How to prepare for your social work interview

Generic student image Newport

Beforehand

  • Research the social work degree and the University by looking at the website and, if possible, attend an Open Day.

  • Get as much practical experience as you can. Applicants for our social work degree must have at least 10 weeks' work experience (approximately 360 hours) carried out in a supervised social care setting or agency with a reference from the supervisor submitted during your interview confirming you have completed the hours. Not only will it give you an insight into the realities of the sector, it will also give you plenty to talk about during the interview. If you have previous experience that you feel could contribute towards these hours, please contact the course leader [email protected] to discuss further. Instances such as these will be assessed on a case by case basis.

  • Re-read your application form and personal statement. We will ask you to elaborate on it and it’s vital to be aware of what you have said.

  • Make sure your references are current and still happy to be contacted.

  • Update yourself on current news and issues. Good websites to read are Social Care Wales, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Community Care.

  • Review relevant legislation and the policy framework as the interview will test these.

 

Individual interview

"The social work university course is competitive, so don’t throw away your chance of a place by being unprepared," says Michelle Culwick, award leader.

"This is your opportunity to sell yourself and show the panel what you can contribute to the profession.

"Answer the questions as fully as you can and give illustrations from your own life/career. Project warmth and confidence as you enter and don’t forget to smile and make eye contact with the panel."

Other points to consider

  • Why do you want to be a social worker?

  • Describe what you think a social worker does and what type of people or groups you might work with

  • What do you think are the qualities of a good social worker? How do your talents and skills match the qualities needed?

  • Describe a stressful or demanding role you've had and explain how you coped with it

  • Tell us about a time you have contributed to effective team working

  • Describe your understanding of The Code of Professional Practice and how it would inform your daily work

  • What current issues in the media with regard to social work are you aware of?

Written task

You will be given one hour to read a case study and answer related questions, applying The Code of Professional Practice where applicable.