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Addiction Therapist Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    
Question 1 of 25
What is your greatest weakness?
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How to Answer
Anticipate this question in the Medical Career field. Strength and weakness questions are the most challenging interview questions for anyone. Because we all have weaknesses you'll need to have one identified and rehearsed for this answer. Choose a weakness that can be improved upon. Let the interviewer know that you've identified it and you are working at it to make it one of your strengths.
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Answer Examples
1.
What is your greatest weakness?
Anticipate this question in the Medical Career field. Strength and weakness questions are the most challenging interview questions for anyone. Because we all have weaknesses you'll need to have one identified and rehearsed for this answer. Choose a weakness that can be improved upon. Let the interviewer know that you've identified it and you are working at it to make it one of your strengths.

Heather's Answer #1
"I feel that my leadership skills could be stronger and I am currently working to improve them."
Heather's Answer #2
"One of my weaknesses is working through my breaks and lunch hour. Sometimes I have to tell myself to walk away and take a break so I can come back refreshed."
2.
Have you ever worked public outreach?
If you've had the opportunity to work within public outreach as an Addiction Therapist, tell the interviewer what the outreach was for, what your role was and what the outcome was. Being able to tell the interviewer that you have the confidence to promote their company will be a plus. If you have never participated in public outreach tell the interviewer about your ability to speak publicly.

Heather's Answer #1
"I have never had the opportunity to work in public outreach but I welcome the challenge. Because I am so passionate about the career field and enjoy speaking in public I know it would be a good fit for me."
Heather's Answer #2
"I'm currently a volunteer with our local abuse hotline. Being able to volunteer within my same field but assist a different population of people makes me feel like I'm part of the community."
3.
How do you educate your patients on addiction?
As an Addiction Therapist, educating your patients as well as their families is the key to recovery. Tell the interviewer when you would provide one on one education to your patient, provide education in a group setting or when you would schedule an appointment to meet with the family. Tell the interviewer about a few websites that are your go-to as well as referral agencies in the community.
Heather's Answer
"I've found that the majority of my patients aren't in a living situation that they have the internet as a resource and pamphlets​ get thrown away. I've found that the most beneficial way to educate my patients is to encourage them to attend groups weekly to stay on track."
4.
How do you help your patients cope?
As an Addiction Therapist you've seen and my know personally that overcoming addiction is hard. Have a situation in your back pocket to share if the interviewer wants more of a situation explained. Tell the interviewer that you provide time for the patient to ask questions and listen to the patient's stories. Let the interviewer know that as a therapist you feel that validating the patient's experiences, feelings, thoughts, and emotions is an important step to recovery."

Heather's Answer #1
"

Here is a sample answer: "
Heather's Answer #2
"I provide education regarding the patient's diagnosis, treatments, and expected physiologic responses to help the alleviate fear of the unknown"
5.
How do you help your patients identify their triggers?
As an Addiction Therapist you help patients identify their triggers during one on one and group sessions. Tell the interviewer how you encourage your patients to identify their emotional state, physical state. Let the interviewer know that you encourage you patents to identify if their triggers happen in the presence of others.

Heather's Answer #1
"I help my patients identify their trigger by encouraging them to talk about various stressors. One thing in particular is for them to talk about social pressure. I want to know if the patient is forced or coerced into doing things they don’t want to do."
Heather's Answer #2
"Identifying triggers and how to move past them is something that I address during each session. New triggers show themselves on different days in different situations to addicts. We come up with a plan together to conquer them."
6.
When would you refer a patient to someone other than yourself?
As an Addiction Therapist you work within a multidisciplinary team. When creating a treatment plan it may consist of your patient seeing another professional. Tell the interviewer that you will talk in great length with your patient on who they need to see and why.

Heather's Answer #1
"I would refer my patient to an outside agency based on my recommendations in the treatment plan."
Heather's Answer #2
"Addiction treatment is typically treated by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. I would work closely with other team members to provide the best possible care to our patient."
7.
Why should we hire you?
Don't be fooled by this trick question. The interviewer isn't interested in your cheesy statement that you are the best person for the job. They have an idea you probably are, the chose to interview you. The interviewer wants to know why you chose this line of work, your education and how your past employment directly supports the position you are applying to. Answer this question with your rehearsed and memorized elevator speech. Make it unique and convincing or they will move to the next candidate.
Heather's Answer
"I've just finished my internship and earned my licensure. I'd like to work with this company because I can grow with it. Start in an entry level position and work towards a leadership position over time."
8.
What is your greatest strength?
This question can be difficult for some to answer if they aren't comfortable and confident in bragging about themselves. The interview is the time and the place to show them what you're all about and why they want to hire you. Having a hard time determining what strength you should answer with? Try making a list of your skills dividing them into three categories: Your knowledge based skills, transferrable skills and your personal traits.

