Education, Employment, Online Workshop

Mock Interview Panel by @Profsocialwork with @Mamiddau & @Obi1

Mock Interview Panel:

Panel: @mamiddau and @profsocialwork

Interviewee @Obi1

Position: @Obi1 is apply for the position of Children’s #SocialWorker within a local authority/statutory setting. The area of practice will focus on initial response and assessment.  Myself and @Mamiddau have focused our questions with this in mind. We have asked ten questions between us to ensure inclusion of law, policy, social work process and knowledge as well as person specific criteria.

Interview Transcript: 

Prof: Good Morning Ms. @Obi1_ We r pleased to invite you for interview & well done for being short listed for this post. cc @mamiddau #swscmedia

Prof: You will be interviewed by a panel of two. Myself and Ms. @mamiddau … please answer all questions as best as you can & good luck. #swscmedia

Obi1: @ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia good morning, thank you for the opportunity, I am pleased to be here.

First question is by Ms. @mamiddau #swscmedia cc @Obi1_

First Question:

Mamiddau: Good morning Ms @obi1_ What skills, abilities and knowledge do you have that is relevant to this post? #swscmedia cc @ProfSocialWork

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia i”ve been in family outreach for 4yrs, with CY&F complex issues/needs, empathetic, good listener..

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia..knowledge of legislation/policies, assessment experience,

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia recently completed 20 day return to s/w course, am currently working 1 dy week on duty in voluntary.

Commentary: Very good answer and of course we are doing this via twitter so everything is 140 characters… so difficult to fit everything in however for the real life or face to face encounter remember to highlight all of your previous experiences and link those experiences to your skills, ability and knowledge.

Here is an opportunity to highlight your soft skills (active listening, thinking, empathy, reflection, etc.) as well as more formal knowledge such as social work process and legislation.

Second Question:

Prof: @Obi1_ Can you name the 5 outcomes for every child matters? cc: @mamiddau #swscmedia

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia Stay Safe, Be healthy, Enjoy & Acheive,Make a Positive Contribution & Achieve Economic Wellbeing..

Commentary: Great answer and answered in full. But why not dazzle them with a little bit more for example add:

The “Every Child Matters”  green paper published in 2003 alongside Government’s response to Lord Laming’s Report into the death of Victoria Climbié not only aim to protect children but also to maximise the opportunities open to young people to improve their life chances and fulfil their potential.

Adding that little bit extra can make all the difference between one job seeker and another.

Third Question:

Mamiddau: @Obi1_ thank you. what are the main factors to take into consideration when undertaking an assessment? @profsocialwork #swscmedia

@mamiddau @profsocialwork #swscmedia welfare of child paramount, parenting capacity,child’s developmental needs & family & environmental..

Commentary: Great answer all the key factors.

An added note: You are referring to the Assessment Triangle, you know this and I know this and the person interviewing you knows this! However you do have to name it explicitly. Think of it as them not knowing anything and for this hour it is your mission to inform them in all things #SocialWork.

It would also be useful to mention the tier system this can be found in the CAF documentation.

Further reading: Framework for the assessment of children in need and their families

Fourth Question:

Prof: Child protection SW is undergoing changes at the moment how is the Munro review helping us consider risk in a different way? #swscmedia

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia Munro review help us review risk by way assessment carried, to scrap initial & core assess..1/2

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia 2/2 to replace with 1 ongoing assessment, 3 houses tool & others, look at outcomes & wishes of child

@ProfSocialWork shape services provided, early intervention..

Commentary: Very good points regarding timescales being scraped and Munro moving towards a culture of on-going assessment as well as giving practitioners more freedom. This combined with Munro advocating for a learning culture as opposed to a defensive culture is essential to mention.

Another very important point is that Munro has also advocated for a move from a “risk averse” outlook to a “risk sensible” approach.

Some key points from the report to put things in context:

  • There is no option of being risk averse since there is no “100% safe” option.
  • In reality, risk averse practice usually entails displacing the risk onto someone else.
  • Even if every child who was considered or suspected to be suffering harm was removed from their birth family, that would only incur different risks.
  • The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has recently grappled with this issue and drawn up a list of organisational ‘Risk Principles’ to inform officers’ thinking.  Adapted by the review for those who work in child protection: 10 Principles to be Risk Sensible.

Further reading: Munro Review and Risk Principles:

Fifth Question

Mamiddau: What makes a good team member? @profsocialwork #swscmedia

@mamiddau @profsocialwork #swscmedia one who can work independently, but also work & support colleagues as & when, is clear, reliable, fair

Commentary: Giving examples of how you have helped colleagues in the past would be very helpful. Often in interviews examples help the interviewer get a better sense of who you are as a person. Also, being a team player is essential in #SocialWork.

Six Question:

Prof: How does the law define significant harm? #SWSCmedia cc@mamiddau

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia as in comparison to what could be reasonably be expected of similar child, ill treatment,impairment 1/2

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia of health or development..

Commentary: You may also want to highlight that significant harm has been extended to including witnessing Domestic Violence.

“The Adoption and Children Act 2002 broadens the definition of Significant Harm to include the emotional harm suffered by those children who witness domestic violence or are aware of domestic violence within their home environment.”

