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Addiction Psychiatrist Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 26
How do you maintain the confidentiality of clients?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you understand confidentiality laws and that you are committed to following these rules to protect your clients. Discuss the actions that you take to ensure your patients' safety and privacy is always a top priority for you. Let the interviewer know you are careful and mindful of the potential for breach of confidentiality.
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Answer Examples
1.
How do you maintain the confidentiality of clients?
The interviewer wants to know that you understand confidentiality laws and that you are committed to following these rules to protect your clients. Discuss the actions that you take to ensure your patients' safety and privacy is always a top priority for you. Let the interviewer know you are careful and mindful of the potential for breach of confidentiality.

Rachelle's Answer
"
2.
What is your biggest weakness?
Preparing for this question requires a little bit of self-awareness and strategy. You don't want to share that you have trouble working with difficult people or that you struggle with recalling details of a conversation, as those are critical aspects of your role. What you do want to focus on is a weakness that you could possibly turn into a strength or share something that would not be detrimental to your role that you are working on improving.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have learned that I am a perfectionist and can sometimes spend more time than necessary on a task. However, I also know that when something is done, it is done correctly and I never miss deadlines. My perfectionism has pushed me to learn how to delegate more as I’ve learned that I can’t do and take on everything myself."
3.
How do you deal with an aggressive addict?
As an addiction psychiatrist, you may often treat aggressive addicts. Tell the interviewer how you go about working cohesively with someone that may behave aggressively and inappropriately. Perhaps you have a serious conversation with the person when they are sober and do so after an incident has occurred so that the event or problem is fresh in their minds. Maybe you choose to work closely with the patient you counsel, and their family, helping them not to enable the aggressive behavior.

Rachelle's Answer
"As an addiction psychiatrist, I know that most patients will go through an aggressive stage during our treatment. My staff and I are prepared to handle difficult situations. Possible situations are discussed during our morning huddle to ensure enough staff is readily available if something were to happen."
4.
Do you have any questions?
This question offers you the opportunity to flip the tables for a few minutes, and ensure that this role is a fit for your career goals. You can ask the interviewer why the position is available, for instance. This particular question will give you some insight into the last person who held this role, and perhaps why it was not a successful partnership.

Ask the interviewer what a typical day is like in the office. This question will give you an idea of workload and what your day-to-day life would look like in this role. Feel free to bring a notebook and write down the answers to these questions you asked.

Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working for this clinic?
- What is the practices' primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in the psychology industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

5.
What are a few challenges you feel a substance abuser will face?
As an Addiction Psychiatrist, you've seen your patients struggle with many types of addiction. Tell the interviewer about the trouble your patients may have managing negative emotions, the fact that they may lack sufficient problem-solving skills and that they may struggle with their moral reasoning. Show how you help your patients overcome these typical challenges.

Rachelle's Answer
"Addicts face challenges every day. If getting clean was easy, everyone would do it. Failure, suicidal tendencies or even overdose will be just a few challenges an abuser will face during their period of addiction."
6.
How would you treat a patient that relapses?
Tell the interviewer about a time that one of your patients relapsed and the steps you took to care for them. Explain the treatment or program you wrote up for your patient, the extra time you spent encouraging them, and the individual counseling you provided. If you use a specific example, of course, remember the importance of patient confidentiality.

Rachelle's Answer
"When a patient relapses, all you can do is help them pick up the pieces and start again. It's important to let my patients know that I believe in them and I'm here to help them, even if that means they fail. My patients know that they can be transparent with me and honest about their struggles. My office is a judgment-free zone, but it is not accountability-free. I make sure that my patients have an action plan for recovery and that they follow this."
7.
What can we expect from you in the first 90 days?
There isn't enough time during the interview to explain step by step on how you plan to make a significant impression in your first 90 days. For this reason, it's a great idea to bring a 90-day action plan with you to your interview. Think of it as a mini-presentation. Outline what you are most influential with, and create an action statement.

Rachelle's Answer
"I will approach my first 90 days in three, 30-day phases. During the first phase, I'll concentrate on building trust and rapport with my colleagues. Second, I will get a good handle on my caseload. And lastly, I would like to tackle any projects or take on any extra duties to better myself and help out the team. Also, I'm aware that you have an inspection coming up in about 90 days. In my current position, ​we just finished up with an inspection that went very smoothly. I played a major role in preparing and presenting in the inspection and would like to ensure that you are all ready to go as well."
8.
What is your experience treating eating disorders?
As an addiction psychiatrist, you've likely been a part of a multi-disciplinary team to treat many disorders. Walk the interviewer through your treatment combination of psychological and nutritional counseling, along with medical and psychiatric monitoring.

