28 Questions and Answers Written by Heather Douglass
Updated on February 19th, 2019 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates, specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 28
Why do you want to leave your current employer?
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How to Answer
Talk about pursuing a better opportunity. Do not discuss internal disagreements or talk poorly about your colleagues or boss. This will cast a negative light on you - always keep the interview positive.
"I have worked in my current role for ___ years and feel that I have reached my potential at this particular clinic. While researching your clinic, I was noticing how you have more programs that focus on ___, which is what I am interested in pursuing. I also feel that this clinic would provide me with more growth opportunities."
"I've worked with my current employer for the last 5 years. I'd like the chance to work with a more diverse population and your company offers that."
As a Behavioral Health Technician, you'll not only work one on one with a patient but you may also be a part of a multidisciplinary team. Describe your role when you work on a team. Tell the interviewer if you've been in a leadership position, took charge on a project or was recognized for your interaction with clients or staff. Provide an example of how you successfully completed a team task or project. Discuss any challenges and how you resolved it.
"I enjoy working with people because it teaches you the value of teamwork. Last week we worked on a community project that identified and assisted members of the community. I developed a great relationship with our community as well as got to know my co-workers better."
"As a Behavioral Health Technician, I work with people every day. I've built trust with my clients as well as a great working relationship with my coworkers which I value every day."
The interviewer is interested in your ability to successfully resolve a conflict with a supervisor. You can answer this based on your personal experience but make it a positive end result.
"I had a manager who I didn't see eye to eye with so I scheduled a meeting with him to see how we could work better together. After our meeting, we realized that it was just a miscommunication and we soon developed a great professional working relationship."
"All of my managers have been great so far! However, If I did have a difficult manager, I would schedule weekly or monthly meetings with them to make sure that there are no misunderstandings or reasons for concerns"
Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you did not listen well to what someone had to say.
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How to Answer
We've all made mistakes because we didn't listen. Be sure not to avoid this question with a standard 'it's never happened to me.' Tell the interviewer if there was a time you missed details because you didn't give someone 100% of your attention. The ability to admit to your mistakes shows the interviewer that you are being honest and have truly learned something from them. Discuss a situation with a specific patient or physician interaction and what you learned from it.
"I was busy updating notes on a patient when I was approached by a doctor who had asked me to take notes on our next patient and record their upcoming session. Since I was multitasking, I did not hear the doctor's request and forgot to record patients ession. The doctor, of course, was a bit disappointed, and I sincerely apologized. From then onwards, I have made it a point to pay attention to anyone who is talking to me even if I am in the middle of something important. It is imperative that as a behavioral health technician, I respect the institution and act in the best interest of my patients."
"Multi-tasking is an important part of being a Behavioral Health Technician. To ensure that I don't miss anything I take detailed notes and keep a running to-do list. I've started taking detailed notes because of a meeting that I missed last month because I neglected to review my schedule before booking a patient."
6. As a Behavioral Health Technician, what do you believe is your best asset? The interviewer wants you to highlight your best attribute. They are asking you what you think you are great at. You should highlight that one attribute but also give a specific example of why you think so. Here is an answer example: "The ability to instill trust in my patients is my best asset. I can listen to patients and create treatment plans accordingly. I can also listen to physicians and take orders to improve patient care. For instance, there was an issue when I was conducting a team session - one of the patients was shy. She would barely talk mainly because she was abused as a child and thought that no one understood or cared. I went out of my way to include her in our discussions. I even encouraged her to schedule a private session with me and a physician where she was able to open up and trust me. She has now moved on to live a happier life and still lets me know how she doing from time to time." Here is an answer example: "My best asset is my listening skills. I've come to learn that not every client wants a solution to their problem, some just want to be heard."7. Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues. When you answer this question be sure to remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your colleagues. Here is an answer example: "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities." Here is an answer example: "I have had better relationships in the past but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were all very different which made it challenging at times."8. Why do you want a career as a behavioral health technician? This question is being asked to hear about your passion for helping patients overcome difficult situations in their life such as addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, abuse, harassment, etc. Give a specific example of when you helped a patient. Tell the interviewer about your patience and the ability to communicate with patients and physicians to develop specific treatment plans. Here is an answer example: "I wanted to pursue a career in behavioral health because I am passionate about helping patients create a positive and healthy environment