Preparation is key to successfully interviewing for an entry level case manager job. Child and family service work can be emotional and stressful. Your interviewer wants to know that you are able to handle the challenges of the position. If you are new to the industry, review several case management job descriptions, in addition to your specific opportunity listing. Learn what the job entails, so you can prepare and ace your child and family service case management interview.
General Background Questions
Virtually every interview starts with basic background questions. You likely will be asked about your education and work experience. You are interviewing for an entry level position, so you may not have specific case management experience. Review the job description carefully and identify skills that you previously have used in other jobs. In case management, you work with numerous clients simultaneously, so multitasking is important. Were there times in your previous employment where you had to juggle various tasks? Describe those experiences to your interviewer. Case managers also have to document their interactions with assigned families. Accentuate your writing and communication skills to your interviewer.
Poking Your Personality
Interviewers often ask questions that give them a glimpse into your personality and work style. They may ask you to describe your perceived weaknesses or shortcomings. Employment specialist Andy Teach discussed how to answer these questions in the Forbes magazine article "How to Ace the 50 Most Common Interview Questions." He suggests that you find a weakness that you were able to correct. If you made a mistake at some point in your career, it is OK to disclose that to the interviewer, as long as you explain how you corrected it.
Extent of Knowledge
For an entry level position, your interviewer may want to test your social work knowledge by asking about industry trends or studies. Search the Internet for a social work magazine and review the latest issues to assist with these questions. A large part of case management is handling crisis situations, so be able to identify and discuss at least two crisis intervention tactics. Also, be prepared to describe a time when you had to create and implement a plan. Family and child case managers make treatment plans for the clients they serve, so your interviewer likely will want to know if you can handle this vital task.
Real World Scenarios
Case management can be very unpredictable work and an interviewer wants to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the unexpected twists and turns of the job. You likely will be questioned about your reaction to hypothetical scenarios. Your interviewer may ask how you would respond to a parent abusing a child or handle potential workplace dangers. Interview coach, Anita Attridge also appears in the Forbes magazine article. She advises that you consider your answers ahead of time, so you are not caught off guard by these types of questions. Research and identify any applicable laws in your state to ensure that your answers appropriately demonstrate your knowledge of the child and family case management field.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.