30 Questions and Answers Written by Heather Douglass
Updated on August 17th, 2018
| Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates, specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
What are your career goals?
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This question is being asked to gain insight into your self-awareness and communication skills. Have a short term and long term goal in mind. Make all goals relevant to your career field. Be confident in your answers as they are your goals and no one else's.
"My short-term goal is to find a position that will put me in a forward-moving company with solid performance and future projections. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team."
This is a great question to turn the tables on the interviewer. Tell the interviewer that you'd like to tackle any projects they need someone to take the lead on if there is an inspection or accreditation coming up you want to be a part of it. This is your chance to ask the interviewer what they currently have in the queue to accomplish. This will give you an idea of what else the job entails.
As a Psychologist, attention to detail is needed from charting to counseling patients. Explain your skills and use examples. Tell the interviewer about your patience, determination and proactive attitude.
"I am a detail oriented person. My attention to detail shows in my SOAP notes."
This is the most common interview question so don’t let this question surprise you, take the time to think about what you want to say. Read the job description and try to identify traits that the employer wants in their new hire. Have an example ready to back up your strength. If you are struggling to find your strength, ask a trusted friend or colleague what they think are your greatest strengths or go back to previous performance reviews and read over the positive feedback.
"My greatest strength is my ability to keep calm in stressful situations. Many times my patients come to me anxious and upset but I have a way of bringing them down and making our sessions beneficial."
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
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This is one of the most common questions that are asked during interviews. Avoid answering with a character trait as those will be more difficult to bring to a team. When answering this question the most important thing to remember is, to be honest. You need to perform an honest assessment of your skills relative to the requirements of the job and identify some legitimate areas for improvement. Tell the interviewer about a functional weaknesses or skill deficiencies as can be addressed through learning and development.
"I've been told one of my weaknesses is that I have a tendency to over-communicate with my co-workers. I'm working on spending more time working toward a solution than discussing a plan."
6. Why should we accept you over other equally qualified candidates? This question is similar to 'tell us about yourself.' Answer this question with your 2-minute elevator speech that highlights your accomplishments and what sets you apart from the rest. Know what the job entails and what qualifications are needed. Confirm that you possess those qualifications and that you can offer more. Avoid 'hard working', 'reliable' or 'works well in a team' because anyone can claim that. Here is an answer example: "I'm a motivated, confident and energetic person with the experience to positively contribute to the clinic."7. What is your experience with treating eating disorders? As a Psychologist, you've been a part of a multi-disciplinary team to treat many disorders. Walk the interviewer through your treatment combination of psychological and nutritional counseling, along with medical and psychiatric monitoring. Be sure to tell the interviewer that treatment must address the eating disorder symptoms and medical consequences, as well as psychological, biological, interpersonal, and cultural forces that contribute to or maintain the eating disorder. Here is an answer example: 8. What is your availability in an emergency? If you are not available, what are my alternatives? As a Psychologist, there will be times that you'll be on call as the emergency provider. If you've held this role before, tell the interviewer how you quickly you responded to the calls, if you were able to triage over the phone and if you met your patients at the emergency room if needed. Here is an answer example: "In the past, I have rotated as an on-call provider. I keep a work cell phone specifically for that reason."9. What is the key to success when communicating with the public? Good communication skills are key to success as a Psychologist not only in work but in life and relationships. As a Psychologist, ineffective communication can cause misunderstanding, frustration, or even disaster by being misinterpreted or poorly delivered. Tell the interviewer that you plan out what you want to say and why that you actively listen and encourage the patient to participate. Here is an answer example: 10. What other hospitals have you applied to? This question could be a way for you to practice your negotiation skills. If you are applying to other hospitals be sure to say so. Word travels fast when hiring managers are calling around to find out more about you. Be sure to tell the interviewer why you chose to apply for their position and why you would like this job over the others that you have applied to. Don't discuss who pays more but who can offer more opportunity and would be the best fit for you.
Here's a sample answer: "I have applied to two other hospitals in the area. The reason I applied to this position was that the position is a Child Psychologist. I have 10 years experience working with children and have enjoyed every minute of it." Here is an answer example: "I have applied to two other hospitals in the area. The reason I applied to this position was that the position is a Child Psychologist. I have 10 years experience working with children and have enjoyed every minute of it."11. Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or both? Explain your answer. If you enjoy recharging your batteries by spending time alone then you are an introvert. If you thrive by being around people and all the action then you are viewed as an extrovert. If you answer the question as being an introvert make sure you don't make it too awkward and end up not being able to work with a team. If you have been described as an extrovert than being the center of attention is what you need just be sure to sensor your answer. Here is an answer example: 12. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned on the job? Was your most valuable lesson you learned a skill or trait? Did you learn something about yourself while on the job? Tell the interviewer a story about a valuable lesson you learned on the job. Here is an answer example: "I've learned to understand another person's situation from their perspective instead of seeing it from the the top down."13. What did you like least about your previous position? Do you loathe working the night shift? Irritated that your hospital doesn't have enough resources to work with? Was your last supervisor hard to work for? When you answer this question, don't be negative or talk about anyone in a negative way. Here is an answer example: "At my last position we were understaffed. I'm fine working night shift but there were only three of us to rotate the shift so we all worked it quite often."14. What did you like most about your previous position? As a Psychologist, what made you want to come to work each day? Was it the team that you were a part of or the excitement of a new case every day? Relay to the interviewer what you liked best and that you are excited about the opportunity to find it in the new position.
