15 Advocacy Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Advocacy skills will be used.

Advocates are passionate, driven people who work to promote a cause or issue they believe in. They may work for a nonprofit organization, a government agency, or a private company. No matter where they work, advocates must be able to articulate their position on an issue and persuade others to see things their way.

If you’re interested in working as an advocate, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some tough questions in your job interview. In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the most common advocacy interview questions and answers to help you get started.

1. What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is a broad term that can mean different things to different people. Your answer should show the interviewer you understand what advocacy means in your field and how it relates to other fields. You can define advocacy, explain why it’s important or give an example of when you’ve used advocacy skills.

Example: “Advocacy is the act of supporting something through communication with others. In my field, I use advocacy skills to support patients’ rights by communicating with legislators about healthcare policy changes. For instance, last year I was part of a group that met with our state senator to discuss proposed legislation that would have made it more difficult for low-income families to receive Medicaid benefits. We were able to convince him to vote against the bill.”

2. Can you give me some examples of advocacy-related positions in the health care sector?

This question is a great way for an interviewer to learn more about your background and experience. It’s also a good opportunity to show how you can apply the skills you learned in previous positions to new ones.

Example: “I’ve worked as a nurse, medical assistant and patient advocate throughout my career. In each of these roles, I was responsible for helping patients understand their diagnoses, treatment plans and insurance coverage. As a nurse, I helped patients manage their medications and symptoms while advocating for them with doctors and other hospital staff. As a patient advocate, I helped patients navigate the appeals process when they were denied coverage or experienced billing issues.”

3. What are some important skills that an advocate must have?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have an understanding of what it takes to be successful in this role. You can answer this by listing some skills and explaining why they are important.

Example: “An advocate must be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. They should also be organized and detail-oriented because advocacy often involves collecting data and organizing information. Advocates need to be empathetic and compassionate because they’re working with people who may be going through difficult situations. Finally, advocates should be passionate about their work because advocating for others requires a lot of energy.”

4. Why do we need advocates for a cause?

Advocates are important to a cause because they can help spread awareness and educate others about the issue. This question helps an interviewer determine if you understand why advocates are so vital to their organization’s goals. In your answer, explain how advocates can help achieve success for the nonprofit.

Example: “Advocates are essential to any cause because they can help raise awareness of the issue and get more people involved in supporting it. When I was working with my previous employer, we had a goal of getting 100 new volunteers each month. We knew that our current volunteer base wasn’t large enough to meet this goal, so we started an advocate program where advocates would recruit other volunteers to join us. Within six months, we met our goal.”

5. What are some examples where effective advocacy has resulted in positive change?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you have experience advocating for change and the positive impact it can have. You can use examples from your own life or experiences of others who advocated for change and achieved success.

Example: “In my last role, I worked with a client who was struggling in school because they had an undiagnosed learning disability. The student’s parents were concerned about their child’s performance in class and asked me to help advocate on their behalf. After meeting with the teacher and principal, we discovered that the student was being bullied by other students and teachers. We addressed this issue with the school board, and they agreed to provide additional support for the student.”

6. How can one become an advocate for their cause?

Advocacy skills are important for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. Employers may ask this question to see if you have any experience advocating for your cause and how you did it. In your answer, explain what steps you took to become an advocate. You can also mention any specific actions that helped you achieve your goals.

Example: “I became an advocate for my cause by first educating myself on the issue. I read books and articles about the topic and learned more about the history of the problem. After learning as much as I could, I started sharing my knowledge with others. I spoke at community events and wrote letters to local newspapers about the issue. These actions helped me gain support from other advocates.”

7. What’s your understanding of empathy and how is it important to be an advocate?

Advocates need to be empathetic because they’re working with people who are going through challenging situations. They also need to understand the perspective of their clients so they can effectively communicate on their behalf. Your answer should show that you know what empathy is and how it’s important in advocacy work.

Example: “Empathy is a skill that allows me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. It helps me understand their situation, challenges and feelings. I think empathy is an essential part of being an advocate because it allows me to connect with my client and better represent them. When I’m able to empathize with my client, I can help them feel more comfortable and confident about their case.”

