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Youth Worker Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 28th, 2020 | 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 30
Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
View Answer
How to Answer
As a Youth Worker, you must provide the utmost care to the underage individuals for whom you are responsible. In addition to attentive care, you will need to make challenging decisions focused on the wellbeing of these youth.

Your supervisor may not always be around to help you deal with stressful situations, and in those times, it will be your responsibility to handle conflict as it arises.

Show the interviewer that you can make wise decisions under pressure. Provide an example that demonstrates your ability to navigate situations by trusting your gut and taking action.
30 Youth Worker Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
  2. How would you respond if a child became physically aggressive with you?
  3. How do you respond when you notice signs of drug abuse or other destructive behavior?
  4. Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a critical situation by taking the lead.
  5. Do you work better on a team, or do you prefer to work on your own?
  6. Do you have experience or formal training in leading and mentoring at-risk youth?
  7. What age-appropriate activities have you led in the past?
  8. If hired, how would you begin to assess the needs of the youth in our program?
  9. How do you respond to stress? What are your stress-management techniques?
  10. What ideas do you have to improve our youth programs?
  11. How do you respond in a crisis? Do you have crisis-management training?
  12. What would you do to de-escalate a situation that is getting out of control? Give me an example of a time when you successfully did so.
  13. As a Youth Worker, what qualities are important for you to have in a supervisor?
  14. Tell me about your volunteer experience.
  15. How do you grow healthy communication and social skills?
  16. How would you deal with a youth who did not want to be helped or motivated?
  17. We conduct thorough background checks. Can you pass a criminal, education, drug check, and a physical?
  18. How do you manage to create relationships with boundaries?
  19. How do you respond to negative feedback from others?
  20. If hired, how do you intend to make a difference with the at-risk youth in your trust and care?
  21. Tell me about your experience being a mentor. What approach has worked well? What would you improve?
  22. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve?
  23. What are your greatest strengths? How will these strengths help you succeed as a Youth Worker?
  24. How do you envision your career growth over the next 5 years?
  25. What do you know about our organization and its mission?
  26. Take me through your experience working with high-risk youth. Do you feel well-equipped to do this job safely?
  27. How do you handle conflict between others? Do you have any training in de-escalation?
  28. Tell me about your leadership experience and how it has prepared you to guide at-risk youth.
  29. Youth Workers often face emotionally challenging situations. How do you manage your emotions on the job?
  30. Who has had the most significant influence on you? What makes this person so influential?
15 Youth Worker Answer Examples with User Answers
Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
As a Youth Worker, you must provide the utmost care to the underage individuals for whom you are responsible. In addition to attentive care, you will need to make challenging decisions focused on the wellbeing of these youth.

Your supervisor may not always be around to help you deal with stressful situations, and in those times, it will be your responsibility to handle conflict as it arises.

Show the interviewer that you can make wise decisions under pressure. Provide an example that demonstrates your ability to navigate situations by trusting your gut and taking action.

Rachelle's Answer
"While working alone at a drop-in youth center, an adult stranger entered the center who was intoxicated and unaware as to where he was. This person was speaking loudly and behaving aggressively. To keep the youth safe, I asked them to gather into the supervisors' office and take turns singing karaoke on the computer. I let them know that I needed to take care of the issue, and I instructed them to stay in the supervisors' office until I returned. The doors to the office could lock, and the office was primarily windows so I could keep a close eye on the youth while I dealt with this intoxicated individual. As I got the kids organized, I called for help. I decided that I needed to distract the individual and keep him calm until help arrived. I made him a cup of tea and carried on a conversation until help arrived. After the incident, I had a debrief session with the youth, and we talked about safety, how they felt, and if we could have handled the situation any differently. The kids said they felt safe. After consulting with my supervisor, they agreed that under the circumstances, I handled the difficult situation with success."
Anonymous Answer
"My experience has afforded me opportunities to learn how to be firm with my decision-making skills. For example, when I was working in a residential housing facility that housed vulnerable populations living with addiction and mental health challenges. I was helping a resident fill out his disability assistance form. I soon noticed that his energy levels were regressing and that he was drifting off to sleep. When I asked him how he's feeling, he responded that he was fine. Despite him being somewhat responsive, I suspected an opioid overdose; therefore, I reached out to another staff member to call 911 and notify authorities so that I could administer a naloxone shot. In the end, it was determined that this resident did in fact, overdose."
Rachelle's Answer
Wow - what an experience and certainly good action on your part. This example is intense but also does an excellent job explaining how well you think on your feet, and the fact that you are very attentive.
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How would you respond if a child became physically aggressive with you?
As a Youth Worker, you are responsible for children and youth, many of whom lack guidance when it comes to appropriate emotional responses. The interviewer wants to feel confident that you will maintain a calm environment whenever possible, and that you can handle altercations with care and compassion.

