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Top 30 Social Work Interview Questions
List of Social Work Interview Questions
  1. What is your ideal schedule?
  2. How does the work in this organization fit your professional mission?
  3. After reviewing our job description, what do you feel makes you most qualified for this position with us?
  4. What is your experience with the target population that you will be working with?
  5. What are your professional qualifications?
  6. How has your education/work experience prepared you for this position?
  7. What action steps would you take to remove children from an unsafe home environment?
  8. Are you able to work well with a team?
  9. What have been your most difficult type of client thus far?
  10. What do you hope to accomplish at this company?
  11. Social work is stressful and difficult at times. How do you handle the pressure?
  12. How do you plan out your day to ensure that all priorities are met?
  13. What are your career goals? For the next 5 years? The next 10 years?
  14. How do you define success in your work and personal life?
  15. Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume?
  16. Why do you want this job? Why do you want to work for this organization?
  17. What have been your most desirable clients in your social work career so far?
  18. Why are you interested in this agency?
  19. What do you hope to accomplish in your career as a social worker?
  20. What kind of supervision do work best with?
  21. Do you feel comfortable working with adoptions?
  22. What would your most recent supervisor say about you?
  23. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you with your career in social work?
  24. How would you handle visiting a family and coming to the realization that they are neglecting/abusing their children?
  25. What would you like to learn here?
  26. What is your communication style?
  27. Have you done this type of work in the past?
  28. When working with adoption cases, what do you find the most difficult and how do you manage your emotions?
  29. When working with child abuse cases, what do you find the most difficult and how do you manage your emotions?
  30. Are you able to work overtime, evenings or weekends as needed?
Author:
Contributing Author
Heather Douglass
HR Specialist/Recruiter
Social Work Information
February 15th, 2017

As a Social Worker, you are a member of an elite group of helping professionals. You may work with individuals, couples, families or small groups. Social Workers help patients with problems such as poverty, abuse, addiction, unemployment, educational problems, disability, trauma and mental illness. Social workers provide individual, family and group counseling, case management services connecting clients with resources and service providers, and other services to empower clients to meet their own needs. As a Social Worker you help patients identify internal struggles, help them examine their relationships, family structure, community environment, and the systems and policies that impact them to identify ways to help address challenges. Social workers use a strengths-based approach while counseling patients. This technique suggests that individuals have strengths and resources and the social worker’s role is to help build upon a person’s skills and support systems.

As a Social Worker your patients and schedule can be demanding. Flexibility and patience go hand and hand in this career field. Knowing how to prioritize and complete several tasks at once is crucial to getting things done in an effective and efficient manner as a Social Worker. Your passion and empathy will show during your counseling sessions when you go the extra mile to empower others to lead healthier, more productive lives.

During your interview, it will be important to know your target population. Do your homework before this interview to know exactly what position you are interviewing for and what type of clients you'll be working with. The interviewer will be interested to know how you made an impact at your last job. Have a few short stories handy to share with the interviewer. By using the STAR method, you can cover all your bases as you would in a counseling session. Situation: Briefly describe the situation. Task: Point out the desired goal. Action: Share the steps you took to achieve the objective. Result: Describe the positive outcome. You can also share if there were lessons learned from the situation and how it impacted your last job.
Social Work User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 30
What is your ideal schedule?
Professional answer
My ideal schedule would be day shift but I'm able to work any shift with a few days notice.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am flexible with my schedule and am comfortable working some evenings and weekends when the occasion arises.
2.
I would love to work mornings.
3.
I would prefer working during daytime however, I understand that there may be times when overtime will be required and I do not have any problems working overtime.
4.
The schedule that is outlined for this position and when needed at anytime.
5.
A first shift schedule would work for me, but I am aware that at times I may have to work longer hours if the job entails, and I am okay with that as I am flexible.
Question 2 of 30
How does the work in this organization fit your professional mission?
Professional answer
Our mission is the same: to provide quality care to patients.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
This organization fits my profession because my goal is help people.
2.
I love people and children and I feel this is the best way to help keep children safe and protected.
3.
I am a quick learner and I genuinely like helping people to become the best they can.