to help them overcome mental health disorders. Last week I helped a patient suffering from alcohol addiction realized that this is what I want to dedicate my time to." Here is an answer example: "Growing up, I always had an interest in social work and behavioral therapy. After seeing a career counselor who suggested researching the mental health field I knew it was the right choice for me. I am very excited to take this first step in my career, now that my education and certification is complete."9. What do you know about us as a company? Always do your research before you meet with the clinic and go into as much depth as you can about their behavioral health program and what attracts you to it. Discuss the population that they serve, their community involvement any awards they have won. Here is an answer example: "When I started looking for other positions to advance my career, I was looking for a facility with a great reputation and high patient volume. After reviewing this hospital's portfolio, I was intrigued to learn that you have been open for over 40 years and have established yourself as a leading behavioral health facility in Florida. Furthermore, I also reviewed physician portfolios and noticed that all physicians have graduated at the top of their class in their respective schools. I was especially attracted to your Drugs and Addictions program, which is currently rated number two in the Southeast region. I am passionate about helping patients in this particular area so I would love to be a part of such renowned program." Here is an answer example: "I know that your center is one of the busiest in the state of Georgia. I look forward to the fast pace, challenge, and learning that a large facility can provide."10. What are your salary expectations? The compensation question can be very difficult to answer. It's always best to start with what you are currently earning and then discuss what your future compensation goals look like. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher." Here is an answer example: "After researching the area, the salary range looks to be between $50k and $60k per year. As a new Behavioral Health Technician, I'm hoping to start around $50k."11. What tools do you use to efficiently manage your time? Describe in detail any tools and means that you use to manage time. You want to let the interviewer know that you are tech savvy and well versed in some of the modern calendars and applications that allow for efficiency. This shows them that you are able to keep up with your schedule and organize your time appropriately. Here is an answer example: "I use Outlook calendar to stay on top of my appointments for that day. I also use desktop post-it notes to make reminders of things to do - making appointments, reviewing patient plans or portfolios, speaking to the physician about an urgent case. Additionally, I block times on my calendar to catch up on emails or any to do actions that I might not have time to review. I do realize that not everything can be planned and there will be things that need my attention immediately. In cases like these, I make sure that I respond to urgent matters promptly." Here is an answer example: "My go-to tool is pen and paper. I utilize a planner to keep my schedule at my finger-tips in case I'm away from my desk and Outlook calendar."12. What do you most enjoy about your current role? The interviewer wants to know what it is beside a paycheck that motivates you to come to work every day. Talk about something that gets you excited about the job that is not monetary but rather is something satisfactory. Here is an answer example: "I really like coming to work because all of the physicians and supervisors that I work for emphasize the quality of patient care over quantity of patients seen for that week or day. They always encourage me to take my time and learn my patients so that I can provide the best treatment options for them. This is the kind of environment I thrive in. Because they are so open and understanding I feel that I put in more time at work - not because that is what's expected but rewarded in a positive manner." Here is an answer example: "I love my patients! Although my current organization is not providing me what I need, in terms of career growth, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible people in the business."13. What questions do you have for us? Now is your time to get answers to your questions that have come up based on your grueling interview. Steer clear of salary, benefit and other questions that might make you sound pushy or that you are trying to negotiate the terms of a job that hasn't been offered to you yet. Take this time to clarify questions of what hours you will be working, what type of patients they see most of and why the interviewer enjoys working for this hospital or facility. Here is an answer example: "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? In addition, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?" Here is an answer example: "What is the facility's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months? "14. In the realm of behavioral health, what do you consider your specialty? Show the interviewer your passion and the reason you got into this profession in the first place. Discuss your particular area of interest and why you think so in the first place. Explain to the interviewer that your specialty is because of a personal reason or something that you really enjoyed learning about. Here is an answer example: "Addictions and substance abuse are my specialties in the behavioral health arena. I had a close friend in college who I lost due to heroine addiction and ever since then I have made it my goal to help people that suffer vicious cycles of addictions. I want to be there for patients who unfortunately have to turn to drugs because of the circumstances surrounding them. I am particularly interested in working at this facility - since this clinic has one of the best addictions/substance abuse programs in the country." Here is an answer example: "One of my specialties is in my ability to sense the needs of others. I'm able to tailor my interaction based on the need of each child, coworker or fellow professional. I have taught many new therapists on non-verbal and verbal cues of patients, and am currently writing a paper on