71 Common Interview Questions Every Social Worker Must Know

Preparing for interview questions you may be asked during a social work interview is vital.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” — Benjamin Franklin

As Benjamin Franklin has highlighted; preparation is essential for success.

This holds true for interviews as well, where you are likely to outshine others tomorrow by preparing today.

Interview Questions Every Social Worker Must Know (Adult Services)

TIP #1–Prior to applying for a social worker role, it is vital that you understand the role of a social worker.

It is also crucial you understand what they will require you to do daily, and also the transferable skills you bring to the role.

TIP #2–The role of the social worker requires a unique set of skills. These include multi-tasking, an understanding of legislative frameworks such as the Care Act 2014, Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Human Rights Act 1998.


I will highly recommend that you spend some time familiarising yourself with the key legislation as you are likely to be asked questions on them.

Please also read this article on How to Prepare for Your Social Work Interview

There are several questions that may be asked during a social work interview within ADULT SERVICES.

You can find questions that may be asked when interviewing for a role in Children Services HERE.

I have done an extensive primary and secondary research and have come up with a rich list of questions that you may be asked during an interview which will depend on the position you are applying for.

These are the most common questions that are asked by the interview panel, and going through them thoroughly will help you secure the job.

What Questions will you be asked in a Social Work Interview?

Interview Questions Every Social Worker Must Know
  1. What skills and qualities do you bring to this role?
  2. Tell us a bit about yourself.
  3. Why did you pursue social work as a career? OR Why do you want to be a social worker?
  4. What do you know about this local authority or organisation?
  5. What will your key tasks within this role be?
  6. What do you expect to do on a day-to-day basis?
  7. How is your previous experience applicable to the role you have applied for?
  8. Have you had the experience of working with people of a race or sexual orientation different from yours?
  9. What do you judge to be your major successes or accomplishments in life?
  10. What lessons did you learn?
  11. What would you do differently in future?
  12. Tell us about a time when you have had to deal with conflict when working with a service user?
  13. How do you plan on maintaining your health and wellbeing?
  14. How would you ensure that your professional development is kept up to date?
  15. Are you prepared to carry out home visits?
  16. Which pieces of legislation do you think are essential for this role?
  17. Why do you want this role?
  18. Why should you be chosen for this role?
  19. How will you ensure that your duty as a social worker is carried out to the highest standards possible?

Social Work Skills

Interview Questions for a social work role
  1. What are the vital skills in the role of a social worker?
  2. How would you rate your emotional resilience?
  3. How would you prioritise your cases?
  4. How do you manage stress?
  5. How would you achieve a work life balance?
  6. What do you understand by professionalism?
  7. How would you handle an upset or confused individual or member or a family whom you were working with as a social worker?
  8. How would you identify and address discrimination in the society?
  9. What do you hope to accomplish as a social worker?
  10. How have you kept a service user up to date?
  11. How do you keep an accurate record at all times?
  12. How have you worked to resolve conflict at the workplace?
  13. What are your strengths?
  14. What are your weaknesses?
  15. What do you understand by personal boundaries?
  16. What are your plans for the next 5-years?
  17. What do you understand by multi-tasking?

Questions on the Care Act 2014

social work interview questions
  1. What do you think about the Care Act 2014?
  2. What are the key principles of the Care Act 2014?
  3. What is eligibility determination?
  4. How will you determine eligibility?
  5. What do you understand by wellbeing?
  6. How will you carry out a Care Act needs assessment?

Questions on Safeguarding

  1. What do you understand by safeguarding?
  2. What are the key principles of safeguarding?
  3. Name the key principles of safeguarding.
  4. How will you make safeguarding personal?

Preparing for Initial Contact

  1. How will you establish rapport with a service user?
  2. How will you prepare for an initial contact?
  3. What are the stages of the safeguarding process?

Mental Capacity Act 2005

mental capacity act
  1. What is the primary purpose of the Mental Capacity Act?
  2. How many principles are there in the Mental Capacity Act?
  3. Name the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005?
  4. What is the 2-stage test when carrying out Mental Capacity Assessments
  5. What is your understanding of Causative Nexus, and why is it important?

Multi-agency Working

  1. What do you understand by multi-agency working?
  2. How will you ensure collaborative working with other agencies?
  3. How will you liaise with external and internal agencies in your capacity as a social worker?
  4. What would you consider before sharing information with other agencies?
  5. How would you ensure that you provide the correct level of information or support to individuals, families or other agencies?

Reflective Practice

  1. What are the benefits of reflection?
  2. Do you think that self-awareness is important? If so why?
  3. What reflective models are you aware of?
  4. How would you use any of them in practice?

Theories in Social Work

social work theories
  1. What are social work theories?
  2. How do you use theories in practice?
  3. What key theories are relevant in your role?
  4. What is your understanding of strength-based approach?
  5. What do you understand by personalisation?

Communication Skills

  1. What do you understand by communication skills?
  2. What is your understanding of effective listening?
  3. How would you adhere to protocols of the organisation?

Download a copy of social work interview questions pdf


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What Qualities Make a Good Social Worker?

Qualities of a good social worker

The role of a social worker is highly demanding yet rewarding. It is a job that requires a set of essential skills and qualities to deal with the challenges within the role.

You may be required to carry out assessments with children, adults or families so you can identify their needs and recommend the right level of support or intervention. To perform your role effectively, you need a set of essential skills.

What are the set of qualities and skills needed to be an effective social worker?

  1. The ability to be empathic
  2. Being authentic
  3. Respecting individuals, their families and other professionals
  4. Working within a legislative framework
  5. Setting and maintaining professional boundaries
  6. Completing and maintaining accurate records
  7. Keeping records up to date
  8. Having the ability to multitask
  9. Ability to remain calm when under pressure
  10. Assessment skills
  11. Critical analytic skills
  12. Report writing skills
  13. Effective communication skills
  14. Desire to engage in lifelong learning

Checklist for Preparing for a Social Work Job Interview

 social work interview questions and answers pdf
  • Do your research on the organisation
  • Understand the KSS and PCF
  • Use your connections
  • Reconstruct interview | anticipate questions and answers
  • Practice an excellent answer to ‘tell me about yourself’ interview question
  • Practice the STAR interview response method
  • Create a good first impression
  • Ability to communicate
  • Be cautious of your energy levels
  • Are you a fit for the company and culture?
  • Reflect on your skills and experience
  • Review the job description, your résumé/CV, and cover letter.
  • Show a willingness to learn
  • Show you genuinely want this job
  • Decide on your future career path
  • Ask brilliant questions.
  • What not to bring to an interview
  • What to bring to an interview

Before you go

Remember to read the full article on how to prepare for a social work interview HERE.




interview questions every social worker must know
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