Community Sector Job Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you’ve been working the community sector for a long time or you’re starting out, job interviews can be a little intimidating. And even for most people who like working with others and are good communicators, the idea of answering a stranger’s (or panel of stranger’s) questions can bring on a few nerves.

So here are some common interview questions for the community sector along with some suggestions for answers. Why not read these and prepare ahead of time for a boost of confidence for your next job interview:

1. What experience do you related to this particular community sector position/role?

  • Answer Tips
    • When you are asked this question, the interviewer is looking for specific examples of your past work experience that directly relates to the advertised role. This is the time to demonstrate that the experience you’ve gained in other roles will be relevant and will enable you to quickly become productive and effective in the new role.
    • If you haven’t previously done a similar role, prepare ahead of time with examples of transferrable skills and knowledge that you will be able to use and adapt.

2.  Our sector/industry (disability, aged care, housing etc) is constantly changing. How do you keep up to date?

  • Answer Tips
    • This is your opportunity to show that you have been proactive in keeping current in your profession by undertaking informal and formal training. Talk about any accredited qualifications that you are undertaking or have completed along with any online or in person short courses or workshops you’ve attended.
    • Think laterally about other work and life experiences that show you have kept learning and growing in your career. Examples could be relevant volunteering roles and hobbies.
    • As well as skills and knowledge directly related to the job role, think about all the other skills required to be a valuable employee. Examples include leadership skills and computer literacy.

3.  Tell me about yourself…

  • Answer Tips
    • This is one of the most commonly asked questions in all job interviews so prepare ahead.
    • If you find it hard to talk about yourself, think about how a colleague or friend may describe you to someone else. Use this to prepare your own answer.
    • Give a mixture of personal (but not too personal) and job-related information.
    • A few sentences and minutes is enough to answer this initially. If the interviewer wants to know more about a particular aspect, they will ask. Keeping it initially brief is preferable to the interviewer having to stop or interrupt you because you’ve talked for too long.

4.  What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • ANSWER TIPS
    • Most people find it a little difficult to answer these questions so preparing ahead can give you time to think about your answers and be more confident when the time comes to answer them. One way of doing this is to think about the strengths and weaknesses that colleagues or previous employers have mentioned to you.
    • Be humble but factual when it comes to presenting your strengths.
    • Focus on weaknesses that can also be strengths. For example, you may say things like you are a little bit of a perfectionist or you always like to be early. If you do choose to mention a true weakness such as being late, also talk about how you’ve overcome this weakness and have strategies in place so that it no longer impacts on your work.

5.  What do you know about our organisation?

  • ANSWER TIPS
    • If you are not familiar with the organisation, prepare ahead and look at their website, skim read relevant news articles and scan their annual report.  Be ready to give a brief summary about the organisation’s work and mission and particularly the section where you are applying to work.

6.  Why did you leave your last role or why are you leaving your current role?

  • ANSWER TIPS
    • Even if you have a grievance with your current or past boss or organisation, remain positive and professional when answering this question.
    • Focus your answering on your proactive and goal-oriented approach to moving forward and progressing in your career.

7.  What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

  • ANSWER TIPS
    • Interviewers will be looking to establish your commitment and loyalty to the new role with this question. They know that you will not stay in the role forever but they also don’t want to spend time training someone that will only stay for a few months. Demonstrate in your answer how you will be reliable.
    • Interviewers will also be looking to see in your answer that you take a positive and proactive approach to your career that is aligned with the needs of their organisation.

8.  Why should we hire you above the other candidates?

  • ANSWER TIPS
    • The number one tip in answering this question is to focus on the benefits you can bring to the organisation with your skills, knowledge and experience.
    • Do not mention the benefits to yourself of the role eg. how close it is to home, the need for money etc.
    • Do not talk about the other candidates negatively.

Final Thoughts About Getting Your Next Community Sector Job

We wish you all the best as you pursue the next step and job role in your chosen career path within the community services sector. When you go for your next interview, remember to:

  • Be prepared
  • Ask questions
  • Be honest
  • Dress appropriately for the role you are applying for
  • Do some background research about the role and the organisation
  • Practice
  • Have some examples ready

If you are concerned that you may not have the qualifications required for your field, contact one of our Course Advisors on 1300 275 282 or send us a message to discuss your options. At Customised Training, we offer nationally accredited qualifications in:

We wish you all the best as you work to make a difference in the community.

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