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Top 30 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
For twelve months, you are unable to find a client a job, how do you stay focused and think of new ideas to get this person working?
"When I work with clients that are having a hard time finding employment I encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering gets them out into the work force, keeps them active and gives them a purpose that I encourage them to find."
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List of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview Questions
  1. For twelve months, you are unable to find a client a job, how do you stay focused and think of new ideas to get this person working?
  2. If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?
  3. What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?
  4. How do you check if a work placement was a success?
  5. Are people naturally at ease with you?
  6. What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?
  7. How do you assess a client's abilities and work-readiness?
  8. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  9. What is your experience with our local demographic?
  10. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  11. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and how did you tackle it?
  12. What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?
  13. What do you know about our organization?
  14. Tell me about a successful case you were involved in.
  15. Have you ever assisted a client with interview preparation?
  16. Are you experienced in creating resumes and cover letters?
  17. Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
  18. How do you manage your time?
  19. What is the most useful constructive feedback you've received?
  20. What would your co-workers say about you work performance?
  21. While working with a client, have you ever had to involve their family, doctor and other health care professionals?
  22. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor your range of clients will be from people coping with physical disabilities, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse problems. Are there any types of clients you have difficulty working with?
  23. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, how do you empower and motivate your clients?
  24. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  25. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
  26. Tell me about yourself.
  27. How do you handle stressful situations?
  28. What are your qualifications in regard to this job?
  29. Why should we hire you?
  30. Tell me about your previous boss.
Author:
Contributing Author
Heather Douglass
HR Specialist/Recruiter
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Information
February 27th, 2017

As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Vocational you help people with disabilities live fuller and more independent lives by assisting them in securing gainful employment. Your clients may have physical disabilities and injuries, mental illness, psychological disorders or substance abuse problems. You often work directly with clients as well as their families, doctors, speech therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, and other service providers in order to optimize a client’s readiness for work. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor you recognize that employment helps boost the self-esteem of those with physical and mental impairments, and helps them to play a greater role in their own care. You help your clients achieve their goals and arrange training, therapy, job skills, and support systems that lead to success.

Skills you posses as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor are communication and problem-solving skills, empathy and the desire to help people fulfill their goals. You have amazing listening skills, compassion, and patience while working with your clients. A knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act is vital for serving as clients’ primary advocate.

Practice, practice, practice. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, one of your duties is to conduct interviews, so you need to impress! Have a story handy of your most challenging client that you were able to secure employment for. Be sure to have the Americans with Disabilities Act details in your back pocket as this is your guide for assisting you clients.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 30
For twelve months, you are unable to find a client a job, how do you stay focused and think of new ideas to get this person working?
"When I work with clients that are having a hard time finding employment I encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering gets them out into the work force, keeps them active and gives them a purpose that I encourage them to find."
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Continue searching for new job opportunities that open up for the client and encourage them that something will happen eventually. Basically having a positive and optimistic view point.
2.
Get them to try all methods of contacting employers. Job fairs, phone calls, going into places of employment, creating videos to submit online (depending on job).
3.
Go back to the drawing board and complete another assessment on his interest and skills.
4.
This is a big challenge, something I like to dive into for sure! I would start networking more, getting on group email discussions, talking with the Chamber of Commerce, talking with other VR counselors in other towns to find out what they have done when this happens to them.
5.
Reinterview for positions.
Question 2 of 30
If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?
"Not off of my clients are on board with finding employment, and that's ok. When these clients are ready, they contact me so we can work together. In the meantime I center my efforts on the individuals that are ready to find work."
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I believe it is important that the vr counselor gives hope and continue to motivate the client because vr is a process and there will be days and times when the client and even the vr counselor will have frustrating moments but as long as the counselor stays with the client to the end of the processwill be discourage for a number of reason but n.
2.
React by speaking to that person by giving them advise and encourage them to go out and seek employment.
3.
By explaining how working can help with a person's overall happiness by giving them a level of independence, security, and social outlets. All of these assist with a person's overall health in everyday life and can curb depression, anxiety and give you structure. We can start off slow and see where it takes you and build from that.
