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I got an interview for a brilliant job. AIBU to not go to it?

(32 Posts)
Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 19:45:35

I am a qualified social worker. I've been looking for work for a few months now and I'm newly qualified.

I applied for a job in the Adults sector in an area I really like. The hiring manager rang me and told me that unfortunately the advert was a mistake and the deadline had passed but they loved my application and wanted me to interview for a role in the same building, for the same council but in a children's department (looked after children). Most Children's jobs I'd never even consider but this has some similarities to what I did previously as I worked with adolescents. The only problem is I do not have much knowledge on the legislation, theories and processes of a children's social worker.

I tried to get an informal visit but haven't got an reply to my email.

So I'm researching at the moment and feel completely out of my depth! I will be up against experienced social workers who will have already worked in this setting. There's no way I will get a higher competency than them!

I wish I knew someone who worked as a social worker in this setting as that would help me understand but I don't.

I don't agree that all interviews are a good experience as they give me more experience. I had a terrible interview a few months ago which knocked my confidence for weeks and I've only just started to feel confident again after a very successful last interview where I came second.

I just feel like I will be a lamb to the slaughter and I cannot gain the level of knowledge I need to make this a success.

I wish I was better at interviews :-(

Millybingbong Thu 23-Feb-17 19:48:42

It is a completely different role tbh

Did you study for either though? What on your course is a good starting point? Do you actually want to work with children and young people?

pitterpatterrain Thu 23-Feb-17 19:49:33

I know nothing about social work- however when we are inviting candidates to interview we definately wouldn't bother unless we thought we could potentially hire the person

So I would encourage you to go for it, unless you would never take the job - in which case set them straight on what you are looking for

ItsReginaPhalange Thu 23-Feb-17 19:51:11

I think it will be about transferable skills! Research the law, but I am assume you have little practice of working with it? What area of Adults have you worked in? You may have to discuss how you used law there and how you can transfer the way you worked, flexible and adaptable to within childrens. I think you should go for it. They clearly want to meet you!

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 23-Feb-17 19:51:49

We wouldn't invite someone for interview unless on paper they looked like what we wanted. So go for it if you think you would like it!

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 19:52:46

I had a very very good final year placement. It's technically in a children and families setting but it's working with people aged 16-25 so although it's technically Children's and encompasses aspects of children's social work, it's mainly adults and most of my experience is regarding adults.

I have knowledge and experience of working alongside children's social workers but not doing that work myself. Just supporting the children's social worker until I took over once the young person was 18.

Adults and children's social worker might as well be a different job altogether. They're so different.

I have all the experience necessary in the personal specification. I just don't have as much knowledge as I feel is necessary for the job.

I've had training in the areas of legislation it requires you to know about. But I don't remembers much of it from my course!

Crunchymum Thu 23-Feb-17 19:53:55

Based on the fact they have actively encouraged you to apply for this second role (in the circumstances you mention) I'd go for it.

You can acknowledge that you you may have a deficit in experience but you have xyz skills. Good luck!!

ElvishArchdruid Thu 23-Feb-17 19:58:32

I had the same attitude, I applied for a job as a joke, a really high position, I expected the managers to laugh at the fact I thought I was suitable. I got an interview, I thought they're just looking to have a laugh at my expense, no chance. The day of the interview came and I didn't attend, I got a call saying why didn't you come? I made up an excuse, they asked if I could make it the next day.

I turned up, I knew others who had gone for the posts, some didn't get an interview, some did. I got told at the end I showed a lot of initiative and forward thinking, they wanted to offer me one of the posts. Had to keep it under wraps till everyone was notified. I literally sat there aghast.

So the moral of my story is, they see something in you, go for it. As for the bits you don't know, say you are malleable to fit in their department how the manager wants. You have experience working with adolescents, from this you feel confident working with children. You have researched the legislation but need to focus on that a bit more. Admitting to weaknesses isn't always a bad thing.

Best of luck

ItsReginaPhalange Thu 23-Feb-17 19:59:42

I think you just need to study. The Children Act and any legislation relevant to looked after children. They will ask you on it, so if it is for a NQSW post then they won't expect so much knowledge and experience. They will prob ask you about safeguarding, ethics etc. You just need to study. Although Adults in some ways is different, the essence is the same. Whether it is safeguarding or child protection, you need to demonstrate an appropriate response if a client was to disclose. This is just enshrined in Children's law with section 47 etc. Theories are all the same, systems, person centres etc. Take a look a motivational interviewing etc. Your course should have covered most of these things. But of course you have to study hard for an interview. If anything, it is good experience to go. I wouldn't turn it down.

Camelsinthegobi Thu 23-Feb-17 20:01:15

I used to be a children's social worker. I think you could do a bit of research on the laws and policies (get a book published in the last couple of years), brush up on attachment theory and family stress theory and be fine. The values and principles of assessment and care planning, anti discriminatory practice, prioritising, and service user engagement are the same. Do a bit of reading around assessment in cp too - issues like domestic abuse, mental health and drug abuse and how they affect the risk to the child. They'll want all newly qualified swers to do their own internal cp policy and practice training anyway so you'll soon pick it up. Think of some example cases from when you worked with adolescents that you can use to evidence. Try to enjoy it - sounds like they see something in you that you can't see yourself!

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 20:07:39

Thanks everyone. It's not a newly qualified position but open to newly qualified.

I think my main concern is I don't know the process for safeguarding children. Adults it's gathering information, accessing capacity, best interest decision, support Planning, risk assessment.

