Interview Tips for Support Workers
With support working being such an important job within our society, and also in high demand with a proven increase of individuals taking this career pathway within the past few years, it can sometimes be hard to walk out of your interview feeling confident you’ll be chosen among the countless other applicants with equally impressive qualifications. To help you handle this, here is a list of common questions and tips to ace that interview and feel sure of that call back.
Tell Me About Yourself
Being prepared for this question is a very important factor to your interview. While it may appear in interviews for most industries, and on the outside be a simple ice breaker, support work requires an exceptional level of interpersonal skills. Your ability to communicate about a topic you know best – in this case yourself – gives employers a great insight into your interpersonal and communication skills. While seemingly the least important question of the interview, when the rest of the interview is being compared to competing candidates, the way in which you handle this question may be the deciding factor. Have a few points ready about yourself that are relevant to the role, such as a motivated and client focused individual, with a passion for helping others. Avoid ‘ums’ ‘ahs’ and ‘like, you knows’ at all costs. Again, while this question is used to see if you are a good fit to the company, it will help employers see your ability to communicate effectively.
What if I have no relevant work history?
If you have only recently completed your qualification and have no work experience in the field aside from your work placement, focus on explaining the areas you excelled at within your placement. If you applied your theoretical knowledge to the practical environment with ease, make a point of saying so; if working with real clients was the deciding factor of your career path, let your employer know this to help further accentuate your suitability to the role.
You may also ask the interviewer to consider the benefits of employing someone who has only recently completed formal education. These benefits could include points such as your training being up to date with the most recent legislations and codes of conduct. Despite local and national regulations being in place, some policies and procedures within them differ from workplace to workplace. With your new workplace’s set of procedures being the only one you have had to adhere to, you can point out to your potential employer that no old habits carry over from previous work experience.
Finally, think about previous work places and the transferrable skills you gained within them. Communication, client focus, interpersonal skills and liaison with internal and external stakeholders are all skills that can be gained from different positions and remain relevant - even essential - within the support work environment. Talk up these skills and relate them to the position you’re applying for, and you’re sure to impress the interviewer.
Why do you want this job?
There are many reasons people want jobs. “This is my desired industry”, okay so why this company? “It is close to my house” this shows a benefit to you, and you only. You want to answer this question in a way that makes the employer think that you being on the team would benefit them. So, if it is in fact close to your house, you could say “I live close by, so I would be available to pick up and cover shifts on short notice”. You could also do a little research on the company, and when you tell them you want the job in this field, you could also tell them a bit about what they claim to represent, and how those values are in line with yours. Showing that you want to work in the industry the company works in is beneficial, but showing them how you would benefit their team is imperative.
So get yours mental list of strengths ready, your research on and your game face ready to ace your next interview.