Preparing for your social work interview

Posted: Jul 08 2019

It’s natural to feel apprehensive before a job interview – in fact, as many as 93% of adults admit to fearing something about the job interview process. And despite social workers dealing with challenging situations day in, day out, they are not immune to pre-interview stress. The best approach to mitigate this? Preparing as much as possible. Here’s how:

Know what employers are looking for

Generally, social work employers look for emotional resilience, organisational skills, a commitment to helping others and the ability to be rational and calm in challenging situations. Consider how you can demonstrate this in your interview – it might be through examples of previous work experience or anecdotes from your personal life. If you can, find out what systems and software your potential employer uses and highlight your experience in using tools to streamline your caseloads. Read the job ad and specification thoroughly to get a better understanding of exactly what the hiring manager is looking for, and how you can add value.

Practice your answers to standard questions

Social work interviews frequently feature a few standard questions. Anticipate these and consider how you might respond to best showcase your skills, experience, professionalism and enthusiasm:

•Why did you decide to become a social worker?

•How do you separate your work and social life?

•How do you manage your case load?

•Describe a challenging or stressful situation you’ve encountered as a social worker and how you handled it

Appear prepared and professional

First impressions count in any interview setting, but particularly in social work where you’ll be dealing directly with clients every day. Social work requires a high level of organisation and attention to detail, which should come through in your initial interview. Be on time (if not slightly early), dress smartly, bring any documentation you need with you and have questions prepared to ask your interviewer.

Find your next social work job at Tradewind Recruitment Social Care

We’re experts in social work recruitment and work with our candidates to ensure they put their best foot forward at job interviews. We have a range of vacancies across both children and adult social work and everything in between. Find your next social work job now. 

 

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