Top 25
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview Questions

1. If you have no prior VR experience, when have you dealt one on one with a client, in any type of work setting? How do you feel this prepared you for this position?
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  Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation counselors help people with emotional and physical disabilities live independently. They help their clients overcome personal, social, and professional effects of disabilities as they relate to employment or independent living.

Description Source: http://bls.gov/ooh/communit...

Interview Questions and Answers List

1. If you have no prior VR experience, when have you dealt one on one with a client, in any type of work setting? How do you feel this prepared you for this position?

Top Answer

Listen to the client's concerns, help them understand their options, empower them to make a decision.

Second Best

I do not have any experience with being on one on one as a VR counselor however. During my practicum and internship I have been able to work with clients. Recently with a few clients one on one without anyone begin there. For example I was working with a client during my first intake by myself and I had a plan of how I was going to approach the client. . The client was shy and quite and he was younger so certain things he didn't know so I had to simplify them and break them down for the client. I think that experience right there has definitely helped prepare for this experience because it showed me that not every client is going to be outspoken and you might have to change your approach with the client so that they can better understand you and comprehend what's going on. In the MR DD caseload I may have to do that quite often and I may have to take a different approach and that's ok. You have to be willing to do what's best for the client but that's just one example that has prepared me for this position.

3.

Social Work has afforded me to have one on one clients to deal with on a daily basis.

4.

Although I have no prior VR experience, I have dealt one on one with a client during my practicum internship as a substance use counselor intern. That is when I decided I didn't only want to help people personally, but also wanted to help them take their next steps in their professions.

5.

I have worked as a counselor and psychometrist for 6 years, which involved extensive one-on-one client communication. These roles have enabled me to act with empathy toward my clients. I have worked with those who, through criminal culpability, struggle with securing employment. I have provided motivational counselling to clients to help them overcome internal and external barriers (e. G. Self-esteem + criminal records) and achieve goals.

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2. How do you check if a work placement was a success?

Top Answer

I would rely on the report of the client as to their perceptions of their fit in the job and their ability to do the job successfully. I would also rely on the supervisor's perceptions.

Second Best

Keep regular contact with client for 90 days.

3.

Client and employer feedback.

4.

If productivity was successful.

5.

Contact both the client and the employer and ask how things are going.

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3. What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?

Top Answer

Getting caught up in paperwork that slows the process.

Second Best

Finding employers that are committed to hiring the disabled.

3.

Accurately crediting clients strengths assume varying perspectives.

4.

When clients goals do not match with their skills and abilities.

5.

The area that I find to be the most challenging in VR is the area of working with client who aren't motivated by want help. I find that to be a challenge because our whole job is to help people and when you can't do that job it's challenge and you get a little frustrated because you really want to help clients and see them prosper but when they don't have the same motivation as you it make it hard. I think a way to challenge that is by doing the best you can do as a counselor. That means calling and following up as much as you can send progress notes or contact letters. Use all the resources you can to help that client find the most appropriate work and after that continue to be their and when their ready you will be ready and waiting.

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4. If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?

Top Answer

If a client is unmotivated to find work you first react with talking to them about it. Disscussing with the client that this is a team effort and that I as your counsloer am going to do the very best that I can do for you but you also have to want it for yourself. I'm a firm believer that it doesn't matter how much others want something for you if you don't want it its probably not going to happen. Once you have a discussion with the client then we as a counselors continue to do our part we continue to do our part and hopefully that will inspire them to become motivated.

Second Best

Counsel on positives to employment but it is ultimately the client's choice to work and client's are less likely to stay in a job if not motivated to work.

3.

Find out the reason behind this... Are they afraid to lose their SSI/DI benefits?

4.

I find a motivator like a paycheck.

5.

Use motivational interviewing skills to redirect him.

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5. For twelve months, you are unable to find a client a job, how do you stay focused and think of new ideas to get this person working?

