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Social Work Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
How does the work in this organization fit your professional mission?
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How to Answer
If you simply take a job for the paycheck then you will never be happy. If the organization fits well with your career aspirations, you'll naturally be motivated to do good work there. Tell the interviewer how similar the organization's mission is to yours. Tell the interviewer what it was about the organization's mission that got you excited to interview for this position.
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Top 30 Social Work Interview Questions with Full Content
How does the work in this organization fit your professional mission?
If you simply take a job for the paycheck then you will never be happy. If the organization fits well with your career aspirations, you'll naturally be motivated to do good work there. Tell the interviewer how similar the organization's mission is to yours. Tell the interviewer what it was about the organization's mission that got you excited to interview for this position.
Heather's Answer
"Our mission is the same: to provide quality care to patients."
What is your ideal schedule?
This question could be a way for you to flip the tables and find out what schedules they work and what they wanted the new hire to work in. Be sure to voice at this time if day shift is the only shift you can work because of other obligations.

Heather's Answer #1
"I'm available to work any shift you need me on. What shifts do you all have here? Was there one that you needed me to fill? "
Heather's Answer #2
"My ideal schedule would be day shift but I'm able to work any shift with a few days notice."
What is your experience with the target population that you will be working with?
Because you've done your homework before the interview, you won't have to ask the awkward question of who your population will be. Have some situational stories handy to share with the interviewer. If you've never worked with the target population let the interviewer know but that you are excited at the chance to do something new. Do you best to relate your past work experience to what you are applying to.
Heather's Answer
"I haven't had the chance to work too much with adults as much of my experience is working with children. I look forward to the opportunity to work with a new population, learn and grow with them."
After reviewing our job description, what do you feel makes you most qualified for this position with us?
This question is similar to the famous 'Tell us about yourself' question. Were you drawn to this agencies description because you felt it was written just for you? Is the description something out of your comfort zone and you're ready for the challenge? Be confident with your answer. Don't talk yourself out of the job by stating you don't have the experience. Secure the job by showing your enthusiasm, confirming your capabilities through your education and skills and let the interviewer know that you are a new set of eyes ready for the challenge.

Heather's Answer #1
"When I read your job announcement I knew I had to apply, I felt like it was written just for me! I've had the opportunity through my experience to match up to all of your qualifications and then some! I'm excited for the opportunity to share my experience with co-workers and pick up where I left off with new clients."
Heather's Answer #2
"I've been following your company for years just waiting for a position to open up. I have all of the qualifications on paper and more. I'd like the opportunity to bring a new approach to your company and provide excellent care to your patients."
What are your professional qualifications?
This question is why it is important to review your resume before the interview. Because we update our resume's so often you'll want to be sure you are hitting all the important information. Briefly, tell the interviewer what your education level and if you are licensed. The interviewer will want to hear about your recent work experiences and how they relate to the position you are interviewing for. Without spending too much time answering this question, concentrate on a handful of highlights during your career that will make you stand out and have the interviewer excited to ask more questions.
Heather's Answer
"I spent my internship working within the adoption and social work field and in an assisted living facility. With my wide range of experience paired with my education I know I would be an asset to your company."
How has your education/work experience prepared you for this position?
Keep in mind this is a two part question. Start this question off with a snapshot of your education. A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is required to be a Social Worker, a Masters Degree is preferred as well as the appropriate licensure and credentials for the state that you are working in. When discussing your work experience you'll want to keep it short. Have a few big impact experiences to share with the interviewer that will show your wide range of skills as a Social Worker.

Heather's Answer #1
"In addition to my Bachelors and Masters degree in Social work I've devoted many hours volunteering with our local Woman's shelter and local school. I've been lucky enough for the last 4 years to work with an amazing staff of professionals and be able to bring my experience into the homes of families that need my intervention and counseling."
Heather's Answer #2
"My internship has truly prepared me for this position. I was supervised at a psychiatric facility by a very knowledgeable LCSW. I was able to utilize my education and the support of leadership to become the Social Worker that I am today."
What action steps would you take to remove children from an unsafe home environment?
For this interview answer you will briefly explain the steps from the emergency removal to the child returning back to the home. Take this time to let the interviewer know that you've been through this process before, how you were a part of the process and what the outcome was. Be sure not to use names or identifying information.
Heather's Answer
"I would first get all the appropriate agencies and people involved. I would assure that we follow all State and Federal rules and safely remove the child."
Are you able to work well with a team?
Your resume shows that you possess the skills to do the job, now the interviewer wants to see if you can work well with others. Tell the interviewer about a few of the characteristics you possess that will come in handy while working on a team. Do you follow or lead well? Do you keep the team organized? Are you the one that always seems to make others smile?

Heather's Answer #1
"I do work well within the team. I'm often asked to be the lead of projects because of my time management and organizational skills. I don't have any problems delegating work, keeping a team on schedule and following up with people in order to accomplish a goal."
Heather's Answer #2
"Absolutely! My approach with patients is to work within a multidisciplinary team. It's important that we work well together to provide the best care for the patient."
What have been your most difficult type of client thus far?
Don't get hung up on the word 'difficult' but think of it as a welcomed challenge. If you choose to highlight a particular population, the interviewer may fear that you are not comfortable or knowledgeable working with that particular crowd. Instead, choose a character that is difficult. Don't use names or too many details. The important thing to remember with this question is how you learned and become a better Social Worker because of this type of client.

Heather's Answer #1
"The most difficult client would be the one that given the tools to help themselves they choose not to. Over the years I've been able to be creative on how I work with these clients. These clients are always challenging but after time they see that I'm trying to help and it is very rewarding."
Heather's Answer #2
"The most difficult type of client is a child involved in a child abuse situation. The situation can be emotional and time consuming."
What do you hope to accomplish at this company?
Researching the company will give you a better idea of where you will fit in. See what the company's website has posted as their upcoming projects, awards they've won and impacts they've made on the community. If you are interviewing for a position, working with a particular population that you've never worked with before, that could be an accomplishment of its own. Because your accomplishment won't be to go with the flow and fit in, you'll want to show your passion for the job and how you are going to make an impact within the company.
Heather's Answer
"I hope to bring a new social group to provide support and encouragement to our community."
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