A family advocate offers child-focused mediation between parents, helps solve disputes, and comes up with the best parenting plan depending on a family’s situation.
This article will look at some common questions asked in family advocate interviews to increase your chances of landing the job. Take a look at the following:
1. Why are You Interested in this Job?
This is usually the first question in most interviews. The interviewer wants to know what motivated you to apply for this particular position. Do you have any plans? This is where you mention some of the things that you love in the specific job listing. Do not include monetary benefits such as salary or remunerations.
I have always wanted to work for your organization. Most of your services help children in troubled or divorced families, just like me. I, therefore, decided to apply when I came across your job description and saw that I met all the requirements. This job will give me a chance to live up t my dreams and fight for children’s best interests.
2. What are the Roles of a Family Advocate?
Do you know the job description of a family advocate? What are some of your mandates? If available, you can either mention some of your roles in your former workplaces or draw from the job description. Convince the interview that you understand what your work will be once you join the organization.
A family advocate mainly helps families by promoting and protecting the best interest of minors or dependent children in cases of parental responsibilities and rights disputes. Other roles include evaluating a family’s circumstances and recommending care, guardianship, or contract matters to the court.
3. What are the Qualities that a Family Advocate Needs to be Effective
Do you know what makes one an effective family advocate? What are some of the qualities that have helped you reach wherever you are? Mention some of the attributes, skills, and behaviors that one needs to be good at this job. Just ensure that they are related to the tasks at hand.
A family advocate should have excellent dispute and conflict resolution skills since their career depends on these. Other qualities include experience working with diverse families, whether culturally or socially, understanding and showing compassion, organizational and It skills, and lastly, the ability to come up with a viable plan depending on specific situations.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
Even the interviewer understands that every job comes with its challenges. Do not, therefore, shy away from admitting that you face challenges in your former job, fearing that you may come off as incompetent. Focus more on how you solved them and less on their impact on your work.
During my last role, the main challenges that I faced were uncooperativeness and difficulty in winning my clients’ trust. For uncooperativeness, I explained to the parties how vital their cooperation was to ensure that we upheld the children’s best interest. To win their trust, I confirmed that I was transparent from the word go and included them in all the significant decisions to be made.
5. Mention Your Daily Routine as a Family Advocate
This is where you describe a day in the life of a family advocate. What are some of your daily roles? You can either mention them in chronological order or brush through. Make sure that you make your day look busy, or you will come off as lazy. Also, only mention the relevant roles.
My day revolves around building relationships with children, assessing family needs with emergency resources, offering referrals, and coordinating additional social and family services. I also have appointments with children for forensic interviews, appear in court, and come up with good parental plans.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience in this Field
The interviewer wants you to give an overview of your career. Remember, most of this information is captured in your CV and resume, meaning that you do not have to go in-depth. Just share some of the highlights of your career, such as outstanding experiences and achievements.
This is my tenth year in this field. I have dealt with several families from culturally diverse backgrounds and helped draft thousands of parental plans. I have worked in family institutions, orphanages, and several children’s homes and departments. I believe that this experience will help me deliver excellent results in this institution.
7. Mention a Strategy and Mindset Required for this Role
What plan of action do you have to achieve long-term or overall aims in this job? That is the strategy. As for the mindset, you need to mention a series of self-perceptions and beliefs that helps you achieve your goals in this job. Ensure that whatever you say is related to the job.
The best strategy for this job is tailoring all your activities and decisions to benefit the minors or dependants in the family. These include determinations as to care, guardianship, and contact. As for the right mindset, staying positive helps inspire hope and help families.
8. What is the Main Challenge that You Foresee in this Job?
Can you look at the job description, work environment, or office culture and identify some of the problems you are likely to encounter. Do not shy away from mentioning a potential problem that you are likely to consider. It may help the interviewer make necessary adjustments.
I have gone through your job description, work environment, and office culture, and I am impressed by what I have seen. The only challenge that I foresee is that I may have to change my residence to be closer to the office, which I will deal with if I get the job.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in this Job?
Being a family advocate is not all rosy. You will encounter lots of challenges that may demotivate you. It is, therefore, imperative that you have an internal source of motivation to keep you going when things become challenging. Do not mention any material or monetary benefit.
Knowing that my job helps better the lives of children keeps me going. I wake up happy every day knowing that I am contributing to the welfare of kids and families. Whenever I encounter a challenge, I think about some of the good times and achievements in this field and get the strength to keep pushing.
10. Mention a Time that You Failed in this Role and the Lesson You Learnt
We all fail at one point in our lives. However, that does not make us incompetent. Mention an experience where things didn’t go as planned or you didn’t live up to the job description. Do not fail to indicate the lesson learned.
I once lost my cool and may have shouted when dealing with an uncooperative family. I realized that I had made a mistake and apologized even though I was frustrated. I learned the importance of staying calm and patient even when dealing with demanding clients.
11. Why Do You Feel You are the Most Suited for this Job?
What makes you think that you deserve the job out of all the applicants? This is where you tell the interviewer some of your outstanding qualities and experiences that set you apart from the competition. Ensure that you sell and talk highly of yourself.
