Sample Interview Questions for Social Workers (with Answers)

Interview Questions for Social Workers
You can achieve a superlative result in your social worker job interview if you prepared hard for it with questions that are commonly asked.

If you are scheduled for an interview for a social worker job, you need to get familiar with the questions that are likely to be asked to improve your chances of getting hired.

This post provides exhaustive samples of commonly asked social worker interview questions to help you to prepare effectively to build knowledge and confidence for the interview.

Please, read on:

What do Interviewers look for in a Social Worker?

Interviewers want to know whether someone they want to hire for a social worker position likes people and can work in a non-judgmental, patient, and supportive environment.

They’ll judge you on your friendliness and ability to see most situations from the perspective of others.

Interviewers need someone who is good with the residents, understands the future challenges they will face and can provide genuine empathy for their needs.

At the interview, you should show that you’re attentive and empathetic with a client by giving your answers to questions you are asked in an way that demonstrates understanding and relate to the client’s emotions, or sympathize with their situation.

10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers for Social Workers

Here are some of the most common interview questions for the social worker position to help boost your preparation for the interview:

  1. Why do you choose to be a social worker and not something else?

It’s rewarding for me, and I get a sense of satisfaction from making the world a better place.

The best thing about being a social worker is that you can make an impact on society’s most vulnerable members, while improving their quality of life.

You also get to use your compassionate nature not only with them but also live out your values in other facets of life.

Supporting people who have less than you gives others the opportunity to believe in themselves – which improves society for all!

2. What is your experience in working with people that have disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse?

I have a lot of experience working with people that have disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse.

 I attended a certificate program in Disability Services for Adults, which is a six-week training program.

In this certification course, we learned about the needs of people who have special needs and how to meet them effectively.

We also learned how to be proactive in finding resources for people when they need something done- such as looking for housing or transportation.

After the course was over, I volunteered at an organization in my city where I helped a couple disabled adults find places to live and worked with them on their resumes.

They also used me as a sounding board for their struggles with depression and anxiety because they never had anyone before who could understand what they were going through.

I also attended a social work course where we went over issues that affect people with mental disabilities, and how to help them be more independent.

3. What do you think is the hardest part about being a social worker?

Being a social worker can be draining because of the challenges you face on a daily basis. In this field, you spend a lot of your time with people who are going through difficult situations, and it can be hard to switch yourself off after a day’s work.

Being a social worker is emotionally challenging – often coming across people of all ages in their toughest moments, certain cases will forever remain on the top of your mind even when you’re not working.

However, having a lot of patience is a must – being empathetic is important so that you can help people find solutions to their problems.

4. What drives social workers?

The drive for a social worker comes from wanting to do good in the world. They want to see change around them, and they work hard towards that goal by getting to know people, learning their struggles and helping them improve their lives.

Social workers are determined to bring about change for the betterment of all, and they do this by assisting people.

5. Do you enjoy working with children and families?

Yes, I enjoy working with children and families.

6. Tell me about an example of when you dealt with someone who was experiencing grief or depression.

There was a time when I worked with an elderly woman who had just lost her husband. She had been struggling to cope with his death and she wasn’t eating or speaking very much.

We talked for some time and discussed loss, coping and how we can find happiness in life even when we’ve experienced great personal tragedy.

7. What do you recommend as the best way to change the world?

I think that we can change the world by continuing to help and support people, and never giving up on them. As a social worker, I am always learning about new ways to serve others and be proactive in my career.

8. What ethical values do you bring to your work as a social worker?

In my work as a social worker, I bring ethical values such as caring for others and showing respect to the people around me.

I think that in order to make a real difference in society, we must genuinely care about other people and their wellbeing.

We should be open-minded when it comes to helping people, and show them empathy because they will feel more comfortable and open to talking about their problems.

Being respectful means always listening carefully to what other people have to say, and not judging them because of who they are or where they come from.