4.
With the education I have obtained in the past 5 years as a Sociology major, including course work in child welfare.
5.
A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND Adaptability, this is more important for any work place.
Question 3 of 30
After reviewing our job description, what do you feel makes you most qualified for this position with us?
Professional answer
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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
How do you deal with your day that really challenging?
2.
I have did case management with people who were homeless and women of domestic violence.
3.
I HAVE 3 YEAR EXperenice in both public and private sectorMy education background is in law.
4.
While in undergrad, I interned with a youth organization called Family Patterns Matter which gave me knowledge and experience working with at risk youth. That included mentoring youth that have been through the juvenile justice system, as well as documenting their progress efficiently. This position actually prepared me for the documentation skills needed for my case management position with Pruitt Health Source. As a case manager for SOURCE my documentation skills have grown exceedingly, I also experienced visiting clients on a daily basis, my case load was no less than 72 a month so on average I did 30-40 home visits a month and 20-30 phone calls a month. So I have experience with maintaining detailed information on clients and monthly updates on their in-home health care status.
5.
I have one year in the field experience and a BA in Psychology.
Question 4 of 30
What is your experience with the target population that you will be working with?
Professional 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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have many years of experience working the target population and enjoyed working with them.
2.
Drug and alcohol, pregnant mother of five.
3.
I have been experience with group people and assisting thier social issues.
4.
Meeting and helping people meet their goals.
5.
At least 50% of the clients i've worked with have fasd.
Question 5 of 30
What are your professional qualifications?
Professional 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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have both Bachelors and Masters in social work. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in both instances. In addition, I have 2 years experience working to outpatient mental health clinics.
2.
In May, I will have my degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice.
3.
My qualifications are assisting individuals to meet their needs in the area of social work.
4.
I possess my bachelor in Art degree in Psychology, with over seven years of experience working in a diverse setting with individuals, who come from different cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and even educational backgrounds. Additionally, I am CPR and First aid certified, and have been able to successfully pass a CORI, and SORI check.
5.
I have a bachelors in criminal justice with a minor is sociology. I have worked with kids in a mid city area, and many kids thought my schooling.
Question 6 of 30
How has your education/work experience prepared you for this position?
Professional answer
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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
MY PAST POSITION WAS LEGAL ASSISTANT. I HAD A EXPERIENCE WITH PEOPLE AND SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM IN BES T WAY
2.
When I experience to type setting which one was with behavioral and other working with abuse.
3.
I feel my experience has prepared me because I have worked culturally diverse children and families. It has prepared me with high stress situations and how to handle them. It has also prepared me in developing plans for children and families.
4.
My education has definitely prepared me for this position. With the Bachelor's in Psychology I learned much about human development, mental illness and addiction even then. To build on that foundation with the Master of social work which expanded my view about how to conceptualize behavioral heatlh with a broader view of systems is great preparation. My work has increasingly become more independent, but I have had great outcomes with teams and established productive working relationships that have benefitted clients and organizations. I've been the sole person thinking about liability as it relates to how we care for people's mental health needs and I've worked in teams to develop strategic plan about how we better serve clients.
5.
My education has prepared me for this position by acknowledging and understanding the different types of mental illnesses and disabilities. My practicum has allowed me to have to the opportunity get the hands on experience that my regular classes could not give.
Question 7 of 30
What action steps would you take to remove children from an unsafe home environment?
Professional 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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
If I was asked to rescue a child from abuse, it would be my obligation to do so as well as try to provide services for the family to become more productive with correct interventions.
2.
It would be uncomfortable for me as I know how children are attached to their family however dysfunctional it may be. However, the safety of the child is the primary concern and not my feelings thus I will act accordingly.
3.
I would definately give my best try to save the child.
4.
It's part of my job and I want have a problem with doing so.
5.
I would feel obligated to protect the child and provide resources to help the child overcome trauma they've experienced. I would also be obligated to provide services to the family to stabilize the circumstances.
Question 8 of 30
Are you able to work well with a team?
Professional answer
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.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I enjoy working with others as a team in order to provide the best care for consumers.
2.
