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Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass

Updated August 23rd, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Question 1 of 30
How do you check if a work placement was a success?
View Answers
How to Answer
As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, your constant communication and interaction with both clients and employers will set you apart from the rest. Tell the interviewer how you follow up, how often and how you track your results.
30 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. How do you check if a work placement was a success?
  2. What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?
  3. If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?
  4. 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?
  5. Are people naturally at ease with you?
  6. What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?
  7. How do you assess a client's abilities and work-readiness?
  8. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  9. What is your experience with our local demographic?
  10. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  11. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and how did you tackle it?
  12. What do you know about our organization?
  13. What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?
  14. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor your range of clients will be from people coping with physical disabilities, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse problems. Are there any types of clients you have difficulty working with?
  15. Tell me about your previous boss.
  16. What would your co-workers say about you work performance?
  17. What is the most useful constructive feedback you've received?
  18. How do you manage your time?
  19. Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
  20. Are you experienced in creating resumes and cover letters?
  21. Have you ever assisted a client with interview preparation?
  22. While working with a client, have you ever had to involve their family, doctor and other health care professionals?
  23. Tell me about a successful case you were involved in.
  24. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, how do you empower and motivate your clients?
  25. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  26. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
  27. How do you handle stressful situations?
  28. What are your qualifications in regard to this job?
  29. Why should we hire you?
  30. Tell me about yourself.
15 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Answer Examples
1.
How do you check if a work placement was a success?
As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, your constant communication and interaction with both clients and employers will set you apart from the rest. Tell the interviewer how you follow up, how often and how you track your results.

Heather's Answer #1
"I keep files on each of my clients tracking them from initial intake to months after successful placement."
Heather's Answer #2
"Not only do I check in with the employer but I like to check in with the client. Assuring that the client is happy and feels they are contributing to the company tells me that we found a good match."
2.
What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?
Challenges can also be viewed as weaknesses. When answering this question it will be important that you relay to the interviewer what you learned from these challenges. Have you found that particular types of clients in the past have been challenging for you? Maybe managing the large workload you had at your last position was challenging.

Heather's Answer #1
"One area I find challenging as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is working with clients that are not interested in finding work. In the past, ​I've found that I just have to work with these clients a bit longer than others. Pushing these individuals before they are ready to get out into the working world only makes them regress more. I've learned to be more patient and empathetic working with these types of clients."
Heather's Answer #2
"Working with individuals with criminal backgrounds has been challenging for me in the past. After spending time with these clients I get to know them as a person. I can see past the history but it is hard for employers to see the promise in them that I see."
3.
If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?
You've heard the phrase 'you can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink.' This phrase rings true to you as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. If you've worked with a client like this go ahead and talk about it. Be sure to stay upbeat and explain how you helped the client find their motivation. You may have been upset and discouraged yourself at the time that your client didn't want to find work, if that was the case don't show your anger during the interview.

Heather's Answer #1
"Not off of my clients are on board with finding employment, and that's ok. When these clients are ready, they contact me so we can work together. In the meantime, ​I center my efforts on the individuals that are ready to find work."
Heather's Answer #2
"I can't force anyone to get a job because then it would be my goal and not theirs. I would provide the tools and provide the support but would have to sit back and allow them to tell me when they are ready."
4.
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?
Finding work for a client can be a stressful situation. You'll want to relay to the interviewer that you always stay positive, provide encouragement and continue to meet with the client. Tell the interviewer a time this has happened and how you ended up securing employment for the client.

Heather's Answer #1
"When I work with clients that are having a hard time finding employment I encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering gets them out into the workforce​, keeps them active and gives them a purpose that I encourage them to find."
Heather's Answer #2
"The job market can be difficult and sometimes waiting 12 months is a reality. I would encourage the client to work on their skills and education while we were working to find them a job. Free classes, skills tests and online courses would not only keep them busy and increase their skill set but make them more marketable."
5.
Are people naturally at ease with you?
This question is a great way to answer ​how well you work with others. Think about how your co-workers would describe you. How would your boss describe you? If you are the type of person that people come and ask advice of or vent to, then this is your question! As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor you strive to put clients at ease with your display of empathy. Be sure to answer this question calmly with direct eye contact. This will put the interviewer at ease as well and let them know that you are 100% engaged.
Heather's Answer
"I have a way of bringing the best out of our clients. This shows me that people are at ease with me and value the support that I give them."
6.
What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?
As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, you help people with disabilities live fuller, more independent life by assisting them in securing gainful employment. What is the most important skill you have that makes your job easy when helping these clients? Tell the interviewer about your patience, active listening skills and your ability to effectively communicate with your clients. Feel free to share a story that showcased your skills.