these methods."15. Have you implemented or revised individual patient treatment plans and goals? Share your current and past experiences and go into as much depth as possible. This will show the interviewer that you have hands-on experience and are well trained for this role and can hit the ground running with minimal training. Here is an answer example: "In my current role, this particular task accounts for 60% of my job responsibilities. I work alongside physicians and nurses to implement and revise treatment plans. I sit in on all group and private therapies, take notes and present cases to my supervisors. The doctors usually ask my input on what I think is the appropriate course of treatment and take that into account when writing prescriptions or treatment plans. " Here is an answer example: "I work very closely with my supervising Clinical Social Worker to assess and guild each of our patient's treatment plans. After each session we review our notes, assure the patient is on track and adjust as needed."16. Have you supervised group activities? Provide the interviewer with an answer which addresses the question but also your favorite part about it. Talk about specific sessions that meant a lot to you or sessions that probably didn't go well as you thought they should have and what you learned from them. Here is an answer example: "I supervise group therapies and activities at least three times a week. My direct supervisor has trained me in conflict resolution and communications modules and trusts me with these activities. I enjoy group activities mainly because they encourage patients to think about others who are going through the same thing as them - and make patients feel less alone. It also strengthens their belief in behavioral health and makes them more open to treatment plans." Here is an answer example: "I haven't had the opportunity to supervise group activities yet. I've been assisting in group activities for the past two years and look forward to the opportunity to leave activities in your clinic."17. Tell me how you de-escalated patient interactions? Discuss your conflict resolution strategy with the interviewer. Tell the interviewer about a time you stayed in the room with the patient and helped them breathe through the situation or leave the room and return once they have calmed down. Here is an answer example: "When it comes to conflict resolution, I firmly believe that people can harm each other in the heat of the moment, especially when they are angry. When this happens, I usually ask both parties to take a step back. I send one patient to the cafeteria and the other for a walk outside and physically separate them from each other. I tell them that they are on a 10 minute time out and ask them to make a list of what it is exactly that bothers them. When they return to the room, we all go over the list and then discuss how to best resolve these issues. I also tell them that anytime they get angry - they should take deep breaths and write down what bothers them so that we can discuss in the next session." Here is an answer example: "Because patient interactions can happen during group sessions I always start the group off by reviewing ground rules and encouraging participation. Allowing patients to speak freely while being respectful of others can sometimes lead to escalated discussions. Keeping the mood calm and showing the patient that I'm there to help them helps de-escalate uncomfortable situations."18. Are you actively interviewing with other facilities or hospitals? The interviewer is asking you this question to see if you are floating your resume or if you are a serious job seeker. Word travels fast so be sure to let the interviewer know if you are interviewing with other companies. Let the interviewer know what attracts you to their position over the rest. Here is an answer example: "I am currently researching all the clinics where I feel their behavioral health programs are strong. I have shortlisted a handful and have applied. I had a phone interview yesterday with another clinic and they have invited me for an onsite interview early next week. I do not want to apply to programs just for the sake of applying. I am content where I am but am looking for the opportunity to grow and will only consider places that allow me to reach my highest potential." Here is an answer example: "This is the first interview I've been on since I've decided to explore other options."19. Do you prefer to work alone, or in teams? Can you please explain your answer. As a Behavioral Health Technician, you will work on your own as well as a member of a disciplinary team. Give the interviewer examples of when you have successfully worked on your own as well as on a team. Here is an answer example: "I enjoy working in teams and also on an individual basis. There are sometimes, for example, when I am charting or taking notes where I really prefer to work alone because it is less distracting. However, when it comes to finding solutions or treatment plans for patients or working on new internal processes for the clinic and patient care, I like to work with teams. Teamwork can really help with brainstorming ideas that can improve patient care. In my most recent role, we would have twice a week team meetings where we would discuss difficult cases and how to go about resolving them. This was a great way to get other members' input and come up with a great plan for patients." Here is an answer example: "I have approximately 5 years' experience working in one-one-one sessions and am very comfortable in this singular environment. From what I understand, the majority of what you do at (organization's name) is one on one. Is this correct?"20. Describe your key strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer wants to understand your perspective of yourself. Are you good at assessing your strengths and weaknesses? This is a great way for you to demonstrate to the interviewer your reflection of yourself. This is also another way to make yourself stand apart from the other candidates. Here is an answer example: "My strengths are as follows: I am dependable and consider myself to be a team player. When someone else needs me, I am there - whether it's a patient or co-worker. I have been called after hours because a patient was not doing so well and I showed up to the ER immediately.