There's no capacity in Children's so that's the bit I'm stumped on. It's going to be asked and I just don't know what to research!

0AliasGrace0 Thu 23-Feb-17 20:23:07

I did this not when I first graduated - I had studied the adult pathway but applied for a children's post. I had to do a written piece first, it was heavily child protection focused which I had prepped for so I was pretty much repeating what I'd crammed the night before! The interview was also fine, I did find it hard as I didn't have many cases to use as examples though, but it sounds like you'll have enough from your experiences. From memory they were asking me about what I would look out for as potential warning signs, a question on diversity and then the one that really got me was about how flexible I could be with my working hours (I can't, and no, I'm not prioritising someone else's child over my own...that was pretty much my response!). I was offered the position, but bottled it and I'm now in adults (and loving it, despite the challenges).

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Thu 23-Feb-17 20:24:42

You may have read this already, but this might be helpful

Frouby Thu 23-Feb-17 20:31:40

Go for the interview. When it gets to the questions you don't know be really honest. Tell them you don't know. But also tell them what you do know.

I once interviewed for a post in something I had very limited experience in, based on the fact I needed to brush up on my interview skills and CV writing. Got an interview.

Didn't get the job. Was honest and told interviewer I didn't know x,y,z.

He phoned to tell me I didn't get the job I applied for. But he really liked me and wanted to work with me so had another job he wanted to discuss. I accepted that. Worked for him for 2 years and then (with his blessing) set up my own business on the back of what I had been doing for him.

I am job hunting atm. I have applied for a few jobs I in all probability I won't get. But never turn down a job you haven't been offered!

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 20:37:33

Needmoresleep that's really helpful! Thank you.

Millybingbong Thu 23-Feb-17 20:58:25

How desperate is the largest for children's social workers? What does ofated think of them?

Leeds2 Thu 23-Feb-17 21:02:00

Given that they encouraged you to apply, I would go for it. If they thought you were a no hoper, they wouldn't have asked you to interview.

willstarttomorrow Thu 23-Feb-17 21:38:11

Most vacancies that come up in teams tend to be filled by newly qualified workers so do not let this put you off. The interview will really depend on the local authority so if you have friends who have recently interviewed for similar roles it is worth asking them what they focused on. For example, do they use signs of saftey, restorative practice etc as a working model. I know that the interview process in my LA since I was employed is very different now and because it is one of the very few large authorities with a good reputation they can afford to be more selective.

Also is this what you want? I planned to work in adult mental health, somehow ended up in frontline child safeguarding and although very demanding I am happy with this. Yes I weep about the paperwork (but that would be the same in adults) and work load pressures however the role is rewarding. The work with children and families though difficult when goes well is satisfying and strangely full of humour. I think most people outside social work do not understand this part, despite having very hard conversions the skill as a social worker is maintaining that relationship. Unlike most agencies we do not just close when it gets tough going and we do not have any special powers.

Intellectually I continue to be challenged, the remit of child social work is huge. I love the every day 'bread and butter' work with children and families and also the very complex assessments and court reports we undertake. No two days are the same.

If you want the job then go for it. They have seen something in you that they like. As a newly qualified social worker it will be expected that you will need support and guidance. Over the years we have had fantastic NQ social workers who have really brought something fresh and have benefitted the team as a whole (we are the nicest team ever though)! And a lots of them have had no statutory experience in children's services (me included thinking back many, many years). The policy etc you learn, then you relearn it when it changes!

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 21:49:13

I think I've been really unlucky so far in interviews.

My final placement was in a well regarded, statutory placement with both Children's and adults placements. I have good knowledge of adults and some k owledge of Children's statutory work.

I should not find it this hard to get a job.

But unfortunately in interviews I come across like I'm being lined up to be shot! I hate them.

I'm hoping this will be my lucky chance!

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

willstarttomorrow Thu 23-Feb-17 22:02:15

They have asked you to apply so try and use this to build your confidence. Also remember you are applying as a newly qualified worker, they are not looking for you to have the experience of someone applying for a senior worker role. The breadth of children's social work is huge, none of us will ever have experienced it all and learn every day. I cringe when I look back to my early days but honestly most social workers will tell you that it takes years to build up confidence and an 'arsenal' of trade strategies. TBH over confidence is usually disastrous in social work. Good luck!

willstarttomorrow Thu 23-Feb-17 22:10:34

To add yes it is harder to get a job now. However universities are now running huge intakes (the norm in my day was 30, expectation 1/3 drop out). Locally we have 5 /6 universities offering social work with an intake of up to 90 each year. Unfortunately this is often more about them needing money than workplace demands/suitability of some students. It was certainly much tougher to get on a Social Work course in the past. This does not mean that there are not some excellent newly qualified workers because there really are. But the reality is there are not enough jobs to go around.

Userone1 Fri 24-Feb-17 09:15:37

Going by your other thread slagging of a disabled girls family. No you not being unreasonable to not go for a job in children's services. Please don't

Userone1 Fri 24-Feb-17 09:37:15

"I wish I knew someone who worked as a social worker in this setting as that would help me understand but I don't"

Oh yes you do the social worker of the family of the disabled girl, who you said wasn't doing her job properly! You know the family you keep reporting, despite being told by their social worker there are no concerns, that one. The family you claim to gain inside info about in your role as a working social worker, not a newly qualified one!

Poorlybabysickday Fri 24-Feb-17 12:20:25

Is this the same poster!?

Userone1 Fri 24-Feb-17 12:25:23


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