If you have worked with high-risk youth in the past, show that you understand the importance of being on guard in case aggressive behavior occurs. If you can, provide a story-based example from the past. Choose an example that highlights your ability to manage physical aggression.

Rachelle's Answer
"This situation happened to me when I worked at an education-based agency. I did not have much training at that time, nor did I have much experience working with kids that came from violent backgrounds. In one instance, a 9-year-old boy picked up a chair and threw it at me. Then, he jumped from desk to desk, ripping down all the kids' artwork from the walls. The situation was scary, and I did end up with injuries to my face and hands. With no help around, so I decided to ignore his behavior. I grabbed a book from the teachers' desk and started to read it out loud. I hit play on the stereo and started to play some music. Remarkably, he liked the song and the book, and it calmed him down. By the time the teacher had returned, the boy was sitting on the floor with a smile on his face, intently listening. When I finished the book, this boy stood up, grabbed my hand, and asked if we could play outside. I was shaken, but I realized that it was important to remember that mental health issues are real and that I needed to show compassion. This situation also showed me that I needed to seek more training and a healthier work environment. Today, I handle aggression much differently because I have training and experience. I have learned to see and assess the situation and try to catch clues before a situation becomes violent. I also make sure that my place of work has clear policies and safety procedures in place."
Anonymous Answer
"I will act quickly and calmly speak and explain to him to protect me and protect him from doing harm."
Rachelle's Answer
It's important to protect the student, yourself, and the other students. This is a good point. I have reworded for clarity.
"If a child became physically aggressive with me, I would act quickly, remove them from the presence of other children, and try to calm them down by speaking evenly and with authority. I must defuse any situation so that the child, other children, and myself are not harmed."
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How do you respond when you notice signs of drug abuse or other destructive behavior?
Part of your responsibility as a Youth Worker is to pay attention to signs of abusive and destructive behavior. You need to know what to look out for so that you can step in to help the youth in your care in an appropriate manner. When a situation is past the point of prevention, you will also need to know how to respond. Your reply will depend on the level of care that the hiring institution offers, and will also depend on whether the center is a dry facility or rehabilitation center.

When you answer this question, take a thoughtful, proactive approach. Show the interviewer that you come prepared for these types of situations. If you're not quite sure what to do, reflect on your education and volunteer experience.

Rachelle's Answer
"It is very typical to see high-risk youth who display this behavior and is precisely the reason why I do what I do, the best way that I can. The trick in working with youth is to help them see that they are worth more to themselves clean and sober, and when they are not self-harming. When they come to our center for help, they have often lost that sense-of-self, or it has been taken away from them. I have never known or met anyone who is a chronic drug user or abuser of themselves without that behavior being premised by previous trauma, pain, and suffering. This factor is one reason why I always choose to accept them for who they are. In my current role, we are a dry facility, so I follow the guidelines and procedures as policy dictates, but that can still happen with the least amount of confrontation and judgment. I hope that they come back next time and do the work required to remain in our program. Part of the acceptance of people is accepting their circumstances and their choices. It is not my place to judge; it is my place to support and be as positive and safe as I possibly can."
Anonymous Answer
"I will respond calmly and clarify the details of drug abuse and report the matter to the supervisor or manager and give and follow the duty of care."
Rachelle's Answer
Good! If you have ever encountered a situation like this, be sure to use your real-life example.
"If I ever noticed signs of drug abuse, I would follow my duty of care and report the matter to my supervisor or manager immediately."
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Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a critical situation by taking the lead.
The interviewer wants to hear about a time that you took the lead in a critical situation. As a Youth Worker, the expectation is that you will react wisely under pressure, regardless of your official leadership title. The hiring authority wants to see that you can respond quickly, appropriately, and with authority when the need arises.