Heather's Answer #1
"My greatest strength would be my patience. I can keep my cool through any situation and find a release for a stressful situation later. My stress release is reading outside in the fresh air."
Heather's Answer #2
"One of my strengths is my ability to empathize and express my understanding to my patients makes them feel more comfortable talking to me."
9.
How do you respond to a patient that is trying to manipulate you?
As an Addiction Therapist , you can handle the some of the most aggressive and abusive patients through one thing: Communication. You have all the tricks up your sleeve to effectively communicate with your patient and help them choose a safer way of interacting their those around them. If the patient is an adult or someone that can hurt you, relay to the interviewer that you would take the appropriate steps to have someone on standby to assist you if needed.

Here is a sample question: "If I identified that a patient was trying to manipulate me I would review the treatment plan that we set together and remind them of their boundaries."
Heather's Answer #1
"If I identified that a patient was trying to manipulate me I would review the treatment plan that we set together and remind them of their boundaries."
Heather's Answer #2
"As an Addiction Therapist, I know that addicts have a way of sweet talking people to get what they want. My years of experience and training alert me to when a patient is trying to manipulate me."
10.
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Addiction Therapy can be an emotionally draining job. How do you get away from it all and relax? Do you do yoga or go to the gym? Spend time with your family at the beach? Don't tell the interviewer that you don't have work stress because we all have a little. Instead, tell the interviewer that you welcome and thrive on a little bit of work stress. Work stress can motivate us and make our day more interesting.
Heather's Answer
"If I'm facing a stressful situation I'll call in the reinforcements. I ask for help when appropriate to avoid situations getting out of control."
11.
How do you avoid burnout?
Because we can't always take every Friday off and only have limited vacation days, you can face the potential for burnout. Don't answer this question by insisting you would never get sick of your job because the interviewer will see right through that. Tell the interviewer that you make a point to make downtime a daily ritual and you have stopped being a perfectionist.

Heather's Answer #1
"I've always been a YES person. Always helping, always giving. I'm working on saying NO more often to avoid burnout."
Heather's Answer #2
"The way that I avoid burnout is to take care of myself emotionally, physically and mentally. If I don't take care of myself then I can't take care of my patients."
12.
Have you ever been part of an intervention?
Interventions can be necessary for patients with addictions. You may find yourself as the mediator in this event. Tell the interviewer the role you held, how you kept the intervention on track and what the outcome was. If you have never participated in an intervention explain to the interviewer that you have the training and experience and look forward to a new challenge.
Heather's Answer
"Not only have I been a part of an intervention, but I've led them."
13.
What is one thing you feel an Addiction Therapist should never do?
As an Addiction Counselor you may find that you can get emotionally attached to a patient. It may be tempting to give out your personal contact information for a patient to contact you in a time of need. Relay to the interviewer that you find it important to set boundaries with your patients.

Heather's Answer #1
"I think it is very important for a counselor never to give out their personal information. Providing a personal phone number or email address allows the patient to break boundary rules that should be set during the initial intake and treatment plan."
Heather's Answer #2
"I think the number one thing that an Addiction Therapist should never do is have an inappropriate​ relationship with a patient."
14.
Tell me about an after-care plan you built for a patient.
As an Addiction Therapist you know that addiction is chronic and recovery from addiction requires a long-term commitment to sobriety to avoid relapse. Aftercare is a necessary part of treatment that lasts much longer than an initial rehab program. Walk the interviewer through how you build an after-care program for your patient. Discuss steps, their contribution and how you will follow up with the patient.
Heather's Answer
"Treatment doesn't end with our last appointment, we have to put together an after-care plan together that is both reasonable, achievable and helpful for the patient."
15.
What do you think is the most important skill as an Addiction Therapist?
The interviewer is asking this question because they want to know more about you and what skill you can bring to the team as an Addiction Therapist. Whichever skill you choose, have a situation to go along with it to show the positive impact you made.

Heather's Answer #1
"I think the most important skill to have as an Addiction Therapist is listening skills. I actively listen to people, reflect their thoughts back to them, and am able to remember important events and feelings that they convey to me."
Heather's Answer #2
"The most important skill for an Addiction Therapist is their communication skills. I'm able to tailor my interaction​ based on the need of each child, coworker or fellow professional."
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25 Addiction Therapist 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. What is your greatest weakness?
  2. Have you ever worked public outreach?
  3. How do you educate your patients on addiction?
  4. How do you help your patients cope?
  5. How do you help your patients identify their triggers?
  6. When would you refer a patient to someone other than yourself?
  7. Why should we hire you?
  8. What is your greatest strength?
  9. How do you respond to a patient that is trying to manipulate you?
  10. How do you handle stress and pressure?
  11. How do you avoid burnout?
  12. Have you ever been part of an intervention?
  13. What is one thing you feel an Addiction Therapist should never do?
  14. Tell me about an after-care plan you built for a patient.
  15. What do you think is the most important skill as an Addiction Therapist?
  16. What is your experience with treating eating disorders?
  17. What do you know about our company?
  18. What type of help have you provided family members of addicted patients?
  19. Do you have experience counseling gambling addiction?
  20. How do you develop a treatment plan?
  21. What do you do to challenge yourself professionally?
  22. Where do you see your career in 5 years?
  23. What made you choose a career as an addiction therapist?
  24. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  25. What do you like about your present job?
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