35 Social Work Interview Questions You Need To Know

Social workers cover a lot of industries and aspects, and sometimes having an interview to attend might leave you wondering what sort of question you might encounter.

Based on research and feedback, we have put together 35 social work interview questions you need to know as you prepare for your social work interview.

These social work interview questions would give you a glimpse of what to expect as you head into the interview.

So, let’s get right to it.

Tips for Interviewing for Social Work Jobs

Employers in the field of social work are just as interested in how you connect with others during an interview as they are in what you have to say.

Interview with career counselors and advisers to fine-tune your approach and receive feedback.

Showcase Your Qualifications

Make a list of the characteristics and talents you have that make you a good social worker. Consider a period when you displayed that trait in a job or volunteer role for each asset.

Highlight interactive obstacles you’ve faced, tough individuals you’ve interacted with, and how you’ve persuaded others to change.

If communication is one career you admire, then read this Top Communication Interview Questions and Answers

Tell Us about Your Experience

Interviewers are likely to inquire about your clinical or casework experience, as well as your clinical philosophy and approach.

They’ll almost certainly inquire about your most difficult instances and how you dealt with them. Be ready to respond to any and all of these questions.

Learn how to answer How to Answer “What Areas Need Improvement”- Interview Questions

Investigate the Company

Also, do some homework on the organization you’re interviewing with. Your interviewers will most likely ask you why you want to work for their company and for the people they serve.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” be prepared. Because certain questions may naturally be addressed during the interview, you should have many prepared.

You might ask the following questions:

  • What’s a typical day like in this role? 
  • What’s the caseload for social workers here? 
  • Tell me about the training period for this role. 
  • Who will provide supervision? And, is that person licensed? 
  • What are you looking for in candidates for this role? 
  • What would you expect from the person hired for this role in their first 30 or 90 days?    

How to Follow Up After the Interview

In order to secure a job offer, effective follow-up is critical. Make a point of writing a thank-you message to that end. If at all possible, submit your note(s) within 24 hours of your interview.

Make sure you send each of your interviewers a tailored message.

Explain why you’re interested in the position, why you think it’s a good fit, and how grateful you are for the chance to interview in each thank you email or letter. If at all feasible, highlight something special that each interviewer taught you that piqued your curiosity.

If you think the material would comfort your interviewers, address any reservations they may have regarding your candidacy.

Social Work Interview Questions you need to know

Let’s get down to the juicy part. If you applied for the position of a social worker and this is your first time, you might be wondering what sorts of questions might come up at the interview.

Well, we have compiled 35 possible social work interview questions which you need to know in order to prepare yourself properly for the interview ahead.

Here are some often requested interview questions to get you started:

1. What is social work?

Answer: Social work is a professional and academic discipline that aims to improve the subjective well-being and quality of life of individuals, families, couples, groups, and communities through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, crisis intervention.

This teaching is for the benefit of those who are affected by social disadvantages such as poverty, mental and physical illness or disability, and social injustice, including violations of civil liberties and human rights.

The profession is committed to social justice and the well-being of disadvantaged and marginalized people and communities.

2. Suppose you have 5 computer assessments due, 3 new admissions, 2 discharges and care plans today. How do you prioritize your day?


  • Organize the day into related activities to increase efficiency
  • Complete all related tasks at once, e.g., gather all charts to complete MDS assessments at once Determine what time the residents will be discharging and ensure all services are arranged to facilitate a safe d/c plan (all of this should have been arranged prior to the day of d/c, but now it’s just making sure everything falls into place) Because care plans are scheduled, all other activities must be arranged around them.
  • Save new admissions until the end of the day unless immediate assistance is required.
  • Concentrate on the work at hand
  • Avoid interruptions

3. What is a grievance policy?

Answer: When an issue or complaint cannot be handled promptly, a grievance report is created (and sometimes then as well).

4. How do you know when to write a grievance report?

Answer: The social worker is usually in charge of keeping track of grievances and reporting issues/trends at the quality meeting.