9. How can you help people?

By learning everything I can about a person’s situation in order to figure out a solution that works for them.

I try to learn as much as I can about a person’s life and what their struggles are, so that I have more of an idea of how to help them. I try to be proactive by finding new resources or programs that might benefit them, and look into the root causes of their problems so I can offer better solutions.

10. What motivates you to do this work?

I am passionate about helping people who are going through a difficult time. It makes me happy to know that I made a difference in someone else’s life, and it motivates me to continue doing what I love.

More Sample Interview Questions for Social Workers?

Here are additional social worker interview questions you can apply in your preparation for your next interview:

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. What decisions does a social worker make on the job?
  2. How would you go about solving a problem with a client who is struggling to follow house rules?
  3. Who is your favorite superhero and why?
  4. A co-worker tells you that he thinks he may have committed an infraction. What do you do?
  5. Describe a time when somebody’s criticism of your work had an effect on you.

Sample Case Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. How do you assess your client’s needs?
  2. What are the common barriers that keep people from getting out of poverty?
  3. You offer food, clothing, and shelter to these clients. If they refuse any of this help what are you going to do about it?
  4. What is some advice for an unemployed spouse who has no training or work experience?
  5. A new mother has lost both her husband and son in a car accident. They were killed by drunk driver. She was not able to go back to work because she had postpartum depression. Her family blames her for their loss, how would you respond if she said “no one understands me”?

Sample Competency Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. What is your drive for putting in for this position?
  2. What do you know about our agency and the services we offer?
  3. What skills do you have that will enhance our team?
  4. How would you handle a frustrating, uncooperative person?
  5. What has been your experience with people who are homeless or living in poverty?

Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Social Worker

  1. What is the best way to deal with children who are having a tantrum?
  2. If you’re working with an older person, how can you help them understand what’s happening in their lives?
  3. How do you handle someone who behaves inappropriately at work or home?
  4. Is there anything that would prevent you from doing this job on a full time basis?
  5. What type of training will be required for this position and how long will it take to complete the program/training course?

Sample Situational Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. Who should you never work with?
  2. What kind of person should you look to help first?
  3. How would you explain what a social worker does to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
  4. When do symptoms such as anxiety and depression manifest themselves the most often in people’s lives?
  5. What is your desired outcome for your clientele after an intervention from a social worker?

Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Social Worker

  1. Tell me about a time when you dealt with somebody who was very angry.
  2. Differentiate between empathy and sympathy?
  3. How do you feel about confidentiality?
  4. Give an example of how you communicated in a clear and concise manner to someone.
  5. What is your experience interacting with mental health clients?

Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. What is your favorite animal?
  2. When were you the happiest, and what happened at that time?
  3. What is one of the most satisfying things about being a social worker?
  4. Can you tell me about a time when someone was especially grateful to you for something that you did as a social worker?
  5. Who have been your role models and why?

Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Social Workers

  1. Is it okay if I ask you a personal question about the last time you made a mistake?
  2. How do you feel about failure?
  3. What can we expect from a typical day in your life at work?
  4. Do you prefer to work independently or with other people?
  5. Will this position require collaborating with doctors/therapists outside of our organization often? And what’s your experience for someone new to healthcare?

Social worker Interview Success Tips

The first thing you should know about social work is that it’s not just for people with degrees. Social work is a profession that anyone can enter, as long as they have the compassion and skills necessary to do it. Keep these interview tips in mind:

  • It is important to prepare a couple of intelligent questions to ask a potential employer, as well as a list of achievements and experience that demonstrate your expertise in social work.
  • The important thing to remember during a social work interview is that the interviewer does not want to know what you know; they want to know how well you will fit into their workplace.
  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Demonstrate your willingness to be a team player by being flexible, accepting criticism, and being responsible.


The questions asked during an interview for a social worker are designed to evaluate your ability to be compassionate and professional.

The more you know about the profession, the better prepared you will be when it comes time for your interview.