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Youth Worker Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated May 14th, 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 will need to be able to think and act quickly! Your supervisor may not always be around, so it will be your responsibility to handle conflict as it arises. You may face decisions about discipline or whether or not to honor certain privileges or requests. Trust your instincts!
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Top 30 Youth Worker Interview Questions with Full Content
Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
As a youth worker, you will need to be able to think and act quickly! Your supervisor may not always be around, so it will be your responsibility to handle conflict as it arises. You may face decisions about discipline or whether or not to honor certain privileges or requests. Trust your instincts!

Rachelle's Answer
"I am confident and prepared to face challenging situations that require me to be firm in my decision-making."
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.
Was this answer helpful? Yes (5) or No (1)
How would you respond if a child became physically aggressive with you?
If you plan to work at a youth center, it's possible you may encounter aggressive behavior. If you have ever worked with high-risk youth, specifically adolescents or teens, you understand the importance of being on guard in case rough or aggressive behavior occurs. When you give an example, be sure to share your take on establishing healthy boundaries and how you would respond if the line was crossed. You may start by saying, 'I would act quickly and calmly to protect myself and the child from harm.' As a youth worker, you are responsible for the children in your program. 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.
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."
Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
How do you respond when you notice signs of drug abuse?
Part of your responsibility as a youth worker is to pay attention to signs before they become a problem. You will need to know what to look out for so that you can step in to help before it's too late! When it is past the point of prevention, you will also need to know how to respond. When you answer this question, take a thoughtful, proactive approach. You want to show the interviewer that you are prepared for these types of situations. If you're not quite sure what to do, reflect on your education and volunteer experience.
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."
Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role.
The interviewer wants to hear about a positive experience you have had with leadership. Think about a time when you led a sports team, led a college project, managed a store, or coached a little league team. These are all great examples! Start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of what you were leading, and share that you enjoyed the experience. Discuss the positive outcome that the group had, and explain that you would gladly lead again!
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 well on a team or do you prefer to work on your own?
When an interviewer asks a question like this, they are really interested in two things:
1) Are you flexible?
2) Can you manage yourself?

As a youth worker, you will need to collaborate with your team when planning, organizing, and participating in group activities. Working on a team requires you to be open and adaptive to working with people who are different from you. They may have different opinions and work styles. Even while working on a team you will need to be able to manage yourself by managing your time and prioritizing tasks just as you would when working alone. You might consider responding with, 'I enjoy working on a team because I love getting input from my coworkers, but I also enjoy working independently.' You can even share an example of a good experience you had when working on a team when you were volunteering or in your most job.
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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