Social Work Interview Questions and Answers

It is great to work in a social sphere, helping the others, seeing a meaningful purpose in your daily job. But how to get this job in an interview?

More and more people face adversity, and the social sector is growing as fast as ever. It means more job opportunities, but also a tougher competition for you in each interview.

To succeed, you will need to give good answers to the questions of the interviewers, and convince them that you have the right attitude to the job, and know why you want to work in a social sector. Let’s have a look at the most common questions and answers.


Why do you want to become a social worker?

To make things better, to help the others, to make a difference in the world, or at least in a local community. To do a job that has a meaningful purpose, at least for you.


Why are you applying for a job in our institution?

Show empathy for their target group (seniors, unemployed, homeless, orphans, drug addicts, refugees, etc), and tell them that you believe to have the right predispositions, skills, and values to help the particular group of people.  You should also mention a good reputation of their social work institution (if they have a good reputation), or a secondary reasons for your preference, such as close location to your place of living, etc.


What is your experience with the target group?

Try to focus on the things you have achieved with the target group before. Did you help some children to find their way in life? Did you help the sufferers to find new hope? Speak about things you achieved, and how did you achieve them. And if you have no professional experience, talk about your experience from personal life (your schoolmate was an orphan, many homeless people live in your street, you visit a nursing home often, to meet with your grandmother, etc).


How do you imagine a typical day in work?

Try to present yourself as someone who wants to work, and who has always something to do. Look at the job description, list the duties, and say you would study and research if there was no other work on a given day. Tell also about the unpleasant aspects of the job (for example helping the clients with personal hygiene), showing them that you see your job realistically, and are ready to take care of all duties that belong to the job.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

There aren’t many career growth options for most positions in social sector (the few exceptions just prove the rule). Say that you would be happy doing the same job, a good job, in five years time, helping the people, and still seeing the meaningful purpose of your work, or that you would perhaps love to have another role in social work.


How would you build relationship with your target group?

Good answer depends on both your attitude, methodology of the work, and the philosophy of the particular social work institution. Nevertheless, saying that you will always try to think on the same wavelength as they do, and look at the situation from their point of view, and that you won’t try to stand out from them much, will be a good answer in most cases.


More question and answers

If you would like to see more questions and answers, our team recommends SocialWorkInterviewQuestions.com, website from Ellen King, who specializes only in social work interviews, and in coaching people who want to get a job in a social sector. You will find on her website more than twenty social work interview questions.

We at InterviewPenguin.com wish you good luck in your interview!