If you have a specific story example, approach your response by first setting the stage to the story. Discuss your actions, and then provide details on the outcome of your actions. If you have trouble organizing answers that require specific story-examples, you can try to follow the STAR framework, which is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Rachelle's Answer
"(Situation & Task) While working at a small all-boys youth center, myself and two co-workers took the group on an outing. Due to the size of the group, we were traveling in separate vehicles. In one car were myself, my co-worker who was driving, and four youth. In the second vehicle were my third co-worker and another three youth. As we were driving, one of the boys in my vehicle began to foam at the mouth and seize. To my knowledge, this boy did not have any pre-existing medical conditions. (Action) I asked the driver of the vehicle to pull over immediately. One of the other boys began to go into shock from the stress of the situation, and I knew that I needed to give each youth a 'job' so that they would be kept busy rather than going into shock. I asked one boy to use the sick boys' cell phone to call the parents. I needed to find out what was going on and discover what I was missing regarding this boys' medical history. Then, I asked another youth to call the leader in the second vehicle to fill them in on the situation, ask them to turn around, and come to help. In the meantime, my co-worker called for emergency assistance. Admist all of this frenzy, I used my first aid training to get the siezing boy into a safe position and ready for the paramedics arrival. (Result) In this critical situation, I took the lead and kept everyone safe. I spoke with the paramedics, and they confirmed that I did the right thing in this situation. Had I not put the boy into a safe position, and used my first-aid training, the boy could have sustained severe injuries. In the end, the boy was treated and did not suffer any permanent medical issues."
Anonymous Answer
"I manage a boxing team of 25 teenagers and last year we organized a boxing competition, and it was amazing, our Team won. It was great. All staff and trainers did an excellent job. We had a lot of challenges, but it was a success. I am so thankful for my resilient Team."
Rachelle's Answer
This is awesome - Congratulations on your success! Since this question is meant to uncover how you influenced the project, it would be great to add in more detail on your involvement.
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Anonymous Answer
"As a Behavioral Health Technician, I chose to facilitate a class called Self-Esteem. The class was not engaging the consumers resulting in little participation. I asked my supervisor what I could do to change this. She supplied new coursework and instructed me on different techniques I could employ while I was facilitating the course. I was able to engage the consumers, increasing class attendance. Soon, my course became one of the consumers' favorite to attend."
Rachelle's Answer
This is an excellent example of taking the initiative and showing the ability to lead. Nice work, and a positive outcome!
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Do you work better on a team, or do you prefer to work on your own?
As a Youth Worker, you will need to collaborate with your team when planning programs or managing clients. This teamwork requires you to be open and adaptive to working with others. However, while working independently, you will need to be able to manage your time and prioritize your tasks.

When you respond, be sure to show a healthy balance between independent work and teamwork. Show that you understand there are benefits to each approach and express enthusiasm either way. The interviewer wants to see a team player who has a realistic view of the jobs' expectations.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have learned to work very well with a team and on my own, and I enjoy each scenario for different reasons. There are times where working on my own allows me time to process my tasks, and any difficult situations that I may encounter. When I am working in a team, it allows me to create an environment of support, and it fosters my growth and learning. Each approach has its value when working with at-risk youth. Doing paperwork and writing case reports may seem tedious; however, I have always viewed it as a time of reflection where I can sit down and collect my thoughts about a client and their situation. This independent report writing gives me time to create action plans for clients and to collect and get past any reservations that I have or may not have as I move forward with a client. Whereas, working on a team and brainstorming plans or developing ways to be better at what we do is an exciting way to feel supported and part of something bigger than myself. Youth work is an industry where we rely on the people that we work alongside. We put ourselves in vulnerable positions every day as frontline workers, and we need to be able to rely on those around us to have our backs. At the same time, we also have to learn to trust our independent thinking."
Anonymous Answer
"I like to work as a team because to get help and input from each other to organize a program or event. I can also work independently when the team members are not available."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer shows a nice balance between teamwork and working independently. It's a nice touch to say that you get help and input from others. This shows a willingness to learn and grow.
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Do you have experience or formal training in leading and mentoring at-risk youth?
As a Youth Worker, you play an essential role in building the next generation by improving the lives of children and youth. Walk the interviewer through your experience and discuss how you have been a part of shaping others through care-based work. Be specific by sharing relevant details of your experiences and interactions. The key to successfully answering this question is in clearly outlining your exposure while also showing a passion for your work.

Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I do have experience and training in leading and mentoring at-risk youth. I have a diploma in Leadership with a primary focus on working with youth. I also have a diploma in Counselling, where I specialized in Child and Youth Development, and Grief. I have certificates in Group Therapy, Suicide Intervention, Addiction, and Emergency Response. My experience began over 20 years ago when I started volunteering with at-risk youth at a drop-in center. Throughout the years, I have seen and experienced how far this industry has come in combatting the issues surrounding at-risk youth. It has been my privilege to be a part of changing how we view and treat at-risk youth, and I am so glad to see the progression that continues in centers and organizations such as yours, where an open mind and non-judgemental approach is essential. We no longer shame these kids into getting help, but rather - we meet them where they are and offer support based on relationship building versus telling them that they are wrong for their choices. The world has changed so much in the 20 years since I began this career journey, and I am happy to see all of the positive changes. I am eager to expand my training and experiences with your esteemed organization."
Anonymous Answer
"I had great experience in the youth hostel as in charge of the hostel. I learned a lot from the children- the language, culture, and problem-solving culturally."
Rachelle's Answer
This sounds like a very interesting experience! Try to expand on this and speak more about what you did as a mentor, and how you used cultural differences to help the children learn and grow.
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What age-appropriate activities have you led in the past?
Youth Workers often initiate and run outdoor activities, educational programs, and community outreach efforts. As a Youth Worker, you will need to adapt your events and activities, catering to the needs of the demographic.

Your main goal is to create engagement in a way that is healthy, safe, and age-appropriate. Provide some examples that demonstrate your ability to manage large groups of people while creating and leading program initiatives that motivate kids to participate.

Rachelle's Answer
"My first field job was with a community center in a small town. Part of my job was to work with the team to help plan all of the summer activities for the youth participants. In April, we went into the local school and talked to a group of middle school to high-school students. As this was our target age group, we wanted to include them in the conversation. We talked about their interests, fears, and insecurities. We asked them what we could do to help them over the summer to prepare for the transition into the next grade. Based on these conversations, we made a plan. We created a book club where we read coming-of-age novels. At the end of each week, we would talk about the book and discuss feelings and answer questions. We provided yoga classes and planned fun day trips. We even arranged for local shops and restaurants to donate funds and products to support these highly immersive programs. One of the best events we held was a community-wide '24 hours of summer vacation' that began at 7 PM on a Friday and ended at 7 PM the following day. For Friday evening, I made arrangements with the local movie theatre to allow us to come between 1 AM and 3 AM to play video games on the big screens. On Saturday, we had daytime games in the park, and various local restaurants delivered food and beverages throughout the day. Then, we had a city-wide scavenger hunt. Each group of kids had a leader, and they had to navigate through fun tasks that took them around town. Some businesses put on an obstacle course, while others provided clues and snacks for the participants along the way. We ended the day with a BBQ for all the kids, parents, and volunteers, where we played traditional camp-style games in the park. This experience was a fantastic kick-start to learning how to plan engaging and age-appropriate activities, and I look forward to doing the same with your organization."
Anonymous Answer
"I worked as a youth hostel manager. I did music concert programs, sports and games activities and occupied them with study and homework."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds as though you have a great amount of experience leading a wide variety of activities. Good answer!
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If hired, how would you begin to assess the needs of the youth in our program?
Most organizations will have strict methods for measuring the needs of the participants in their programs. Be prepared to discuss how you monitor and review the quality and efficacy of a program, ensuring that it is supporting the youth.

As a Youth Worker, part of your role is to be observant and maintain accuracy in your assessments, notes, and recommendations. Your assessment methods should be helpful when making changes to organizational policies or the design of a program.

If you bring experience in program design, then take the time to talk about surveys or questionnaires you have implemented. The interviewer will want to hear that you are mindful of your approach and the organizations' policies and guidelines.

