How Do You Prepare for a Social Worker Interview?

Getting Started

A support worker interview like many interviews is based on expectations which should be met by the interviewees. Now, the reason why you became a social worker are varied. I became a social worker because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people. But one of the things that you’ll find is that wanting to make a difference in social work is not just the bulk of the work. There are other things that you have to do within a profession that you’re taught when you’re in school, but they manifest themselves in totally different ways when you get out into the field. So you might find that you get discouraged when you’re in the field, or you might second guess your decision as to why you became a social worker, because once you began doing the work, you find that it’s not just about helping people. It means that to be successful, the support worker should adequately answer questions associated with the role. In this edition, we explore a set of common questions that are asked in support worker interviews.

1. Tell me about yourself

Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed today. I am a passionate, hardworking, honest, and professional social worker who has the necessary skills, the qualities, and the experience to perform to the standards you would expect within this kind of role. Now, I am an excellent communicator and listener. I am able to utilise critical thinking skills to achieve my objectives. I always ensure I follow my training and the rules and procedures and legal requirements surrounding social work. I’m also someone who sets appropriate boundaries whilst building relationships with my clients and those I’m working with. So I am highly organised tolerant, and I will show the correct level of empathy when the situation requires it. I really enjoy my work as a social worker. And I feel if you employ me within the position, you’ll be more than happy with my loyalty, my values, and also my strong work ethics.

2. Why do you want to be a social worker?

Being a social worker comes with a huge amount of responsibility. I am someone who naturally prefers to work in a challenging role where I genuinely get to make a difference to people’s lives. Now you don’t become a social worker for the financial reward. And on that basis, there has to be a passion, a commitment, and a dedication to social work for it to be an attractive career. I want to be a social worker because I have all of the necessary attributes and I feel I can really make a positive difference to not only the people I’m working with, but also your department and the wider social worker team. Now, over the years, I’ve worked hard to gain competence in the role to build the right level of knowledge and experience, and to also ensure I am up to the challenge that lies ahead. So that gives very specific reasons why you want to become a social worker.

3.Why do you want to work for our organisation as a support worker?

Now, my tip is carry out a little bit of research into the organisation. You are applying to join as support worker and during your research, choose some positive aspects about them that you can then use in your answer. Here is my suggested response. I am always very careful about the organisation I work for as a support worker, as you have to have the support needed to carry out the work professionally. When I first saw the position advertised, I carried out a little bit of research to look into your care standards on also the code of conduct you expect your staff to adhere to. I feel if I am successful today at the interview and I get to become a support worker for you, the standards you expect from your staff and the standards I personally work to will be very much closely aligned. You are clearly a professional company who cares, and you’re also only employee people who want to provide the best service possible to patients and clients.

4. What do you expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis as a social worker?

I expect my duties to be many and varied, including carrying out interviews and attending meetings with clients and families to assess their situation and their needs. The interviews and meetings will on occasions, be in collaboration with other interested stakeholders and agencies. It will be important for me to follow protocol and to utilise the appropriate assessments when creating more reports I will need to meet with and with external and internal agencies in my capacity as a social worker. And I see combined collaborative work in a very much integral part of my role. Obviously the sharing of information where appropriate will be vital. I will be responsible for making the necessary recommendations in the best interests of the family and the individuals I’m working with. And I will need to keep up to date and accurate records at all times I will on occasions, need to refer families and individuals to other agencies. So to provide them with the correct level of information or support, and I will also need to prepare accurate records and documents for both legal proceedings and when also given evidence in court. And finally I will be responsible for my own professional development and I will need to participate in ongoing training and development courses to ensure I carry out my duties as a social worker to the highest standards possible.

5. What skills and qualities do you have to enable you to do the job of a social worker?

I am first and foremost, a strong communicator and listener. These skills are vital in the role of a social worker. And I have the experience to deal with a variety of situations where needed. I also feel I have a good level of emotional intelligence. So what I mean by this is I’m self aware and I understand and recognise my own strengths, my limitations, my emotions, and also my actions. I also have the ability to self regulate. I am self-motivated and I possess the appropriate social skills to deal with all types of situations. I will likely encounter as a social worker. I’m highly organised professional, and I’m aware of the boundaries. I must set within my work while dealing with individuals, clients, and families. Finally, I will always carry out my duties in a stricter sort of confidence. And I will demonstrate empathy as, and when a situation requires me to do so. I would use effective listening skills, ask appropriate questions and communicate in a manner that was conducive to good social work. I would assess their situation by listening to what they had to say, draw from other information that might be available through other agencies or organisations, and then make recommendations based on the assessment I would’ve conducted. I would most certainly demonstrate empathy when the situation required it, but I would always ensure the appropriate boundaries were put in place from the outset. Now above all, I would adhere to my training and the protocols I would be required to follow in order to reach a successful outcome for the individual or the family member.

6. Tell me about a time where you had had to deal with conflict.

Here is an example: I was working in a previous job attending an important meeting when one of the meeting members insisted on being confrontational and obstructive during the meeting, nobody, including the chairperson of the meeting, appeared to be dealing with his disruptive behaviour. And so I felt that I needed to take responsibility to resolve the situation for the sake of the meeting and our combined goals. When the opportunity arose, I challenged him in a calm manner by asking whether it would be possible for a result to concentrate on the objectives of the meeting. I said that I personally felt some of his contributions were not very helpful. I then explained that we didn’t have much time to agree the meeting outcomes and that I felt his vast experience could actually be used positively to help us all achieve our goals by challenging him in calmly and professionally. And by asking him to contribute his experience to the meeting goals, I was able to win him around and his tone and attitude totally changed from then on in, I believe I have the experience to deal with conflict when it arises. And I will always act with professionalism in these types of situations, with a view to achieving my desired objectives.

7. What’s your biggest weakness?

I feel my main weakness at times is that I find it difficult to strike and maintain a healthy work life balance as social workers. We obviously do our work because we love it and we are very passionate about it. Therefore, it’s very easy to forget how long you’ve been working on the cases that fall under your remit before you know, it, it can be late into the evening. Whilst I will always find social work satisfying and I will put in the hours needed. I am learning to strike a healthier work life balance while still getting everything done and maintaining the absolute highest of standards.

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