Best Answer

Consult with colleagues for ideas.

2.

You stay focus by still thinking about the overall goal of what we do is find employment. So if I haven't been able to help this client find a job then I haven't been able to do my job. So keeping focus on the overall job. Ways to come up with new ideas is by using as many resources as possible. Instead of looking at the same positions maybe lets focus on a new job goal. A different path. Lets try jobs that are closely related to what the client wants. Look at jobs besides on what's on the internet I know we get a consumed to using the internet but lets try maybe a paid internship. Or a different even like school to get them more training so they can find the job they want.

3.

Reinterview for positions.

4.

I never quit and keep trying new ways to find employment.

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6. Do you manage your time well?

Top Answer

Yes. Prioritizing your tasks and appointments are essential to effective time management. However flexibility is also critical in effective services. Meeting deadlines for the clients and department are key to proper time managment.

Second Best

Yes, I like to utlize things such as my calendar or phone to set a timer for specific tasks or meeting times, it helps me to stay on track.

3.

I manage my time extremely well. I have mastered the art of multi-tasking. I find it the challenge of prioritizing and managing different responsibilities to meet deadlines to be a rewarding experience. Never a dull moment makes for an interesting day.

4.

Yes, very well. I prioritize my work and keep it organized.

5.

Yes, I use a time meter at my desk.

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7. Are you a people person?

Top Answer

Definitely I love talking and being around people very social.

Second Best

I am most definitely a people person. I look for the strengths in all people I interact with and I encourage them to rely on these strengths.

3.

Yes, very much so. I don't think I can help everyone but for those looking for help, I will work with them.

4.

Yes I am people person because people depend on me for mentoring, advising and advocaing.

5.

In the past five years, I took a class on how to be come a job coach, job placement specialist and director while I was teaching sign language class.

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8. What is your experience with this population?

Top Answer

Over the last seven years I have been assisting military members and their families.

Second Best

I have five years experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Some is with clients one on one and some is administrative.

3.

I have not worked with Veterans, however my 8 month internship experience has provided me the opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities who need assists to with integrating into the competitive work force .

4.

I am deaf myself and have faced my own challenges. This makes it easier to relate to my consumers. Also I have worked with this same population exclusively for the past 6 years.

5.

I worked with different populations , my experience is with disabilities I autistic, a d mostly behavior problems.

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9. What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?

Top Answer

A vocational rehabilitation counselor should have a passion for helping others and the drive to motivate people to help themselves. Should be respectful and empathetic yet firm and with realistic expectations.

Second Best

Practicing compassion and empathy with each consumer.

3.

I feel that the most important trait a vocational rehab counselor should possess is passion for their work. The most important skill is organization. That is a skill and can be learned.

4.

Customer services, respect for other , confidentiallity , respect for privacy, rights, and equal access ; 1. respect for individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on informed choice.

5.

The most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess is compassion for clients and a thorough knowledge of the current job market needs.

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10. How do you keep track of work so that it gets done on time?

Top Answer

I use two calendars. One calendar on my outlook, I put everything on there, if I need to make a phone call or return an email I find the time on my calendar and put it in. I also have a paper calendar that I carry with to make sure I can schedule appointments with enough time before and after. And I guess I also use my phone to set reminders and take notes on possible job prospects that come to mind while out and about.

Second Best

I am a big fan of my online calendar and color coding it. I have specific colors for different types of appointments and use red flags to show deadlines like Eligibility, plans and 10-day letters expiring.

3.

I use a calendar on my phone and a small pocket calendar.

4.

I have a system of fifo. When additional information is needed then it is place in the weekly file for review. In addition, so I try to keep my progress notes up to date.

5.

In my current position, documentation is required to be completed in a certain time frame which helps me to organize my work. I often write to-do lists, and keep a log of my caseload with due dates of notes.

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11. Why are you the best vocational rehabilitation counselor for us?