Rachelle's Answer
"First, I would assess program needs based on your organizational policies and guidelines. I would also keep in consideration your preferred approach as per my job training. I have experience with doing intake, which means that each time I take on a new client, I assess their circumstances, their individual needs, and their unique goals. Then, I create an action plan for the client based on those factors. When it comes to youth, I use a variety of assessment techniques. I pay attention to who they are hanging out with, what their body language tells me, and how they are choosing to present themselves to the world. I also assess if they appear malnourished, poorly groomed, or if it seems they will self-harm. I take note of their attention level, if they are holding eye contact, and if their eyes are clear. By diligently looking out for numerous clues, I can make better recommendations regarding the program type or approach that will best suit them."
Anonymous Answer
"I assessed the need for the youth program with the support of the organization implementing it. After implementing prepared a report for evaluation through feedback and survey, then submitted to the organization."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you are well structured in your work, which is wonderful. I have reworded slightly to help with flow.
"In my current role, I assessed the needs by (action steps). Once I identified these needs, I gained the support of my organization to implement the program. Once the program was implemented, I prepared a report for evaluation by gaining feedback in the form of a survey. Then, I submitted the report to my organization."
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How do you respond to stress? What are your stress-management techniques?
Each person has their tried and true ways to manage stress and practice self-care. As a Youth Worker, you will undoubtedly encounter times of high-stress. For this reason, the interviewer wants to see that you have formed a variety of healthy methods to deal with this inevitable stress. Focus your answer on your response to stress rather than diving into the details of your most stressful situations. Share what you have learned from the stress-management practices you have adopted.

Rachelle's Answer
"As a seasoned Youth Worker, I fully understand the value of stress management. Over the years, I have developed numerous approaches that work like a charm. I like to journal, and I will type out my thoughts and feelings out on my computer, and then I delete them. I have used this stress and thought-management technique for many years, and it helps when I am processing. Physical activity is an excellent stress-reducing technique, so I also walk a lot. You can gauge my stress levels by the number of steps on my Fitbit! I will often go to the gym and work it out on a speed bag if I need to. I find music to be therapeutic, so I play the guitar. Another helpful method is to read fiction novels, and I get to escape into the characters. I love to cook, so I often find myself trying out a new recipe. My family and friends enjoy my kitchen creations, so this approach to stress management benefits everyone. I use breathing techniques, and I also practice yoga and meditation. Most importantly, I have learned to accept the things that I cannot control."
Anonymous Answer
"I take a break and relax by going for a walk or hearing music."
Rachelle's Answer
These are excellent ways to manage stress in a healthy way :)
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What ideas do you have to improve our youth programs?
Youth Workers are often responsible for guiding and facilitating participation-based programs, including prevention and intervention programs. These programs could be centered around health and fitness or supporting youth who may be at risk of gang involvement, drugs, or violence.

Before your interview, do your research and learn as much as you can about the organization and their needs when it comes to youth programming. You will want to know about the client demographic they serve and the types of programs that support those groups.

If you have facilitated group activities in the past, you can draw from that experience and talk about any relevant program experience. At the same time, remain aware that the interviewer probably does not want you to come in 'guns blazing' with a multitude of changes and recommendations. It's essential to take a humble approach based on observations.

Rachelle's Answer
"Before I deliver ideas on improving a program or organization, I like to work there for a while and become a contributing member of the team. With this approach, I can see what is working and where my experience or education can best contribute. When I was newer to this field, I would tend to jump right in and throw my ideas out there. I thought I was helpful, but it ended up being annoying, and I came across as a 'know-it-all.' Now, I have matured and realized that while I do have a lot of great ideas, there is a right time and place to present those ideas. Just as I do with the clients that I work with, I like to build trust between myself and my colleagues before I feel that I have the right to suggest changes. I do have a lot of great ideas and love coordinating activities from group outings, games, art therapy, and using sports to build confidence."
Anonymous Answer
"Teaching English, contact sports and games, learn from the culture, language, and solve problems taking into consideration their culture and language. Plus deal with drugs and alcohol with the policy and procedures of the organization."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you have some nice ideas for youth programs. If you can, choose two or three ideas and then dive deeper into each idea and how you foresee them working.
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How do you respond in a crisis? Do you have crisis-management training?
The interviewer wants to know that you come prepared to deal with a crisis. As a Youth Worker, the dilemma you encounter could be anything from violent language to destructive behavior towards others, or even medical emergencies.

