Welfare eligibility workers need to be decisive in order to serve the population they work with and meet the expectations of their job. What kinds of decisions are difficult for you? For some people, making a decision that will affect someone else's life is extremely difficult. Knowing how to use your best judgement is absolutely essential when making difficult decisions. Give an example that you can relate to the position. It doesn't necessarily have to be from work. However, you might want to consider some of the difficult situations you may encounter with clients before giving this example. You may have to deny someone welfare because they don't meet the criteria, knowing that this will negatively affect their livelihood. Show that you are experienced in making tough choices and that you can access your better judgement.
Your communication skills are super important for your job! Tell the interviewer about your experience working with customers with clients and share any significant obstacle you overcame. You consider yourself a people person and have the experience and skills to prove it! Talk about your love for people and how you like to make them feel comfortable by staying calm and listening attentively.
You may have chosen this field because you want to help people. Social workers can provide support to struggling populations by meeting some of their tangible needs, like housing, food and financial support. What are some of the things you are excited to be able to offer those in need? Do you have personal experience that motivated you to choose this field?
What are some reasons why your decision would be considered "unpopular?" Did people get offended? Did it affect clients in a negative way? First, define unpopular to help you to know how to answer the question. If you have worked in a leadership role, maybe you made a decision that cost someone their job or caused them to feel inadequate. It could be as simple as creating a new rule or regulation. Now thinking about the results, how did you respond? Did you work to remedy the negative responses?
Staying positive can be tricky when you are working in a field of caregivers and poverty. If you have any tricks or tips on staying positive, share them! You can talk about how you are determined and focused on your work, looking for opportunities to help even if a client is not eligible for welfare. Having an attitude of looking for good and seeing opportunities makes a difference in your overall well-being as well as other people's outlooks. Daily affirmations, quotes and mindfulness techniques, like listening to breath and meditation are all helpful ways you can maintain a great attitude.
As a welfare eligibility worker, you will need to be comfortable working with people of all races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Share an example of a job you held working with a diverse group of people. "When I was working at the homeless shelter, there were people of all nationalities and backgrounds. It was interesting to hear their stories and get to know them. I really enjoyed being able to support them through their difficult time."
"When I was working at the homeless shelter, there were people of all nationalities and backgrounds. It was interesting to hear their stories and get to know them. I really enjoyed being able to support them through their difficult time."
Dealing with an upset client is similar to customer service. If you are new to the social work field, think back on some of your customer service experience. Whether you worked in a call center or a retail store, you have probably experienced some pretty feisty individuals who will not stop until they are heard or their needs are satisfied. The best thing you can do is tell the interviewer, "I don't take their response personally. I pause and take the time to listen to them so that they feel heard and understood." Empathy will take you far in the social work field. If you can learn skills to listen and express your understanding, you can tame the rage of the wildest clients!
"I don't take their response personally. I pause and take the time to listen to them so that they feel heard and understood."
What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of? It could be an honor or award you received for a project that you completed or an idea you executed. These types of scenarios make great examples! Begin by sharing an overview of the goal you set. What was the goal? What steps did you need to take to complete it? What timeline did you set for yourself? Did you experience any setbacks? Finally, be sure to mention your success in achieving your goal as well as what you learned from that experience.
Share your best practices for organizing your day. It can be difficult when everything on your to-do list needs to happen that same day and you know you will not have the ability to get it all done. How do you handle these situations? Explain your method. It could sound similar to this: 1) Make a list. 2) Identify urgency. 3) Ask yourself, "How important is it that I get this done now?" 4) Ask yourself, "How much effort will this take?" 5) Be flexible. 6) Be willing to set aside less important tasks. If you don't already have a method for prioritizing, start thinking about it before your interview. Consider some ways that might be helpful for you going forward.
"How important is it that I get this done now?"
Think about the different tasks that you are responsible for on a daily basis. You have your client interactions, paperwork, organization, and scheduling. What aspects of those responsibilities are challenging? You may have no issues with performing these duties, but your coworkers are a drag. Maybe your boss is negative and doesn't give you the support or encouragement you need. How do you handle it? "My coworkers are always gossiping and criticizing people. I do my best to stay out of it and be a positive influence. When I get discouraged I read motivational quotes to keep me going."
"My coworkers are always gossiping and criticizing people. I do my best to stay out of it and be a positive influence. When I get discouraged I read motivational quotes to keep me going."
If you are straight out of school, share tools or information you learned that will benefit you as a welfare eligibility worker. You can even draw from your life experience if you have had a recent event that has taught you skills or developed your strengths. Some skills worth mentioning are discipline, trusting your gut or intuition, making decisions, empathy or time management.