I enjoy working with people of all ages and gender and get along very well.
3.
I work well with others. I am approachable and reliable and go out of my way to support the agency's mission and my colleagues.
4.
Very efficiently - working as a team to benefit the students is imperative.
5.
I work well with others > I believe I have great interpersonal skills.
Question 9 of 30
What have been your most difficult type of client thus far?
Professional answer
The most difficult type of client is a child involved in a child abuse situation. The situation can be emotional and time consuming.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Sometimes I may struggle working with children as they are not able to express themselves clearly. Knowing this of myself, I make it a point to take time to understand them better.
2.
I have worked with all populations. I have challenged with the developmentally disabled due to them needing more attention medically and physically than others.
3.
Really I think would have any problem.
4.
I can work with any clients but can struggle a bit with young people.
Question 10 of 30
What do you hope to accomplish at this company?
Professional answer
I hope to bring a new social group to provide support and encouragement to our community.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I want help children t find the right direction and better life.
2.
I hope to be part of the agency is providing services to consumers and grow in this field.
3.
I hope to learn all there is within this position. I would like to remain a part of the agency ad eventually move up within the organization, stay within management and eventually work in policy and procedures.
4.
To broaden my strengths and move up the ladder and maybe become a supervisor.
5.
I hope to work extremely hard by being panctual, honesty, considerate and work with team members amicably.i will ensure that my work is done to the highest standards as well as guiding my practice with policies, legislations, social work theories and methods.
Question 11 of 30
Social work is stressful and difficult at times. How do you handle the pressure?
Professional answer
I'm able to leave my work at work. My hobby is baking and is a stress reliever. Bringing cupcakes in the next day to work seems to lighten the mood at work as well.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have no problem working under pressure. For example, in my previous job, there was a deadline for all documentation to be filed in the agency's database and I always met that deadline with any issue.
2.
Yes. It helps me to stay motivated and productive rather than feeling stressed.
3.
I AM very organize person and can handle many situation in one time.
4.
When under pressure I become very task focussed, I am able to prioitse my work and ensure the most urgent task is completed.
5.
Yes, I work my best under pressure.
Question 12 of 30
How do you plan out your day to ensure that all priorities are met?
Professional answer
I arrive to work 15 minutes early each day. This gives me time to get my computer on, grab a cup of coffee greet my coworkers and prioritize my to-do list for the day.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
It depends on the case or personal. At work, I check my daily schedule to see what needs to be done first, etc. Once I meet with a client, I would first get all required agency forms that need to be filled, signed by the client and explain what assistance I can provide, etc.
2.
I am very organized. I use calendars planning a day or two ahead for meetings and deadlines that need to be met.
3.
Writing abc plan so I can have mor than one solution.
4.
I plan by doing assessments review and plan.
5.
I plan through having an outline planner of responsibilities and prioritize them according to their importance and needs.
Question 13 of 30
What are your career goals? For the next 5 years? The next 10 years?
Professional answer
In 5 years I'd like to be one of your lead Social Workers. In 10 years I will have been in the career field over 20 years. I'd like to be in private practice part time.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I plan to work as long as I can. I do plan to improve on my skills set and become the most effective social worker I can be within the next 5 years. In 10 years, I plan to continue to work with higher level of responsibilities.
2.
My career goals for the next five years is to grow within my new position. In ten years I would like to move up in upper management and work within administration devising policy and procedures for Professional Standards.
3.
I going back to college to get my phd in social work.
4.
To make things happen and change people's live and develop my professional through training and courses.
5.
My career goals for the next 5 years is to become a mental health counselor in either a school setting or rehabilitation center.
Question 14 of 30
How do you define success in your work and personal life?
Professional answer
Success in both my work and personal life is being happy each day.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I define success as growing professionally within my career as well as being able to obtaining the degrees needed.
2.
When I help someone to be sucessful.
3.
When able to reach a positive outcome.
4.
I am mayank pawar & i had done my engg. from IIT pawai in computer science & engg. stream. I am basically from guwahati & my hobbies are listening music.There are total 6 members in my family incluiding me.My father is bussinessman.My strength is my positive atitude along with dedication,calliber.My weak point is that I am irritate when I see mismanagement.