Further reading: Significant Harm broadened definition

Seventh Question:

Mamiddau: this kind of work can be difficult, how do you manage stress? #swscmedia @ProfSocialWork

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia talk to colleagues re very difficult/stressful casework, use supervision, & don’t take it home, music

Commentary: It may be important to speak about having emotional resilience and the ability to face difficult decisions with the ability to ‘bounce back’.

Further reading: Emotional Impact of Practice & Emotional Resilience by Skills for Care

Eighth Question:

Prof: Working with DV cases what are some of the fundamental issues to consider as a SW #swscmedia

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia welfare of the child, Children & Adoption Act 2002 redefined harm to include witnessing ill treatment, and impact on child,

Thank you @Obi1_ Next question by @mamiddau

Commentary: Majority of referrals coming through A&R teams are Domestic Violence you may want to speak about power differences between victim and perpetrator and also highlight classic problems when managing these cases including:

–          Minimising; Denial; understanding the links between child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence

Further Reading: NSPCC: Understanding the links between child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence

Ninth Question

Mamiddau: last one from me, is how would you manage conflict? @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia respectful challenge where needed, to, depends on situation, but clear that duty & responsibility 1/2

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia 2/2 is to promote and safeguard welfare of child/children always.

Final Question:

Prof: Final Q from me, name one of your weaknesses and one strengths #swscmedia

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau strengths is my patience, quietly determined, weakness, data collection, apologies but definitely not a strength!!

@mamiddau @ProfSocialWork #swscmedia one of my strength is my patience, quietly determined, weakness data collection.

Commentary: Think of a good weakness answer that you can live with… I have never had an interview without the ‘weakness question’ it’s a classic.

Thank You:

Thank you Ms. @Obi1_ any further questions by Ms. @mamiddau ? #swscmedia

Well done Ms. @obi1_ we will let you know in a few days the outcome of your interview cc @mamiddau

@Obi1_ you’re welcome!! that was hard work for you, well done!! @profsocialwork

@ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia thank you for the practice, would love feedback…lots to think about

@mamiddau @profsocialwork #swscmedia I appreciate you providing me the practice & if it’s helped students NQSW too all good..

@Obi1_ @ProfSocialWork @mamiddau I observed the interview & felt u presented as very knowledgeable and competent well done! 🙂 #swscmedia

@McLikey @ProfSocialWork @mamiddau #swscmedia TY good to know, it was very useful practice & had some great q from both interviewers..

Hours after the Mock Interview….

Important Selection Panel announcement: After hours of thought and seeing hundreds of candidates via twitter the Mock Interview Panel contacted @Obi1_ via Twitter to confirm her Successful Interview @Obi1 will soon be starting her New Role … 😉

Good Luck for your interview @Obi1_

We would like to thank @ProfSocialWork for organising and conducting this mock interview and for writing this insightful and well informed blog.

Thank You @ProfSocialWork and Thank You @mamiddau & @Obi1_




2 thoughts on “Mock Interview Panel by @Profsocialwork with @Mamiddau & @Obi1

  1. Thanks so much for writing up the mock interview @profsocialwork it is really useful to see it compiled together in this format. The points that you have added and the extra reading (with links (v.useful!)) means that those reading can also access the information to aid their learning. I think that this blog entry is a must read for all those preparing for social work interviews but also for students or anyone wishing to learn more about social work in children’s services.
    McLikey : )

    Posted by McLikey (@McLikey) | February 12, 2012, 4:41 pm
  2. @Obi1_ here, my reflection following today’s mock interview with @profSocialWork & @Mamiddau, I have always found interviewing process horrendous, (my anxiety for no apparent reason), so when I found myself being shortlisted for a post that I’m very keen on, I turned to Twitter for support. The reason being that I have found the practitioners I follow have always been supportive, keen to promote good practice and reflecting reality in all areas of service provision. Actually I think either @mamiddau or @pProfSocialWork replied to one of my posts in jest, re mock interview, well I jumped in head first and said yes please…
    The questions asked were (in my opinion) very relevant, because of the public forum I purposely kept my responses to short, and avoided anything that would breach confidentiality or identify me.
    Overall, I feel more prepared, I now know where I need to do a bit more preparation, the responses from everyone were fantastic, particularly from students and NQ’s. I graduated just over 10yrs ago and although not NQ but feel that I am returning to the field very much a novice, so hearing that from other’s that mock interview served more than my purpose; awareness of interview processes for other’s, potential for further mock interviews for social work student applying at universities. I am less anxious and actually dare I say, looking forward to the interview.
    Thank you for the follow up to the questions and my responses @ProfSocialWork, my advice to any NQ, students or those returning to social work, using sites such as SWSCmedia, blogs by practitioners and twitter and the like has been crucial for me, to be kept informed with current practices, issues, policies, signposted to great resources, particularly when time constraints do not allow me to much else. Although, do access additional research, guidance etc when I can.
    Whatever the outcome following my interview, I shall update, so watch this space….

    Posted by Leia B | February 12, 2012, 7:11 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join us on Twitter & enjoy our Live Twitter Debates


%d bloggers like this: