Top 25 Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions
1. Why did you enter a career in mental health?
Professional Answer
  Upgrade to view answers
Mental Health Counselor
December 10th, 2014

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions, to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family
Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions
2 of 34
How do you help clients set goals for counseling?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I design treatment and goals for my clients realistically. I start gradual and work to improve them as time goes on. They will be communicated with a firm, compassionate and solution-focused approach with my client verbally and by way of a well laid out treatment plan.
 
2.
Goals will be collaborated with the client according to situation and need. They will be discussed in the beginning and end of a session as introduction and feedback.
 
3.
I collaborate with my clients to determine the treatment plan and goals.
 
Question
3 of 34
How do you measure progress?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Progress needs to be assessed continuously as presentation or s/s can change.
 
2.
Progress will be assessed after every session with a client. I will listen to the client's thought processes and look at their behavior to see if it has changed.
 
3.
Progress should be assessed at the end of the intervention. For example, creating a pre and post test allows for us to see how effective the services were in meeting the need of the students.
 
4.
Progress will be assessed by evaluating if behaviours are increasing or staying the same or decreasing.
 
5.
I would ask the client to show me on a peice of paper, the paper representing their life, how big the issue or behaviour they might be struggling with is and how much it takws over their life, they can use form and colour, I would date it and come back to it 3 months later and ask them to do the same thing. Showing them both pictures and talking about the difference, if any.
 
Question
4 of 34
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I tend to be too cautious about things. I over analyze situations when there is no need to. I'm working on this by making a quick list of pros and cons and basing my decision off of that.
 
2.
My greatest weakness is I have tendency to over do it at times, forget to eat or take a break. I am becoming more mindful of self-care and it has improved my ability to facilitate more effectively in my work as a mental health counselor.
 
3.
Public speaking, being in this field, I am putting myself out there.
 
4.
I have a tendency to over do it at times and may forget to eat or take a break. I am trying to be more mindful of self-care techniques so I perform my job effectively.
 
5.
My greatest weakness is not seeing the problem globally. I'm working in seeing the issues of the client as a piece of puzzle to see the whole picture.
 
Question
5 of 34
Why is medication important for some clients to progress in their counseling?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Some of my clients have a prior diagnosis, mental or physical and out on a medication regiment. Their progress and compliance to adhere to their doctors meds will be a part of the treatment plan. Weekly assessments will help monitor their progress. There are clients assessed who may require a medical evaluation by a psychiatrists or primary care provider. For example: untreated depression, bipolar symptoms undiagnosed anxiety issues among others.
 
2.
I can refer clients to a psychiatrist, but I am a counselor, not a psychologist or psychiatrist and therefore cannot recommend nor prescribe medication.
 
3.
Yes, sometimes depending on the client's disorder and needs.
 
Question
6 of 34
Tell me about a time when you helped a client develop new strategies to address their issues?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Through REBT and CBT interventions with a lot of my substance abuse client. These strategies have helped them change their thought process and change the way they look at their situations. I have some clients with social phobias who I have helped with gradual exposure excercises.
 
2.
Through REBT and CBT interventions with a lot of my substance abuse client. These strategies have helped them change their thought process and change the way they look at their situations. I have some clients with social phobias who I have helped with gradual exposure excercises.
 
3.
I worked with a young woman to manage and express her anger in a more effective manner.
 
4.
Child with depressive tendencies brought on by their environment. Listened, validated her feelings, helped suggest strategies such as mindfulness, distraction and redirection, journaling, social skill development, play therapy, increase social network and group.
 
5.
I have a client who is anxious and who experiences panic attacks. I have taught him coping strategies, such as deep breathing, exercise, and taking a shower in order to relax.
 
Question
7 of 34
What do you know about our facility?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
You have been in business for 10 years and work primarily with children.
 
2.
Different services, community collaberations, advocacy events.
 
3.
I know that it is a mental health facility for the county, and that it assists a wide range of individuals, as long as they are substance-free.
 
4.
I know your facilty is therapy pre-school.
 
5.
I read your website and brochure.
 
Question
8 of 34
What makes you a great counselor?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
There is always room for improvement, but my track record of helping others to become independent is excellent.
 
2.
I believe I am excellent counselor because I possess an enormous amount of empathy and compassion for my clients. I have the ability to be an effective listener and inspire change by being a congruent therapist.
 
3.
Feedbacks of my clients pointed on my ability as a counsellor.
 
4.
I believe I'm an excellent counselor based on the reviews my clients and colleagues give me.
 
5.
I believe I am excellent counselor because I compassionate about my work and have seen many of my clients thrive and return to normal functioning after care with me. My past supervisors have also recognized my positive influence on my clients lives and given me praise and encouragement to continue my good work.
 
Question
9 of 34
How do you encourage a client to speak about their issues?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I just talk to them and listen, really listen to them. I don't judge and help them to form a therapeutic alliance where they are in charge of how fast or slow they want to go.
 
2.
I treat them like people, letting them know that session is their safe place. I often use examples to get clients to open up.
 
3.
Letting them set the path.
 
4.
I let them know that they are in a safe non-judgmental environment and free to let our their feelings. I empower them to help me help themselves.
 
5.
Let them know I am listening.
 
Question
10 of 34
Do you have a high level of patience?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes. You need patience when dealing with people who are mentally ill or addicted.
 
2.
My level of patient is high as I tend to be a active listener and constant assessor.
 
3.
My level of patient is high as I tend to be a active listener and constant assessor.
 
4.
I do. Patience is needed in my role as a drug and alcohol counselor, because not all clients are willing to be compliant in treatment.
 
5.
Yes I do. My field has taught me to be very patient and to pace myself with individuals suffering from various issues. I am also teaching this to my clients as I remain composed and patient with the process.
 
Question
11 of 34
What brings you the most satisfaction as a mental health counselor?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Being to know that ihelp some help themselves.
 
2.
Helping people work through their problems and making a difference in people's lives.
 
3.
What brings satisfaction as a mental health counselor would be assessing patient who are in need of additional services, such as medicines, therapy, and financial funds to decrease their stress level that ultimate affect their mental health.
 
4.
Seeing my clients understand their potential.
 
5.
To see a transformation of my client through the counselling process that I have guided.
 
Question
12 of 34
How long do your counseling sessions last?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My counseling sessions last between 45 to 75 mins. This is determined if they are intake sessions or follow-ups.
 
2.
50 minutes till 1hour and 15 minutes.
 
3.
Ive never actually had a session before.
 
4.
If it is and intake, they may last an hour and half. Typically, 45-50 mins, I take 10 mins before the next appointment to take notes. If I do not have a follow-up appointment, they I would allow for extra time if its beneficial to my client.
 
5.
Counseling sessions for adults would last about 50 minutes. For children it varies on age depending on their attention span.
 
Question
13 of 34
What is your availability in an emergency?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I live close to your office. I'm any time available.
 
2.
I have a business phone that I keep on in case of an emergency. This has proven helpful and necessary in my present position out at Sunny Acres.
 
3.
All clients have my work contact information and the few high risk clients do have my cell number. I would always be available for a serious emergency.
 
4.
I am available. I do have a young son that I am responsible for.
 
5.
I can be available in an emergency.
 
Question
14 of 34
How have you handled a client who failed to progress?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have invested time, but the responsibility falls on the client as well. I am not responsible for their progress, but they are. It's sad, but there are always more clients, more people who need help. I compartmentalize and engage in self care outside of work to distress.
 
2.
I have presented to the client that change can be comfortable, but not changing can also be comfortable. The client needs to decide what uncomfortableness they want to live with.
 
Question
15 of 34
How do you handle a client with coexisting mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
There are some techniques that work well for both issues. Relaxation, self-care, and CBT techniques can offer some relief with both issues. In some cases, a psychopharmacology approach in conjunction to counseling is necessary and a med evaluation may be necessary for the client.
 
2.
Assess which is more debilitating to the client, address that first while maintaining an understanding of their suicidal ideation and overall well being.
 
3.
There are many overlaps with treatment for GAD and MDD, such as CBT and mindfulness.
 
Question
16 of 34
Where do you see yourself in five years?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I see myself as a licensed professional clinical counselor working for the county of SLO. I also see myself giving back to the profession and becoming a supervisor to LMFTI or PCCI in the future.
 
2.
Earning my LPC. I am not sure what field of counseling I will be in. Currently, I enjoy crisis, trauma, and sexual assault counseling because the work is needed.
 
Question
17 of 34
Are you custom to working with diverse populations?
 
Question
18 of 34
What type of emotional and behavioral challenges have you dealt with in the past?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
GAD, MDD, bipolar, ASD, PTSD
 
Question
19 of 34
Tell me about a challenging client and the approach you took to help them solve their problems.
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have a client who has MDD, GAD, and ASD. He read a book that he could relate to so I read the book and used the book for bibliotherapy.
 
Question
20 of 34
What kind of medical information do you need? Will a medical evaluation be needed before treatment begins?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
It depends on the client.
 
Question
21 of 34
What are your career goals?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Continuing to learn and obtain my LPC.
 
Question
22 of 34
How do you make recommendations for a plan of care?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
It depends on the presenting problems and diagnosis.
 
Question
23 of 34
Have you worked with a patient who you believe was misdiagnosed? How did you handle it?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I don't conduct diagnoses. I collect pertinent data so the psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose correctly.
 
2.
I have yet to misdiagnose. If I feel as though I am unable to diagnose an issue, I refer the client to other medical professionals.
 
3.
A misdiagnoses has happened early in the therapy process. Many clients are in denial of their conditions and leave out important details including, prior diagnoses, meds, and early childhood trauma, or things that might be judged by the therapist. Sometimes it takes 4 or more sessions to get to the root of a clients genuine problem to be able to render a proper diagnosis. I begin the counseling process with primary, secondary differential diagnosis and may need to adjust these findings and I learn more about my client and build a good therapeutic alliance with that person.
 
4.
By being honest. And rectifying my mistake.
 
5.
Ive never diagnosed anyone professionally.
 
Question
24 of 34
Tell me about a time when you saw significant improvements in a client's life?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I helped a parent understand that her child was not being deliberately defiant, that it was part of his diagnosis. This helped to reduce the tension and stress in the house.
 
