Your CV and cover letter have worked, you got the interview! But now it’s crucial to stand out against other candidates who are going for the same role as you. Experience is essential, however being the right fit to an organisation is just as important. We take a look at ways you can succeed in your next interview!
It’s important you carry out the right research, as this can be the difference between getting offered a role or not. We recommend you learn everything about the organisation, by studying their website, annual report, social media and staff structure. By doing this, you learn more about an organisation, the clients they serve and how you can bring your skills to help them. Lack of research can leave a bad impression, as an interviewer can identify which candidate is more enthusiastic about a position.
As you prepare, it is important you know yourself! Linking your skills, experience, strengths and weaknesses to the job description is key so you keep your answers concise and relevant. Most interviews will start with a “tell me about yourself”, so make sure you prepare a 60 second summary of your background, career objectives and why you applied for the position.
For most questions you are set to be asked, we recommend you prepare PAR (Problems, Actions, Results) stories. Outlining problems you have faced, actions taken to address these problems and the results achieved are not only good examples, but can also portray key skills that are suitable for the role you are applying for.
Rehearsing your answers to ensure they are concise and relevant to questions asked saves you from rambling on and the less of that, the better! You want to make sure your answers are tailored to not only the questions you may be asked, but also to the job description. Rehearsing scenarios and PAR stories can make you feel prepared and more confident for your interview.
You can usually get a sense of an organisation’s culture and environment through an interview, so it’s a great opportunity to use your instincts to interview them and see if they are a good fit for yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the organisation, perhaps things you may have come across when you were carrying out your research.
As an agency, we specialise in recruiting social work and education professionals, therefore we have collated the most likely questions you may be asked in either interview.
Typical Social Work Questions:
- Tell me how you have worked effectively under pressure
- Tell me about a mistake you have made in your career
- Give me an example of a goal you reached
- How do you handle conflict or difficult situations
- Tell me a time when you have gone above and beyond your call of duty
- How can your previous experience be applied to the role you have applied for
- Can you tell me about a social work policy that may affect your field of work
- What areas would you like to develop as a social worker
- Tell me your biggest accomplishment in your social work career
Typical Education Interview Questions:
- What personal interests do you have that could be of value to the school?
- How do you handle stress?
- How could you integrate the community into your teaching?
- If we visited your classroom in October, what could we expect to see?
- Which is more important, teacher or learning, and why?
- How would you deal with bullying?
- How would you accommodate children who have English as an additional language in your classroom?
- What are your particular strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?
- How do you judge the achievement of pupils in your subject?
If you are looking to find your next social work or education opportunity, why not take a look at available positions here. If you find anything of interest to you, please do not hesitate to contact us and allow one of our dedicated consultants to take the weight off your shoulders!