Top Answer

I have experience working with DOR and its consumers and I have also been partially trained with the new AWARE system. I have more experience than others who have never worked for DOR but not so much that there I feel I have learned everything.

Second Best

I am the best rehabilitation counselor for this agency because of the passion and desire I have to assist others in becoming self- sufficient with disabilities.

3.

I take great pride in my work and in helping my fellow team members. I have not problem sharing my experience or getting feedback from others what work for them.

4.

I believe that I can offer my skills and abilities to MO e toward the future with this company and grow thus learning g from what the company has to offer as well to help me become better at my skills as a cojnselor.

5.

I have work with the agency for 4 years help the consumer. I have a background of the services you provide and knowledge of resources, employer contacts .

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12. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?

Top Answer

Greatest weakness would be caring too hard. Meaning I am do more for the client who is very emotional or emotionally detached. I take the steps needed as long as the client is reciprocal in the process.

Second Best

My weakness was trying to remember everything in detail by memory, but failed a few times, now I take time to write little notes to make sure that I get every detail messages I stayed of trying to remember everything.

3.

My greatest weakness is accepting that you cannot help everyone. I am improving this weakness by practicing that it is up to the individual in order to make change and to accept that person at where they are in order to elevate them to do better.

4.

Excel spreadsheet I have started taking online tutorials to improve.

5.

I sometimes lack confidence, especially in new situations with new people. I use positive self talk as a strategy to overcome self doubt.

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13. Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you did not listen well to what someone had to say.

Top Answer

I went to the wrong room for a meeting, it was where the meeting was typically held. I was sent an email earlier that day which stated the new room, I did not read the email because I assumed it was just a confirmation. After standing there for a couple minutes I sent a text to figure out where I was actually supposed to be.

Second Best

I cannot recall a time that I did not listen to what someone had to say. I pride myself on being an active listener. I always do my best to listen attentively and reflect upon what the person is saying.

3.

It happened once when I was working at dunkindonuts, at that time we were busy and by mistake I gave one of my customer wrong flavored coffee, after realizing that I apologize him and gave him another one.

4.

I currently work with an all hearing team and at times will make a comment because I did not realize the other person is still speaking. If I had been more patient and waited I would have had the complete information I needed.

5.

I had a consumer who was looking employment but I did not receive the clarity that stated they wanted employment in another county. I found several employment leads but consumer did not apply.

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14. What are the steps you follow to study a problem before making a decision?

Top Answer

First I attempt to find out as much as I can from reputable sources online, including peer reviewed journals and books, then I compare what I have found with information obtained from colleagues. I always try to consult before making decisions regarding a topic I am somewhat new with, that ways I have multiple perspectives that may challenge the knowledge I obtained from research.

Second Best

Figure out what the problem is and then formulate several ways to solve the problem.

3.

Identify the decision that needs to be made (ex. Mental health disabled client needs employment), gather information (vocational testing and assessment), analyze the information (is this person employable), identify solutions (refer to vrs workcenter for temp employment to build skills), choose solution (refer to job developer for actual employment), take action and review/evaluate the results.

4.

I like to determine the first what the problem is and what the decision is that has to be made, like to approve or deny. I research possible outcomes to find options and the consequences of each and how I feel about it based on my priorities.

5.

Analyze the pro lem look at the pro lem learn about participants research answers get with peers or supervisor before going on.

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15. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.

Top Answer

My first successful job placement was one of the best feelings of my life. I job developed for an individual, was able to arrange a job interview for him, and they hired him on the spot. Since then he has helped their company grow and he his psychological concerns have lessened over time.

Second Best

Helping a client through a difficult process and landing the job they really wanted.

3.

I was pleased to prepare for a new career serving people with disabilities by completing a challenging full time Master of Social Work.

4.