Heather's Answer #1
"I feel that excellent communication skills are needed to be a successful Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Rehabilitation counselors need to be able to effectively communicate with clients. You must be able to express ideas and information in a way that is easy to understand."
Heather's Answer #2
"An important skill to have as a vocational counselor is active listening skills. I've found that it is important to repeat things back to clients and ask them to repeat them back to you to assure they understand the plan you have helped them make."
7.
How do you assess a client's abilities and work-readiness?
Walk the interviewer through your intake process. What questions do you ask your client? What history do you ask your client? How do you document and determine what your client is capable of and willing to work? Tell the interviewer that you also take family member and medical professionals suggestions into consideration as well.
Heather's Answer
"I think it is important to review the client's history. I evaluate their mental health, past work experience, what medical professionals they have and currently work with and what has brought them to my office. Evaluating the client's past history helps me determine their abilities and work readiness."
8.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
Skip the fake answers like 'I care too much about my job' or 'I'm a perfectionist' the interviewer has heard those before. Briefly, describe a real weakness that wouldn’t be a major handicap on the job.

Heather's Answer #1
" I think one area I could work on is my delegation skills. I am always so concerned about everything being done right and on time that I can get stuck in that mentality that if you want it done right you need to do it yourself. I learned this recently when given the opportunity to manage a large project at work. It definitely taught me how to delegate and my manager noticed the difference in my management style by the end of the year."
Heather's Answer #2
"A weakness of mine is my public speaking skills. I enjoy and do very well with one on one counseling sessions but speaking in front of a large crowd of people makes me pretty nervous. I've had the opportunity to speak to groups of 5 and 6 people at work on various topics so I'm getting more comfortable and proficient with my public speaking skills."
9.
What is your experience with our local demographic?
As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor you've had the opportunity to work with many different types of people. Be sure to do your homework to determine who your potential clients will be. Use work experience from your resume to answer this question.

Heather's Answer #1
"My experience with Autistic individuals spans over the last 3 years. I've had the opportunity to work with and successfully place individuals in meaningful employment."
Heather's Answer #2
"I don't have much experience working with the elderly but am looking forward to the challenge."
10.
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
Now is your time to brag a bit. Tell the interviewer what the accomplishment was, what the impact was, who was affected and what the outcome was. Did you meet a personal goal? Exceed expectations of your boss? Did you create a successful group supporting your clients? Don't be too hard on yourself if the accomplishment didn't win awards or set the bar for future Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. This is YOUR accomplishment so you want to tell the interviewer why YOU are proud of it.

Heather's Answer #1
"I completed my Master's degree while working full time and taking care of my kids."
Heather's Answer #2
"I'm most proud of placing a client that had been working with us for over three months. This client faced many challenges and had actually been working with two other counselors before me. I never gave up on her and she was very thankful."
11.
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and how did you tackle it?
Every day will pose some sort of problem, that's what keeps you on your toes and makes you want to come to work each day. Have a story handy for this interview question. Tell the interviewer about the situation, how you provided support and how it ended on a positive note.

Heather's Answer #1
"A difficult situation I faced recently was working with an elderly client that had just suffered ​a stroke. After working with her for many months it was still hard to get potential employers to see past her age and it took longer than expected to place her in meaningful employment. The client and I had effective and positive sessions and I provided assistance and encouragement the whole way."
Heather's Answer #2
"The job market is tough. It's hard to see my clients who are already in a challenging situation be challenged in the job market as well. I'm always up front with my clients to make them aware that securing a job can take a little while."
12.
What do you know about our organization?
A solid answer to this common interview question will set you apart from the other candidates. It is important to research the company website. Familiarize yourself with its history, Board of Directors, products, mission, and current projects. Mention professional awards and honors received the by the company as well as future projects that illustrate your interest in where the company is headed. Discussing the future of the organization is a win-win because it also establishes your interest in professional longevity.
Heather's Answer
"I know that you all have earned numerous awards since you have been open over the last 4 years. I know I'd like to be apart of the team."
13.
What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?
This question is to see if you've been stagnant as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Because you are always looking for new ways to help your clients you are constantly working to improve yourself and your techniques. Tell the interviewer about any workshops you've attended, classes you've taken or a mentor you admire that has been assisting you with your professional development.

Heather's Answer #1
"In the past 5 years, ​I've been an active volunteer within my community. I've been able to learn from clients and bring that to my current position as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor."
Heather's Answer #2
"I've been fortunate to learn from my colleagues over the past 5 years. I've been given the opportunity to work a bit outside my position to build upon my skills."
14.
As a vocational rehabilitation counselor your range of clients will be from people coping with physical disabilities, injuries, mental illness and substance abuse problems. Are there any types of clients you have difficulty working with?
Don't get hung up on the wording of this question. Instead of fixating on the word difficult, answer this question with what type of client you find as challenging. Describing difficult clients may turn your answer ugly and negative. Instead, answer with a recent client that was challenging and explain how you overcame the difficult situation.

Heather's Answer #1
"
Heather's Answer #2
"The only type of person I have a hard time working with are those that don't want to be helped. Once the client realizes that they need the help and that I want to help them they will put up a wall. Patience is one of my strengths so I am happy to wait until they are ready to move forward."
15.
Tell me about your previous boss.
No matter how difficult, unfair or terrible your previous boss was, use this question as an opportunity to share what you learned from them and what you learned from your previous role.

Heather's Answer
"My boss taught me the importance of precision. He was particular about every little detail, from preparing for client appointments to filling out reports. I learned how to fine tune my skills and identify the slightest details that could make all the difference in a life or death situation."
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