social worker interview questions

For those of you who have gone on interviews already, do these questions look like ones you’ve been asked? What else would you add? Comments have been closed; please feel free to ask any questions you may have on the updated post 40 Interview Questions Every Social Worker Needs to Know

Social Work Interview Questions
  • What do you hope to accomplish as a social worker?
  • Why did you go into social work?
  • Our agency serves XYZ population. …
  • How do you feel about supervision? …
  • What made you apply for a role with our organization?
  • How do you balance your work and personal life?


How to Answer Social Work Interview Questions

Okay, we know that social work interview questions (and the answers!) is what you came for, and we promise those are coming. The trick is, you can’t make the most of those examples if you don’t get a grip on your technique first. That way, you can take those samples and see why they work; you won’t just have to take our word for it.

Alright, now that you’re on board, let’s talk interview strategy. With just a couple of tried-and-true approaches, you can be ready for almost anything, so let’s start there.

First, the name of the game is research. By digging deep into your social worker job description, you learn important tidbits about what an ideal candidate looks like, at least as far as the hiring manager is concerned.

You’ll find a clear outline of critical skills and traits that the hiring manager considers priorities. By speaking to those, you are focusing on what’s relevant to the interviewer.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You also want to take a trip to the organization’s website. Once there, read the mission and values statements.

Because they let you learn more about the organization’s goals and priorities. Not only are these clues about its culture, but it also gives you some additional details to weave into your interview.

Once your research is done, it’s time to look at how you can build meaningful interview answers. If a question is straightforward, that’s typically a breeze. For example, if they ask if you have a specific skill, you’ll say “yes” or “no.” Then, back up a “yes” with an example and pivot a “no” by discussing your willingness to learn and efforts you’re taking to improve in that area. Done!

The tricky social work interview questions are the behavioral ones. These don’t technically have right or wrong answers; at least, not in the traditional sense. Instead, you have to navigate a scenario or discuss examples from your past. That isn’t always easy.

Luckily, you can simplify the process. Combine the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method, two approaches we’ve discussed in-depth before. If you do, you can a highly targeted and compelling response, making it easier to stand out from other candidates and really catch the hiring manager’s eye.

We also wanted to let you know that we created an amazing free cheat sheet that will give you word-for-word answers for some of the toughest interview questions you are going to face in your upcoming interview. After all, hiring managers will often ask you more generalized interview questions along with their social worker specific questions!

Click below to get your free PDF now:

1. What target group would you be willing to work with?

Employers want to know what motivates you and verify your commitment to the job of a social worker. They also want to assess your interests and your commitment to helping certain clients. Explain why you believe you could make an impact with this target group.

Example: “I am committed to helping the elderly have a better life. It is not always easy for them to find a good balance once they stop working. They are often isolated and facing financial or health challenges. I want to improve their situation. I am motivated to provide practical solutions for them and advocate when necessary for this target group.”

6. How do you balance your work and personal life?

Your interviewer knows how social work can interfere with your personal life and wants to ensure you can manage it. Emphasize your organizational skills and express your will to commit to your job.

Example: “I am well organized and used to managing my professional and personal life. I have put in place a support system to help me at home when I need to work overtime. That way, I can stay committed when I work and enjoy my free time when I am home.”

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