5.
Building good relationships with service users, achieving the best outcomes for children. Getting on with my team and being motivated,
Question 15 of 30
Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume?
Professional answer
Something that you would not know from reading my resume is that I was a competitive rugby player throughout high school. I feel that this athletic experience really helped me to learn how to help my clients set personal goals.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a hard worker, great listeners, and effective communicator who enjoys helping others and have experience in working with diverse populations.
2.
I am a professional with mental health background. My goal is to obtain my Masters degree in Organizational Management or Social Work. I am career focused and passionate about my career.
3.
I am reliable punctual organized and hard worker and easy get along with others.
4.
I am motivated, confident, good listener, and can work well with others, ephathetic and I can learn quickly.
5.
I love running and my goal is to become popular, I love training.
Question 16 of 30
Why do you want this job? Why do you want to work for this organization?
Professional answer
I've just finished my internship and earned my licensure. I'd like to work with this company because I can grow with it. Start in an entry level position and work towards a leadership position over time.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I want this job because my focus is to work with the families opposed to just individuals. I want to help families become independent. want to work with this organization because I have been here for four years and very positive setting.
2.
I can bring some experience what I have learn in my internship.
3.
Your values and mission of statement matches my own.
4.
I want this job in order to better serve my community as well as working with an organization who care about homeless, abused, disabled, and misplaced workers.
Question 17 of 30
What have been your most desirable clients in your social work career so far?
Professional answer
As a social worker my most enjoyable clients are the one's that have come to the realization that they need help and are ready to change.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I enjoyed working with adult and children with disability.
2.
The client I like working physical and mental abuse.
3.
I enjoy working with all types of clients as I feel each client brings something different to the table. However, if I had to choose I would say I enjoy working with adults and children who may have a physical or intellectual disability. This is one reason that I believe I am a good fit for this job.
4.
I enjoy working with children, teenagers and the elderly populations.
5.
The client I like working physical and mental abuse.
Question 18 of 30
Why are you interested in this agency?
Professional answer
I haven't had the chance to work with your largest population of autistic individuals. I look forward to the opportunity.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
This agency provides services to the community and helps those at risk stay in their homes safely. My grandfather was at risk when he was still alive and actually benefited from these services. I would like to continue to help others in the a he was.
2.
I work for the agency, I want to continue to grow within the agency because it helps families and it has models in place to better the lives of individuals.
3.
To be able help organization some of the problem they are having in the program.
4.
Their values and mission of statement and service user group.
5.
Because I enjoy helping others and I feel I would be a great candidate.
Question 19 of 30
What do you hope to accomplish in your career as a social worker?
Professional answer
A hope to bring peace to patients that are suffering. If I'm able to help one client then it is worth it.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
To get all I can achieved.
2.
I want to help in the development of young personalities. Young children are faced with such adversities now. I want to help children find the right direction and pursue life in positive ways that will help in their development to adulthood.
3.
I hope to accomplish helping families become self sufficient and giving them needed resources.
4.
Change peoples life and achieve positive goal for service users.
Question 20 of 30
What kind of supervision do work best with?
Professional answer
I've had the opportunity to work and excel with all types of supervision.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I expect close supervision due to this is a new position and it is a little different than my present position. I would like to know what my supervisors expectations of me will be.
2.
Informal and very relaxing and oftenly.
3.
Periodic supervision from my superior. I will respect their criticism and decisions, as it will only help me become a better social worker.
4.
I expect the supervision to be open and fair based upon policies and procdures of facility.
Question 21 of 30
Do you feel comfortable working with adoptions?
Professional answer
I haven't had the chance to work with adoptions yet. I'm comfortable working with all the types of clients I've had so far so I'm sure adoptions won't be any different.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have never worked with adoptions directly through an agency how I did go through the process with my mother who is a foster parent. So I would say I am quite comfortable.
2.
Yes I feel comfortable working with adoptions.
Question 22 of 30
What would your most recent supervisor say about you?
Professional answer
My current supervisor wrote an amazing reference letter for me. She would say that I'm empathetic and knowledgeable.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a compassionate person teamplayer and hard worker.
