Social Work Interviewing Skills

Ace That Interview

Now that you are thinking about getting your Online MSW degree, you are becoming even more valuable to potential employers. You know that you have the skills to do the job, and do it well, but now you need to convince an interviewer that your are the best candidate for the opportunity. Preparation is the key.

Know Your Strengths

There are many ways to prepare for a successful interview. You need to have the right combination of knowledge and curiosity, with the ability to articulate your past accomplishments and your future goals. It’s important to know your strengths as a social worker and how your background is a good fit for the position and the organization as a whole. In addition to speaking about your education and experience, be sure to mention volunteer work and outside interests that might be applicable to the job.

Plan for Tough Questions

You should anticipate being asked behavioral-type interview questions. Interviewers want to know how you handled a challenging situation and what outcomes your actions achieved. Think about times that you used relevant skills to manage problems to full resolution. Did you assess the situation using your critical thinking skills? Did you act fast and confidently? Who did you partner with or look to for guidance? How did you improve processes, save money, or otherwise achieve successful results?

Ask an Expert

If at possible, talk to a social worker who is in a similar role to the one you are hoping to secure. Ask them what they think are the most important skills and abilities to demonstrate during your interview. Find out how earning their MSW degree was a differentiator in terms of getting the job.  You should also see what questions they would recommend that you ask of the interviewer. The best interviews are two-way conversations that engage both parties in positive professional discussions.

Last-Minute Preparation

Before going into the interview, take a last-minute look at your resume and the job description of the position. Make a mental note of the major responsibilities and requirements of the job, and how the content of your resume applies. Use the right buzzwords and, above all, be professional. Dress appropriately, and get to the interview site early so that you can touch up your appearance as necessary. Plan for delays in your travel and be prepared to take an alternate route if there is a traffic incident. Bring two copies of your resume, and finally, turn off your phone.

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