Help needed: Interview as support worker

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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Help needed: Interview as support worker

Post by SarahAA » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:29 pm


I have an interview for a support worker placement, supporting people with learning difficulties and autism.

I was wondering what type of questions they may ask to test my knowledge on autism/learning difficulties or whether they will even expect me to have a vast amount of knowledge on this.

Can anyone help?

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Post by flick » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:46 pm

I am currently a support worker in this field. I would definately say read the new valuing people! I would also say that the questions will depend on:

where you will supporting service users i.e. in supported living/ in the community etc Think about the situations and difficulties of working in these environments,for example working with someone who has challenging behaviour in the community.

What types of individuals you will be supporting, i.e. PMLD, complex health/life limiting conditions, challenging behaviour. Everyone has different needs, read up on person centred planning.

What type of service it is? NHS or private? They may have different policies, procedures etc.

In my interview I got asked:
-What brought me to the interview, and what experiences I have with LD
-What is confidentiality and when is it acceptable to break it?
-What privacy and dignity is and how you would promote this in the work place?
-What is autism? (I was employed specifically to work in an autism service)
-What would I do if I went to administer medication to a service user and the service user next to them took it by accident?
-What forms I would fill in? i.e. medication error, incident forms.
-I also got asked lots of scenario questions and what I would do if 'x' happened?

This is all I can think of from the top of my head, please feel free to PM me


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Post by Rachel » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:41 pm


I have little experience of LD and autism, although I have interviewed quite a lots of people for a range of family support coordinator and other support worker roles.

In terms of general things to think about...

Why do you want that particular job - I've found people tend to talk lots about why they're leaving their current job, often with little mention of why that job appeals to them.

What skills/experiences do you have that make you suitable for the role? Again, really sell yourself - otherwise it can be hard to distinguish yourself from other candidates.

Research the company/charity/organisation that you'd be employed by. I'm always surprised at how few people seem to do this within the roles we've held interviews for. How do you feel about working within the organisation's values/ethos. What do you know about the organisation?

I'm assuming that this is a post with adults - perhaps consider issues around vulnerable adults, or if the post involves working with children/young people - safeguarding issues/leglislation/what would you do if...

Consider perhaps things around working as part of a team, measuring outcomes, record keeping, how you personally ensure you 'continuously improve', what support you'd expect from the organisation....

I think there's quite a few topics on here about interviews and how to prepare so maybe do a search of the site


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Post by katz » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:29 pm

Hi Sarah

I used to interview for these positions

Main things to consider are:
As much understanding of the company and role as possible, show that you have done your research... it definitely shows that you want the job.

Understanding of recent changes in legislation and policy including a clear understanding of capacity and the mental health act.

Understading of the following terms: confidentiality (including when it needs to be broken/ worked within), equality, diversity, personal safety, positive risk, support planning.

Think of situations that you could find yourself in and how you would act including issues of confidentiality, self harm issues, situations that pose a threat to your well-being.

A big one that many people (surprisingly) stumble on is the difference between mental health problems and a learning disability and how communication styles may differ between these two client groups.

Any other areas I can think of are often specific to the organisation and roll. I would suggest looking through the job description and ensure that you can demonstrate how you meet each of the requirements.

If you've got any specific questions feel free to pm me.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Help needed: Interview as support worker

Post by SarahAA » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:18 pm

I know I am posting this 2 yrs too late...just thought people may like to know I did get the job so thanks for everyones advice! I have left it now so looking for experience working with a different clientele...

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