2.
I do have references. I would hope they would describe me as a professional who truly cares for the population I serve.
3.
Yes motivated confidence, able to learn qick and can work well with others.
Question 23 of 30
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you with your career in social work?
Professional answer
My greatest strength as a social worker is my active listening skills. Utilizing my active listening no only shows the patient that I'm focused on them but it allows me to get the information that I need in order to appropriately diagnose and help the patient.
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1.
My greatest strength is interpersonal skills and communication. It will help in my approach with the family.
2.
Motivation and its key to achieve positive goals.
Question 24 of 30
How would you handle visiting a family and coming to the realization that they are neglecting/abusing their children?
Professional answer
Because I'm new to the career field I would come back with reinforcements. I would bring a colleague with me to confirm my assumptions and suspicions.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I will be honest and telling them the child rights and safeguarding issues.
2.
I would see how my instructor want handle.
3.
I try not to upset them but I would look at the children leave the home contact my superiors and then the police.
4.
I would use proper assessment and interventions to deal with the family. Therefore,I would be aware of what resources are avaiable and go for there.
Question 25 of 30
What would you like to learn here?
Professional answer
I would like to get more experience with the adoption process. I was able to spend some time being supervised at an agency but didn't get to jump into the process as much as I would've like to.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
How this program operates.
2.
I would like to learn new skills, updated treatment, new DSM-IV reports.
3.
I what to learn all that I can in order to be the best social worker and advocate possible for the agency.
4.
Learn more about the company mission of statement values and how they work the other agency.
5.
I always am willig to learn more maybe on how on handlind different sitations that I never expereinced before.
Question 26 of 30
What is your communication style?
Professional answer
As a Social Worker I feel it's important to be direct. Direct communication leave less room for miscommunication.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My work style is diplomatic.
2.
Busy with my work and reseach if less case lords.
3.
I can work independently or as a group depending on what task are put before me. My work style is versatile to the need of the agency.
Question 27 of 30
Have you done this type of work in the past?
Professional answer
I've been working towards obtaining my license for the last four years. I've had the opportunity to work for different organizations, learned a lot about the field and am ready to bring it to this position.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes I have done the type of work in the past.
2.
I have worked with displaced individuals, mentally challenged, etc. My training and skills allow me to be a great candidate for this type of work.
3.
Only with my internships.
Question 28 of 30
When working with adoption cases, what do you find the most difficult and how do you manage your emotions?
Professional answer
I haven't had the opportunity to work with an adoption case yet. I would imagine it brings up similar emotions that I've experience in other cases that involve children. To manage my emotions and still remain empathetic we meet as a team every morning to discuss cases and the emotions that come along with them. Being able to talk about our cases with each other helps manage our emotions.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Trasference and emphathetic.
2.
Already answered.
3.
I feel good inside when someone tries to help a youth out or a infant.
4.
I think one of the more upsetitng aspects is seeing children be passed by - when an adoptive family can't be found for them for whatever reason. I find it particualarly sad when siblings are separated simply because people don't want to adopt the older child. Placement breakdowns are obviously extremely upseting and damaging for children - which is why it's so important to undertake thorough assessments.
Question 29 of 30
When working with child abuse cases, what do you find the most difficult and how do you manage your emotions?
Professional answer
Being able to discuss cases with my colleagues, gain insight and get suggestions helps me manage my emotions.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
If I were to visit a clients home and I suspected child abuse, or elder abuse, I would go back to the agency and consult with my supervisor. I would then make a report to DSS per the state law. I would not let the suspected abuse or results of an investigation interfere whit my helping the clients.
2.
Make show I do paper work correct.
3.
I have been in this field for over ten years and I have seen many children who have been abused and it always seem like the first time. My issues is I do not like it and If I can assist in protecting another child from being abused then I will.
4.
Emotional and empathetic.
5.
I will deal with child abuse according to policy and procedures with proper training by the agency.
Question 30 of 30
Are you able to work overtime, evenings or weekends as needed?
Professional answer
I do have flexibility in my schedule. If it is possible to give me a few days notice it would work best with my schedule at home.
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