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.
Youth Worker Interview Questions
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.
"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."
"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."Was this answer helpful? Yes (26) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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.Was this answer helpful? Yes (5) or No (2)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you envision your career growth over the next 5 years?
The interviewer wants to understand your most meaningful goals related to growing your career as a Youth Worker. Highlight your professional goals while expressing your long-term interest in the organization.
If you are not clear on where you want to be in five years, your goals can be as simple as wishing to learn more about youth program management, facilitation, or the fact that you want to earn your way into a role with more responsibilities over time.
Think about some of the steps you'll need to take to reach your career goals. Identify how this position will equip you to gain the skills and experience necessary to achieve these long-term goals.
"Over the coming years, I envision myself working as a frontline field worker with high-risk youth while continuing my education. This blend of work and education appeals to me because I strive to gain on-the-job experience while also balancing this experience with education-based knowledge. I have a diploma in Counselling, which has allowed me to apply for this role with confidence. I would like to further my education to include a degree in a related field. By continuing my education and working in tandem, I will gain the best of both worlds, ensuring stronger career growth with your agency now, in 5 years, and for the long-term."
"I would like to improve the management of youth programs of the organization and want to achieve a goal to work better as a worker."Rachelle's Answer
In which ways would you want to improve the youth programs, exactly? Specifics will be key here. How can be better as an employee? Which specific skills will you be working to improve?Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I intend to continue with my counseling studies to earn a diploma. I believe this would equip me with more skills to work with young people on a one-to-one basis. It will also benefit the organization in the future. I also hope to develop my outdoor skills and try to achieve the CWA and Mountain Leader awards. In addition, I'd like to develop qualifications in paddlesports."Rachelle's Answer
This is awesome! Your answer is highly specific, and it's evident that you have some exciting career goals ahead.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How would you deal with a youth who did not want to be helped or motivated?
As a Youth Worker, you help others to enact essential and positive change. However, the interviewer wants to see that you understand the importance of helping others when they are ready to help themselves. You must not be impatient with people, as everyone takes their path on their own timing. Talk about the ways that you help to motivate the youth in your care while also keeping in mind the critical traits of empathy and patience.
"I am not one to give up on anyone. However, what I have learned is that pushing a person to get help before they are ready can come across as shaming them, and that is not something I will do. With at-risk youth, it can take time and patience for them to come around. If they don't come around, all that I can do is continue to be supportive and encouraging. I am non-judgemental and show that I am available when they are ready to enact change. If one of my colleagues is building a rapport with the youth, and I am not, that is okay, too, and I will encourage that connection. Often the youth in our center come and go and come and go again until they hit their own rock bottom and decide that they want help. Being open and ready for that moment is the best thing that I can do. In the meantime, I keep showing them that I am there and allow them to conclude that it's okay to ask for help when they are ready. We never know what someone's story is until they share it, and I cannot force someone to do so if they are not ready. If I push too hard, it is counterproductive and not genuine, then the results are not long-lasting. The youth must want to do the work, or the work won't get done, or the results will not last."
"Motivate them by identifying their talents and skills and coach them to move forward to their future."Rachelle's Answer
Nice! Do you have an example of a time when you saw an unmotivated kid make a big turnaround? This could be a great opportunity to showcase your work and positive influence.Was this answer helpful? Yes (5) or No (2)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
We conduct thorough background checks. Can you pass a criminal, education, drug check, and a physical?
Before your interview, make sure you are clear on all of the requirements for the job. Depending on your location, the employer will require different background testing to ensure that you are a person safe to work around children and youth.
If asked to perform a background check or medical test that makes you uncomfortable, be sure to research and confirm that what the interviewer is proposing is a legal request in your area. For instance, in some regions of Canada, a Youth Worker may be required to comply with a TB test. Where in the USA, other blood tests may be necessary.
