Role-plays have become very popular in all sort of job interviews. Social work is no exception. Especially in private institutions, interviewers use it pretty often. It is also quite common in agency recruitment. The interviewer plays a client (or brings one to the room), and you need to "perform your job" straight there. The guide on how to ace a role play exceeds the content of the free part of this website. However, I can give you at least few hints:
☛ Be yourself. Do not try to be a different man, just adjust your behavior a little to the situation.
☛ Accept the role play. Some people refuse it in an interview. It is a big mistake. If you refuse to do the tole play, they won't give you a job.
☛ Take it seriously. I know it is only a play. But anyway, you should take it as seriously as ever, because it is a part of your interview. And many times it is the most important part of the process Do not forget on it.
There are a lot of expectations on a social worker. You may need to work overtime, on Sundays, or even make home visits. Of course, this depends on the nature of your job, but it is almost necessary to do it in direct social practice.
Some social workers are on duty 24/7, e.g nurses who live with the clients. This is something many people can not even imagine. However, you should declare that fulfilling your goal as a social worker is the first priority and that you are ready to sacrifice something for achieving it.
I am prepared to make home visits. I understand the importance of getting closer to the client. I have experience with it from the past and have no problem with it. What more, I have a car, so I can definitely make home visits.
It is a technical question about a difficult situation you can face while performing your daily job. You can expect several questions of this type in an interview, mostly related to the particular job you want to have. Sometimes they can even put you under direct test, bringing a client in a room, or playing one. This is actually one of the best assessments of your readiness to do the job.
First of all, as a good social worker you need to be patient. You should not get distracted by it. You should stay calm and try to find an alternative way of communication.
One way to communicate is to go by an example. If you want your client to do something, but he does not understand it, demonstrate it. Show him what you expect him to do. Do it and he may repeat it.
To use pictures, gestures, and other forms of transferring your message is also something to mention. However, the most important part of your answer is the one when you mention that you would stay calm and communicate your message until the client finally understands it.
The problem of many social workers is that they stand out from the crowd too much If you come among-st poor children wearing a business suit, you will hardly get close to their hearts. You may get an attention, but that isn't really what you seek. They will not respect you, they will feel a distance between you two. It is like inviting a homeless man to your beautiful office, just to take a questionnaire.
I would go into their habitat, I would try to understand their language, think on the same wavelength as they do. I wouldn't try to present myself as someone clever, but rather act as one of them, wear things they wear and speak the way they do. That is how I would try to get closer to them.
Social work is not something one can do effectively while keeping distance. As a good candidate, you should always try to get as close to the people as possible. Close to their bodies, close to their hearts, close to their problems This is the only way how to do this job well and you should know it and have a plan how to do it.
In most of the cases, social work is connected to specific demographic and sociographic group of people. You may work with orphans, problematic youngsters, old people, homeless people, immigrants. There are numerous social groups that definitely need our help.
It doesn't matter what they ask, you should be always positive. Positive about people, positive about options to help, positive about your job. That is the right attitude to present in an interview. Oppositely, if you spoke in negative terms, they would not hire you. One can hardly do this job well, if he does not believe it or do not have some respect for people who should work with.
In this case, you should talk about your volunteering experience, or at least about some situation when you did something more than expected. It can be anything you did for free too.
Do not forget that in social work, your attitude is the most important thing. If it is correct, they can hire you, even if you have no experience with social work. Show the right attitude and get a job!
☛ Helping someone who is NOT your client, but needs quality help from someone with your qualification.
☛ Offer and deliver a service that is outside of your working duties (for example shopping for someone, taking someone to physician, going for a vacation with someone, etc).
☛ Meeting with clients in your free time, in order to strengthen mutual relationship.
☛ Helping new colleagues in work.
You can not solve the problem by arguing with your client. You probably knew this already. Oppositely, as a good social worker, you should stay calm and relaxed, keep your focus and goal on your mind and do not let their behavior to distract you. Remember, your goal is to build bridges, not to destroy it.
Social workers meet with different kinds of clients. They often struggle in life, face problems and are unsatisfied with everything around them. (That is the reason why they need your help).
Being overwhelmed by their own problems, they can be aggressive, angry, sad, irate, or whatever else comes to your mind. Some clients are nice, but many are not. As a social worker you need to handle all the people and all the problematic situations. That is why you will be inquired how you dealt with such clients in the past.
Notice that it is a behavioral question. Recruiters ask what you did, not what you would do. Therefor you should speak about a situation from the past, ideally from your job. But if it is your first job application, you can calmly talk about experiences from your personal life.