container price list

This list of costs that must be itemized is exhaustive, and while it may feel exhausting to review and compare them to price quotes you receive from other providers you're considering hiring, it's a wise consumer practice.

35. How to go about planning my own funeral arrangements?

The first thing you should do is talk with your family about the subject.

We (funeral directors) visit thousands of homes every year and many people tell us they've never taken even 10 or 20 minutes to sit down with each other and discuss what they'd want if something happened to one or both of them.

The next step would be to make an appointment with the funeral director to record your wishes. He or she will gather some important statistical information for a death certificate, and help you select the type of service you want.

And finally you can, if you wish, pay in advance for services and merchandise to be provided in the (hopefully distant) future. Most funeral homes will offer an inflation proof contract that locks in the price for their services and merchandise at the time the contract is signed.

36. What are your career goals as Funeral Director?

Helping others with their loss and moving forward and helping people with honouring their missed loved ones.

37. How to prepare for a job interview at a funeral home?

I would try to get letters of recommendation from any past employers or teachers. Just being able to show them copies of old ones proves that you've done good work in the past. If you don't have enough work / school experience to show them that, then get something similar from any volunteer organization or activity that you have done. If you fed people through your church on Thanksgiving, then get the "organizer" of that activity to write something about you in a quick paragraph of a Word Document and make sure that activity is on your resume. Bring the letters and a copy of your resume to the interview in a professional looking binder.

When you interview, emphasize how school / those various activities in the past have prepared you to work at the funeral home. Use specifics relating to your job! For example, discuss some event where someone didn't use social intelligence and ended up offending someone with their communication. Give an example of when you are had to use that skill for an activity and explain how you did it correctly.

38. Where do you see yourself in 5 years as Funeral Director?

I wish to learn more about the funeral services business and hope to become licensed. I feel I belong in this industry and wish this to be my place, my career until I retire.

39. Have you any tips for funeral students trying to get an apprenticeship at a funeral home?

Personal Presentation is HUGE. Dress nice but don't look like a hooker or pimp. Hide all crazy tattoos and piercings! (And you should probably shave your beard and cut your hair.)

40. Do you have any experiences being in a funeral home?

No, but im a fast learner and a hard worker. I am committed to do the best of my ability.

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41. Do you have any advice for those wanting to get into the funeral business?

My advice is … funeral services isn't a "job", it's a calling. If you don't have it in your heart you'll never succeed.
Job shadow a funeral director for one week if you're able and tour/talk to a mortuary school.

42. What is the most difficult part of being a Funeral Attendant?

Because of empathizing, it may be difficult to hold back tears.

43. Do you really have to sew people's mouth shut?

It is a curiosity for many people how the body is prepared. Part of the embalming and preparation process is called "setting features." We use different means to ensure that the eyes and mouth are closed and to give the deceased a natural appearance as if asleep or in a state of repose. Generally, that does not involve having to use sutures.

44. How to land a job at a funeral home?

Don't be desperate to find a funeral home. You will end up quitting and jumping from one frying pan to another. Don't rush it. You will know when you find the right place.