This is week two in a five week series about youth worker interview questions – check out the other posts at the bottom of the page.
Q: I have a job interview coming up. What kind of youth worker interview questions can I expect to be asked?
A: You can expect to be asked questions about yourself. Here are a few possible questions you may be asked and some tips on how to answer them.
1) How long have you been a youth worker? What experience do you have – either paid or volunteering if you are new to youth work?
- One key in any interview is to answer with honesty. Be truthful about the amount of time you’ve been working with youth. Any organization can do the research and find out from your references if you’re being honest. You may end up costing yourself the job by embellishing about your experience.
- The other part of honesty is giving yourself credit where you do deserve it. Make sure that you share your experiences – both paid and volunteer – even if they don’t seem that important to you. You may have had a useful experience during that time the interviewer will ask about.
2) Do you have any training or qualifications? If so, how do you think these will help you in this role?
- These may not be youth work qualifications, but they may still have given you transferrable skills to discuss that relate to youth work.
- Think about the transferrable skills you acquired before you get to the interview. Consider youth work situations that you may encounter and how your training and qualifications prepared you for it. For example, if you have a business degree, it’s likely that you participated in group projects. This may help you explain the group development process and things that you would do the same or improve upon when doing a group project with young people based on your experiences during your degree.
3) What are your strengths when working with youth? What are your weaknesses?
- Think about your strengths and weaknesses before the interview. Talk to your colleagues, family, friends and youth you may already be working with to find out how they might describe you. Find one or two of each that you can discuss concisely so that you don’t ramble and over share.
- Embrace your weaknesses. Don’t just find ways to turn your weaknesses into more strengths. Think about ways you’re working to improve your weaknesses and the steps you’ve taken to develop in areas of weakness instead of just trying to explain them away as strengths. This shows that you’re a reflective practitioner who has good intrapersonal skills and a clear understanding of yourself and your developmental needs.
4) What kind of ideas do you have for this program or organization’s youth work?
- Come up with 3-5 ideas for their organization and how it relates to their mission and vision statement. You need to do research ahead of time to make sure that you don’t suggest programs that are outside the remit of the organization you’re applying for.
These are just a few of the possible youth work questions you might be asked. Check out our other posts in this series for more ideas on how to answer interview questions:
- Week 1 – 20 questions you might be asked in a youth work interview
- Week 3 – How to answer interview questions about how you work with others
- Week 4 – Interview questions about how you work with youth
- Week 5 – Youth worker interview questions specific to the role
Question: How do you prepare to discuss yourself in a youth work interview? We’d love to hear your tips and experiences in the comments below.
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