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Three Interview Tips You Can Learn from Social Workers

November 22 2016 - Interviewing people can be one of the most interesting parts of working in HR or recruitment. You get to meet all kinds of people and find out about their ideas, experiences and lives, and you get to work at devising ways of finding out the information that can help you choose the most promising people for roles. Of course, like many aspects of HR work, interviewing requires very good people skills and that you are a good communicator - much like social work. While the situations social workers encounter are very different from those you encounter interviewing people in an HR capacity, there are some ideas people with social work qualifications like an online masters in social work use, which could well come in handy when interviewing professionals. Here are three of them:

Don't Go Into the Interview with Preconceived Ideas

Just as a social worker knows some things about a case before they speak to the people involved, in HR, you have usually seen the resume of the person you are interviewing. This can lead you to form some ideas in your mind about the person before even meeting them. For instance, if they have changed jobs a lot, you may already think they are someone who wouldn't be a good fit if your company wants somebody who will stay long term. Just as people are taught when studying things like an online MSW course, it is better to enter the situation with no judgement, and actually ask questions about the details you noticed in the resume, rather than forming opinions about the person without hearing the story behind their resume.

Explain the Process

People can be nervous at job interviews, and leaving them with no idea when they will hear about the job or if there are further rounds of interviews can make them more so. A lot of people don't like to ask about this for fear of seeming pushy, so just as a social worker will explain what happens next to anyone in a case, you should tell people what the interview process for the role is at the start and what kind of timescale they can expect to hear about future rounds of interviews, hear a decision, and ultimately start the job if they are selected. Saying all of this at the start of the interview rather than the end means that you don't risk them thinking the fact you told them when a decision would be made means anything in terms of how they did.

Be Kind!

Interviews can be hard going for some people, whereas others have a lot of them lined up and so you may be as much selling your job to them as they are selling themselves to you. By being kind, open and friendly you'll form a good impression, but also help them to relax so they will explain things better. People who have studied for social work qualifications know that the kind approach is usually the best way to get people to talk freely.

These are just a few ways you can learn from social workers and become a better interviewer.



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