Updated on August 30th, 2018
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
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What are your long term career plans?
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This question is being asked to determine if you are likely to stay with the company in the future. Best to tell the interviewer about goals you have within the industry. If you steer away from the mental health field you may worry the interviewer.
As a Psychiatric Technician, you know the most important thing to do is to remain calm. Let the interviewer know that you would call in for reinforcements just in case you needed assistance. Walk the interviewer through a scenario and how you would handle it. Tell the interviewer that you would use the patient's name, speak softer than normal, remain calm and request a calm provider to join you.
"Whenever dealing with a potentially disruptive patient I'm always sure to have one of my coworkers on standby as well as treat the patient with the door open. Situations can escalate quickly so I can respond quickly if needed."
Provide an experience in which you were sensitive to somone's needs or feelings. How did your helpfulness affect your work environment?
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As a Psychiatric Technician, your job is to be sensitive to your patient's needs. The interviewer wants to hear how you interact with your co-workers and how you communicate with them. Tell the interviewer about a time a coworker had a hard time and you took the time to listen, advise and follow up with them.
"My co-worker was quite emotional one day and not really talking to anyone. I invited her to lunch away from the office so she had a chance to open up to me if she wanted to. We had a great lunch and she was able to find comfort in me which made her more productive that day and our work relationship even better"
In your opinion, what are the 3 most important characteristics that at psychiatric technician should have?
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As a Psychiatric Technician, you are a good communicator. You truly listen to your patients, empathize, and provide information about diagnosis and treatment in a way you patients will understand. You always put the patients needs first. You have a strong sense of service, of wanting to help people feel better, making health care work better, and, in many cases, giving back to your community.
"Three characteristics that I think every technician should have and that I have is clear communication, empathy and patience."
6. What is the most difficult part of being a Psychiatric Technician? As a Psychiatric Technician, you may face a few challenges along the road. Choose to share a difficulty that can be learned or changed. Be honest with your response. Here is an answer example: " One of the most difficult parts of being a Psychiatric Technician is trying to help people that I don't like. Perpetrators of violence, angry clients who dislike people who don't think as they do, aggressive clients who wish others, including the therapist, harm. These are the people that I find it difficult to work with. They have been the hardest part of my job so far."7. What have you done in the past year to better yourself as a Psychiatric Technician? The importance of this question is to tell the interviewer that you are not sitting stagnant but are seeking out new opportunities to learn your job. Tell the interviewer about the CE credits you are working on, additional college courses you are taking and the opportunities at work to get some more on the job training. Here is an answer example: "I spend my free time volunteering. Not only does it make me a better Psychiatric Technician but a better person."8. What is your greatest strength? As a Psychiatric Technician, it would be a great idea to tell the interviewer about some personal traits that are vital to be a successful technician. Telling the interviewer about your dedication, honesty, enthusiasm, and versatility is a great way to answer this question. Here is an answer example: "My strength is my flexibility to handle change. As the lead Psychiatric Technician in my last job, I was able to turn around a negative working environment and develop a very supportive team."9. Are you strong with documentation? Documentation is vital when it comes to being a good Psychiatric Technician. Your colleagues will refer to your documentation for current and future treatment. Tell the interviewer how you document, how often, who utilizes it and that the benefits are of being efficient. Feel free to walk the interviewer through your steps of documentation from the start of the appointment to retiring the record. Here is an answer example: "I am strong with documentation. Clear and detailed documentation is vital to tracking the process of the patient."10. Psychiatric technicians must be very clear communicators. Tell me about your communication style. Good communication skills are key to success as a Psychiatric Technician not only in work but in life and relationships. As a Psychiatric Technician, ineffective communication can cause misunderstanding, frustration, or even disaster by being misinterpreted or poorly delivered. Tell the interviewer which type of communication you use with your patients. Here is an answer example: "My communication style with my patients is assertive. I'm an effective, active listener. I state limits, expectations, states observations and I don't label or judge others."11. How would your coworkers describe you? Consider qualities that are relevant to this position. Talking about your love for people. You're the one who everyone calls for advice. You're the one who always plans trips and events. Think about the qualities that correspond. The kudos you have received from your teammates and the handwritten thank you notes you have received following baby showers for co-workers all give you hints about how to answer this question. Think about all of the positive things your co-workers have mentioned to you along the way. Pick 2-3 encouraging things these people have said about you that show off some of the strengths that are important to have as a hygienist. Maybe