My weakness is that I have a Type A personality which stresses me out. I like for things to be a certain way and if a co-worker that I am working with is a bit too laid back, then I get annoyed. I am actively working on being patient with others as not everyone is going to be like me." Here is an answer example: "At this point in my career, I would say that my greatest weakness lies in my lack of experience. My greatest strength is my clear and concise communication style and skills."21. What are your hobbies? This question is meant to show the interviewer if you are involved in any extracurriculars orshow that you are well rounded and not a stressed workaholic. Feel free to come up with any hobbies that will provide the interviewer a different perspective. Here is an answer example: "On weekends, I like to play tennis with my college buddies. This releases stress and also allows me to learn teamwork. I also enjoy playing the piano. I took piano lessons from when I was five years old until I started college. The piano is a great way to relieve stress and focus on me. The music enables me to lose my self, so-to-speak, and focus on something positive. It also refreshes me for the upcoming week." Here is an answer example: "I am a very active individual who loves to workout and go to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my concentration during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer my patients."22. Give me an example of when you had a problem for which there was no easy solution, and you had to think outside the box. ThTalk about a specific patient who you worked with and presented an unusual problem. Talk about how you solved the problem. Did you go to your direct manager or involve another technician? Did you come up with a solution and what was that solution? Here is an answer example: "I once had an issue with a patient who was in a physically abusive patient with her husband. She would have private sessions with me but also did a couples therapy session with her husband. She had told me in confidence that I would not be able to discuss what we talked about privately in her couple's session. This was rather difficult and I had to make sure that I gave her advice in her private session which involved her seeking help while telling her to work things out in her couple's session. It was a very tricky situation but I was able to help her get out of the abusive relationship." Here is an answer example: "Whenever children are involved there always seems to be a situation that requires out of the box thinking. Whether it comes to the style of treatment for a child or how to recommend removing a child from a bad situation, I've had the opportunity to lend my expertise and tricks to come to a solution."23. If you work with a patient who tells you that they are being physically or emotionally abused, what would you do? The interviewer wants to understand how you would react in a delicate situation. As a behavioral technician, you will face these situations quite often. It is important to show the interviewer your thinking process. Talk about how you would be proactive in your actions. Then discuss follow up actions Here is an answer example: "I would first listen to the patient and take detailed notes. Then, I would speak to my supervisor and follow the departmental policy and immediately report the incident to higher authorities. I would then check in on the status of this patient and the case periodically until it was resolved. A lot of times, important things are forgotten because the clinic gets busy, but I want to distinguish myself from others and make sure that I do not forget the patients that came to me and that they are in a safer place now." Here is an answer example: "The first thing that I would do is ask if they feel safe in their current environment. Once identif"24. Do you have any pertinent certifications? If not, are you planning on getting certified in the near future? Tell the interviewer about your professional certifications and your reasons for getting them. By explaining, you are confirming your interest in the field and will show that you are committed to your profession. If you do not have any certifications currently, discuss certifications that you are interested in pursuing in the near future. Talk about potential dates, and classes that you might take to prepare for them. Here is an answer example: "I am a Certified Behavioral Health Technician from the University of Miami. I got this certification after I completed my Associate's degree because I knew this was the career path for me. I also plan on taking an additional level of certification after two more years of experience. I want to stay up to date on the field and keep learning newer and better ways to treat patients." Here is an answer example: "I'm working towards a Drug and Alcohol certification from Bradford University."25. When handling multiple patients and physicians, how do you stay organized? The interviewer wants to know if you are good at multitasking and if can handle the stressful part of your job. Discuss your organizational skills- give examples from your current or most recent roles and follow it up with any compliments from your supervisors regarding the organization. Here is an answer example: "I always carry post- it notes and pens in my pockets and write reminders throughout the day so that I do not forget anything. I also update patient notes on the computer as soon as I am done visiting with the patient so that everything is in the system before I leave for the day. Lastly, before I start the day I take a few minutes to review my calendar and voicemails so that I do not miss any important changes that may be coming up. In my most recent role, my supervisor called out my organizational skills in a team meeting and asked me to help other technicians with best practices." Here is an answer example: "Besides my detailed to-do list and personal calendar, our clinic and I rely on our amazing administrative staff. They are all very professional and great at their jobs. They help me manage my appointments as well as pull charts and greet my clients."26. Talk to me about your daily technician related activities from when you come in and leave the facility. This is a great way to tell the interviewer about your daily routine at work. By answering this question cleverly, you can indirectly speak to your strengths - organization skills, time management, etc. Discuss your current daily schedule, focus especially on what your favorite part of patient care is. Here is an answer example: "I am usually the first to come to the clinic- I open the clinic doors and start reviewing upcoming patient schedule so that I can make sure nothing is missing on their record and I review cases prior to patient encounters.
