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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.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    

Question 1 of 30

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

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Answer Examples

1.

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."

2.

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."

3.

As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, how do you empower and motivate your clients?

Positive attitude is #1. Your passion and attitude will shine when you answer this interview question. Talk about a situation you've had recently when you had to motivate your clients and how you accomplished it. Being able to talk about a current situation will let the interviewer know that you will be capable of empowering and motivating clients in the new position.

Heather's Answer #1

"I start each day and each appointment with my client with a smile. I've found that being positive and friendly helps clients be more motivated and helps our interactions be more successful and productive."

Heather's Answer #2

"The type of motivation I provide my clients is based on their needs. I have a direct approach to my communication style with each client. Each of my clients reacts to a different style of motivation to stay focused during our sessions and during the job hunt."

4.

What would your co-workers say about you work performance?

You can't really fudge the results on this one. If you made a huge mistake or were reprimanded, your future employer can still find out when they check your references. You also may have some great relationships with co-workers but you and your boss didn't really get along.

Heather's Answer

"I did my best to work well with everyone and I always put in 100%. My co-workers would say that I was consistent, dependable and driven."

5.

What is the most useful constructive feedback you've received?

As a professional, you will receive criticism throughout your career. Hopefully, you were able to learn from the criticism. Tell the interviewer that you are open to constructive feedback, learn from it and apply it to your daily work.

Heather's Answer

"Often times, I seek out feedback from my peers, leaders, and mentors as a way to continually improve. One of the most useful criticisms I have ever received has been honest and straightforward about how to adapt my talents to better support the team."

6.

Tell me about a successful case you were involved in.

Now is your time to tell the interviewer about one of your biggest accomplishment. Give a brief, detailed explanation of a case and how it was a success. By explaining the process and the outcome you'll give the interviewer an idea of how you work and communicate with your clients. Showing passion for this interview question will show the interviewer that you not only love your job but that they would be crazy not to ask you to bring your enthusiasm and knowledge to their team.

Heather's Answer

"My most recent successful case I worked on was an individual that had just recently been charged with a misdemeanor. What made this successful was that the client was receptive to my counseling and we worked well as a team."

7.

Have you ever assisted a client with interview preparation?

Practice, Practice, Practice! As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor you've had the opportunity to help your clients from initial meeting to closing the deal with an interview prep. Tell the interviewer that you prepare a list of questions based on the client's job opportunity. Tell the interviewer that you work with the client to come up with the best answers and provide constructive feedback.

Heather's Answer #1

"As a Vocational Therapist, I provide thorough and nonaggressive​ mock interviews. I believe that practice makes perfect and I'm to practice until the client feels comfortable."

Heather's Answer #2

"Absolutely! The client and I have built a relationship and they feel comfortable with me. I'm the best person to ask them the tough interview questions and coach them through the answers. With coaching and encouragement, ​I know they will do great!"

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.

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."

10.

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."

11.

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."

12.

Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?

Tell the interviewer that you excel at both because you know it's part of the job. Tell the interviewer that you are an independent learner and you enjoy working as part of a care team while working one-on-one with patients. Tell the interviewer that a team approach provides the most comprehensive care for the client in every aspect, as no single provider can address all of the complex needs of many clients. This is why specialties​ exist and why they can be so valuable to a team, so it is important to mention that you very much enjoy being a part of it.

13.

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."

14.

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."

15.

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."

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30 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. What area of VR work do you find challenging? How do you try and improve upon those challenges?
  2. What have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years?
  3. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, how do you empower and motivate your clients?
  4. What would your co-workers say about you work performance?
  5. What is the most useful constructive feedback you've received?
  6. Tell me about a successful case you were involved in.
  7. Have you ever assisted a client with interview preparation?
  8. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  9. Are people naturally at ease with you?
  10. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and how did you tackle it?
  11. If a client is unmotivated to find work, how do you react?
  12. Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
  13. What do you know about our organization?
  14. How do you check if a work placement was a success?
  15. 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?
  16. What do you feel is the most important skill a vocational rehabilitation counselor should possess?
  17. How do you assess a client's abilities and work-readiness?
  18. What is your experience with our local demographic?
  19. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  20. 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?
  21. Tell me about your previous boss.
  22. How do you manage your time?
  23. Are you experienced in creating resumes and cover letters?
  24. While working with a client, have you ever had to involve their family, doctor and other health care professionals?
  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.
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