Great Interview Questions You Should Prepare for as a Child and Family Social Worker
Being a child and family social worker is a demanding yet rewarding career. Human Services departments carefully screen applicants to choose the best candidates who will best service their clients. Here are five useful interview questions that will help child and family social workers successfully pass their interview.
Organization and Time Management
Most child and family social workers receive a new case every day, so they need to have excellent organization and time management skills. The job interviewer will likely propose a scenario where the social worker has simultaneous assessments and field work due, then ask them how they would prioritize their day. The best responses include scheduling related tasks together and making follow up calls and emails during a set time. Minimize interruptions and re-prioritizing are the keys to efficiency.
One common question concerns the components of a comprehensive assessment. All types of social work assessments will include things like demographics, personal information and case history. A biopsychosocial assessment could include things like employment, substance abuse and treatment histories. A child protective services (CPS) assessment will include a report narrative, confidential reporter info and a list of participants and perpetrators. Other components may include education, cognitive functioning and clinical impression.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Interviewers ask this question regardless of the industry because it help them to analyze the interviewee’s self-awareness, self-confidence and learning flexibility. How a worker compensates for flaws and responds to a weakness says a lot about their ability to learn from mistakes, positively use knowledge and cooperate with others. According to Gallup, many interviewees fail this question because they present a weakness as an unexpected strength instead of providing a meaningful answer.
Child and family social workers will have to deal with a variety of stressful interpersonal situations, such as a removing a sick child from an unsanitary home with aggressive parents who are screaming. How to handle this situation? It is critical to be clinical, yet compassionate with clients. Respect their rights and provide a safe space for them to vent their feelings, but do not allow them to engage in threatening behavior. Help them access services and walk them through the legal process.
Social workers are exposed to a lot of micro-trauma every day, which refers to small amounts of daily stress that add up to eventual mental and emotional challenges. They will be asked how they manage daily stress, prevent burnout or recognize micro-trauma. It’s important to mention clinical terms like vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue and how they can cause the worker to exhibit impatience, irritability and indifference. Self-care includes any balancing and meaningful activity that helps the worker maintain their physical and emotional health.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
Additional questions may cover planning, documentation and risk analysis skills. One question that child and family social workers will be asked concerns interpreting, explaining and applying regulations. Interviewees can increase their performance by showing they have experience working independently, gathering information and managing a high-volume workload with attention to detail.