Why do you want a career as an alcohol and drug counselor?
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"I enjoy helping people from all walks of life and am fascinated by the inner workings of the mind."
Besides the fact that you have the experience and the education to support this career, what made you want to choose this line of work? Have you always wanted to help people overcome and conquer dependencies? This question is similar to the very common ‘Tell me about yourself’ question. Take this time to explain to the interviewer what events, school and experiences you’ve had that made you want to pursue this career. Feel free to tell a story about why you chose this line of work but be sure to keep it short and not too detailed.
"In my previous position, I was in charge of hiring administrative staff for our Substance Abuse Clinic. We had an employee that was consistently coming in to work late despite many chances so I had to sit down with him and let him go."
"One of the most difficult decisions I've made recently was whether or not to involve family members in addiction treatment of one of my patients."
The interviewer wants to know how you handle challenging and stressful situations and how strong your critical thinking skills are. Tell the interviewer how you effectively approached the challenge, how you weighed the options and how you reached your decision. This is your chance to show that you’re up to the task of making good decisions in challenging situations so choose a good situation to describe.
As a Drug and Alcohol Counselor you help addicts with both crisis and long-term management issues. You find immediate medical help and prevent a return to addiction on an ongoing basis. As a Drug and Alcohol Counselor you help your clients find housing, employment, medical help, and peer support through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and assist your clients in navigating public aid systems. Your day consists of interviews to assess clients addictions and mental health issues and work with the client to determine the best course of treatment.
As a Drug and Alcohol Counselor you have excellent listening, speaking skills and are able to communicate with a broad spectrum of people with varying educational levels. Compassion and optimisim are your greatest characteristics. You must also be able to remain calm under pressure and should be able to manage chronic stress.
During your interview you'll want to maintain eye contact and practice your active listening skills just as you would during a session with a patient. During your interview it will be important not to share patient details or any identifying information.