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Mental Health Counselor Interview
Questions

34 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Updated July 24th, 2018
Question 1 of 34
What brings you the most satisfaction as a Mental Health Counselor?
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How to Answer
Your motivation for entering the mental health field may be similar to what gives you the most satisfaction in your job. Helping others get on the right path of self-care is extremely rewarding. Offer up an example of a time when you felt most pleased with your work. Think of your client interactions that have proven you made a direct impact on their life. How have your clients changed since you started working with them? What practices and techniques have contributed to your ability to help others in your job?
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Top 30 Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What brings you the most satisfaction as a Mental Health Counselor?
Your motivation for entering the mental health field may be similar to what gives you the most satisfaction in your job. Helping others get on the right path of self-care is extremely rewarding. Offer up an example of a time when you felt most pleased with your work. Think of your client interactions that have proven you made a direct impact on their life. How have your clients changed since you started working with them? What practices and techniques have contributed to your ability to help others in your job?

Ryan's Answer #1
"Patients that take part in their own treatment is what brings me the most satisfaction as a Mental Health Counselor."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I get the most satisfaction when I see any improvements in my client. It's not easy to help the client. In fact it's often very difficult, and often the improvements are small. But I recognize every small step as a success and that they accumulate over time. I'm invested in my clients' success no matter how much or how little the progress, but I think it's natural to get very excited when you see that the client is taking to the treatment."
2.
Why is medication important for some clients to progress in their counseling?
Share your knowledge! Tell the interviewer what you learned from your education that supports medication for specific disorders and illnesses. While you cannot diagnose mental illnesses or prescribe medication, you can encourage your clients to take their medication as recommended by their doctor. You may have worked with clients who did not take their medication or stopped taking it during therapy.
3.
How do you help clients set goals for counseling?
Give the interviewer a step-by-step approach to how you would help your client. Give an example to make it more concrete. You could start by talking about one or two issues your hypothetical client might be dealing with. Paint a picture using examples and talk about results. Tell the interviewer how you were effective in helping your client set and attain their goals.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I had a client who was struggling with an eating disorder. We set small goals to help her take better control over it. We looked at the bigger picture of her life and found opportunities where she could take control, like her job and her living situation."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I had a client who was working through his depression. I determined that CBT would be one effective modality to treat him and we set goals to challenge his negative thoughts and set the habit of asking himself what someone else might say about his situation. Once he developed this habit, he told me that he really felt his depression lifting, and we continued to give him tools to manage his emotions and perceptions."
4.
How do you measure progress?
Progress doesn't look the same for every client. It's your job to help them move forward in their lives by looking at the past, patterns, and ways of thinking that are keeping them from living a full life. They may never reach their full potential through the time you are counseling them, but you have the opportunity to show them what they are capable of.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I measure progress differently in each of my clients. Overcoming a fear, the ability to finally leave the house or even being able to go out for coffee with friends."
Ryan's Answer #2
"“I measure progress by asking the client to give me ratings, and I ask them to justify those ratings. While a lot of the work goes beyond quantification, it’s still a necessary tool to gauge the rate of progress. I look at those ratings and compare them to my own assessments. I tell the client about my opinion of their progress to help them get a good baseline and to inform their own appraisals.”"
5.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
Are you aware of your weaknesses? Interviewers understand that we have weaknesses, and they want to hear that you understand yourself. Think of an area of your life that you are proactively working to improve, and openly share it. Perhaps your weakness is that you get nervous speaking in front of large groups of people. The key to this question is ensuring that you acknowledge your weakness and that you are taking steps to grow in this area. It shows the interviewer that you have initiative. Think about ways you have stretched yourself to grow in your area of weakness.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Public speaking is a weakness of mine. I've recently signed up to speak at a conference to give myself the opportunity to develop your public speaking skills. It was nervewracking but I accomplished it and am looking forward to more opportunities."
Ryan's Answer #2
"“I think that sometimes I get frustrated when a client doesn’t take the treatment seriously. For example, they might break several appointments in a row. I’m improving by asking myself how I can dig deeper the next time I see them and figure out why they’re not committed to the treatment, or if there are any obstacles that prevented them from coming in.”"
Anonymous Answer
"One area I have been working to improve is not taking it personally when clients are not progressing in treatment. I recognize that each client is different, and their motivation to change is different. I've actively been working on this by being knowledgeable about each of my client's treatment plans so that I can support them in the goal areas."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great you are learning not to place blame on yourself when a client doesn't progress as desired. Very good answer.
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