As the Homeless Services Coordinator for the Community Services Agency of Mountain View, I was responsible for starting the newly, revised Alpha Omega Homeless Services Program. Prior to me joining the agency, the homeless program consisted of a rotating shelter that was hosted by 17 local churches in Mountain View and Los Altos. When I joined the agency, they decided to close the shelters and enhance case management services with the “housing-first” model as a guide. It was my job to gain local support for the newly revised program. In doing this, I had to hold a public forum in which all residents of Mountain View and Los Altos were welcome to partake in. I discussed the new program and the audience was able to ask questions and express their concerns with the new program. I discussed the benefits of working under the new model and asked for their support. I also attended events such as the Homeless Connect Event and networked with other non-profit and community based organizations in Santa Clara County in order to collaborate with them and gain county support. Although I was only there for one year, I believe the program got off to a good start because of my dedication and drive. It was a challenge in getting the local churches to support the newly revised model as they enjoyed being a part of the old “shelter-model” but I met with the leaders of the church on a monthly basis. I was able to get them involved in a new project, making basic toiletry kits for our homeless clients. By meeting with them once a month and making them feel like they were still important to the program helped me build rapport and respect with them. Because of their support and the county’s support, the caseload for the homeless services program increased and we were able to serve a larger population than before.

5.

My greatest accomplishment is well time management between by family, job and college and getting my degree.

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16. What made you choose a career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor?

Top Answer

The reason I chose rehabilitation counseling over other forms of counseling is because of the immediate benefits that employment offers to the overall quality of life.

Second Best

I wanted to assist individuals with disabilities live independently.

3.

Having been a in a social work atmosphere for nearly three years, I am very passionate regarding providing much needed support and that positive person to person communication to those who need it the most. From reading about vocational rehabilitation, this is the best avenue to create a supportive environment for clients in need of assistance.

4.

I love to work for the indiviaduals with the disability as I saw in my life that people dont appreciate individialuals with disablity and they discriminate them. I want to work for them as they have the equal rights like the noral individual.

5.

To serve people with disabilities to reach goals utilizing inform choice.

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17. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?

Top Answer

Getting a whole community on board with the newly revised Alpha Omega Homeless Services Program. I became active within the community and built rapport.

Second Best

Determing the correct evaluation or assessment the client should qualify for with their disability. Diligently pay attention to the behavior of the client to see if their behavior is not perdictible.

3.

On of the most difficult situations that I have encountered is when a co=worker brought a child into my office with suspect of sexual child abuse. This co-worker was not well versed in proper legal protocol when a child comes to you with this possible situation. I have known this co worker for 22 years. She was somewhat guiding the child to speak to us about what had happened to her. I guided the situation legally and ethically to protect the child from further harm. Make the appropriate reports then the child came back later in the day giving me more information. At this point the situation turned more serious as the proper authorities had not acted on the situation. I made additional phones calls to local CPS to gain action before the child was picked up from school. Local law enforcement was brought in and this person decided to berate me in from of the CPS investigators for not calling him first. I know the law and followed protocol and shared that with him. I believe he was surprised that I took initiative in my actions to protect the child and not call him first. The child is the most important to focus on that the ego of the offcer.

4.

I was off for extended medical leave and my return discovered a large number of overdue on my caseload. It was very overwhelming for me to tackle such a large task. I was finally able to break it down into different categories in order to determine the most critical needs first. It took a lot of persistence on my part to not give up but in the end I was able to correct all the work that was not done in my absence.

5.

Job carving, when I have a consumer that can perform part of job and to convince an employer to hire them.

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18. What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?

Top Answer

As a graduate student assistant I took a lot of initiative to learn as much as I possibly could during my one year internship with the Pasadena Office.

Second Best

I have took up a master course to study human behaviour.

3.

I got my natinal certification for pharmacy and got my degree in elementary education.

4.

