Common interview questions to prepare for
Having placed hundreds of substance misuse professionals into fantastic positions, we know what questions an employer might ask at interview. Better still, we appreciate what makes a good answer. If you've got an interview coming up, why not prepare your answers using the Q&As below.
Why did you decide to work in a criminal justice / substance misuse setting? (This gives the employer an indication of your attitude to the sector and your interests).
What do you know about the job? (This is an opportunity to show that you are fully prepared, and aware of what the job entails).
Talk about why your experience is relevant to the job.
Describe a stressful situation and how you handled this. Make sure you give a real example and explain what the situation was, the factors causing the stress, what you did to secure a positive outcome.
Have you had to deal with challenging situations in your work? (As with talking about stressful situations, remember to be clear on what happened, your approach and the outcome. It is also good to show understanding that challenging situations could be with either colleagues or clients.)
What is happening in criminal justice / substance misuse policy at the moment that could affect your work? (An employer might use a question like this to see how aware you are of national policy, news about the sector or perhaps new research that has recently been published.)
How would you know that service users are getting a service that is effective and that they are satisfied? (Services are becoming increasingly measured on results; it is important to show that you understand issues around monitoring and evaluation, gathering feedback and your own supervision.)
What are the key qualities of high performing teams? (This provides an opportunity to talk about leadership within teams, peer-to-peer feedback, communications skills and having the space to reflect on performance. Think about what led to the success of teams you have been involved in and offer examples.)
You are likely to be asked questions relating to the specific service you will be working for. Examples of this could include:
What is your understanding of clinical governance? (This gives you an opportunity to give examples of good clinical governance processes you have worked with and to address topics such as safeguarding, auditing, data, feedback, training and assessing outcomes.)
What is your understanding of the recovery agenda? (The employer will want you to show an understanding of the main pillars of the recovery agenda and share examples from your own experience.)
Can you tell us what you think the diagnostic indicators are for Tier 3 services? An employer will want to know that you understand the key outcome measures and how supervision and performance management within the team can help boost service delivery.
Demonstrating your knowledge of the criminal justice sector could be key to setting you apart from the competition, so why not take a look at our blog to keep you abreast of all the latest news.
Our interview guide will tell you everything else you need to know...
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