TOP 5 INTERVIEW TIPS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS

Interviews are tough. You are given 30 minutes to an hour to showcase that you will fit into an organisation and that your skills outshine other candidates. No pressure! 

I’ve spoken before about having a good interview success rate and think it would be a good topic to share my knowledge on.

 If you’ve applied for a job and accepted an interview I am assuming that you already have confidence that you can do the job. Keep this in mind. 80% of interviewing is about confidence and presentation.

So first the basics. You need to dress and smell appropriate. I say this because I have interviewed people that have shown up with bad body odour and clothes that look like they’ve picked out what’s left of the retro vintage bin and or like they don’t own an iron. First impressions do matter. So do keep your clothing professional but casual no jeans and no body odour!

Equally, don’t overdress. I recall social workers that following a successful interview have started the job equipped with a shiny briefcase waistcoat and a bow tie. Whilst this provided the office with some humour more seriously it showed a lack of reflection as to how alienating their attire would be for families. One worker when quietly spoken to said that they were giving families something to aspire to!

The most crucial part of the interview is to avoid waffling and show that you know what you are talking about and can provide specific examples of how you meet the skills the organisation are looking for. For social care interviews, I always recommend reading community care to be abreast of the most recent developments in the sector and if you’re feeling particularly bright refresh your theory-based reading via resources such as SCIE. 

 I can’t emphasise enough the importance of researching the organisation you are interviewing with. When you’re asked why you are applying to work for them you should be able to assuredly speak on how your abilities and aspirations fit the ethos of the company.

When answering questions do have pre-planned scenarios based on your personal work experience to hand. A lot of applicants have fallen short by not giving any personal examples such as making statements like ‘i have an extensive child protection experience ‘ without following up with what how when where.

Lastly, don’t do what one applicant did at an interview and sit next to and on the same side of the table as the manager! It was awkward! the table is set for you to sit on one side and the interviewer on the other. Walk-in confidently smile sit and take your time to listen to questions pause and provide an answer. 

Happy Monday all :)!

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