Guide: case manager interview questions and answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're applying for case manager positions, it's important to prepare yourself for case manager interviews. There are lots of opportunities for employment in case management, but competition can be challenging which is why it's essential to prepare for interview questions in advance. During an interview, your interviewer might ask you a number of general questions relating to your work and experience, along with more in-depth questions to test your knowledge of case management practices. In this article, we explore some of the most common case manager interview questions and provide example answers for typical questions.

General case manager interview questions

General case manager interview questions are broad questions that help interviewers find out more about who you are and why you're applying for the position. These questions are typically quite straightforward, usually requiring you to discuss your background, your understanding of the role, and your expectations. Some general interview questions in case manager interviews include:

  • How would you define this role?

  • Why do you want to be a case manager?

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?

  • Why do you want to work at our organisation?

  • What is your availability?

  • What is your salary expectation for this role?

  • Why should we hire you?

  • What are your career goals?

  • What are some of your greatest strengths?

  • What are some of your greatest weaknesses?

Related: 7 different types of interview questions (with examples)

Interview questions about experience and background

Interviewers carrying out a case manager interview might also ask some questions about a candidate's background and experience in the field. These questions encourage you to elaborate more on the work history you've provided in your CV and cover letter and help to clarify your past roles and experience and their relevance to the role you're applying for. Some examples of case manager interview questions about your experience and background include:

  • What is your work history?

  • How long have you worked in case management?

  • When did you first decide to become a case manager?

  • What do you enjoy most about being a case manager?

  • What was your biggest achievement in your previous role?

  • What do you enjoy least about being a case manager?

  • Can you tell us about a mistake you've made in the past and how you fixed it?

  • How do you manage a busy workload?

  • How have you demonstrated leadership in your previous role?

  • How would you describe your style of work?

In-depth questions for case manager interviews

Interviewers ask in-depth questions about your work and history to identify your style of work and assess whether it's a good fit for their organisation. Some in-depth interview questions might focus on how you behave at work, while others may focus on your personality and soft skills. Many of these interview questions ask you to consider carefully your own working style and use examples to support your answer. Some examples of in-depth interview questions for case managers include:

  • What was the most challenging case you've worked on?

  • What was the most rewarding case you've worked on?

  • What resources might you recommend for a case involving a family member with special needs?

  • How do you approach a new case and get to know your clients?

  • How do you evaluate the care that your clients need?

  • How do you manage working with angry or violent people?

  • How do you build trust with clients?

  • How do you take steps to minimise the time your clients spend in the hospital?

  • How do you motivate yourself to get everything done when working on busy cases?

  • What aspect of case management do you find most challenging?

Related: 10 motivation interview questions (and how to answer them)

Interview questions with sample answers

When you're preparing yourself for a case manager interview, reading sample interview questions and answers may help you structure your own interview answers more concisely. Below is a list of sample interview questions and answers that might inspire your own answers or clarify how best to structure any answers you prepare:

Why do you want to work with our organisation?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to assess how much you know about the organisation you're applying for and also determine whether you're a good fit for them. A good answer demonstrates that the candidate has researched the organisation and considered carefully its company mission and achievements. This also helps you to show your commitment and enthusiasm for the role.

Example: 'I want to work for your organisation because of its excellent track record in case management. Compared to other hospitals in the region, your case management team have reduced the time their clients spend in hospitals and anecdotally I've heard very positive things from friends and family who have been through this system. I'm passionate about making a positive impact on people's lives and I think I can do this at your hospital.'

Related: How to answer the question: 'Why do you want to work here?'

What do you find is the most challenging aspect of being a case manager?

When they ask this, your interviewer is trying to find out how you deal with challenging situations and overcome obstacles that are difficult for you. There's no single correct answer to this question and interviewers expect that different candidates find different aspects of the role more challenging. Think of an occasion at work when you have faced a very difficult challenge and overcome it and use this as an example in your answer.

Example: 'It can be difficult to help clients who don't want help. Sometimes they get angry or aggressive. It takes a lot of patience and fortitude to continue working with clients like this. I once worked with an elderly woman who seemed to resent our involvement in her care, but I continued to try with her anyway. She slowly started to accept our involvement and became one of my most rewarding clients because of the challenges we overcame together. This memory helps to motivate me to work hard and build trust when I'm working with similarly challenging clients.'

Related: Q&A: 'What is the biggest challenge you have faced in work?'

What steps have you taken to improve your knowledge of mental illness and addiction?

Your interviewer might ask you questions intended to assess how you ensure your technical knowledge is up to date. The precise nature of this question depends on the role you're applying for, but your interviewer is looking to see that you're committed to staying on top of the latest developments in your field. It's important that your answer shows that you approach the topic from different angles and keep your knowledge contemporary in multiple different ways.

Example: 'I know how quickly our knowledge of mental illness and addiction is advancing, which is why I try to attend at least one conference every year on the subject and also keep up with industry news. I'm also learning from my clients every day on the job that every case is different, and all of our research only works with empathy and an understanding of each case's individual needs.'

Do you work well in a team?

As a case manager, it's important that you can cooperate effectively with colleagues from other departments, including other case managers, social workers and health professionals. If they ask you how you work in a team, your interviewer is trying to find out whether you're a team player and assess whether your working style fits in their existing team. Good answers to this question show insight into a candidate's teamwork style and use examples to illustrate strong teamwork skills in the past.

Example: 'I like working independently and with other people. In my previous role, I managed my own cases, but I also recognised that many of my senior colleagues had more experience and expertise than I did on particular subjects and I frequently consulted them on challenging clients or cases. I think I'm a better case manager for it. I'm confident enough in my own abilities to work independently, but I do believe that two heads are often better than one and I'm happy to defer to more experienced case managers when it's appropriate.'

Related: 7 teamwork interview questions and how to answer them

How would you handle a client who doesn't cooperate?

Challenging clients are one of the most difficult aspects of being a case manager, and your interviewer wants to see that you're capable of handling challenging clients and easier ones. In your answer, include an example of a challenging client that you've worked with before and explain how you responded and whether you would respond differently now. Your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect, but they do want to see that you learn from your mistakes.

Example: 'The client's needs and the needs of their family always come first, even if they don't see it themselves. In my last role, I managed the case of a woman who was still in denial about her alcoholism and refused any kind of help whatsoever.

Unfortunately, this was putting her children in danger as well as herself. I tried my best to build trust and work with her, but after a period of time, I had to involve social workers to protect the welfare of her children. I think, today, I'd be a little better at communicating with the client in a way that she might respond more positively to, although I can't say whether that would have helped.'

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