At Portman Recruitment, our dedicated consultants work hard to find you your dream social work job in a local authority near you. From the moment you get in touch with us, we’ll be on hand to propel your social work career forward. We look for people that have one to two years’ of social work experience and a passion, dedication and a proactive approach to helping others.
At numerous stages of your social work career, you will have to have a social work interview. These can be daunting, but if you have the right interview preparation and are able to provide strong answers to interview questions, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t leave feeling confident that you’ve done your best.
In today’s blog, we’re going to lend a hand and show you how to give strong answers to some commonly asked social work interview questions.
If you’re a social worker looking to find a new role and enhance your career development then be sure to get in touch with the team here at Portman Recruitment online or by phone on 0161 327 0936. For over 50 years now we have been helping social workers across Blackpool, The Wirral, Manchester, Cumbria, Warrington and the rest of the UK find their ideal social work role and we’re confident we can help you too.
A common question that you should expect to be asked. This question gives you a chance to talk about yourself and reveal background information that may not have come out in your cover letter or CV. However sincere they may be, try to avoid cliches in this answer like ‘I just want to help people’ or ‘I have a desire to help others’ – the easiest way to do that is to look inside yourself and base an answer on unique experiences. A good answer to this question might involve a story about a social worker who cared for a loved one of yours which inspired you to pursue a social work career yourself.
Social work is all about interacting with people who are vulnerable and in need of help. Avoiding conflict while still being able to make important decisions is vital. A good answer to this question will involve recognising the importance of keeping calm, not to take things personally and ensure firm boundaries are set so that you can make the correct decision, however unpopular it might be.
You’re going to say things to clients, as a social worker, that will upset them – you know this is inevitable. It’s not about avoiding emotional responses, it’s about mitigating them with strategies. Hiring managers, when asking this question, want to know that you’re able to quickly put a plan in place should this situation occur. Talking about relevant examples, where you have been in this scenario, shows you have a clear understanding too. A good answer would involve you talking about the importance of remaining calm, actively listening to their concerns and asking the right questions to glean more information about the client’s issue.
This might be a tricky one but it’s important to put a positive slant on your answer. A hiring manager at a local authority isn’t looking for you to denigrate an entire subsection of people who benefit from social work. Ways to succeed in answering this question involve showing high levels of empathy to difficult clients, recognising that those who are difficult feel they may have simply been let down by the system and accept that you need to constantly approach situations and clients from different angles.
This question looks to analyse how you prefer to be managed. The hiring manager may be looking for someone who is good at taking instructions or someone who is happy to work alone. For this question, it’s important to show your potential employer that you recognise the need for instruction while also maintaining a sense of independence and the desire to be trusted by hiring managers and bosses alike.
People may get flustered at this question, but the key to it is to draw on concrete examples. Talking about an experience will put you at ease because you remember it clearer than anyone at the interview table. Be sure to display a clear understanding of how the strategies you used helped to de-escalate the high-pressure situation.
Similar to the first question on here, try and avoid using cliches and really take some time, prior to the interview, to think about your intended career development in social work and why you do what you do. Maybe talk about a complex case that had a positive outcome or previous successes which steeled your resolve to continue to work in this sector. Or, think about a social work position that you’re aiming to get to in time because you think you can bring something new to the table.
There is no reason to be nervous before a social work interview. Hiring managers are great people who are just looking to find the right person. Our team at Portman Recruitment will work with you to ensure you’re feeling confident before, during and after your social work interview. If you’re a social worker with a year or two’s experience and are looking for a new position then get in touch with us today to discuss our current roles based in Oldham, Liverpool, Gloucestershire, Trafford and the rest of the UK.
Fantastic agency. Brilliant consultants who make regular contact. Highly recommend the service.
Brilliant service, great consultants who are always happy to help. Best agency I have come across.
Can’t say enough positive things about Portman Recruitment! Well looked after, listened to and supported. Go above and beyond to find the right role for you.
I honestly can’t fault Portman. Adam replies pretty much instantly and I think if Adam wasn’t there, I could call the Portman office and anyone would speak to me. It’s good to know that he’s there if I need anything. He’s been a fantastic support.
The staff at Portman do their best for their workers. Reliable and trustworthy - excellent compliance - they don’t rush you into jobs that aren’t suitable just to make a buck like some other recruitment companies, but really take their time to get to know you and your skills and match you with good employers. Highly recommend.
Very promising start with Portman, they got me a job to suit my very specific needs pretty much instantly and have been great to work with so far as they take care of everything for you. Would definitely recommend them.
Brilliant agency to work for. Really work hard to get the best for you, really personable approach. Highly recommend.