Whether you’re aiming to land your first-ever counselor job or you’re looking for a fresh start with years of experience under your belt, get ahead of those tough interview questions and move forward with confidence on interview day. With a little brainstorming in advance, you can master these three popular interview questions that are sure to show up on the question docket. A little preparation goes a long way, so let’s get to work!
1-Practice the “tell me about yourself” interview question
You may feel like you know yourself best, but let’s be honest…talking about yourself can get a little awkward, especially if it’s something you’re not used to. It probably goes without saying that when hit with this question your interviewer doesn’t care much that you grew up in South Florida and have an affinity for pumpkin spice lattes and cats. Stay focused on your professional path and how your hobbies, interests, past achievements, and personality traits all relate to your career aspirations.
Be sure to practice ahead of time so you communicate clearly and concisely. Keep in mind that there are many more questions coming your way (check out this sample list from ASCA), so be sure to not use all of your time on this one question.
2- The “tell us about your strengths” interview question
Consider this question through the lens of “how am I going to add value to this team?” Get ready to brag about yourself and be sure to hit many different areas of your strengths. Are you a data guru? Small groups queen? Master of classroom lessons? (Linking out to some great resources in each of these categories for more ideas at your fingertips.)
Give examples of how your strengths have played out in real-life scenarios (or if you’re brand new, how you envision them aiding students and staff members in this new role). As you prepare, make a list of your best characteristics — think about those strong words like self-starter, quick-learner, goal-oriented, hard worker — and be ready to share success stories that back up each of these qualities. Dig back into your memory vault and have those examples ready.
3- Be prepared for “scenario” interview questions
Brainstorm ahead of time experiences you had in your practicum, internships, or former jobs. Consider how to include scenarios that involve students, parents, co-workers, and teammates. Keep in mind that there is no perfect way to answer these interview questions. Be confident and truthful in your responses, and shine a light on how you may have developed a creative solution, overcame adversity, supported as a team member, or initiated a new project. Having these scenarios already worked through ahead of time makes a big difference. So slip on that blazer and get in front of the mirror!
I know interviewing can be an exhausting and daunting process (and sometimes lengthy). Trust me when I say, I know some incredible counselors who had several interviews before landing their job. Be patient and extend yourself grace. In the meantime, let me help make this process a little less painful with my Practice Interview Questions freebie (scenario questions included), as well as my free 3-day video challenge for high school counseling interviews.
For more great insight into the high school counselor interview process (with some fantastic sample interview questions to get you extra prepared), you can also check out this mock school counselor interview podcast episode (one of my most popular episodes!) with Rachel from Bright Futures Counseling.
And don’t forget to get your name on my Clique Collaborative waitlist so you can have access to this amazing community and membership perks once you land your dream job. We’re rooting for you!