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Top 25 Genetic Counseling Interview Questions

Question 1 of 25
Why should someone see a genetic counselor?
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Question 2 of 25
How do you explain to patients that just because they are tested for having a higher chance of receiving a certain disease, doesn't necessarily mean you will have that disease?
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"I had a patient come in to see me who was distraught that she tested positive for the Alzheimer's gene. While she did not present any symptoms, she was worried that she would turn out like her grandfather who was helpless and delusional as he aged. She started crying and panicking. I told her that just because she tests positive does not mean that she will have the disease but yes it does increase her chances. I also set up an appointment with a neurologist so that he could refer her to support groups and talk to her about potential clinical trials. More importantly, I let her know that it is difficult to predict the future and we could potentially have a cure by the time she expresses the disease. This did seem to calm her down and make her realize that she should enjoy today and worry about tomorrow when it gets here."
For this question, you can talk about a specific example and then follow it up with how you handled the situation.

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Question 3 of 25
What was the toughest symptom you've had to tell a family regarding their child? Why was this challenging, and how did you handle it?
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"I had to tell parents of a young boy that he had Klinefelter's (XXY - trisomy disorder) and he would not be able to have biological children of his own. Furthermore, there might be a chance that he could develop some mild female behaviors and characteristics when he hits puberty. It was difficult to see the parents get emotional as I explained the disorder but I stayed calm and offered any guidance that I could - articles pertaining to the syndrome, local support groups and some things to think about as the boy grows up."
Show the interviewer how you have handled difficult patient confrontations.

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Question 4 of 25
What was the most difficult situation you've dealt with in the past, work-related or otherwise?
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This is a great way to show the interviewer how you have resolved obstacles in the past. It is always better to focus on work-related situations especially in interview settings.

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Question 5 of 25
What was the most significant birth defect you have noticed before?
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"The most significant birth defect that I noticed was Marfan's syndrome. While I was interning with a genetic counselor post graduate school, a couple came in who were expecting a baby in five months. They had a family history of Marfan's and were worried that their baby might have it too. This syndrome is a common inherited disorder of the connective tissue and is located in the FBN1 gene. We ran a panel and confirmed the findings that their fetus did indeed have a high percentage of possibility for that symptom. The couple now had a difficult decision to make regarding their pregnancy."
This is a great way to show the interviewer that you have seen something that is different in the genetic field. This will also let the interviewer know that you have the depth of knowledge need to excel.

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Question 6 of 25
What appeals to you about the role of genetic counselor? Why did you choose this career?
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Question 7 of 25
Genetic testing is a critical decision for any individual. How will you ease their mind and walk them through the process?
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Question 8 of 25
Give me an example of how you have communicated effectively in the past.
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Question 9 of 25
What do you think will be the most exciting part of being a genetic counselor?
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Question 10 of 25
Tell me about your education. How has it helped you with genetics?
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Question 11 of 25
Have you completed or thought about completing your certification from the American Board of Genetic Counselors?
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Question 12 of 25
Talk to me about your undergraduate work. Did you take any specific classes that are helpful for your career as a genetic counselor?
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Question 13 of 25
Tell me about your experience shadowing a GC.
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Question 14 of 25
What tools do you use to efficiently manage your time?
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Question 15 of 25
Are you actively interviewing with other facilities or hospitals?
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Question 16 of 25
What types of genetic testing are you most familiar with?
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Question 17 of 25
What is your biggest weakness?
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Question 18 of 25
Have you done any volunteering work? How do you think this benefits your career?
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Question 19 of 25
During patient visits, you will be dealing with patients as they go through difficult times. How can you ensure me you are capable of this?
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Question 20 of 25
Describe your work style.
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Question 21 of 25
Talk about the challenges you have had working with physicians.
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Question 22 of 25
Tell me about your personality. What qualities do you have that are suitable for this career?
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Question 23 of 25
If I found out my genome doubles my risk of breast cancer, should I have a preventive mastectomy?
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Question 24 of 25
How will you handle a customer that is uneasy about receiving their genetic diagnosis?
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Question 25 of 25
What are your hobbies?
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About Genetic Counseling

August 31st, 2017

Genetic counselors specialize in determining risk factors for hereditary diseases in patients. These highly trained medical experts work in hospitals, private clinics, research laboratories, and universities. Their tasks include analyzing genetic data and patient histories, performing genetic risk calculations, educating patients and their families about potential risk factors and advising patients as to how to cope with the diagnosis.
A master's degree in genetic counseling is essential for anyone wishing to practice in this field. In addition, many states have made licensure mandatory, for which certification as a genetic counselor is usually required. The graduate program is rigorous and includes coursework in genetic screening, molecular genetics, birth defects, prenatal diagnosis, population studies, counseling ethics and research methods. A keen eye for detail and strong analytical, problem-solving, research, communication, and interpersonal skills are essential attributes in this role.
Expect to undergo an exhaustive interview. Prospective employers will go to great lengths to make 100% that you are the right fit for the job, both in terms of job knowledge as well as the manner in which you communicate with patients. They will ask you why you chose to become a genetic counselor and what do you think are your strengths as they relate to this job. They will also ask you about your perceived weaknesses and if you are doing anything to overcome those weaknesses. You can prepare compelling answers to any question the interviewer asks you by taking a look at commonly asked interview question listed at Mock Questions.


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