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Welfare Eligibility Worker Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Tell me about your passion for helping people.
View Answer
How to Answer
Have you always loved helping people? Would you say this is the most rewarding part about your job? Share what gets you excited about helping people. What do you get out of it? What are some ways that you have helped people in the past that were exceptionally satisfying?
25 Welfare Eligibility Worker Interview Questions
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  1. Tell me about your passion for helping people.
  2. Why are you the best candidate for us?
  3. Give me an example of a time when a company policy or action had a negative affect on people. What did you do to mitigate the negative consequences to people?
  4. What was your most difficult decision in the last six months? What made it difficult?
  5. As an eligibility worker you will make a lot of difficult decisions, how do you make them? How do you move on from those difficult decisions?
  6. Do you consider yourself a people person?
  7. What made you decide to get into social work?
  8. How do you maintain a positive attitude at work?
  9. Describe a recent unpopular decision you made. What was the result?
  10. Have you worked with diverse populations in the past?
  11. How do you handle clients when they get upset?
  12. Give an example of an important goal that you set in the past. Tell about your success in reaching it.
  13. How do you prioritize when each task demands your attention?
  14. What is the most difficult part about your job?
  15. What did you learn in your most recent role that will help you in this position?
  16. Tell me about your education.
  17. How do you avoid allowing your client's emotional response to influence your decision?
  18. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  19. Why are you leaving your current position?
  20. What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
  21. What is the most rewarding part about your job?
  22. How do you stay organized?
  23. How do you deal with situations when others are finding it hard to communicate effectively with you?
  24. How do you handle situations that might cause you to miss or be late to work?
  25. What are the most important pieces of information you are looking for during a client interview?
15 Welfare Eligibility Worker Answer Examples
1.
Tell me about your passion for helping people.
Have you always loved helping people? Would you say this is the most rewarding part about your job? Share what gets you excited about helping people. What do you get out of it? What are some ways that you have helped people in the past that were exceptionally satisfying?
2.
Why are you the best candidate for us?
This question is often asked at the end of an interview. It gives you a chance to share a few final reasons why you are the best person for the job. Share a few authentic qualities. Talk about how you have helped clients in the past and how you will do so in the future. Be sure to stay within the job description, keeping in mind those exact qualities that you know the interviewer is looking for, such as being detailed and staying calm in emergency situations. Do a little research to learn about the work environment and culture. This is a chance for you to sell yourself, so make the most of it and be prepared.
3.
Give me an example of a time when a company policy or action had a negative affect on people. What did you do to mitigate the negative consequences to people?
Sometimes when policies change there is only so much you can do. Working for a government run organization will bring it's challenges when policies are changed that might not have a positive affect on employees and clients. An attendance or tardy policy may affect employees negatively at first, because it most likely changed due to individuals abusing the current policy. A policy that is more strict on the financial situations and documents that will be accepted to verify income could negatively affect clients by limiting their ability to participate in programs. How do you express these types of policy changes or issues to co-workers and clients?
4.
What was your most difficult decision in the last six months? What made it difficult?
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.
5.
As an eligibility worker you will make a lot of difficult decisions, how do you make them? How do you move on from those difficult decisions?
This might be a follow up question to expect in your interview, so be prepared to delve a little deeper into your decision making ability! What are some of the factors you consider when making a decision? Consider answering this question like this:

"I make sure I have enough information to make the best decision I can with what I have. If I am on the fence, I often request more documents or ask more questions of my clients. I strive to be fair and consistent with each person I meet with."
Rachelle's Answer
"I make sure I have enough information to make the best decision I can with what I have. If I am on the fence, I often request more documents or ask more questions of my clients. I strive to be fair and consistent with each person I meet with."
6.
Do you consider yourself a people person?
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.
7.
What made you decide to get into social work?
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?
8.
How do you maintain a positive attitude at work?
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.
9.
Describe a recent unpopular decision you made. What was the result?
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?
Rachelle's Answer
"unpopular?"
10.
Have you worked with diverse populations in the past?
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."
Rachelle's Answer
"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."
11.
How do you handle clients when they get upset?
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!
Rachelle's Answer
"I don't take their response personally. I pause and take the time to listen to them so that they feel heard and understood."
12.
Give an example of an important goal that you set in the past. Tell about your success in reaching it.
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.
13.
How do you prioritize when each task demands your attention?
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.
Rachelle's Answer
"How important is it that I get this done now?"
14.
What is the most difficult part about your job?
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."
Rachelle's Answer
"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."
15.
What did you learn in your most recent role that will help you in this position?
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.
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