Review the training you have received and discuss how you have dealt with crises in the past. If you have limited experience with crisis management, do some research to find out more about the demographic you will be serving and the types of situations you might encounter in this role.

Rachelle's Answer
"I do have crisis-management training. This training was a part of my diploma in Leadership, my diploma in Counseling, and my certificate in Addictions. Also, I completed emergency response courses when I worked as an Emergency Services Coordinator. I respond very well to critical situations. I have worked in many situations where a crisis arises. In those instances, I stay calm, maintain the lead, and keep the lines of communication open with all parties involved. I also work diligently to find ways to help people feel safe in a crisis. Each emergency or dilemma presents different roadblocks, so it's important that I handle each crisis as a unique situation. After so much training, it has become second nature for me to react quickly and with authority when a crisis hits. Crisis management is something that I excel at, and it's a skill that I have worked hard to develop. There are always things that I can do better, but if everyone ends up safe, then I consider the crisis handled."
Anonymous Answer
"I am observant and always ready if a child acts out. The safety of the child is important. I take action immediately before everything gets out of hand."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound very proactive, which is essential when working around children. How do you follow up with the crisis situation (ie: documentation)?
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What would you do to de-escalate a situation that is getting out of control? Give me an example of a time when you successfully did so.
De-escalation and conflict management skills are critically important for a Youth Worker to possess. You must be skilled at calming a heated situation between opposing individuals. Moreover, if someone is in danger, you must know how to respond quickly and effectively. Share a specific example of a time when you diffused conflict. Include any tricks you deployed to calm the stressful situation. If discipline was involved, be prepared to explain your approach.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have had to de-escalate many situations in my volunteer and work experience and my day-to-day life. One example was when I was in a grocery store parking lot just after a few restrictions were lifted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I was walking my cart back to my car when I noticed a group of three men shouting, and cursing. They were fighting over a parking spot in the curbside pickup area. These men were blocking traffic and causing a scene, and it appeared there was going to be a fist fight. Close me was a young kid who worked for the store, pushing carts. He looked scared, so I instructed him to go into the store and get help. Next, I instinctively put my hands up and shouted STOP very loudly, multiple times. I caught their attention and asked them to calm down and tell me the issue. I spoke to them about how the pandemic has impacted all of us and showed them that I understood the tension that isolation has had on everyone. I reminded these men that we live in one of the best places in the world, and I talked about how blessed we are to have the niceties that we have, such as curbside pickup and our own vehicles! I reminded them that we needed to keep ourselves together for the overall good. I asked them to shake hands and laugh it off. By the time help arrived from inside the store, I had all three men loading my groceries into my car for me and apologizing for their behavior. I teased them that it was my day off, and they were still making me work as a mediator. We joked, and they decided to play rock, paper, scissors for the parking spot. When it comes to de-escalation techniques, I prefer to stay calm yet firm, listen carefully, be non-judgemental, and use humor if it's appropriate. Usually, everyone walks away from the situation satisfied and feeling heard."
Anonymous Answer
"First, I'd make sure everyone was safe, even if that meant I stood in between two individuals in conflict. Then, when the individuals were separated and safe, I would address the situation that lead up to the conflict, talking them through the situation. If it were a single individual, I would make sure he or she was safe. Then I would talk them through the situation. During each incident, I would notify the proper contacts of the event, and file an incident report."
Rachelle's Answer
Safety is so important, and you do a wonderful job expressing this. It's great that you brought up a variety of scenarios and the action you would take.
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As a Youth Worker, what qualities are important for you to have in a supervisor?
As a Youth Worker, your job is challenging, and you will need all the support you can get from your supervisor. It can be challenging to work with at-risk youth. Motivating and compassionate leaders will help you be the most effective at your job.

To prepare for this question, you could make a list of the traits you have admired in previous supervisors and mentors. Think about your ideal leader and work situation. Maybe they believe in you and encourage you when you feel discouraged. Perhaps they support you by training you in a new skill or offering helpful feedback when they see room for improvement. Keep your response positive, and be as specific as possible.