8. What is the difference between sympathy, compassion, and empathy?

Advocates often need to understand the difference between these three concepts. This question helps interviewers assess your ability to apply advocacy skills in a professional setting. In your answer, define each concept and explain how they differ from one another.

Example: “Sympathy is feeling sorrow or pity for someone else’s misfortune. Compassion is feeling sorrow for someone else’s misfortune and wanting to help them overcome it. Empathy is understanding what someone else feels without necessarily experiencing those feelings yourself. I think empathy is the most important skill an advocate can have because it allows me to connect with my clients on a deeper level.”

9. What type of personality traits should an advocate have?

Advocates often need to be persuasive, confident and passionate about their cause. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the right personality traits for the job. In your answer, explain which personality traits are most important in an advocate. Explain how these traits helped you succeed as an advocate.

Example: “I think it’s important that advocates are passionate about their cause. This passion helps them stay motivated when advocating for their clients. I also think it’s important that they’re empathetic people who can relate to others’ situations. Being able to understand what someone else is going through makes it easier to convince them of your point of view. Finally, I think it’s helpful if advocates are good communicators. They need to be able to clearly convey their ideas to others.”

10. Is there any training required to become an advocate?

This question can help an interviewer understand what you need to learn before starting your advocacy career. If there is training required, explain the steps you would take to complete it and how it will benefit you in this role.

Example: “There are no specific requirements for becoming an advocate, but I do plan on taking a few courses at my local community college that teach me more about advocating for others. These classes will give me a better understanding of the process and equip me with skills to be successful as an advocate.”

11. If you had to choose between being a good listener or being persuasive, which one would you prefer?

This question can help the interviewer determine your advocacy skills and how you prioritize them. Your answer should show that you value both listening to others’ opinions and being persuasive in your own arguments.

Example: “I would prefer to be a good listener because I believe it’s important to understand what someone else is saying before trying to persuade them of my opinion. However, I also think it’s important to know when to be persuasive so I can get my point across effectively. I try to listen first and then decide if I need to be more forceful with my argument.”

12. Are there any ethical considerations for a person who wants to take up advocacy as a profession?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your understanding of the ethical considerations that come with being an advocate. This can be a challenging question because it requires you to think about what is right and wrong in advocacy, which can vary depending on who you are talking to. To answer this question effectively, consider asking the interviewer for some examples of ethical considerations so you have something specific to refer to when answering.

Example: “I believe there are two main ethical considerations for someone who wants to become an advocate. The first is making sure they understand their own biases before advocating for anything. I know that everyone has different opinions and experiences, but if you don’t acknowledge those things, you might not be able to represent yourself or others accurately. The second consideration is ensuring that you’re working toward a goal that benefits everyone involved.”

13. What are some topics that people generally advocate for?

This question can help the interviewer understand what advocacy skills you have and how you apply them. You can answer this question by listing some of the most common topics people advocate for, such as:

Human rights
Animal rights
LGBTQ+ rights
Women’s rights
Example: “Some of the most common issues that people advocate for are human rights, animal rights and environmentalism. I’ve also seen a lot of advocates who work to promote LGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights. In my experience, it’s important to be an advocate for all types of rights.”

14. What are some of the ways you can use technology to help with your advocacy efforts?

Technology is an important part of advocacy work, and employers may ask this question to see if you have experience using technology in your advocacy efforts. Use examples from your past experience to show that you know how to use technology for advocacy purposes.

Example: “I’ve used social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to share information about my organization’s cause. I also use these platforms to connect with other advocates who are working on similar issues. In the past, I’ve used email newsletters to keep supporters updated on our progress and what we’re doing to help. I’ve even created a website for my own organization where people can learn more about our mission.”

15. What are some challenges faced by advocates when working on their causes?

This question can help the interviewer understand your ability to work through challenges and achieve success. Use examples from your experience that highlight your problem-solving skills, creativity and commitment to advocacy.

Example: “One challenge I’ve faced as an advocate is finding a way to get my message out there in a way that’s effective and reaches the right people. In my last role, I worked with a nonprofit organization that was trying to raise awareness about animal cruelty. We were having trouble getting our message into the hands of legislators who could make changes to existing laws. After some research, I found a few key influencers who had connections to the state government. I reached out to them and asked if they would be willing to share our information on social media.”


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