Preparing For Field Placement
STEPS AND ADVICE FOR STUDENT INTERVIEW:
1. Treat this as a professional interview.
2. Dress in appropriate attire—first impressions are important.
3. Familiarize yourself with the agency. What is their mission? Who do they serve?
4. Come prepared to ask three to five questions. Below are some sample questions you may want to consider.
5. You should be prepared to answer questions the agency may have for you as well. Review several sample questions below.
SAMPLE STUDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
What do you see as the agency’s mission?
What are the programs and services that the agency provides?
How are clients referred to the agency?
What population does the agency serve? Is there diversity within the population (gender, age, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.)?
Are there any materials you would recommend I read about your agency’s client population?
How many people work for the agency?
What are the disciplines of the staff members (social workers, counselors, psychologists, teachers, nurses, psychiatrists, paraprofessionals, etc.)?
Are there other staff members that I would primarily be working with and would it be possible to meet them?
How would you describe your organizational culture?
How is the agency funded?
How do you address the issue of staff safety?
What do see as the benefits of having a student at this agency? How can I be helpful?
What qualities are you looking for in a student?
What are some of the learning activities that a student might be assigned?
What would a typical day be like for student?
What hours do you expect a student to work? Are evenings and weekend hours possible?
What kind of agency orientation will be planned for a student?
Does the agency require students to have criminal background checks or immunizations prior to placement?
What kind of agency orientation will be planned for the student?
How would you describe your supervisory style and what would supervision look like here?
How did you get into this field? What do you enjoy about it?
What is the dress code here?
Is parking available? Is there a cost?
Does your agency offer mileage reimbursement to students?
Would I have a workspace here with a desk, phone, and computer?
Would it be possible to tour the agency today?
What are the next steps in deciding if I am a good fit for this placement?
SAMPLE AGENCY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
What led you to choose social work as a profession?
Why are you interested in this type of agency/program?
What interests you about our client population?
What do you hope to learn here?
What strengths to you bring to this field?
What are your areas of professional growth?
Can you tell me about your previous work, volunteer, field placement experiences?
How would you rate yourself in terms of cultural competency on a scale of 1 – 10? Why?
What are you looking for in a field instructor?
Can you describe your learning style?
What are you looking for in terms of supervision?
Can you give me an example of a time you worked well as a part of a team?
Can you give me an example of a time when you experienced a stressful situation? How did you take care of yourself?
Do you have any personal experience with the issues we address at this agency that might impact your interaction with clients (domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism, adoption, grief and loss, etc.)?