How to prepare for a social work interview

We understand that interviews can be nerve-racking, but with the right preparation you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression. To help you out, we decided to ask some of our recruitment specialists for their top tips. 


Be in the know 

Once your interview date is confirmed, it’s time to get researching! Get to know the company and their values by exploring the website, reading press releases and Ofsted reports. This will give you a solid foundation of knowledge to return to throughout the interview and help demonstrate your understanding of company goals and incentives. Do not – and we cannot emphasise this enough – leave your research until the night before. Take a little and often approach so that your brain has time to absorb the new information. You might even want to practise reciting your revision to a friend, as this will help strengthen your power to recall on the big day. 


Prepare and rehearse 

With that same friend or family member, practise answering some of the following questions that are likely to come up when interviewing for a role in the social sector. This will help you figure out what you’re going to say and provide opportunity for feedback on the quality of answers, as well as clarity and body language. 


Here’s a few examples of potential questions: 

  • Why do you want to work for this local authority?
  • What is important to you when caring for another person? 
  • How would you prioritise your caseload?
  • Have you ever had to work with a challenging service-user? What was the outcome? 
  • What target groups do you have experience working with? 

This is your chance to show off your experience and skills, as well as back up any claims on your CV – so make it count! 


Familiarise yourself with the KSS and PCF

Social workers should be familiar with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), as well as the ​​post-qualifying standards or knowledge and skills statements (KSS). Read these through as a refresher of the skills, knowledge and values social workers use in their practice.

Plus, as a newly qualified social worker you will be assessed against the KSS and PCF during your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) programme, so staying one step ahead is not a bad idea!



Take it easy the night before your interview and spend at least an hour doing something calming, whether that’s taking a bath or binge-watching some reality TV! This will help your mind and body unwind ahead of the big day and ensure you’re not carrying any stress/tension into the interview. 


The team at Social Personnel wish you all the best of luck. If you have any further interview advice, do not hesitate to reach out or give us a call on 0203 8929 340.

We offer free interview support to all candidates and are happy to help mitigate pre-interview nerves where we can! 

carlette Isaac

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