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50+ School Social Worker Interview Questions You Should Know

50+ School Social Worker Interview Questions You Should Know

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a recent graduate, practicing answers to common interview questions is vital to being prepared. Listed here are over 50 questions you may encounter in your school social work interview.

Who are you?

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you are interested in a school social work position?
  • What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenge?
  • What do you consider to be your biggest strength?
  • What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now?
  • Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

What have you done?

  • Explain your tasks and job responsibilities (in your practicum, in your past positions). May we contact your supervisor/principals?
  • Do you have any experience responding to a traumatic event? Describe.
  • What experiences do you have with parenting programs?
  • Tell us about your experience working collaboratively with other professionals?
  • What experience do you have working with diverse populations?
  • How have your experiences and training prepared you to work as a school social worker?
  • Please tell us about your background in working with children who exhibit social/emotional problems in the school setting, or in other settings
  • Tell us about your experiences working with Problem Solving Teams/multidisciplinary teams.
  • What experience do you have in conducting Functional Behavioral Assessments?
  • What is your experience with 504 accommodation plans?
  • Tell us about a case that you felt successful in handling.
  • Tell us about a case that was not successful and what would you do differently.
  • What is the most creative and innovative counseling technique you have used?

What is your role?

  • What do you see as the main role of a school social worker?
    • In an IEP meeting?
    • Developing a positive school climate?
    • Reporting abuse/neglect?
    • Talking to a disgruntled parent?
    • Providing prevention, assessment, intervention, and referral services to the school community at the school-wide, targeted and intensive levels?
    • In the MTSS process?
  • What do you see as the role of the school social worker in relation to other pupil service staff in the school, such as school counselor, school psychologist, and school nurse?
  • What experiences have you had working with parents?
  • Unfortunately, there are times when the school has to respond to the sudden death of a student/teacher. What do you see as the role of the School Social Worker?
  • What role do you think the School Social Worker can play in preventing violence?

What do you know?

  • Are you familiar with FERPA? How might FERPA impact the role of a school social worker?
  • How familiar are you with special education law?
  • Summarize the rules for determining if a child meets the criteria for an emotional disability.
  • Briefly describe what a Behavior Intervention Plan is. Have you written one? Explain.
  • Describe an IEP goal you would write to address a student with a serious emotional disturbance.

How would you handle_____?

  • A 7th grade student comes to you and tells you that a friend is thinking of killing himself. What would you do?
  • The principal asks you to assist with an angry student who is sitting in the fetal position under his desk.
  •  16 year old girl with health concerns tells you that she is planning to get an abortion and requests that you do not tell her parents. How would you respond and why?
  • The teacher is concerned that a student is always sleeping in class. What information would you want to find out in order to assist this student?
  • A middle school student tells you she is pregnant.
  • A student tells you he/she is being abused.
  • Students report to you that there may be a fight.
  • You have been asked to facilitate a small group to teach social skills. How would you proceed
  • Parents of a student with an IEP with whom you work are calling you and the teacher at least weekly, saying they are upset with their child’s program and is bad-mouthing the teacher to you. What steps might you take to resolve this conflict?

What would you do?

  • You hear from a teacher that “Jimmy” has increasingly aggressive behavior toward others. He is not on an IEP. The teacher has asked him to stop, but the situation is getting worse. How would you handle this?
  • How would you address working in a school with high absentee issues?
  • What strategies would you use if you were assigned to a school with a large faculty so they know who you are and what services you provide?
  • We often are you confronted with multiple situations at once? How would you prioritize handling an upset parent, a crying student, and 2 peers ready to get into fight who are wishing to see you?
  • What types of intervention strategies would you use in the school setting for students with: (emotional problems, behavior problems, school phobia, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, divorce, etc.)
  • Occasionally a parent will get upset. How would you respond to an angry parent?
  • Explain some ways you might provide service to classroom teachers.
  • How would you use technology in your job to help you be more efficient?
  • Talk to us about how you have handled a time when you were in conflict with another staff person. (How would you deal with a staff member that you do not get along with, agree with or are intimidated by?)

Would you be a good fit?

  • What attracts you to working with students at___ grade level?
  • How would you balance your job responsibilities if you are assigned to multiple schools?
  • How are the needs different in a rural vs. an urban vs. a suburban school setting?
  • What do you see as the role of parents in the education of their children and the degree of their involvement in the school setting?
  • What are your thoughts about doing home visits?
  • Do you have any experience or interest in getting involved in any extracurricular activities?

Did you do your homework?

  • What do you know about this school/district that you consider a strength/weakness?
  • How familiar are you with our community’s resources such as community mental health, court system, housing, financial assistance, local churches, medical care, support groups?
  • Why do you want to work for this (school/district/agency)?

Sources:

Editor's note: This post first appeared on iassw.org. Thank you to the Illinois Association of School Social Workers (IASSW) for allowing us to re-share it here. IASSW supports its members and the field of school social work through advocacy, professional development, and providing access to information. Learn more about the benefits of being a member of IASSW.

About The Author

Scott Carchedi

Scott Carchedi is the founder and co-editor of SSWN. Scott provides technology support and consultative services to school social work associations across the US. Scott is also a practicing school social worker in the western suburbs of Chicago, serving grades 9-12.

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