5. How do you describe risk management?

Answer: Risk management refers to any activity aimed at limiting the likelihood of loss or harm; it necessitates effective communication and coordination, as well as continuing training, particularly in customer service sectors.

6. Describe the components of a care plan for a resident with depression?


  • The problem statement should be tailored to the individual resident and indicate how depression affects his or her quality of life.
  • The objective should be to provide positive value to the residents.
  • In some way, make his or her life better.
  • Make your goals measurable and achievable.
  • Rather than addressing symptoms like tearfulness or combativeness, focus on the causes.

7. What are the components of a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment?


  • Throughout the interview and evaluation process, keep an eye on the strengths of the residents.
  • locating information (ethnicity, spirituality, appearance, payer source, etc.)
  • The reason for admission and any presenting difficulties, as well as previous living arrangements and the amount of support required with ADLs and IADLs, are all factors to consider.
  • The importance of advance directives and advance care planning
  • Physical and/or mental issues in the past
  • Treatment for mental illness and psychological issues
  • Personal and familial background
  • System of assistance
  • Education and work experience
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Substance abuse history
  • The ability to think
  • If necessary, make a discharge plan.
  • Impression and evaluation

8. How do you prepare to interview a new resident/patient?


  • Directives issued in advance
  • Parties in Charge
  • Diagnoses and their effects on mood and behavior
  • If you need long-term care, there may be complications with discharge planning or placement.
  • Hospital-related issues, such as mood or behavior problems
  • Review nurse evaluations, particularly those related to falls, pain, and elopement risks, to verify that care plans are implemented.
  • Determine how a social worker can help with an interdisciplinary approach to care plans.
  • Evaluations of therapy to get information on previous levels of functioning and aims

9. How do you explain code status to a resident and/or family member?


  • First, inquire whether they have any queries about advance directives or the status of their code.
  • Inquire about their comprehension of the options: full code or do not resuscitate (DNR)
  • Ensure that your understanding is correct.
  • If education is required, explain the complete code in the same manner as any other treatment or operation, including a discussion of hazards (broken ribs, punctured lungs, probably decreased quality of life). Inform patients that the Full Code covers a wide range of operations, including intubation, cardiac compression, artificial breathing, and so on.
  • As a visual help, bring the orange card to the meeting.
  • If DNR instruction is required, emphasize that comfort care, such as oxygen and pain control, is always available.
  • If the code status changes, the charge nurse must be notified so that relevant directives may be obtained and followed.

10. Do you facilitate the meetings?


If a family member or responsible party is unable to attend, arrange for conference calls, or have meetings at the resident’s bedside if he or she is unable to get out of bed.

11. How do you keep them on track?


Maintain group focus – if the discussion devolves into a “complaint session,” call a separate meeting with the required personnel.

12. What information do social workers report on?


The mood, behaviors, room changes, roommate changes, how the resident is adjusting to facility life or if admitted for a rehab stay, the discharge plan, advance directives, emergency contact, and relationship are all things that the social worker reports on.

13. What is your experience in discharge planning?


  • Referrals to community resources – knowledge of the most common resources, such as home health, medical equipment, Title 19, Meals-on-Wheels, and mental health programs, is required.
  • The pre-admission procedure is where discharge planning begins.
  • Complete record of all discharge planning efforts, including the names and times of any phone calls, meetings, or contacts.
  • Communication with the multidisciplinary team, as well as the resident and his or her family
  • Coordination of home health and equipment on discharge day or sooner if training is required on a new piece of equipment, such as a 4-wheeled walker or a glucometer.

14. How do you give a report to a health plan case manager?


  • Make sure you’re up to date on all disciplines (nursing, rehab, dietary)
  • To justify a skilled stay, focus on progress.
  • Keep the talk brief and focused on the patient’s needs.
  • Keep your case manager informed of any discharge planning obstacles or problems.
  • If you’re not sure how to respond to a question, get assistance.

