Social care job interview questions and answers

Typical social care interview questions include:

  1. Do you believe that short-term or long-term treatment is better in social care?
  2. What words would you use to describe your style of work?
  3. Describe an occasion when you had to persuade someone who was reluctant to do something.
  4. Give us an example of one of your ideas that you have then implemented in practice.
  5. How would you carry out a risk assessment based on signs of abuse or neglect?

The recruitment experts at Randstad can help candidates to prepare interview questions and answers in the field of social care jobs. Some of the possible questions, divided among a number of popular question categories, are in the following interview guide.

Social care interview questions

Social care interviews will often consist of both technical and personal questions, as well as some more general interview questions to see how you would fit into the company.  

Technical social care interview questions and answers

Do you believe that short-term or long-term treatment is better in social care?

It is not always necessary to give a definitive answer one way or the other on questions like this. Such a question can be an opening to a balanced description of how you see both sides of the coin. Use the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the field.

What words would you use to describe your style of work?

In this case, a short and direct answer can be given, but it should be followed by a description of the reasoning. Interview preparation should include considering how you would describe yourself positively in this sort of context.

What is that you can offer us that other candidates cannot?

Do not be tempted to be negative about the other candidates, as you probably do not know much about them. Instead, use this opportunity to elaborate on one or two of your own most positive aspects, as you have identified them during interview preparation.

Are you motivated more by money or by work?

This may seem like a trick question, and the interviewers know which answer they are looking for. However, give the interviewers more than a one-word answer; explain the reasons why you are passionate about the work at hand.

Personal social care interview questions and answers

Have you ever had to fire someone? If so, why was this, and how did you approach the situation?

Use real examples from your personal work history when answering questions such as this. The interviewers want details rather than general viewpoints, so follow a ‘STAR’ approach in structuring the answer: that is, situation, task, action, and result. If you have never had this exact experience, you could briefly describe an occasion when you took the opposite decision or took a similar decision.

Tell us about an occasion when you needed to adapt to face a difficult situation.

Adaptation can mean many things, but a generalised answer is not going to achieve the best interview results. Choose a specific and detailed situation from your work history and use this to demonstrate a practical and positive attitude to adaptation. Similar questions may be used to probe a range of different attributes.

Describe an occasion when you had to persuade someone who was reluctant to do something.

Again, the interviewer is asking for specific details concerning an incident that demonstrates your positive interpersonal skills. Even if you have difficulty thinking of such an incident within a professional environment, it is possible to demonstrate the same positive attribute using an example from a hobby club or society, for example. Follow the ‘STAR’ structure given above, and remember to include the positive result.

Give us an example of one of your ideas that you have then implemented in practice. 

This is an excellent opportunity to use the ‘STAR’ structure in full. There is a free choice when it comes to choosing the situation, task, action, and result so that it is possible to describe a career success that highlights your best characteristics. Use the question to build on your CV in impressing the interviewer with your qualities.

General interview questions

Scenario interview questions and answers

What is the most difficult challenge that you have faced professionally, and how did you cope?

Although many scenario questions use an imaginary or theoretical situation to explore the candidate’s abilities, these questions are very closely related to those about personal employment history. It may be useful to think of a question about employment track record when considering how to approach scenario questions in general. A general question about personal employment history, for example, gives the candidate an opportunity to present a scenario and demonstrate how that was overcome in a practical and positive fashion.

Tell us how you would deal with a patient who has a psychotic outburst in the waiting room?

In a more classic scenario question, the candidate may reflect briefly on the hypothetical situation, then describe examples of practical steps that might be taken to tackle the problem at hand.

How would you carry out a risk assessment based on signs of abuse or neglect?

Scenarios also present an opportunity to tie practical steps to theoretical knowledge. The practical side takes priority, but it is often possible to structure an answer to demonstrate awareness of the theoretical issues at hand, such as, in this case, what signs of abuse or neglect may be.

Company interview questions and answers

How do you see yourself fitting into this work role?

Among the most important interview tips is the necessity to research the hiring company and the job role before the interview. Doing this will enable the candidate to take a practical view of what the position will entail, and to match this to their own qualities. A question such as this is an opportunity to draw on such research.

Are you prepared to take part in our programme of home visits?

Some elements of the job role may require specific skills or a willingness to take on certain tasks. An awareness of this is useful before the interview so that questions like this can be answered positively. Mention any previous experience that is relevant to the skills or tasks at hand. 

Social care career questions and answers

How do you think your colleagues at your last job would describe you?

Pick positive but realistic attributes when answering questions like these. Choose qualities that relate to the job at hand.

What is it about this job that attracts you the most?

Use research into the company to relate the job opening to wider career aspirations and motivations. Remain practical and positive in the answer.

Where do you see yourself as a professional in five years from now?

Give a positive answer that reflects ambition and offers loyalty to the recruiting company. Good interview tactics include asking an occasional question of the interviewer, and this may be a good opening to ask whether the interviewer feels that your ambitions can be achieved with the company.

Browse our social care jobs

< return to previous page