Some cardinal Tips for Interviews

  • Use as many practical examples as possible relevant to the question and be very quick to think of one (and where possible be innovative to create one)
  • Show an understanding and appreciation of the UK Child protection system (the Children Act 1989, 2004 and Child Protection Procedures) but not getting into details but relate with your own context
  • Master the Job Description , Your roles responsibilities and competencies thereof
  • Calm down and ask them where you do not understand or get a question clearly
  • Be confident and eloquent
  • Show respect and professionalism
  • Dress as a professional
  • Your Skype should be of good quality as this is video conference and if possible an hour before just test it with someone

1. When did you apply this Post and what are your interest and understanding of the Post

  • Remember the time you applied the Post
  • Talk about your qualification as a Social Worker is this Post wants a Social Worker
  • Talk about your experience and skills as described in the Job Description
  • Talk about such skills as interviewing children, good communication and interpersonal skills, report writing and recording all the skills needed on this Post hence your interest
  • Showing your interest in working with children and families an experience you have and is what this job demands hence your great interest

2. Give a time when you used Social Work Theory

  • Explain your understanding of Social Work theory and why we use theory
  • What is key is application of the different theories and you demonstrate through using real life cases you have dealt with
  • I explained the three theories of: Social Systems Theory, Psycho-social Theory and Attachment Theory explaining what they mean and how I applied them
  • Remember that each theory is used different to different clients as children and families are unique
  • Also these Theories can be combined and used with other techniques and remember you are dealing with human beings not machines as what might work on one client might fail to work the next minute

3. In doing Assessments what research have you used

  • Talk about inter-agency work that evidence for assessments comes from other professional like the Police, Health, Schools and other agencies you work with
  • Give examples of Assessment tools you use in your own context and juxtapose with those in the UK system like that Triangle Assessment Framework and show an understanding and appreciation of the three domains of the child’s development needs, the family’s capacity and the environment
  • Simply this question is demonstrating that Assessments are evidence-based so illustrate that you work with other professionals and agencies in compiling information

4. Can you tell us when you have been part of a Team and did work positively?

  • Explain what is teamwork
  • Give concrete examples when you have been involved in teamwork
  • Talk about attending and participating in teamwork
  • Talk about sharing information in teams
  • Giving feedback to team when you attend meetings or trainings
  • Group supervision is part of a forum when you engage in a team

5. Give an example/challenges which you encounter in working as a Team

  • Conflicts – can disagree on course of action to take on a case
  • Issue of group dynamics
  • Communication breakdown
  • You may also give recommendations of how to deal with these issues

6. Give an example when you did not agree with another professional and how it was resolved

  • Give a case example when you did not agree with another professional say a Police Officer, Doctor or Nurse on course of action on handling a case
  • When this happens do not be confrontational with another professional but remain calm and professional
  • Seek support and advice from your Supervisor who can engage the Supervisor of this other professional who then agree on a course of action

7. How do you enable children and families’ participation?

  • This is key in Assessments
  • Listen to children and families’ views and feelings
  • Use different techniques for children like use of interpreters, toys, genograms, family trees, play etc
  • Children and parents to participate in child protection processes as child protection conferences, strategy meetings, case reviews and get parents and children’s views
  • Give feedback to children and families on agreed decisions
  • Explain children and families’ roles and responsibilities including that of other professionals and agencies
  • Where they have complaints explain to them the procedures to follow

8. What’s your expectation on Supervision?

  • It’s a two-way process between the Supervisor and Supervisee
  • Prepare for supervision through having your case notes
  • Discuss complex cases with your supervisor and about your case-load
  • It’s an opportunity for identifying training needs
  • Supervision can be used for dealing with stress

9. How do you take account of Equality and Diversity?

  • Give concrete examples from where you come from on how you deal with this
  • Show an understanding of these terms
  • It’s about giving equal access to services and equal treatment to children and families not based on such issues as race, age, gender, sexual orientation or migration status
  • Your own values, religious beliefs and background should not prejudice clients
  • Show application of social work values and principles in addressing equality and diversity

10. How do you ensure your Assessments are robust and accurate?

  • Why do we do assessments – to identify if the child is at risk of significant harm and devise intervention strategies (based on Assessment Framework)
  • Talk about the Assessment Tools you will use
  • Assessments should be child centered and child-focused
  • Work with other professional and agencies and get their views
  • Assessment should be continuous as children’s circumstances do change
  • Interview as many sources as possible who matters in a child’s life

11. How do you evidence the voice of the child?

  • In whatever you do the child should be at the center
  • Listen to their views, feelings
  • Interview children separately and get their views
  • Use different techniques for children as use of interpreters, toys etc to suit the child’s circumstances
  • Make use of advocates to represent children where necessary

12. How do you manage stress and how will your supervisor know

  • Plan your work through time management by having Diary and a How-To-Do List
  • Record information
  • When having a complex case consult your Supervisor
  • Discuss with your supervisor during supervision sessions
  • Teamwork can help deal with stress
  • Let your supervisor know you are stressed before it gets worse and do not wait for formal supervision and adhoc supervision can be organized by request if you are stressed and through that you inform your supervisor.

13. When I speak to your Manager what will they tell us about you

  • It’s an opportunity to market yourself
  • Tell them what you can do based on your experience and competences that resonates with this post
    It speaks to Question 1

14. What’s your question for us?

  • Read their website and ask something exciting
  • Let each candidate be different

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