When an interviewer asks this question, it's best to be completely honest. If you think something might show up in your tests, tell them upfront. Even if you had a misdemeanor that is now expunged from your record, you might want to share this information.
Be honest in the interview and show that you have integrity. If the answer is no, you will not pass a particular test, share the necessary details. If the answer is yes, you will pass these tests; then, you can give a brief response that is to the point.
"Yes, I can pass all of the tests that you require. OR, I can pass your education and drug test, as well as any physical that you require. Although removed from my record now, I did have a criminal record as a youth for two counts of petty theft. Of course, my record has remained clean for the past twenty years."
"Yes, I can pass a background check."Rachelle's Answer
Short and sweet, and to the point! :)Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What are your greatest strengths? How will these strengths help you succeed as a Youth Worker?
This question presents an excellent opportunity for you to pitch yourself! Your greatest strengths are the top skills and traits that make you good at your job. Review the job description to see if the hiring organization has listed any specific qualities they want to see from their top candidates. For instance, being well educated, trustworthy, and adaptable are all strengths that may appear in the job description.
Choose your top strengths and then talk about how you leverage these strengths to succeed in the workplace and persevere through relevant challenges. Be sure to link these strengths in a way that shows how you can positively impact the organization, should you be hired.
"My most significant asset for this role is the combination of relevant education and real-life experience in Youth Work. This blend of knowledge and experience is the foundation behind my success as a Youth Worker. After completing my diploma in Leadership, I began a diploma in Counselling. This unique education combination has allowed me to develop critical strengths, such as building healthy relationships and clear communication with clients. I have also gained strengths in facilitating group therapy sessions and one-on-one therapy sessions. In 2018, I worked for ABC Health Care Group as a group therapist. Here, I gained knowledge of medications and proper distribution. I was responsible for community outreach and keeping in contact with clients. I wrote case reports and received training in privacy legislation, as I was responsible for accessing private medical records. While earning my diploma in Counselling, I performed a lot of research and spent a great deal of time volunteering. This research and volunteer work helped me to see where my greatest passions were, and which career path would best suit me. Thanks to these experiences, I am now ready to shine in a role such as this."
"My greatest strength is being resilient. The ability to bounce back from bad experiences or thrive in spite of hard times is called resiliency. I take a break, go for a walk, think better, and bounce back to normal life."Rachelle's Answer
Resilience is an incredible strength to possess. I really like this answer! I have reworded a bit to help with flow.
"My greatest strength is my resilience. I can bounce back from bad experiences and thrive even in hard times. This resilience positively impacts my work as I support youth who have their own struggles. I lead by example and teach them resilience."Was this answer helpful? Yes (2) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I am empathetic and understanding. This means young people feel listened to when they speak to me. My listen skills help them to understand that I care for them and hear what they are saying. I am able to stay calm under pressure, and this means that young people feel relaxed when they are around me. I also have a sense of fun and a sense of humor, which helps with relationship building. I have a passion for the outdoors and adventure and this comes through in my work with young people."Rachelle's Answer
As a Youth Worker, these skills and strengths are so important. It's great that you also describe how your strengths help you maintain successful communication and positive interactions. Well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Tell me about your experience being a mentor. What approach has worked well? What would you improve?
Think about how your influence has made a positive difference in others in the past. As a Youth Worker, your ability to coach, lead, advise, and influence others is an essential aspect of your role. When you approach this question, you want to showcase your skills as a mentor, while also taking a humble approach and showing that, you too, are a work in progress. When talking about what you would improve, you can share feedback you have received in the past or simply speak about the fact that you are continually looking to improve.
"I have a lot of experience mentoring others in a variety of roles. While working for Association XYZ, I mentored women through the legal justice system and offered family violence support. As a young adult, I participated in a mentorship program targeted to other young adults with special needs. There, I would help these individuals get through their day through mentorship-based care and support. I do not have a specific style or system in place when it comes to mentoring others. To me, mentorship is not a math equation; it is an experience that requires having an open heart and mind. Mentorship takes dedication, boundaries, empathy, discipline, and hard work. Just as anyone in this line of work would say, I would like to boost my success rate when it comes to helping others overcome difficult life situations. I strive for excellence because that's what those who seek safety deserve to receive. When I mentor someone, they will not get perfection from me, but they will get my greatest effort. I continually seek out ways to improve my approach and impact as a mentor and counselor."