Within the last five years I have focused on developing a specific knowledge base in special populations such as those with special needs in education including their vocational needs. Preparing individuals that have unique needs to be successful. I have two very memorial situations. I was working on a project that was analyzing three public buildings that including extensive research of layout and accessibility for those that might need accommodations when utilizing the building. I measured hall ways, door widths, ramp access, signage for several modes of possible communication, and other handicapped accessibility associated with each property. Two of the buildings were medical facilities and one was a public office. I was surprised by my findings as only one facility meet the ADA standards. This one facility housed several different type of medical businesses that I would recommend to the student for possible employment based on my findings.

5.

I have taken 2 online classes in human resources. I was originally planning to go to the a conference for peppiness for deaf and hard of hearing in post secondary settings but unfortunately I was unable to attend.

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19. What do you know about our organization?

Top Answer

I know that your organization work for the individuals who have disability, your company review theirdisabilty claims, check with the doctors and establish eligibility for social security disability.

Second Best

It is a state and federally supported agency to assist people with disabilities find or maintain employment and independence.

3.

Scvrd is nonprofit organization that servpeople with multiple types of disabilities . These people are assessed and then through the program they are matched with employers to their fit. They have counselors that go I tote field a d need with merchants and corporations stop open doors for those that are disabled and get them employed to give back to society thus making them j depending dent and giving g them them digninty.

4.

MRS is a vocational rehabilitation services that assist people disabilities to reach the employment goal.

5.

I know that you assist TANF recipients in meeting their work related requirements by providing vocational, educational and tangible supports.

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20. Why do you want a career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor?

Top Answer

I would like the opportunity to educate both consumers and potential employers about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.

Second Best

I would like to start my career as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor because I am confident that my skills I have acquired in my educational training and my internship have provided a knowledge base to provide effective services to persons with disabilities and within the career I can continue to assist each consumer in learning how to reduce barriers which have presented as barriers to their vocational goals and independent living.

3.

Because there is no better feeling than helping someone achieve independence again. I want that feeling for the rest of my life. I want to continue to help people, I want to be the person that can guide them back to life they invisioned. I also want to be challenged, I want to have hard time with clients, with getting them placed, or getting them motivated, because this is where I learn the most.

4.

I enjoy helping other people achieve their goals. Sometimes they are not even sure they can do it. I get to support and cheer them on as they succeed and become successful themselves.

5.

I enjoy helping g people and vocals rehab offers me an opportunity to help those who are in need it also provide me with opportunity to develop my skills and enhance learning and use my learning ability to help those and be an advocate.

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21. How do you handle stressful situations?

Top Answer

I try to engage in self care that enables me to remain productive. I also make an effort not to take personally any difficult interactions with clients.

Second Best

Try to find something to distract me/ find pleasurable activity.

3.

The first thing I do is smile. This frames my emotions with calm feeling as I begin to prioritize what needs to be done first. I can handle stressful situations very well such as when an angry parent came in for a consult and began yelling in the consultation. I remained calm as my co worker tried to justify the situation. I smiled at her and gently leaned in and acknowledged her feelings without made her feel like she was being heard and understood. I was really concerned with her health as she was 8 months pregnant. With continual positive regard to her thoughts and feelings she calmed down and left the meeting feeling validated with her concerns for her child.

4.

Usually people cannot see how stressed I am because I try to remain positive. I take deep breaths, depending on the situation I may take a break in my office or leave and take a walk to clear my head. If that is not possible I try to channel my energy into something more constructive.

5.

I stop re-direct my focus to consumer needs.

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22. Tell me about your work experience in this field.

Top Answer

I have worked with senior adults in an outpatient facility. These groups meet three days a week. This group was an open group that contained individuals that were physically and or mentally incapable of functioning in society. Some of the individuals had been employed but due to their mental function they were be retrained to function. Some were of substantial means and some were on Medicaid. All received the same high quality service. We utilized CBT therapy as the made mode in the sessions depending on clients in the group.