4.
Use Motivational Interviewing and channel strengths/interests to motivate them.
5.
I find a motivator like a paycheck.
Question 3 of 30
What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?
"One area I find challenging as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is working with clients that are not interested in finding work. In the past I've found that I just have to work with these clients a bit longer than others. Pushing these individuals before they are ready to get out into the working world only makes them regress more. I've learned to be more patient and empathetic working with these types of clients."
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The area that I find to be the most challenging in VR is the area of working with client who aren't motivated by want help. I find that to be a challenge because our whole job is to help people and when you can't do that job it's challenge and you get a little frustrated because you really want to help clients and see them prosper but when they don't have the same motivation as you it make it hard. I think a way to challenge that is by doing the best you can do as a counselor. That means calling and following up as much as you can send progress notes or contact letters. Use all the resources you can to help that client find the most appropriate work and after that continue to be their and when their ready you will be ready and waiting.
2.
Setting boundaries and maintaining them. Improve on these challenges by ensuring client knows boundaries and are being reminded of these consistently.
3.
Getting individuals to feel like they can an will be able to find employment. Again find out what they are good at through assessments and job training.
4.
Properly the most challenging about VR work is getting employees to hire a person with a disability. To improve in those challenges is to find a company who is welling to hire a person with disabilities.
5.
Making sure goals are set for person to gain success and independence from. I try to improve upon this by making sure I am checking in with person to make sure goals are being attained, are challenging, but yet fulfilling for person.
Question 4 of 30
How do you check if a work placement was a success?
"I keep files on each of my clients tracking them from initial intake to months after successful placement."
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Check in with placement and get feedback from their employers. Also have the employee write a reflection piece on their time during the placement.
2.
Talk with the employer and the employee.
3.
You can call the client or the employee to check to see if a work placement was a success.
4.
By emailing, calling or making an appointment with the employer to get better insight.
5.
Follow up with work placement supervisor and candidate placed.
Question 5 of 30
Are people naturally at ease with you?
Professional answer
I have a way of bringing the best out of our clients. This shows me that people are at ease with me and value the support that I give them.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a people person interns of professionalism, I know how to relate with clients better.
2.
Yes, very much so. I don't think I can help everyone but for those looking for help, I will work with them.
3.
I am most definitely a people person. I look for the strengths in all people I interact with and I encourage them to rely on these strengths.
4.
Yes, I enjoy meeting new people and finding out more about them.
5.
I'm very much a people person. I'm very extraverted. Interacting with others is one of my favorite things. I enjoy hearing people's stories and also love trying to make people's day with my kindness and compassion.
Question 6 of 30
What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?
Professional answer
An important skill to have as a vocational counselor is active listening skills. I've found that it is important to repeat things back to clients and ask them to repeat them back to you to assure they understand the plan you have helped them make.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I feel that the most important trait a vocational rehab counselor should possess is passion for their work. The most important skill is organization. That is a skill and can be learned.
2.
I feel the most important skill a vocational rehab counselor should possess is compassion.
3.
Practicing compassion and empathy with each consumer.
4.
The most important skills a vocational rehabilitation counsellor should possess is the ability to actively listen. This is important because as a counsellor the goal should not be to find solutions for the person but rather listen to the individuals needs and help this individual develop the proper tools and strategies for finding the solution on their own. By actively listening and attending to the client you are hearing their story and their needs and will be better able to move forward with the therapy.
5.
Time management, the ability to act in a crisis or a time when your client is in crisis.
Question 7 of 30
How do you assess a client's abilities and work-readiness?
Professional answer
I think it is important to review the clients history. I evaluate their mental health, past work experience, what medical professionals they have and currently work with and what has brought them to my office. Evaluating the clients past history helps me determine their abilities and work readiness.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
By maybe testing that client or looking at their work history if they have one.
Question 8 of 30
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
Professional answer
A weakness of mine is my public speaking skills. I enjoy and do very well with one on one counseling sessions but speaking in front of a large crowd of people makes be pretty nervous. I've had the opportunity to speak to groups of 5 and 6 people at work on various topics so I'm getting more comfortable and proficient with my public speaking skills.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My greatest weakness is analyzing problems to the extreme. I am improving this weakness by becoming less analytical and streamlining problem solving.
