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Addiction Counselor Interview Questions

30 Addiction Counselor Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
What motivates you to succeed?
How to Answer
In the counseling field, many people are motivated by the satisfaction that comes from helping others. If this is you, elaborate on​ how helping others keeps you focused and helps you to keep going, even when you might feel discouraged.

Examples help the interviewer see your motivation in action. If you can show them how helping others has driven you towards achieving success in the past, your interviewer can get to know you that much better and feel more confident in your skills.

Answer Example
"Having a new clinician working alongside me motivates me to succeed and set a high standard for them."
Entry Level Example
"I consider myself a self-motivated individual who is constantly striving to be better and do better. My motivation is also kept high by being surrounded by experienced and enthusiastic leaders. I often draw my inspiration from those leaders."
Experienced Example
"What motivates me to succeed is seeing success in others. I am a natural leader and mentor so when I see a counseling student or addictions patient excelling in an area where they may have struggled prior to my help, I feel a true sense of pride and accomplishment."
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Question 2 of 30
How do you cope with stressful situations?
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How to Answer
The life of an addiction counselor can be stressful! Watching patients struggle can be painful and you may often feel under pressure. Dealing with family members and managing support groups can also be a lot to handle. Show the interviewer that you are capable of coping with stress by sharing the tools or strategies that help you stay calm.

Answer Example
"I have learned to stay relaxed and try not to react. I know what situations make me stressed, and I know how to respond. Typically if I am overwhelmed with too much work or a tight deadline, I prioritize tasks that need to get done each day. Ensuring that I use my time wisely and that I have realistic expectations, are very important keys to reducing my stress."
Entry Level Example
"If I'm facing a stressful situation I'll call in the reinforcements. I ask for help when appropriate to avoid situations from getting out of control."
Experienced Example
"Stress is part of any demanding job and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself personally and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels. As a counselor, it is especially important that I have a personal lifeline and maintain appropriate boundaries with my patients and their situations."
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Question 3 of 30
As an Addiction Counselor, what do you believe is your best asset?
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How to Answer
This is another way of the interviewer asking why they should hire you, over any other applicant. Think about the skills and qualities that you bring, which others may not have. Perhaps its your counseling style, a transferable skill, or even the fact that you speak 3 languages! Explain the trait and how it makes a difference to your patients.

Answer Example
"I believe that my best asset is the fact that I am a huge proponent to continued education. When I received my Masters' in Counseling, I did not stop there. On average, I take 3 additional courses or workshops per year."
Entry Level Example
"My best asset is in my critical thinking skills. I'm able to make quick and clear decisions that make an impact in times of crisis."
Experienced Example
"In addition to being a seasoned addictions counselor who has trained other counselors, I am also fluent in 3 languages: English, French, and Spanish. My linguistic skills have allowed me to help a wider range of patients during my career."
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Question 4 of 30
In your previous counseling experience, have you ever had to enforce policies you didn't agree with?
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How to Answer
Just like any other job, you may encounter situations where you need to comply with rules or regulations that you disagree with. How do you handle these situations? If your boss told you to do something you disagreed with, how would you respond? Respecting work policies shows that you have the maturity to follow rules even if you don't fully understand or appreciate them.

Answer Example
"If I feel that a policy should be disputed due to ethics, I would approach the situation with professionalism and respect, calling on my supervisor for instance. If I simply do not like a policy, I will still enforce it out of respect for my employer."
Entry Level Example
"I choose to follow policy, regardless of it making sense to me. If it's an ethical issue, then I would follow the protocols for reporting an ethics related situation."
Experienced Example
"In my career as an addiction counselor, I have had to enforce policy that I did not like. It's part of the job and I have learned over the years that I may not know the entire picture. It's best to comply unless it's an ethical concern."
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Question 5 of 30
Why do you want a career as an addiction counselor?
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Question 6 of 30
How often do you take work home with you?
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Question 7 of 30
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
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Question 8 of 30
What was your biggest disappointment as an addiction counselor?
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Question 9 of 30
Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues.
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Question 10 of 30
How would your boss describe you?
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Creators of Addiction Counselor Answers and Questions

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 05/23/2013
Last modified on: 08/30/2018

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Question 11 of 30
What tools do you use to monitor your treatments?
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Question 12 of 30
How did you hear about this position?
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Question 13 of 30
What do you like to do outside of work.
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Question 14 of 30
Do you have any questions for us?
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Question 15 of 30
Do you have difficulty working in a team environment?
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Question 16 of 30
Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
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Question 17 of 30
How do you manage a large workload?
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Question 18 of 30
What types of patients do you have the most difficulty treating?
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Question 19 of 30
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
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Question 20 of 30
What is your current salary?
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Question 21 of 30
What are your strengths?
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Question 22 of 30
What is your greatest weakness?
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Question 23 of 30
What new therapy approaches have you recently tried?
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Question 24 of 30
How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
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Question 25 of 30
What type of patient are you not comfortable being around?
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Question 26 of 30
Have you facilitated any outreach programs? Tell me about it.
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Question 27 of 30
How do you involve the patient's family during treatment?
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Question 28 of 30
How do you handle angry patients?
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Question 29 of 30
What do you feel is the most important skill an addiction counselor should possess?
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Question 30 of 30
What is your greatest accomplishment as an addiction counselor?
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About Addiction Counselor

August 23rd, 2018

As an Addiction Counselor you advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. You provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors. As an Addiction Counselor you may work within mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, and may even support a private practice. Your day consists of evaluating your clients mental and physical health, addiction, or problem behavior and assess their readiness for treatment. You help your clients develop treatment goals and plans.

Typically a bachelor’s degree is required to be an Addiction Counselor. Depending on the employer, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree. To become a licensed Addiction Counselor you'll need to research your state's requirement. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-issued exam and complete continuing education every year. As an Addictions Counselor you work with clients individually and in group sessions so effective communication skills are vital to the job. You display compassion, patience and practice your listening skills daily with your patients.

To prepare for your interview you will want to do your homework on the facility you are interested in working with. Brush up your resume to reflect direct work history you have that will show the interviewer that you will be an asset to their team. Because your line of work as an Addiction Counselor is often stressful be prepared to have the interview team ask you in a few different ways of how you deal with the stress. Have success stories and best practices in your back pocket ready to share if appropriate.

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