Great Interview Questions You Should Prepare for as a Hospital Social Worker
While most interviews focus on professional details, job interviews for hospital social workers often dip into the personal realm. Applicants may be asked about experiences with drugs or alcohol, how they can relate to diverse patient groups or whether they support euthanasia. That’s because hospital-based social work jobs are more than just a paycheck; they’re a calling.
Do You Have Any Experience Working with People Experiencing Homelessness?
Hospitals with busy emergency rooms see many patients experiencing homelessness. These patients need extra compassion and extra services. The hospital may have a dedicated team of social workers for helping these high-risk patients connect to long-term care, find community resources and adhere to complex prescription regimens while living in a shelter. Before extending a job offer, hiring managers want to know if applicants are comfortable working with this patient population.
Standard Interview Questions
Most interviews will ask applicants questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “Why do you want to work here?” For hospital-based social workers, these questions require introspection. Hospital-based social worker is a demanding job. Long hours, limited resources and non-compliant patients can lead to high rates of turnover. At the same time, these positions can require a high level of training to familiarize new hires with the many programs available for patients. Without a passion for the work, new hires will quickly burn out and look for other career options. Hiring managers don’t want applicants who plan to leave for private practice in a few years. To stand out when answering these questions, applicants should thoroughly research hospitals’ cultures. The best answers to these questions will demonstrate a strong interest in hospital-based social work and a commitment to a specific patient population served by the hospital such as immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community or low-income patients.
What Are Your Opinions on End-of-Life Care and Euthanasia?
Not everyone who goes to the hospital for treatment recovers. Families and providers must make difficult decisions about end-of-life care, and hospital social workers must be ready to put aside personal opinions to provide support to families experiencing this difficult event. Additionally, every hospital has a unique culture, and hiring managers want applicants who will mesh well with existing beliefs. Some faith-based hospitals even expect employees to sign pledges supporting specific practices; social workers should carefully research a hospital’s practices before submitting applications.
Have You Ever Failed While Working with Others?
More and more hospitals are shifting towards team-based approaches to health care. According to U.S. News, social workers must be ready to work alongside nurses, doctors and other practitioners. This interview questions asks applicants to reflect on past experiences working in groups; which can include group-based assignments in college. By asking about failures, interviewers are giving applicants a chance to reflect on past lessons and demonstrate maturity.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
Because hospital social workers are so invested in the lives of patients, it’s important for applicants to find positions that resonate with them. The best way to prepare for interviews as a hospital social worker is to carefully research potential facilities and find a place with matching values.