15. What is the role of a social worker if a patient admitted for rehabilitation has declined therapy for two days?


  • Examine the reason(s) behind the resident’s refusal of therapy, such as despair, perplexity, or pain.
  • Determine what interventions may be used to make participation easier.
  • Explain the benefits of insurance and the conditions for skilled stay.
  • If it’s appropriate, include family members.
  • Consider drafting a “refusal of care” care plan.
  • At a PPS or a stand-up meeting, communicate with the staff.

16. What do you do if two roommates are not getting along?


  • The interviewee must be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with resident rights and roommate rules.
  • Speak with both residents, individually and potentially jointly, and assist them in coming up with innovative ideas.
  • If a solution cannot be found and a room move is required, the person who originated the “complaint” is responsible for the room change.
  • All interventions undertaken, as well as the outcomes, should be documented in both residents’ medical records.
  • Ascertain that families are brought up to date as needed.

17. What is the role of the social worker with pain management?


  • In F309 Quality of Life Assessment, be familiar with the federal standards for pain treatment utilizing instruments such as the “faces” scale, the “number scale 1-10,” or scales for advanced dementia.
  • Assessing the resident’s pain management objectives includes inquiring about aggravating and relieving variables, the effect of pain, the meaning of pain, and, most importantly, the resident’s pain management goals.
  • Misconceptions about pain, difficulties in achieving proper pain management, the relationship between pain and behaviors/mood, definitions of tolerance, addiction, and dependency
  • Identification of anxiety-relieving non-drug therapies and procedures (guided imagery, visualization, muscle relaxation)

18. What do you do if a resident’s daughter comes into your office in tears? Her mother is quite ill and probably won’t make it through the week?


  • Invite her to have a seat.
  • Close the door to protect your privacy.
  • Turn on the phone Do Not Interrupt
  • Begin with the daughter – if she needs to weep, let her to cry; if she needs to talk, allow her to talk (about topics she feels necessary)
  • Encourage her to express her emotions, concerns, and concerns.
  • Don’t give false hope or meaningless statements like “I’m sure everything will work out” or “At least she won’t be in pain.”
  • If she’s interested, explain how the staff prioritizes her mother’s comfort.
  • Determine whether any action is required.
  • Inquire if she has any further requests for the personnel.
  • Suicide evaluation may be required in specific situations.

19. How do you approach her on this topic if a resident is admitted to your facility with advanced cancer?


  • Begin with a broad question, such as what she understands about her medical condition or why she is staying at the institution.
  • Determine whether she requires further information or that information be repeated, and then make it easier for her to get it.
  • As needed, include other members of the IDT, such as a physician or a nurse.
  • Employ active listening strategies.
  • Start or revise the care plan including social work interventions, such as one-on-one visits to allow residents to express their thoughts. with relation to diagnosis and prognosis

20. Tell me about your communication skills?


  • A successful facility relies heavily on communication.
  • Must be confident standing out in front of a group and being aggressive even if the group does not agree with the topic, such as room change disagreements or patient discharge choices.

21. How do you employ them in the interdisciplinary team?


Ability to listen to others’ perspectives and make thoughtful remarks, such as “What I hear you saying…” or “It’s vital to you that…”

22. What is one of the most challenging situations you have dealt with?


You must be able to articulate a complex scenario and show that you have the ability to resolve it with expertise and critical thought.

23. What is something you have failed at?


Must be able to learn from mistakes and use what they’ve learned in a productive way.

24. What areas would you like more education?


  • Ability and readiness to be open and honest about areas that require improvement or in which the individual wishes to improve.
  • If you do not believe that extra schooling is required, you should be concerned.

25. What do you do to prevent burnout?


  • Hobbies/interests
  • Support from family, friends, and the community
  • Know your boundaries and leave work at work.
  • Keep a good sense of humor.
  • If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, talk to your boss.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating a well-balanced diet.
  • Get adequate rest.

26. What would you do if you were feeling overwhelmed?


  • Speak with your boss.
  • Discuss any duties that haven’t been completed.
  • Make a strategy to fix the parts that are still incomplete.
  • Inquire for assistance!

