How to prepare for your social work interview

Jude_Badmington-Fowler - social work lecturer

Here is some useful information and guidelines from senior lecturer Jude Badmington-Fowler to help you to prepare for your Social Work interview.

"As part of the selection process for the BSc (Hons) Social Work, you will normally be assessed by a panel of three. This will include a representative from our service users and carers group, a social work practitioner from one of our partner agencies and a tutor from the programme."

The places on the social work course are limited and eagerly sought after, so don’t throw your chance away by being unprepared.

This is your opportunity to sell yourself and show the panel what you can contribute to the profession. Before the interview, update yourself on current news and issues. Good websites to read are Social Care WalesSocial Care Institute for Excellence and Community Care and the Code of Professional Practice.

The interview will begin with a brief presentation from a tutor on the programme, which will provide you with an overview of the BSc (Hons) Social Work degree and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions.

"You will then undertake three different assessments as part of the interview process (a case study, a group exercise and an individual interview)."

Case study 

You will be provided with a short case study describing the situation of a family that is involved with a social worker. You will have one hour to read this case study and answer two questions.

  • Question One: this asks you to reflect on the family’s situation and highlight what you feel are the significant issues.
  • Question Two: this asks you to consider and evaluate the social workers response to this family, based on the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care (Social Care Wales).

We will assess you on your insights into the difficulties that a family might face and how a social worker might respond appropriately, based on their professional code of ethics. We will also assess your presentation, grammar and spelling in this written exercise.

Group exercise

You will be divided into small groups and presented with a short statement that is relevant to social work. You will then be expected to discuss the statement as a group. This will normally take about 20 minutes. 

We will assess you both on how well you present and defend an argument and equally on how well you engage within a group setting.

Individual interview

You will be asked a number of questions by the interview panel that focus on:

  • The reasons for applying for the course
  • Your relevant work experience (420 hours), what you have learnt and how this experience has informed your understanding of the profession and the role of a social worker
  • The values and skills that are essential in a social worker
  • The dilemmas that social workers face
  • Your understanding of key concepts within social work 
  • Current issues within social work reported by the media

Your response to these questions will give the panel a good insight into your motivations for applying for the programme and allow us to assess the relevancy of the knowledge and experience you hold.

All three elements of the interview process will be taken into consideration in arriving at a final decision regarding your suitability for the social work programme. 

Related information: Social Work interview day