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Social work candidates, whether looking for their next locum or permanent role can expect to be asked at interview ‘What makes you the best candidate for the role?’




Whatever vacancy you’re vying for – adult social worker, children’s social worker, team manager, or perhaps a more specialist role in mental health or CSE – it’s not just how well you answer that question, but how you present yourself throughout the entire interview.

You’ll likely be competing against candidates with similar experience, so how do you make sure you stand out?

Your Sanctuary consultant would have already given the employer an overview of how your skills and experiences are suited to the role, but you’ll need to do the leg-work of making the employer see exactly what you can offer over another candidate.

It’s all in the preparation


If you’re proactively looking for a new role, the chances are that you will be applying for multiple roles over a relatively short period of time. It can seem like an impossible task to remember the finer details of each role, but spending some quality time matching your specific skills and knowledge to each position will definitely pay off.

The employer wants to know that you fully understand what is expected of the role. You’ll want to dissect the job description, as a solid answer will show you understand the position in terms of the skills, experience and competencies related to it.

Let’s consider the job advert below:

Create a picture such as this:

  • I’ll be working and reviewing the development of ongoing initiatives and so I’ll need to be ready with examples of how I have made effective use of resources in my service delivery. A stand-out answer will show how your actions had a positive impact on children, their families and carers.

  • I’ll be developing close working partnerships with outside agencies as well as with carers. I’ll need to demonstrate that I am tactile and caring, yet have the business skills to know how relationships with external partners can be mutually beneficial. If you’ve got any examples of where you have made a service more efficient, make sure you talk about this. A noticeably good answer will show how you took a new or particularly innovative approach.

  • I’ll be offering crucial support and advice to children, young people and their carers. I’ll need two or three examples to draw on, although do remember to be concise. A strong answer will highlight your understanding of fostering and adoption, demonstrate you know the desired outcomes from the case and explain the actions you took and why.

There are, of course, a broad range of interview questions you could be asked, which will give you plenty of scope to show all of the above.

To assist you, we’ve created two downloadable interview prep sheets for adult and children’s social workers. Even spending just half an hour filling this in will help you focus on the role at hand and give you space to think about why you are perfect for the role!

Another way to stand out is through training. We offer a variety of courses which can help to advance your career.

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