Here is an example: "At my last job I worked with a great team of professionals. I look forward to meeting the team here and build professional working relationships." Here is an answer example: "At my last job I worked with a great team of professionals. I look forward to meeting the team here and build professional working relationships."15. Share an experience in which you assisted a patient in planning. As a Psychologist, you encourage your patients to actively participate in their care. As a Psychologist sometimes all you need to do is provide the tools and the patient can put together their own plan. Talk the interviewer through a scenario where you've assisted a patient in planning. Here is an answer example: "16. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor. Like a lot of working professionals, you may have worked with a horrible boss. Your interview is not the time to bring up your work horrors. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you might as well walk out of the interview right then. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor. Here is an answer example: "There have been times that my supervisor and I didn't see eye to eye but that's alright. We both respect one another and listen to what each other has to say."17. What kind of salary do you need? Don't fall into this trap. You could possibly ruin your chances of landing this position if you answer first. Try to be as general as you can when answering this question. Tell the interviewer that it can depend on the details of the job. Here is an answer example: "That's a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?"18. Why did you leave your last job? When answering this question it's important to stay positive regardless of what the circumstances were. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons. Here is an answer example: "I left my last job because of downsizing within my clinic. I valued the time that I had there but know that everything happens for a reason."19. Tell me about yourself. This is one of the most often asked question in interviews. Have your short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless prompted otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present. Highlight your skills, accomplishments, and goals. Here is an answer example: 20. What do you know about our facility? This question is a test to see if you did your homework on the facility you are applying to. Once you get to the interview stage, you'll want to do further research about the facility. Start with the website, reviewing their mission, values, and culture. You can read employee reviews to see what their experience was like. Do your homework so that you can respond confidently. Strive to impress the interviewer with your knowledge. That shows you have vested interested in the facility and that you're thinking long-term. Here is an answer example: 21. Do you know anyone who works for us? This question could play in your favor if one of your friends, their fellow employees, has good work ethic and will say a few nice things on your behalf. Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends, not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of. Asking that friend if you can name drop would be best so they aren't caught off guard by the interviewer. Here is an answer example: 22. Will you work with a child’s school and teachers? As a Psychologist, you know that you'll need to get insight on your patients from other people. When treating a patient you recognize that working with the child's school and teacher will provide valuable information as they spend the majority of their day with your patient. Tell the interviewer what types of testing you request and how it has helped in the past. Here is an answer example: "When seeing children in my clinic I often rely on IQ/Achievement tests from both the child and the teacher. The results help confirm my diagnosis."23. Describe some of the research projects you've been involved with. This question is your chance to tell the interviewer what exciting projects you've been a part of. If you are a new graduate this is a great chance to tell the interviewer about research projects you took part of while in school. Tell the interviewer what the project was, what your role was, what information you gathered and what the outcome was. Here is an answer example: "I'm currently working alongside student at the University of Las Vegas to determine if music positively effects patients suffering from TBI."24. What do you like most about being a Psychologist? This question is a question similar to 'tell us about yourself.' This question is being asked because the interviewer wants to know more about you. Tell the interviewer how rewarding it is to directly work with people and their problems. You look forward to going to work each day because you often get the opportunity to see the results of your work. Here is an answer example: "The best thing about being a Psychologist is learning something new every day from my coworkers and patients."25. What is your opinion of objective testing? As a Psychologist, you may or may not choose to use objective testing with your patients. To avoid eliminating yourself from the running, answer this question with both positives and negatives in using this type of testing. Tell the interviewer if you've had better results with your younger patients than older or if it has been an advantage to distribute these tests to teachers, parents, and caregivers. Here is an answer example: "I have used objective testing such as the MMPI with my patients. I appreciate the validity scales and that this test can be scored by a machine. These are my go-to tests as they are simple to give and score."26. In communicating, people's gestures or verbal cues can give us information. Give me an example of how your interpretation of verbal or non-verbal behavior has helped you. As a Psychologist, you are an expert at reading facial expression, gesture, nonverbal behavior and emotion of your patients. Tell the interviewer about some behaviors that you look for and how you react to them. Here is an answer example: "One of the first things I assess when I see a patient is their posture. Posture can be situation-relative, that is, people will change their posture depending on the situation they are in."27. What would your last boss say about your work performance? This is your chance to tell the interviewer about your strengths as an employee. The interviewer will gain a better understanding into why your supervisors might have thought of you as a valuable asset to their team and if you will be a good fit for theirs. Here is an answer example: "My last boss would say that I am always ready for a challenge and when presented with a difficult situation I was able to tackle it with ease. I think that my ability to solve problems in any given situation is something that sets me apart as an employee."28. What is your appointment availability? Do you offer afterwork or early morning appointments? Flexibility is the key to being a successful Psychologist. Whether you offer alternate appointment times or provide assistance via telephone conference, sometimes you have to get creative in order to take care of your patients. Tell the interviewer how you accommodate your patients to provide the best care possible. Here is an answer example: "I do offer early morning and after work appointments on a case by case basis. I stick with standard business hours but understand that life happens and sometimes I need to accommodate people and unique situations."29. What is your opinion of projective testing? As a psychologist, you may or may not choose to use projective testing with your patients. To avoid eliminating yourself from the running, answer this question with both positives and negatives in using this type of testing. Tell the interviewer if you've had better results with your younger patients than older. Here is an answer example: "I have used Rorschach testing with my patients and have mixed feelings on their validity. I use the test as an additional tool to diagnose but wouldn't rely solely on its results."30. What are your career goals? Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into your self-awareness and communication skills. Have a short term and long term goal in mind. Make all goals relevant to your career field. Be confident in your answers as they are your goals and no one else's. Here is an answer example: "My short-term goal is to find a position that will put me in a forward-moving company with solid performance and future projections. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team."
Author of Psychologist 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.
First written on: 11/05/2014 Last modified on: 08/17/2018
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