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It is 48 hours away until your social work interview and a mixture of nerves and excitement are starting to set in. It’s easy to let some of the seemingly obvious preparations slip through the net, and so we’ve prepared this blog as a reminder of some of the key things not to forget!

Plan your travel

Your interview might well be at a location you are familiar with, but if it’s not, you’ll want to know how long it’s going to take you to get there and the sooner you check, the better. 

If you work in frontline social work, you’ll no doubt already use navigation software, but the ‘plan my route’ function on Google Maps is good and might give you that extra info your Sat Nav can’t. Its colour-coded system will tell you where there is congestion during your journey. It’ll also tell you about any planned road closures.  

Many of our clients have guest parking, but what if those spaces are full on the day; would you know where to park and have enough change to pay for your space? 

Choose your outfit

Social work is one of the few caring professions without a universal dress code. This can leave many wondering about exactly what they should wear at interview. Our advice is to go smartly dressed to reflect the formality of the interview.

Last minute prep

Review the questions you think you’re likely to be asked, and the responses you’ve already planned (you can use our social work Q&A template available for download by visiting our Careers Hub).

You’ll want to feel comfortable with your responses although try not to memorise them, else you’ll sound rehearsed when delivering them. 

With questions fresh in your mind, you could ask somebody else to run through a mock-interview with you. Have your ‘interviewer’ give you constructive feedback – not just on what you say but on your nonverbal communication as well. 

Remind yourself of your professional history and how it relates to the job you are seeking, especially if you have experience within a specific area of work that sets you apart from other candidates. 

Be prepared for behavioural interview questions. The rationale for this type of question is that knowing how you performed in the past will help give the employer a sense of how you might do in the future.  You might be asked to recall a time when you worked under increased pressure, an occasion where you made a mistake, or how you handle conflict? (check out our blog on how to handle tricky interview questions for some quick tips on structuring a strong answer). 

Know your legislation

I cannot stress how important it is to review relevant legislation and policy ahead of the interview. An employer will want to know if you have a full understanding of your legal obligations as a social worker. For an adult social worker role, you’ll need to be able to comfortably talk about your obligations under the Care Act 2014. Likewise, children’s social workers will need to show they are up to date with the Children and Families Act 2014. 

What to take on the day

Your dedicated Sanctuary consultant will advise you on what you must take along with you for interview, but generally you should take:
  • A copy of your DBS certificate
  • Photo ID (e.g. passport or driving licence)
  • Details of the person that you must ask for upon arrival
  • The job description and person specification
  • Exam certificates, including any CPD accredited training certificates
  • Pen and notepad

Enjoy your interview

Now you can relax. All that’s left for you to do is to enjoy the interview. Remember, you’ve made the shortlist and so you have already impressed on paper!

Good luck!

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