"I was a mentor in my last job at _____________. This involved supporting young people in going to school. I found that having a open minded approach worked as well as demonstrating my commitment to working with the young people and also having a sense of fun and having a number of different tasks up my sleeve for relationship building. I sometimes felt like there were certain situations where I needed to be firmer with young people. For example I worked with one young person who regularly missed days of school. One day he asked me if he had to go to school, my response was that ultimately it was his decision and in retrospect I might have responded that yes he had to go to school."Rachelle's Answer
This answer is honest, and it shows that you have put a lot of thought into conversations of the past and ways that you can continually improve your influence as a youth leader and mentor.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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)?Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."Was this answer helpful? Yes (4) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you respond to negative feedback from others?
As a Youth Worker, you must be continually growing and improving. Through continual growth and improvement, you will be able to deliver the best results for the youth that you work with while setting a positive example. Show your ability to be humble and accept feedback without taking offense. Be sure to highlight the fact that you also focus on implementing change when change is due.
"It is never the easiest thing to hear that I am doing something that needs improvement; however, it is necessary to listen to and accept feedback so that I can continually improve my skills. I have always been open to feedback and often ask for it. If I am not feeling 100% confident about my skills, I will initiate a feedback-driven conversation. When I get feedback that I may not understand, I will ask questions until I understand how I can change or correct my approach. Seeking, accepting, and implementing feedback is a critical skill for anyone in a leadership role."
"Positively, saying thank you for your feedback, I will try to correct myself."Rachelle's Answer
Implementation is the key to receiving feedback successfully. Good answer!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I take my time to respond, because like people, I initially feel slightly hurt by negative feedback. Once I have some distance, I then reflect on the negative feedback. If I feel there is some validity to it, I may go back to the person who has provided it and ask them how I can improve and do things differently. I understand that ultimately it is only through feedback that we are able to become better practitioners, and I regularly seek it out from colleagues and young people that I work with."Rachelle's Answer
Good distinction between feedback with/without validity. You touch on one of the most important factors - taking valid feedback and making actionable change for improvement. Well said!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best 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.
"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."
"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.Was this answer helpful? Yes (6) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"In many ways leaving my last job was a difficult decision. I had established positive working relationships with many young people. I developed a relationship of trust, and therefore it was a difficult decision to decide to leave, and in many ways, I felt guilty about leaving the role and telling the young people I worked with that this was the case."Rachelle's Answer
It's completely normal to feel guilt when leaving a role, and this answer shows a lot of compassion and humanity on your part. I'd like to see you dive deeper into your response and give more detail around your decision to leave and the reasoning behind your choice. This question is a good opportunity for the interviewer to assess your decision-making process.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"(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."
"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!Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"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.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Do you have experience or formal training in leading and mentoring at-risk youth?
What age-appropriate activities have you led in the past?
How do you respond to stress? What are your stress-management techniques?
What ideas do you have to improve our youth programs?
Tell me about your volunteer experience.
How do you grow healthy communication and social skills?
How do you manage to create relationships with boundaries?
If hired, how do you intend to make a difference with the at-risk youth in your trust and care?
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve?
What do you know about our organization and its mission?
Take me through your experience working with high-risk youth. Do you feel well-equipped to do this job safely?
How do you handle conflict between others? Do you have any training in de-escalation?
Tell me about your leadership experience and how it has prepared you to guide at-risk youth.
Youth Workers often face emotionally challenging situations. How do you manage your emotions on the job?
Who has had the most significant influence on you? What makes this person so influential?