2.
I sometimes get emotional and I am trying to work on my emotions, not to cry during counseling sessions in the presences of the clients.
3.
I sometimes lack confidence, especially in new situations with new people. I use positive self talk as a strategy to overcome self doubt.
4.
Over analyzing a problem. I am improving it by only looking at the facts before me.
5.
Excel spreadsheet I have started taking online tutorials to improve.
Question 9 of 30
What is your experience with our local demographic?
Professional answer
I don't have much experience working with the elderly but am looking forward to the challenge.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have extensive experience with our local demographic as I have worked with many agencies within the Niagara region doing a variety of tasks and with a diverse group of people.
2.
I have been able to work with this population a few times during my internship. Also during my practicum lot of the kids that I worked with had learning disabilities or autism things like that so I have had experience on the professional side on the personal side I have tow god bothers who have autism and an uncle who has MR. I even did my senior project in high school with an older gentleman who had autism. I was able to help him along with his case work to teach him how to do certain things at home like the laundry, washing dishes, simple cooking. That experience taught me that everyone has the capacity to learn and achieve things they just might have a different way of doing those things. We have to break it down to their way of learning and they can be successful.
3.
Going back to my undergraduate degree in vocational rehab I worked at the Voc Rehab Institute at Stout assisting with vocational assessment for VR clients. This was also my first position once I graduated. I conducted assessments and also conducted the Job seeking skills workshops. Next, I was a VR counselor for 11 years. So, I have had experience with many, many types of disabilities. Even during my time in higher education I have worked with individuals with various disabilities. So, I have never gone completely away from working with ind with disa. It's a population that I love to work with, and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping them to gain independence through work.
4.
I have a disability myself, I have friends and family members with disabilities, and I have worked with different disability populations for many years.
5.
I have five years experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Some is with clients one on one and some is administrative.
Question 10 of 30
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
Professional answer
I'm most proud of placing a client that had been working with us for over three months. This client faced many challenges and had actually been working with two other counselors before me. I never gave up on her and she was very thankful.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Helping a homless women find employment and eventually help her find a home through public housing.
2.
Helping others help themselves.
3.
I was pleased to prepare for a new career serving people with disabilities by completing a challenging full time Master of Social Work.
4.
Helping a client through a difficult process and landing the job they really wanted.
5.
My brother became very ill overseas. I was appointed to bring him home. My brother suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side of his body. I was successful at y bringing him home safely and arranged for him to receive medical treatments, medicaid, disability and food stamps and now he is able to living his life independently again.
Question 11 of 30
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and how did you tackle it?
Professional answer
The job market is tough. It's hard to see my clients who are already in a challenging situation be challenged in the job market as well. I'm always up front with my clients to make them aware that securing a job can take a little while.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I was faced with a situation were a person had given up on life and the world. We together found hope, sometimes moment by moment, got over some troublesome hurdles and found success not only in employment but hope for the future.
2.
A male client tried to intimidate me because I am a woman, but I over came my fear based upon being empowered not to be intimidated by any one. I did not give up the counseling sessions with the client, but rather achieve a successful counseling relationship with he male client.
3.
Overcoming my own obstacles and being able to focus on my own education and career goals. I did this by taking a few years to work before focusing on college full time.
4.
Finding out that I may not walk again. I faced it and did everything in my power to walk again.
5.
Job carving, when I have a consumer that can perform part of job and to convince an employer to hire them.
Question 12 of 30
What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?
Professional answer
I've been fortunate to learn from my colleagues over the past 5 years. I've been given the opportunity to work a bit outside my position to build upon my skills.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have received many trainings and have worked with at risk youth in a prison.
2.
By schooling, training, internships, counseling etc.
3.
I have been a full time student, obtaining 2 degrees. I completed 2 professional internships totaling more than 1000 hours. I applied for my social work license.
4.
I have took up a master course to study human behaviour.
5.
I got my natinal certification for pharmacy and got my degree in elementary education.
