5 Social Worker Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Social Worker interview questions and answers.

What is the most significant thing that affected your decision to get into the field of social work?

This question will give you an understanding of the applicant's motivation for applying for the social worker position. There are many skills needed to be successful in this field, but the most important is the ability and desire to help people who are hurting, which is not always easy. A candidate who has a strong reason for getting into social work can better navigate the inherent difficulties associated with this taxing occupation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Compassion and empathy toward people
  • Ability to assess people accurately
  • Open and honest answer about their interest in social work

Example: "My mother was a social worker. I saw how important it was to help people. I want to share in that experience."

Social workers are often prevy to personal information about the people they work with. What measures will you take to keep the details of your caseload private and confidential?

A social worker will have access to much patient information that is protected by privacy laws. You should seek to guard not only your employees and patients but also your organization from improper handling of sensitive information. This question will help you identify how seriously the applicant views privacy concerns. You are looking for a strong answer here. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of the vital nature of privacy
  • Desire to uphold all privacy laws
  • Strength in their convictions about privacy

Example: "I will follow all privacy protocols and only discuss patient information with those who have legal access as required to do my job properly. I would not want my personal details talked about, and I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated. "

Social workers have to communicate complicated cases to relevant persons. How would you handle this?

A social worker must have excellent communication skills. They should be truthful, open and compassionate when sharing difficult information with patients or colleagues. This question will help you understand how the candidate processes information and communicates it with others. What to look for in an answer:

  • Pro-active attitude to resolve difficult situations without procrastination
  • Ability to simplify complex ideas to make them easy to understand by the listener
  • Straightforward honesty tempered with compassion

Example: "Honesty with compassion would be my first concern. I'd also try to break the problem down to make it easy for them to understand."

Social workers don't always come in on a convenient schedule. What would prevent you from being flexible with your hours?

In many cases, a social worker will be required to work overtime or unusual hours. If the applicant has a lot of prior commitments outside their job, it could interfere with their ability to work on a case. This question will help you understand if there might be some conflicts in the future. What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to work overtime when needed
  • An indication that the job is a priority
  • Ability to be flexible with their hours

Example: "I am super flexible and would welcome overtime. I have a few commitments outside of work but nothing that would prevent me from working."

How do you anticipate maintaining a positive attitude in light of difficult circumstances with the clients that you are managing?

Case workers encounter great human suffering and difficulties in their job. You want to hire a candidate that can remain relatively positive and upbeat despite their circumstances. If the applicant has difficulty remaining positive in unpleasant situations, they may not be able to articulate a good answer here. However, it would also be wise to avoid someone who lacks empathy. What to look for in an answer:

  • A balanced approach to difficult circumstances
  • Confident and strong personality
  • Empathy toward those who are suffering

Example: "People who are hurting need the most encouragement. If a situation is hard, I will first show my concern and then try to make them smile."

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