Social Worker Interview Tips

If you're applying for a job in social work, the social worker interview stands between you and your next career opportunity. Even with an excellent resume and list of professional references, you'll need a strong interview to seal the deal and get the job.

Social work is very demanding and requires both dedication and passion. Your interviewer will be looking for signs that you have the commitment for the task and the drive to stick with it. You will want to communicate those attributes with your appearance, preparation, confidence and responses to questions.

Here are few key tips for making the most of your interview through preparation and practice. 

Remember Appearance Matters

Plan your appearance just like you plan for the verbal part of the interview. 

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before your interview so you're alert and energetic.

  • Dress professionally, in business-like attire that is clean and wrinkle-free

  • Make sure to greet your interviewer with a firm handshake, eye contact and a confident smile.

  • Avoid distracting, nervous habits like gum-chewing and tapping your foot or a pen.

Practice Selling Yourself

Social workers need to be calm, confident, positive people. You'll spend your day listening to and troubleshooting other people's problems so you need to convince your interviewer you are capable and prepared. 

Take the time to prepare a few tangible examples of how you've dealt with difficult situations, unreasonable people or the tedium of bureaucracy successfully. Point out your skills in a confident but matter-of-fact manner.

Prepare Some Social Work-Related Interview Questions

Show your interviewer that you understand the nature of the job you're applying for by preparing some questions ahead time, for you to ask. A few examples include:

  1. Does this position include a lot of independent work or more team work?
  2. What are the particular challenges you see in this position?
  3. Is this a new position or one that you are back-filling from a vacancy?
  4. What goals would you like the person in this position to achieve immediately?
  5. Are there advancement opportunities in this company?

Prepare and Practice Possible Child Care-Related Questions

Confidence and a positive attitude are easiest to accomplish when you feel prepared. Asked an advisor, mentor or trusted co-worker to help you prepare for the interview by asking you some child care related questions that are likely to come up in your interview. Practice good body language, smooth, confident speech and direct eye contact.

Examples of questions you may want to practice answering are:

  1. Have you ever worked with team members you didn't necessarily get along with and how did you work out the differences?

  2. Why should we hire you for this position?

  3. What special skills or talents do you bring to this position that you feel may give you an advantage over other candidates?

  4. What are your short-term career goals?

  5. How do you deal with the pressure of troubleshooting and problem-solving all day for other?

  6. How do you handle difficult clients?

  7. What are your two greatest strengths and two greatest weaknesses?

  8. Have you ever disagreed with your immediate supervisor on a key issue and if so, how did you handle the situation?