Question 13 of 30
What do you know about our organization?
Professional answer
I know that you all have earned numerous awards since you have been open over the last 4 years. I know I'd like to be apart of the team.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I know that the organization is one of inclusion, dignity, respect with many more core values I embrace in my own personal life. I know that you have the ability to help others find the tools, help and even hope to become successful.
2.
I know it helps people with substance use and abuse or alcohol abuse, mental health issues, mothers and families, teen pregnancy, those who have been incarcerated and mandated to the program and the elderly.
3.
I know that you assist TANF recipients in meeting their work related requirements by providing vocational, educational and tangible supports.
4.
I know that this organization is one that helps others help themselves. That the ADA guarantees rights to people with disabilities.
5.
MRS is a vocational rehabilitation services that assist people disabilities to reach the employment goal.
Question 14 of 30
Tell me about a successful case you were involved in.
Professional answer
My most recent successful case I worked on was with an individual that had just recently been charged with a misdemeanor. What made this successful was that the client was receptive to my counseling and we worked well as a team.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I helped a young mother become employed and continue her education.
2.
Counseled a client that had gender issues, with a history of substance abuse, prostitution, stealing and incarceration.
3.
I helped a young man who had a very difficult time learning take his standardized test with individual support at my school internship. He successfully completed the test and it was a big accomplishment for him to meet this goal as he had failed to do so the prior year.
4.
I had a consumer that follow instruction. They went the soft skill training applied for new job using cheat sheet. Got hired work 9 months found higher paying job with benefit applied got hired kept counselor informed and is living independently in the community.
5.
I placed at 5 clients to a job that they loved. one client received a employee of the month. other client became a trainer.
Question 15 of 30
Have you ever assisted a client with interview preparation?
Professional answer
Absolutely! The client and I have built a relationship and they feel comfortable with me. I'm the best person to ask them the tough interview questions and coach them through the answers. With coaching and encouragement I know they will do great!
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes, I often had clients, with anxiety issues, require assistance of interview preparation. The way I assisted these clients was to conduct a mock interview with them and gave constructive feedback, that most importantly, picked out strengths.
Question 16 of 30
Are you experienced in creating resumes and cover letters?
Professional answer
I've been creating resume's, CV's, Cover letters and Federal Resume's for 5 years now. When working with a client I like to work along side them to create their own resume. I feel it gives them a self of accomplishment.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have extensive experience in creating resumes and cover letters as evidence by conducting years of Life Skills group sessions (adults, prison transition, transitioning adolescents)
Question 17 of 30
Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
Question 18 of 30
How do you manage your time?
Question 19 of 30
What is the most useful constructive feedback you've received?
Question 20 of 30
What would your co-workers say about you work performance?
Question 21 of 30
While working with a client, have you ever had to involve their family, doctor and other health care professionals?
Professional answer
I prefer to work on a multidisciplinary team if the situation calls for it. The more members of the team the more support it shows to the client. My goal is to show the client that they are not alone and sometimes my support isn't enough.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes that is part of my obgation to make sure they are taken care in every area.
2.
Yes. While working as a behavioral health therapist/counselor and with Adult Protective Services, I have always involved family and community care professionals to ensure adequate continuity of care.
Question 22 of 30
As a vocational rehabilitation counselor your range of clients will be from people coping with physical disabilities, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse problems. Are there any types of clients you have difficulty working with?
Professional answer
The only type of person I have a hard time working with are those that don't want to be helped. Once the client realizes that they need the help and that I want to help them they will put up a wall. Patience is one of my strengths so I am happy to wait until they are ready to move forward.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work with the aforementioned clients and have no types of clients that I have difficulty working with. I have, in the past, however had difficulty working with enmeshed/enabling family members.
Question 23 of 30
As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, how do you empower and motivate your clients?
Professional answer
The type of motivation I provide my clients is based on their needs. I have a direct approach to my communication style with each client. Each of my clients reacts to a different style of motivation to stay focused during our sessions and during the job hunt.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I would empower and motivate my clients by listening to their story; specifically listening for and asking about, their particular interests, strengths, abilities, and talents. Utilizing the client's personal disclosure, build upon those interests, strengths, abilities and talents to encourage motivation and going forward.