Rachelle's Answer
"Ideally, a supervisor will have my back under the sticky circumstances that can arise in this job. For me to be successful as a Youth Worker, I must have a supervisor who is more experienced and knowledgeable than me. I look for someone who I can learn from and wholeheartedly respect. Also, it's important to me that my supervisor can tell me when I need to do something better and then show me how to improve. To me, a great supervisor will be good at their job and is honest and fair. This fairness may mean admitting their own mistakes and correcting them. I would like to have a supervisor who is open to answering questions when I am not clear on a task or approach. I would like them to feel they can trust me as well, and I would like them to respect my work."
Anonymous Answer
"If I was a supervisor: I need to be polite, welcoming, caring, responsible, and accountable."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you added in the fact that this is how you lead, as well.
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Tell me about your volunteer experience.
Volunteer work is often a pathway to employment. In fact, in a study conducted by The Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency discovered that the job seekers who volunteered boosted their chance of gaining a job offer by 27%.

As a Youth Worker, your volunteer experience can be equally crucial to your work experience and education. Share your volunteer history, including your responsibilities and the focus of the organizations with which you have volunteered.

Talk about how you have made an impact and what you learned from the experiences. Share what motivates you to give back to others, and give the interviewer a solid idea that you have a passion for volunteering.

Rachelle's Answer
"Volunteering is where a lot of my related work experience has stemmed. Since I was very young, I have had the desire to help my community. When I was a teen, I volunteered for a co-op group, which was a safe place for women and their children trapped in domestic violence situations. This co-op helped the women to live in a safe environment while accessing help. I would watch all the kids while the women attended group therapy sessions. My parents are musicians, and they used to go to youth correctional facilities where they would play music for the inmates and celebrate holidays with them. I would go and hang out with and mentor the youth. This desire to volunteer followed me into adulthood. I have volunteered at a cancer clinic, served food to the homeless, been a camp counselor, and have worked suicide prevention hotlines. I have also participated in overseas projects delivering medical care to individuals that would not have had care otherwise. While living in Spain, I had the opportunity to volunteer with a call-center for people who were at the end of their life and wanted someone to chat with them as they passed. I have often been in a position of leadership with my community, serving on many sub-committees over the years. I have recently joined the board of directors of a local non-profit focused on working with the homeless, combatting issues surrounding COVID-19."
Anonymous Answer
"I have had multiple volunteer experiences. I volunteered at my church's Sunday school. I volunteered at a community center focused on at-risk youth, giving them a place to hangout that was safe, with positive role models present. I volunteered at the local food pantry and a cat cafe that housed and adopted out homeless cats."
Rachelle's Answer
Great work! Volunteer work is highly favored by most hiring authorities. Be sure to also express why volunteering is important to you.
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How do you grow healthy communication and social skills?
As a Youth Worker, you are a leader and influencer of healthy communication and social skills. Often, the youth with whom you work will have limited positive mentors, and so it's up to you to provide a positive example.

Your interactions with the youth will set a critical standard. A leader and influencer in communication, you need to choose your words wisely and be mindful of your own personal and professional growth in the area of communication.

Take the time to discuss your approach when it comes to improving your communication style. The interviewer wants to feel confident that you will serve as an excellent example for the youth in their program.

Rachelle's Answer
"It has taken practice and study to hone my communication and social skills. I have a good education, a great deal of on-the-job training, and exposure working with talented people. Having an openness with colleagues and the people that I respect has taught me a lot about how to conduct myself in different situations. Also, I have found value in engaging a mentor in the field of youth and social work - someone with more communication experience than me and someone better at the job than I am. I look for a mentor who I can turn to and ask, 'How do you think I am doing here? Do I need to change my communication approach?' These conversations have taught me healthy communication and social skills.Additionally, I learned in school how to conduct myself with clients. This 'book knowledge' that comes with my diploma in Counselling encouraged a lot of self-reflection. I have learned how to communicate openly and with healthy boundaries."
Anonymous Answer
"Lead by example, do things politely and communicate clearly and slowly with youth and understand things from their background. It differs from person to person in communication."
Rachelle's Answer
You make a great point when it comes to leading by example! Good answer.
"I promote healthy communication and social skills through leading by example. I am polite and communicate clearly with the youth of various backgrounds."
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