that baby shower thank you note mentions your caring attitude. Perhaps your teammate thanked you recently for always working so hard to achieve goals you are working on. Don't be afraid to brag a little, but keep it relevant. Here is an answer example: "My co-workers would describe me as being attentive to patients, knowledgeable and empathetic."12. What is your opinion on recreational therapy? As a Psychiatric Technician, you may or may not recommend recreational therapy to your patients. Whether you love or hate it do your best to stay neutral when answering the question just in case the interviewer doesn't have the same views as you do. Tell the interviewer how you've referred patients to recreational therapists to address social and cognitive functioning, build confidence, develop coping skills, and integrate skills learned in treatment settings into community settings. Here is an answer example: "13. Tell me about yourself. The interviewer wants to get to know you, but they are most interested in information that is relevant to this position. Sharing your educational background, your interest in the mental health field and a few hobbies is a great place to start. When talking about hobbies, think about the ones that could be relevant to the job. You'll be working a lot of people, so if you volunteer or serve on the PTA committee they might be good examples. You'll be working with a lot of different personalities, so talking about how much you love people and enjoy going out to concerts or other public places where you get to meet new people shows that you are outgoing and friendly. Try to keep this answer brief, but give the interviewer reason to want to know more about you. The way you talk about yourself is also important. Be enthusiastic and composed. Show that you are prepared. Here is an answer example: 14. Why do you want to work for our company? The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about some aspect of the organization. What do you like most about this company? Have you heard great things about it? Do they offer great benefits? Does the job have a unique aspect that appeals to you? Simply share what you like most about the company, and share that this is a big part of why you want to work for this organization! Here is an answer example: "I like that it is a family run practice. Your mission is focused on creating a balanced and healthy work environment that will allow me to have a flexible schedule and work in a fun, positive environment."15. How do you prioritize when given multiple tasks? Can you multitask? It can be very difficult to bounce between one task and the other, and having a broad range of responsibilities gives you a lot to balance. You want to show that you are competent, reliable and that you have found a system that works for you. Tell the interviewer how you to sort through tasks and intentionally choose what needs to happen at what time. Here is an answer example: "I usually accomplish tasks based on deadlines. Patients come first, so if I have someone in front of me, they have my full attention. I have an order that I do things, to make sure I have all the tools I need and know where they are, as keeping track of days I need to put in orders for different items. I've learned to be more flexible too, as things can shift quickly around the office, so I can change gears when I need to."16. What are your salary expectations? This can be a tricky question to answer. You could talk your way out of a job if your expectation is too high or give the impression you don't have the qualifications if your expectation is too low. Always do your homework to see what the average salary is as a Psychiatric Technician in your area. Feel free to flip the tables and ask the interviewer what the salary range is. Here is an answer example: "Money isn’t a key factor and you’re goal is to advance in your career."17. Tell me something about yourself that I would not know from reading your resume. As a Psychiatric Technician, this question gives you an opportunity to share more about the personal qualities and attributes that would enable you to be a successful employee if you were to be hired. Tell the interviewer about a strength that isn't on your resume, why you were inspired to apply for the job or even share a hobby or interest that might positively reflect upon your character or make you a memorable candidate. Here is an answer example: "I've always been interested in public speaking. I was on the debate team in college, excelled at presentations as part of group projects in school, gave a talk at a volunteer dinner. Not only am I comfortable talking one on one but I enjoy speaking to audiences as well."18. Tell us about a time you went above and beyond for a patient. Helping a patient in whatever way you can is part of being a Psychiatric Technician. Tell the interviewer that you go out of your way whenever someone has a specific need or problem. Share a story of a time you went above and beyond and list the steps on how you got there. Tell the interviewer if you were able to utilize other helping agencies and how you followed up with the patient. Here is an answer example: "We had a patient at our front desk that was deaf and could read lips. Our front desk receptionist was stressed out over the situation and asked me for help. I was in between patients and was able to help out. I took extra time with the patient to address her needs and get her on her way."19. Describe your ideal work environment. Draw from your past experience, whether in the same field or working somewhere completely different. As a Psychiatric Technician, you play a key role in influencing the work environment, but there are many other factors. Describe some of the best aspects of your favorite places to work in the past. What do you like most about your current place of work? Qualities like open communication, positive environment, and working with motivated professionals reveal your values. If you haven't worked in the dental field before, think about some of the things you observed or learned in school that appealed to you. Here is an answer example: 20. How would your former employer describe you? Being honest, having a positive