27. What makes you competent to do this job?


  • Someone who displays self-assurance without being arrogant
  • Someone who isn’t afraid to try new things yet isn’t afraid to seek help.
  • Personality, personal objectives, and enthusiasm – explain them.
  • Skills – be particular
  • Training – be precise
  • Experience – be detailed

28. Why do you want to work as a social worker?


Examine honesty.

29. Do you know what the mission of social work is?


The fundamental aim of the social work profession is to increase human well-being and assist in satisfying the basic human needs and empower individuals who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty, according to the Preamble of the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics. The profession’s focus on individual well-being in a social environment and society’s well-being is a historic and distinguishing aspect of social work. Environmental influences that produce, contribute to, and alleviate issues in living are at the heart of social work.

30. Tell me what social workers do?


Social workers, according to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), assist individuals in overcoming social and health issues such poverty, mental illness, child abuse and neglect, emotional instability, disease, economic insecurity, domestic violence, homelessness, and drug misuse.

They work one-on-one with individuals, couples, families, and groups to identify and resolve issues. Some social workers collaborate with communities, organizations, and/or systems to improve services and manage social and health initiatives.

Social workers utilize their knowledge and skills to assist individuals in making the most use of their own strengths. When a community lacks enough services, social workers advocate for the creation of additional services and initiatives.

31. Do you know what the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is?


The Master of Social Work program prepares students to work with people, families, homes, groups, organizations, and communities in advanced direct professional practice settings.

Through agency-based, culturally sensitive advanced professional practice, students develop the clinical, organizational, policy, and administrative skills needed to promote social and economic justice and improve the quality of life for all people.

32. Do you know where social workers practice?


Private practice, mental health, health, schools, community agencies, public welfare, agency administration, legislative services, and policy and planning are all places where social workers can be found.

Because it focuses on people’s issues in the context of their social environment, social work is unique among the helping professions.

People are impacted by the strengths and shortcomings of others around them, according to social workers, in their families, communities, workplaces, and organizations.

33. Who Consults a Social Worker?


Social workers are consulted by people of all ages and areas of life. Individuals, couples, families, groups, communities, and companies are all served by social workers.

34. Why Should I Consult a Social Worker?


A range of services are provided by social workers, including:

  • Assessment and counseling for individuals, families, and couples
  • Psychotherapy
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)/mediation
  • Assessments of custody and access
  • Employee support services are available (EAPs)
  • Adoptions
  • Counseling and job placement in the field of careers and employment
  • Assessments and rehabilitation in the field of work
  • Stress reduction
  • Counseling for people with eating problems
  • Counseling for grief, loss, and trauma
  • Assessment of mental ability
  • Counseling for addictions

35. Where Do Social Workers Work?


  • Family service organizations
  • Children’s assistance organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Treatment centers for addiction
  • Prisons and detention centers
  • Schools
  • Services for Seniors
  • Social action groups at the grass-roots level
  • Offices of government
  • Councils for social planning
  • Employee support services are available.

Frequently Asked Question

Becoming a social worker entails a significant financial investment. Fortunately, social work scholarships are available to assist students with the costs of obtaining a degree. Aside from scholarships, student loans and grants are also available to assist with the costs.

A social worker’s income varies based on the field, tenure, and level of education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median annual compensation for a social worker in 2020 will be $51,760, with the top 10% earning more than $85,820.

You can contact your doctor, your insurance company, or a referral service/national professional body like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 713,200 social workers employed in the United States by 2020. According to the most recent BLS data, there might be over 800,000 social workers by 2029.

A social worker can work with individuals in a variety of contexts, including mental health clinics, schools, and hospitals. Social workers may help with a wide range of issues, from addiction treatment to chronic disease and child support services, whether they deal with individuals or huge communities or organizations.


Attending an interview can be straining, especially when you don’t really know what to expect or where the interview questions they would throw at you may come from.

However, with the above listed questions, you are sure not to be caught unaware or off guard with social work interview questions.

Don’t forget to practice as much as you can and be honest and clear when answering these questions. You would definitely scale through the interview.



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