Question 24 of 30
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Professional answer
In five years I'd like to be running a support group through the office. I enjoy helping clients one on one but also enjoy group settings. I think group settings is a great way to get our clients to support each other and know that they aren't alone.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I see myself working as a vocational rehab counselor.
2.
Working as a supervisor in the counseling field.
3.
Working at an agency that provides vocational rehabilitation, perhaps in a supervisory role if I have proven myself capable.
4.
I would like to be involved in the administration of rehabilitation, such as working with contracts or behind the scenes such as an analyst position or HR in the RA process.
5.
To become a successful vocational rehabiliation counselor.
Question 25 of 30
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
Professional answer
My greatest strength is my communication skills. I have the ability to communicate with other professionals as well as clients. My communication skills help me every day.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Active listening, it helps me to capture the taught and feelings of the clients, this enables me to help them better.
2.
My greatest strength is my hardwork, good time management, punctuality and well organization which I believe as a vocational rehabilation councler will help me alot.
3.
Organized and employer contacts.
4.
My attitude is my strength. The way I think gives me confidence to complete my task, no matter how hard the task is. And my attitude helps me to give this frank and bold answer.
5.
I have two college degrees which helped me to success as a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Question 26 of 30
Tell me about yourself.
Professional answer
My name is Heather Smith. I am a Vocational Rehabilitation professional with a degree in organizational psychology and a Masters Degree in rehabilitation Counseling. My qualifications include 5 years of experience working for Easter Seals. My experience also includes knowledge of various organizations that support human rights and civil rights for people with disabilities such as American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities and National Black Deaf Advocates.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a humble, respectable, hard worker.
2.
I am a highly motivated, independent person. I want to achieve career success by gaining experience with vocational rehabilitation and perhaps complete more post graduate education in the field.
3.
I love working in the community, I have excellent communication skill looking to make a difference with making a inform decisions regarding employment.
4.
I am educated, moviated and go getter. I liked to challenge many problems.
5.
I attended Jackson state university, received a b s in professional interdiscipnary studies.
Question 27 of 30
How do you handle stressful situations?
Professional answer
I handle stressful situations one at a time. I don't allow stressful situations to stack up and overwhelm me. If I need help I'm always willing to ask.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
By reflecting and analyzing how to be a better worker.
2.
I tend to react very calmly and try to use logic to assess and respond to the situation. I like to think before I act.
3.
Try to find something to distract me/ find pleasurable activity.
4.
I stop re-direct my focus to consumer needs.
5.
I handle stressful situations very well. I have to be calm and level headed at all times.
Question 28 of 30
What are your qualifications in regard to this job?
Professional answer
My qualifications for this position is my formal education, various agencies I volunteer with as well as my passion for helping others.
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User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have a bachelor and master of social work degree and am anticipating my social work license in the next month. I have experience being a former client of the New Mexico works program when I was an undergraduate student in need of educational support.
2.
I am organized, punctual, have the ability to prioritize work loads and I am task oriented. I find helping people very rewarding. I am vested in our clients.
3.
I possess excellent customer service skills, I like working with a diverse clientele, I am very organized, timely with project, flexible, I have many years of experience serving the public with their needs. I believe in the mission and core statements.
4.
My education, my experience, employer contacts and resources.
5.
I have business management, advocacy and leadership experenice.
Question 29 of 30
Why should we hire you?
Professional answer
As a new graduate I come with a new set of eyes and the strong desire to help and give back to our community.
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1.
I am a hard working and a respectable worker.
2.
I am a strong believer of your program and just how effective it can be in the lives of clients served. I am eager to become a part of the team and create meaningful change in our community.
3.
Being in a situation where I was disabled for a time I can understand and empathize with some of their hurdles. I am a very efficient worker that is task and goal oriented.
4.
I have a lot of experience in business management, advocacy and leadership. I know how to reach people from the community.
5.
You should hire me because of my experience, dedication, integrity, work ethics, and I am a team player.
Question 30 of 30
Tell me about your previous boss.
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