2.
I began counseling a client at Sunny Acres, a sober living environment back in June of 2015. He is a 290 on probation/ house- arrest and addicted to opiates. By introducing him to the first relapse prevention plan he had ever done, and weeks of CBT decision making support exercise, I was able to gear him in the direction for medical detox maintenance at the SLO county drug and alcohol services Suboxone program. He has diligently completed all classes, group work and eliminated is use of opiates entirely. His outlook on life is hopeful and he now sees his recovery as a positive addiction and is determined to stay clean for life.
 
3.
I have a client at sunny Acres who is a 290, on house arrest and addicted to opiates. He suffered with relapse on many occasions, but with the help of repeated REBT and DBT excercises he was able to become his own advocate. Once this happened, I felt confident about referring him to SLO county drug and alcohol services Suboxone program. He has successfully completed the program without missing one group or appointment and now free of opiate dependant life . He is proud of himself and so am I.
 
4.
I recently was able to discharge a female client, mother of 2, who lost both her children to DCFS. We began using CBT therapy to raise awareness of client emotional, thought and behavior patterns and how these were directly related to her core believes, which she learned as a young girl. We were able to coordinate her treatment along with individual substance abuse counseling, enrolled her into a residential sober living, while always focusing on her progress each week. The client eventually achieved over one year of drugs and alcohol, we began to re-build relationships with her family through collateral sessions. The client was reunited with her children and her husband a few months ago. We were able to build outside support networks through local 12-step programs, she became employed for the 1st time in several years, and today has become a functioning member in her family, community, and employment.
 
Question
25 of 34
How would you define success?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Being able to help clients find well-being and happiness in their lives and be able to do this independently.
 
Question
26 of 34
What is your greatest strength?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am very diligent. Once I start something I need to finish it to the best of my ability.
 
2.
My ability to empathize and make clients feel welcome to share.
 
3.
My greatest strength is my ability to time manage, pay attention to detail, work autonomously and be flexibly minded in my work as a counselor.
 
4.
My organization, things get done faster and easier if you are organized.
 
5.
My greatest strength is my ability to non-judgmental, and genuine with clients. I am great at time management, working autonomously and as a team member.
 
Question
27 of 34
What would you do if a client said they wanted to kill himself/herself?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Get them to talk. Listen to what they have to say and let them know they are alone.
 
2.
I would call local medical services, emergency room.
 
3.
Call for emergency services.
 
4.
I would first ask if they had a definite plan to harm themselves, if it was imminent, I would have call emergency services, mobile crisis perhaps. If the threat is without a plan a no-harm contract verbal or written would be drawn up and it's rationale discussed.
 
5.
Because that is harming themselves or someone else, it is important to let the higher power know.
 
Question
28 of 34
Why should we hire you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Because I possess the passion, motivation and skills to be a great therapist for SLO county. My experiences with post-incarcerated clients suffering from dual diagnosis has prepared me to handle difficult situations rationally and professionally. My past experiences have made me a very non-judgmental and flexibly minded person. I feel I would be an asset to the SLO county team with these skills.
 
2.
I believe I have the necessary skills to be a child advocate, such as counseling, public speaking, and teaching. I also have the enthusiasm to be an integral advocate for this type of work.
 
Question
29 of 34
Tell me about your counseling experience.
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a Disaster Mental Health Counselor for the Red Cross. I am a Per Diem for SACS. I did my school counseling internship at Ledyard High School. I had 15 students on my caseload and one of them was suicidal. I also did my practicums and internships at Franklin Academy. I currently have 7 clients. I have also conducted support groups, such as CBT, mindfulness, etc.
 
Question
30 of 34
What have you done in the past year to improve yourself?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have taken workshops in TF-CBT and play therapy.
 
Question
31 of 34
Tell me about your education.
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have a BS in Elementary Education, a MS in Education, a MS in School Counseling, and I will have a MS in Mental Health Counseling.
 
Question
32 of 34
How has your training prepared you for this role?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a school counselor. I will be earning my LPC. I also have a professional teaching certificate and a CT Sexual Assault Counselor/Advocate certificate.
 
Question
33 of 34
How would you describe your counseling style?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Organic and client led. The clients' personality and sitation dictate the focus of sessions, treatment and theories. I use a lot of listening and validation to increase self esteem and self pride. I join with the client and have conversations with them, sometimes taking on more leadership roles, sometimes more equal casual roles.
 
2.
Person-centered, CBT, narrative, psychodynamic, and solution-focused.
 
Question
34 of 34
Even though this is an 8-5 job, clients may contact you any time of day, are you comfortable with that?
 
Author
Video
X Close

PRICING OPTIONS

Unlock professional interview answers for your Mental Health Counselor practice interview

Get answers and advice for all 34 Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions. Plus, full access to over 170 more careers with 5000 professional answers.
View all 500 Professional Interview Answers for Behavioral, Leadership, Problem Solving, Teamwork, and more Interview Questions.
One time payment. Not a subscription.
All plans are subject to our Terms of Use
These are practice questions created
by Mockquestions.com