Second Best

I have worked the last 12 years in the San jose office. Initially I was working with general cases and with hard of hearing only because there was another RCD in my office. For about the past 6 year I have worked with a primarily deaf and hard of hearing caseload as the primary Deaf counselor for my district.

3.

I worked with people with disabilities for 6 plus years and I wanted to do more with this population this led me to Co tinting school.

4.

I have been locate in side the MRS office for 4 years and have closely worked with the counselors. I have provided services from creating resume, performing mock interviews, enrolling consumer in CMH and social security.

5.

I worked with students with disabilites and helped them get the equipment they need. I have researched many devices.

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23. What are your qualifications in regard to this job?

Top Answer

I have worked with different populations with mental and physical disabilities and understand their special needs they require in society. A lot of society is not very forgiving for this population however most are able to become functioning, happy members of society with our help. I have a Masters in Counseling, Certifications in Special Education, certification Mental Health First Aid, and feel very at ease with these populations. I am not inhibited with anger or social status. We are all people facing life one day at a time.

Second Best

I have worked with different populations with mental and physical disabilities and understand their special needs they require in society. A lot of society is not very forgiving for this population however most are able to become functioning, happy members of society with our help. I have a Masters in Counseling, Certifications in Special Education, certification Mental Health First Aid, and feel very at ease with these populations. I am not inhibited with anger or social status. We are all people facing life one day at a time.

3.

My education, my experience, employer contacts and resources.

4.

I have a bachelor and master of social work degree and am anticipating my social work license in the next month. I have experience being a former client of the New Mexico works program when I was an undergraduate student in need of educational support.

5.

I am organized, punctual, have the ability to prioritize work loads and I am task oriented. I find helping people very rewarding. I am vested in our clients.

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24. Tell me about your education. How has it prepared you for a career as a counselor?

Top Answer

My Master of Social Work degree prepared me with a strengths based and person centered perspective and a framework of social justice.

Second Best

In July 2004, I graduated from San Francisco State University. Unfortunately for me, due to budget cuts, the undergraduate Social Work Program at San Francisco State University was closed. Therefore, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies/Psychology instead. Immediately after graduating SF SU, I was interested in working on getting a Masters in SW at SJSU but I wanted familiarize myself with their curriculum before I made a commitment. So, I took some undergrad SW courses at SJSU for a year. This is when I started my internship with St. Vincent De Paul and was introduced to the homeless population. After completing that internship was St. Vincent De Paul, I found employment with MView Comm. Services Agency and getting my MSW was put in the back-burner.

3.

I just recently earned my degree in counseling. During my studies it helped me understand that there are different ways to pay attention to clients.

4.

I specifically chose deaf studies and an emphasis in Deaf rehabilitation. This training helped me to find my own Deaf identity after being raised mainstream. My experiences are similar to the ones clients have expressed to me. It allows me to be sympathetic to them but at the same time provide them with resources, information and hope about how to improve their own situations.

5.

My degree in school counseling has prepared me for a counseling g career by teaching g me skills of counseling learning how to do assessments also internships opportunities I two different school levels where I had to deal with students with behaviorl issues.

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25. Why should we hire you?

Top Answer

Based on my knowledge base both in my academic and professional careers, I am confident that I am able to further the goals of this office.

Second Best

I am a team player and very good at my job. I bring a positive attitude and willingness to start as soon as possible.

3.

I am a strong believer of your program and just how effective it can be in the lives of clients served. I am eager to become a part of the team and create meaningful change in our community.

4.

I will be a good employee.

5.

Being in a situation where I was disabled for a time I can understand and empathize with some of their hurdles. I am a very efficient worker that is task and goal oriented.

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Career Field
Job Satisfaction
Interview Difficulty
Healthcare
Vacation
Hours per Week
Health
80%
Average
Provided
Two Weeks
40 Hrs/Wk

Education Requirements

Rehabilitation counselors typically need a masterÂ’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. Some positions require certification or a license.

Work Environment

Most rehabilitation counselors work full time.