Interviewers want to hear about your work ethic, passion and hands-on training. You may have completed the exact same coursework as other candidates. What's most important is what you do with all of the information and experiences. How have you applied what you learned? What did you accomplish during your schooling? Talk about what you learned specifically in your training that will prove you have what it takes. You can share an example of some of the work you learned to do during training and talk about your technical skills.
Going back to those difficult decision-making questions, think of a time when a client was crying in your office about potentially being denied welfare. How did you handle it? When you are faced with the sad realities of poverty-stricken individuals or someone who is just going through a rough time, you will need to be able to have boundaries, as hard as it may be. Demonstrate in your answer that you are prepared to face these types of issues and that you will use your best judgement and all of the information and training you have acquired.
"I routinely check the weather the night before and stay informed about events going on that could affect traffic. Setting my alarm to wake up an extra 30 minutes early gives me extra time in case something unexpected happens. I also make sure I have the numbers of my co-workers and boss so that I can call to let them know if I'm stuck or might be running late." Breakdowns, wrecks, traffic jams, rain storms... the possibilities that could interfere with your route to work are endless. So how do you take the most responsible approach to these predicaments? Showing that you take initiative and think ahead are the best examples to share during your interview. You want to come across as dependable and reliable. And when something goes wrong to keep you from showing up on time, always take the proactive approach.
"I routinely check the weather the night before and stay informed about events going on that could affect traffic. Setting my alarm to wake up an extra 30 minutes early gives me extra time in case something unexpected happens. I also make sure I have the numbers of my co-workers and boss so that I can call to let them know if I'm stuck or might be running late."
What methods do you follow to keep your client records in order? When you have a long list of clients and limited hours in a day it may be difficult to manage all the information. How do you make sure you keep track of all the little details? Share some of those handy tools that keep you on-task, on-time and organized. Maintaining a day-planner, organizer or online calendar can be helpful and necessary. What tools do you prefer?
Picture a client skirting around your questions nervously and staring at the ceiling while they shuffle their papers or twirl their hair. Their body language sometimes says it all. But when you need to get clear answers in your interview, you have to know how to probe! How do you handle clients who can't express themselves verbally? It could simply be that they are nervous. It could also be that they are hiding something. Can you tell the difference? Learning to ask specific questions and knowing how to deliver them in a non-threatening way is a skill. Think of some questions you ask in these situations and share them with the person interviewing you.
Talk about your favorite aspect of the job. How is it rewarding? It may be encouraging when you hear about your clients getting a job or moving into a better home. It might make you feel good when your clients receive welfare that helps them get back on their feet. You may enjoy the camaraderie of your coworkers, feeling supported by them and having fun, even in those stressful times. What do you get out of it?
This question helps the interviewer gauge how you might fit into the work environment and, ultimately, how you will mesh with the team. Explaining your work style and what motivates you will help them to better understand that you would be an excellent fit. Be sure to know what sort of work environment to expect. You want to be able to describe yourself in terms that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. "I work well independently, motivated by deadlines and prioritizing tasks to meet them. I also enjoy working in a team environment. I can adapt to working with different personalities and I enjoy interacting with patients and helping them in their treatment." Expressing your ability to work with others and independently shows your flexibility. Work environments can change depending on the staff or business ownership. Explain what you bring to the table and how you are able to adapt to fast-paced or challenging work environments.
"I work well independently, motivated by deadlines and prioritizing tasks to meet them. I also enjoy working in a team environment. I can adapt to working with different personalities and I enjoy interacting with patients and helping them in their treatment."
Why are you pursuing a new endeavor? Perhaps you are seeking a new challenge. Maybe you need more money to make ends meet. Or, maybe you have just heard such great things about the job that you couldn't pass up the opportunity. Whatever your reason for leaving, now is the time to share it. Mention a few of the positives about your current employer, and share what you will miss about it as well. This shows the interviewer that you care about your place of employment, but you recognize that now may be a good time to make a change.
What are your goals? What are you working towards? How does this position fit in? Share your plan and explain how this job opportunity will help you get there.
"I am working towards getting my license as a social worker. Getting this hands on experience will help me to determine which direction I want to go with it, and in the meantime I will learn and help people. I'm leaning towards working for a non-profit where I can assist with low-income families."
Most likely you have some sort of script that you are required to read to inform clients of their rights, as well as a set list of questions to ask in order to determine their eligibility. If you're not familiar with these questions and this is your first interview for the job, look at the job description on the county website. You should be able to find more information regarding the specifics of the position that will help you to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you may need to ask. Since you're looking to determine their eligibility, you will need to know facts regarding their income, work status and living situation. What are some other important pieces of information you think are important?
Interview and investigate applicants and recipients to determine eligibility for use of social programs and agency resources. Duties include recording and evaluating personal and financial data obtained from individuals; initiating procedures to grant, modify, deny, or terminate eligibility for various aid programs; authorizing grant amounts; and preparing reports.