When the doctors and other BHT start to come in, I ask if there is something pertinent that needs to be taken care of for that day - if there are any projects that they need my help with.
After the administrative tasks are done, I start my group or private therapy sessions. This is the favorite part of my day because I am actively interacting with patients and finding solutions to their problems.
After my sessions are over, I review my notes to make sure that I did not miss anything and that all patient files are updated. I then discuss action items and treatment plans with the physicians. I also double check the system to make sure that the patient follow-ups are scheduled appropriately." Here is an answer example: "My day starts with reviewing my calendar, notes for the day's clients and my prioritized to-do list. My day ends with finalizing my notes, collaborating with staff and reviewing my calendar and to-do list for the following day."27. What is your highest education level? The interviewer wants you to go over your credentials so that they can verify your eligibility for the role. Talk about your highest level of education and plan to mention any volunteering work, awards or scholarships to make yourself stand out from the candidate pool.
He: "I graduated at the top of my class in high school. From then I attended the University of Miami and earned my Associates Degree. While in school, I volunteered at a local clinic to gain experience specifically interacting with patients. I also was part of a local golf team and won several tournaments. After my Associate's degree, I became a Certified Behavioral Health Technician. The more I learned and studied Behavioral Health principles, the more I wanted to have a career in this field- mainly to help patients and make our mental health care system better." Here is an answer example: "I graduated at the top of my class in high school. From then I attended the University of Miami and earned my Associates Degree. While in school, I volunteered at a local clinic to gain experience specifically interacting with patients. I also was part of a local golf team and won several tournaments. After my Associate's degree, I became a Certified Behavioral Health Technician. The more I learned and studied Behavioral Health principles, the more I wanted to have a career in this field- mainly to help patients and make our mental health care system better." Here is an answer example: "I'm currently enrolled at the University of Las Vegas in their social work program. I'm hoping to finish my Masters degree in the next year."28. Give me an example of when you had a particularly difficult patient, how did you go about handling him or her? This question is asking you to demonstrate a challenging time when you were working.
Tell the interviewer what the incident was, why you thought it was challenging and how you overcame it. Be sure to tell the interviewer what you learned from the situation as well.
Here is a sample answer "I once had a patient who would show up intoxicated to our sessions even after going to AA. He would shout and scream at me and the doctors. This was particularly difficult for me because I was new to the clinic and had not experienced this situation before. However, I soon realized that this was nothing personal but rather the patient exhibiting defensive behaviors for his actions. I stayed calm and listen to what the patient had to say. I never spoke back but I did firmly tell him what the rules of the clinic were and kept reminding him that we are only here to help him. After a few times of him verbally attacking me, he came to realize that I wouldn't react to his outbursts and calmed down on his own. I learned from this particular experience that patients need me to get better and the only way they will get better if I can offer any guidance as calmly as possible." Here is an answer example: "I once had a patient who would show up intoxicated to our sessions even after going to AA. He would shout and scream at me and the doctors. This was particularly difficult for me because I was new to the clinic and had not experienced this situation before. However, I soon realized that this was nothing personal but rather the patient exhibiting defensive behaviors for his actions. I stayed calm and listen to what the patient had to say. I never spoke back but I did firmly tell him what the rules of the clinic were and kept reminding him that we are only here to help him. After a few times of him verbally attacking me, he came to realize that I wouldn't react to his outbursts and calmed down on his own. I learned from this particular experience that patients need me to get better and the only way they will get better if I can offer any guidance as calmly as possible." Here is an answer example: "If I'm ever anticipating a difficult patient I'm always sure to leave the treatment door open, review session rules with my client and let another staff member know about the possible situation that may arise."
Writers for Behavioral Health Technician Answers and Questions
Heather Douglass has over 20 years of experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 06/12/2013 Last modified on: 02/19/2019
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