Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Today, mental health issues are highly prevalent. Is it because people struggle to deal with the complexities of the 21st century and all the obstacles they face in their daily lives? Or is it because the pharmaceutical and insurance industries make it far too easy (and even advantageous for certain healthcare professionals) to diagnose a mental health condition?

Future events will reveal the truth. For the time being, one thing is sure: the mental health counselor profession is on the rise, and you won’t struggle with “customers” in your new position, regardless of your workplace. But how can I obtain this position through an interview? Depending on your place of employment, we will examine some of the questions you will be asked and offer guidance on how you should present yourself.

Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Demonstrate concern, and conduct thorough research.

This is not only a job but also an often tricky mission. People who run the clinic or psychiatric hospital and you will not always agree on the optimal treatment. Some prefer prescribing large quantities of pills. Except for occasional electroshock therapy, this concludes the job and the narrative. Well-done, well-compensated, and everyone is asleep in their beds, sedated by drugs. However, nobody is cured. Subduing the symptoms of a disease and fixing it are two different activities (you probably know this already).

Other locations are managed differently, however:

Group therapy sessions addressing the underlying causes of most mental disorders (such as dealing with social and family issues, the patients’ complexes, a distorted self, and world image) comprise the daily schedule at these facilities.

Do your homework. Determine as much as you can about their facility, how they assist patients and the treatment methods they prefer. This will be of great assistance during your interview. It will help you establish rapport with the interviewers and express the correct opinion about particular treatments (one that aligns with their philosophy). It can even assist you in determining whether this is the place where you want to work. Okay, that’s enough philosophy. Let’s examine the questions you will be asked.

Why mental health counselor as opposed to another occupation?

You can express that you see the potential in this profession or that you are troubled by the rise of mental health issues among young people. You can also say that you feel compelled to assist others and should demonstrate good intentions (good from your view).

Referring to a mental health issue in your family and explaining that you’ve always wanted to learn more about how to help the person you care about led you to pursue this particular career is another option. A young woman interviews for a position of interest at a psychiatric clinic.

Why did you submit a job application with our clinic? Numerous openings exist for mental health counselors in the city…

Most of the time, you will not care. You just applied because the place of employment is convenient, close to your home, or has an excellent traffic connection. Try to come up with a better reason in your interview, such as the clinic’s good reputation, the fact that you know people who have overcome mental health issues there, the clinic’s ideal environment for healing patients, etc. Essentially, you can compliment them, say nice things, and appeal to their ego…

How would you describe a typical workday?

A typical day for a mental health counselor in one clinic can be vastly different from a counselor in another clinic. The job description and knowledge of their therapy techniques can help you find the correct response to this question.

If possible, visit the location before your interview. Perhaps they only prescribe medications and administer electroshock therapy. In such an environment, mental health counselor is a secondary position. You should avoid interviewing there, but you may apply if the salary is attractive. Once you better understand what they do and how they treat patients, you will have a clearer picture of a typical day at their facility.

What are your favorite forms of treatment?

This is a technical question and your opportunity to demonstrate what you’ve learned in school. Remember that you are a counselor; your role is to counsel people by listening, helping them open up, and providing guidance.

You can discuss all therapy approaches (short-term, long-term) or explain how you combine complementary theories with working with your clients most effectively. This question’s detailed response exceeds the scope of this article.

Other questions you may be asked during your interview with a mental health counselor

  • What are your objectives for this position?
  • What is your greatest perceived weakness as a counselor?
  • What are the leading causes of mental health issues in the modern era, particularly in terms of people in our hospital/facility/etc?
  • What is the most challenging aspect of this job, in your opinion?
  • What salary expectations do you have?
  • When a client visits your office for a consultation, what question will you ask them first?
  • How do you feel about receiving a luxury vacation voucher from a pharmaceutical company’s sales representative?
  • How do you intend to earn the clients’/patients’ trust?
  • A client, a 16-year-old boy, reveals their suicidal intentions to you. What will you do?
  • According to you, what are the most prevalent mental and emotional issues children face today?
  • How do you envision your collaboration with psychiatrists and other clinic staff? Have you formulated any expectations for them?

In conclusion, responses to all queries

The interview for the position of mental health counselor is of average difficulty. Most of the time, you will not face significant competition for the job. Occasionally, you will be the only applicant. It simplifies matters but does not guarantee that you will be hired.

The greatest pitfall is misunderstanding the particular mental health clinic’s philosophy and attitude toward patients. This can result in poor interview answers or, even worse, a poor choice of place of employment… Conduct thorough research and ensure that you want to work at that specific location twice. Once this is understood, you should prepare for our article’s questions and ace the interview.

Complete your interview preparations by examining other questions and answers;

Athina Iliadis is a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate environments working for companies such as Pearson, LexisNexis, Hershey, and Reckitt. In her current role as a consultant working with clients around the world, she coaches managers and employees on HR issues, supports leaders in their business, produces content about careers, interviews, and job opportunities. She is fluent in English, French and Greek, and she holds a BBA with a major in HR from Université du Québec à Montréal. Find her on LinkedIn and at

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