Rachelle's Answer
"Food addiction is something I've been working in for the past two years. Developing treatment plans for children are one of my specialties. I fully understand that treatment must address the eating disorder symptoms and medical consequences, as well as psychological, biological, interpersonal, and cultural forces that contribute to the eating disorder."
9.
What other hospitals have you applied to?
Be upfront with the interviewer. Word travels fast when hiring managers are calling around to find out more about you. Be sure to tell the interviewer why you chose to apply for their position and why you would like this job over the others for which you have applied. Don't discuss who pays more but who can offer more opportunity and would be the best fit for you.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have applied to two other hospitals in the area. The reason I applied for this position was because my primary interest is in children and addictive behavior. I have 10 years experience working with children and have enjoyed every minute of it."
10.
What type of help do you offer the family of an addict?
As an addiction psychiatrist, you understand that addiction affects not only the patient but their family as well. Relay to the interviewer that you understand the recovery process not only helps families heal, but is also important for building a healthy support system for those in early recovery. Tell the interviewer about any group sessions you've held, support groups you've led that assist the family members of addicted patients.

Rachelle's Answer
"
11.
Would you treat an Opiate addiction with Suboxone or Methadone?
Suboxone vs. Methadone is a discussion you've probably had numerous times with your colleagues. Tell the interviewer that the decision between these two medications is a difficult one to make and many factors are considered including their dosing schedule, side effects, the ​risk of abuse and overdose, cost, and long-term effects. Show off your expertise and level of knowledge a bit!

Rachelle's Answer
"Research shows that both are proven to be effective. However, each medication comes with its risks and benefits. Methadone has been used for decades and is well-known and established, making it the easy choice for some providers. Suboxone has been used for a shorter time frame, and there is less research available, but it shows promising success in the treatment of addiction. Although both medications can be effective in reducing the rates of opiate addiction, my choice of medication is made collaboratively between the patient and me while considering all factors and side effects."
12.
What is your greatest strength?
The interviewer would like to know the areas of your role as a psychiatrist that you feel you are best versed. Strength and weakness questions are the most common questions asked in an interview. It's essential that you have your answers rehearsed but not memorized, so you don't sound like a robot. If you are having a hard time answering this question, think of what your colleagues compliment you on. Tell the interviewer about your unique and memorable skills such as your ability to quickly write detailed SOAP notes, your natural ease with others, or the extra compassion you exude in comparison to other psychiatrists.

Rachelle's Answer
"One of my strengths is my ability to empathize and express my understanding to my patients. This added level of empathy and care makes them feel more comfortable talking to me."
13.
Have you worked with patients going through detox?
As an addiction psychiatrist, you know the goal of any detox program is physiological healing after long-term drug addiction. Perhaps your sessions start with stabilization then detoxification. Tell the interviewer about a particular patient's story, keeping confidentiality in mind. Explain the type of detox your patient went through, the stages and withdraw symptoms.

Rachelle's Answer
"My last detox patient was working through heroin addiction. We opted for a medical detox to make it a bit easier on the patient. The patient continues to see me once a week and has been sober for three months."
14.
Have you treated a patient with a food addiction?
As an addiction psychiatrist, you are likely well versed in treating addictions of many types. Tell the interviewer how you conduct your formal assessment, refer to a multidisciplinary team and treat the patient with food addiction. Tell the interviewer how you decide whether to treat your patients with medication or 12-step programs. Discuss the outcome of a specific case, if you can.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have treated patients with food addictions. My greatest challenge was helping addicts who are still active in their addiction because of their often excessive lying. After having the patient face their fears and address the lying we were able to move on to treatment."
15.
What are your salary expectations?

In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn. When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities. The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.

Rachelle's Answer
"I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. What range are you offering for this position?"
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26 Addiction Psychiatrist Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. How do you maintain the confidentiality of clients?
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
  3. How do you deal with an aggressive addict?
  4. Do you have any questions?
  5. What are a few challenges you feel a substance abuser will face?
  6. How would you treat a patient that relapses?
  7. What can we expect from you in the first 90 days?
  8. What is your experience treating eating disorders?
  9. What other hospitals have you applied to?
  10. What type of help do you offer the family of an addict?
  11. Would you treat an Opiate addiction with Suboxone or Methadone?
  12. What is your greatest strength?
  13. Have you worked with patients going through detox?
  14. Have you treated a patient with a food addiction?
  15. What are your salary expectations?
  16. Why do you want a career as an addiction psychiatrist?
  17. What are the psychological signs of drug abuse?
  18. Who has been an inspiration to your career as a psychiatrist?
  19. What are your thoughts on the advancements in addiction psychiatry?
  20. What makes you passionate about being an addiction psychiatrist?
  21. Give me a time when you had to set an important goal and how you reached it.
  22. Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
  23. How well do you work with people?
  24. What was your biggest failure?
  25. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
  26. Why should we hire you?
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