This is my fifteenth year as a family advocate. I have dealt with over 1000 families and helped come up with some of the best parenting plans. I also have vast experience in tabling my findings in court without fear or favor. I know what to do in different situations and have the emotional stability to deal with different scenarios.
12. Share with Us Your Greatest Achievement
What are some of the things that you have accomplished, be it in your career or life? This is a chance to tell the interviewer some of the best highlights of your life. For the purposes of the interview, we advise you to stick to the accomplishments you have made in your career. Ensure that you talk about it passionately. Show some enthusiasm.
My most outstanding achievement was helping one of my best friends’ family develop a good parenting plan. I did it pro bono after seeing how he was struggling to process his divorce. Both parties cooperated, and we were able to bring back order. He is grateful to date. I usually treat helping people around me as an achievement.
13. How Do You I tend to Win the Trust of Your Clients?
You need to win your client’s trust as a family advocate. However, it is always easier said than done. What will you do to make your clients trust you and discuss personal issues? Suggests some ideas that will help you gain the trust of your clients.
I have learned that the easiest way to win a client’s trust is to be clear about your intention from the word go. I intend to clearly discuss my role and assure them that I am at their service. I will also be transparent about my plans and actively involve them in any decision-making process.
14. Can You Present Your Findings to Court? How Do You Feel about it?
Your work as a family advocate does not necessarily require you to be present during the court hearings. However, the court may call you to give your opinion, which means appearing before different parties. Convince the interviewer that you do not have a problem with that since it is expected.
I do not have a problem appearing before the court and giving my expert opinion. I understand that some parents may get mad with what I table to the court, and some even threaten me later. However, that’s all part of my job. I can protect myself and ensure that I give my all in all the cases I handle.
15. What Will You Do if You Cannot Find a Good Solution for a Family?
You should expect such occurrences in the line of duty. You will not always have the best solution for families, and some parties may walk away dissatisfied. Some parents may disagree with you, not because of the ideas you have tabled, but because of their hatred for one another. You must therefore know how to deal with such situations and close the case.
I have encountered several situations in my career. I will interview the parties, follow my observations, and choose the best solution for the children’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being if I cannot come up with one that satisfies everyone.
16. Tell Us About a Time When You Managed to Solve a Conflict
One of your primary roles as a family advocate is to solve family disputes. You must therefore prove that you can solve conflicts based on your previous experiences. This is a behavioral question that one should answer through the lauded STAR approach. Explain the situation, approach, and finally, the solution. Make sure that it has a happy ending.
I once realized that two members of my team were constantly arguing. They had fallen back some months back but thought they had solved it. I organized a meeting during our coffee break and invited both of them. I then played the role of a mediator, asked for both sides of the story, and finally helped them come up with a solution. They reconciled and never had problems again.
17. You are Going to Hear Lots of Bad Things in this Job. Do You Have the Emotional Stability to Handle Them?
Most parents will view you as an enemy or an impostor while going about your job. Some will not also cooperate with you. Do not, therefore, expect a walk in the park. You must be prepared for the hurtful words, lies, and at times signs of aggression if you decide to pursue family advocacy. Assure the interviewer that you are in the right emotional and mental frame to handle all the challenges you will face in this job.
I expect such things to happen. I understand the emotional world of both parents and children and that they may project their anger and disappointment by being unnecessarily rude or hurtful. I will keep my distance and not try to be emotionally involved in any of the cases I handle, which should help me get over any bad words or setbacks I may come across.
18. Why Did You Become a Family Advocate?
What made you pursue this career? You must have a viable reason, given that you would have settled for lots of options. You can tell a story, be it a family problem or some of your experiences. Ensure that your reason touches the interviewer or convinces them that you joined the career with pure intentions. Do not mention material benefits.
I know how difficult it can be to grow up in a troubled or divorced family. My parents divorced after ten years of constant fights and arguments, an experience that greatly scarred me. I, therefore, decided to pursue this career to help children with a similar story and ensure that decisions made are in their best interest.
19. What is the Most Difficult Aspect of this Job?
This should be easy to answer if you have been in this field for some time. What’s the most challenging aspect of being a family advocate or social worker? Think about your experiences throughout your career and some of the problems you have encountered. Whatever you mention should not render you incompetent.
Dealing with divorced families is not an easy task. I grew up in a divorced, dysfunctional family, and therefore, seeing children affected by their parents’ decisions takes a significant toll on me. Also, most families are uncooperative since they see me as an outsider and an enemy, thus making my work quite difficult. ( Remember that your challenges should be job-related)
20. How Do You Plan to Deal with Disappointments?
Every job comes with its fair share of disappointments. People have quit jobs and tried other things because of the frustrations they encounter from their careers. Therefore, you must plan how to deal with the disappointments you will get as a family advocate if you intend to do your work well.
Being in this industry for a long time has taught me how to deal with disappointments. I usually avoid taking things to heart since most of them are pretty emotional. I do not also overthink issues and take disappointments as they come, go back to the drawing table and restrategize.
Being a family advocate is challenging, and so is the interview process. You need to research extensively, find out some questions that are likely to be asked, and brainstorm possible answers. I hope that this article will help you ace your interview.