attitude, taking initiative, caring about coworkers, doing more than expected, being reliable and responsible, learning new skills and being a team player are all great ways to answer this question. Tell the interviewer about a time you went above and beyond and how your employer recognized you for it. Here is an answer example: "My last employer would describe me as the go-to for the office. I bring many years and a lot of experience to the job."21. Being a psychiatric technician is a very emotionally demanding career. How do you handle stress and pressure? The interviewer is asking this question to hear more about your stress relief. Do you run marathons? Work out? Do Yoga? Curl up with a good book? Tell the interviewer how you deal with stress both at work and outside of work. The interviewer needs to know that you are not a loose cannon and that you can handle the stress that comes along with being a Psychiatric Technician. Here is an answer example: "While I'm at work I enjoy listening to soothing music on my lunch breaks. When I leave the office I do yoga with my husband."22. If hired, how do you intend on making a difference as our newest psychiatric technician? Now is your chance to stand out from the rest. The interviewer can see your qualifications from your resume now they want to hear how you are unique. Tell the interviewer about a time that you led a team of Technicians through a project or came up with a new way of doing business that helped out other staff members. Here is an answer example: "I'm hoping to tackle a pending project that you would like to complete within the next month."23. Name a time when your patience was tested. As a Psychiatric Technician, there are many times that your patience is tested. You may have had a difficult patient or interaction with a co-worker. Tell the interviewer what the situation was, how you handled it and what you learned from it. Here is an answer example: "24. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it? Being too critical of yourself and attempting to please everyone are common weaknesses that fellow technicians may admit to. Whatever your weakness be sure that you've rehearsed it a few times so you don't stumble on the answer. Here is an answer example: "I feel that my management skills could be stronger, and I am constantly working to improve them."25. What do you know about our organization? The interviewer wants to make sure you’ve done your homework, that you really understand what their organization is all about. Feel free to throw out a few compliments to ensure that you have a positive impression of their organization. Tell the interviewer why you want to work for them in particular. Here is an answer example: 26. Have you ever made a recommendation to a doctor or psychiatrist? How was that recommendation received? As a Psychiatric Technician, you may be part of a multi-disciplinary team. This question can't be answered with a simple yes or no. Take the time to tell the interviewer how you made an impact at the office. Tell the interviewer how you contribute as a team member and how your feedback has been received. Tell the interviewer about a time you suggested a new way of conducting business and your idea was incorporated into the work flow. Here is an answer example: 27. When is the last time you had a disagreement with a coworker or doctor? How did you resolve the situation? The interviewer can see your qualifications on your resume....but can you work well with others? The way that you answer this question will tell the interviewer if your personality will mesh well with the rest of the team. The important thing to relay to the interviewer is that you didn't lose your cool, make a scene and that you learned from the situation. Here is an answer example: "A fellow co-worker and I had a misunderstanding over the schedule and how to efficiently book our patients in time slots. We were able to take our conversation off line, review the situation together and come up with a plan together. The time together helped us come up with a better way to do business and improve our working relationship."28. What is one thing about you, that you believe you could improve upon, to make yourself a better psychiatric technician? This question is similar to 'what are your weaknesses.' Before your interview, you'll want to review different ways common interview questions could be asked so you aren't caught off guard. Be sure not to choose personal or characteristics you could improve upon. Choose skills that you would like to improve upon because those can be learned. Here is an answer example: "I'd like to get quicker and more thorough with my intakes. I enjoy working as a team member and feel that if I can find ways to be more efficient I can share them with my co-workers."29. What brings you the most joy when helping or assisting a patient? This question is similar to 'tell us about yourself.' Take this opportunity to tell the interviewer about a situation at work that brought you joy. Tell the interviewer that you look forward to working with a patient that is approving and working towards helping themselves. Here is an answer example: "When my patients greet me with a smile each session I know that I'm doing something right."30. Why are you the best psychiatric technician for this position? As a Psychiatric Technician, There are many ways you can answer this question. You can explain how your personality or personal traits make you an ideal candidate. You can also tell the interviewer about your unique skills. If you have skills that make you a strong candidate (especially if not many people have those skills), mention those. No matter how you answer, be sure to emphasize to the interviewer what makes you unique. You want to show the interviewer how you stand out among the other applicants. Here is an answer example: "I am particularly motivated and am known for going above and beyond for employers."
Writers for Psychiatric Technicians Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
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.
First written on: 04/12/2011 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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