Career clinic


I have been a social worker in a local authority fostering team for six years and am ready to move on. My appraisals and supervision are excellent. My problem is I am not very good at interviews. I have been to several and was unsuccessful and it is getting me down.


The key is to prepare as much for an interview as you would for any other test or exam. Read the job description carefully and try working out what questions could be asked about your knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the tasks described. Study the person specification: it may outline what will be tested at interview so you should prepare answers in advance for likely questions. You will probably be asked to give examples of situations where you have taken personal responsibility for key activities, so remind yourself what you did. Remember key issues – noting down bullet points and memorising these should help.

Try rehearsing answers and test them out on someone else. Make sure you are familiar with relevant legislation and use examples to demonstrate you know how to apply law and theory in practice.

Don’t make up anything on the application form or you could be caught out at interview.

Answer questions directly – do not get sidetracked. Memorise the names of the interview panel and address panellists by name. Remember to smile!

Consider investing in an interviewing or presentation skills training course to give you confidence in future.

Pauline Moignard is a freelance human resources consultant specialising in social care.


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