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Guidance Counselor Interview Questions

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  1. Why did you choose guidance counselor as a professional career? See answer
  2. Describe a situation in which you worked with teachers and administrators to solve a student’s problem. What did you do to successfully collaborate? See answer
  3. What procedure would you use if a student reported abuse by a parent or teacher? See answer
  4. How would you deal with a consistently disruptive student? See answer
  5. What experiences do you have that make you more qualified as a guidance counselor than others? See answer
  6. How do you think a guidance counselor supports a school’s overall mission and values?
  7. Do you have experience working with children?
  8. Which professional licenses or certifications do you have?
  9. What would you do to improve the guidance counseling program at our school?
  10. Do you have any experience working in the classroom?
  11. How can a guidance counselor help promote and maintain equity in a school?
  12. What skills or attributes do you think are most important for a school counselor to have?
  13. Are you willing and able to perform additional duties for the school, like coaching?
  14. Do you have experience working with the special education population?
  15. How do you like to communicate with parents? How frequently?
  16. Do you speak any other languages?
  17. How do you see the role of data and metrics in the guidance counseling program?
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6 Guidance Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Why did you choose guidance counselor as a professional career?

A:

This question lets you determine the applicant’s motivations in career choice. It tells you what makes the position attractive to the potential employee. The applicant should discuss career goals and goals related to helping students.

What to look for in an answer:

  • A personal anecdote
  • Career motivations
  • Desire to help others

Example:

The help that my high school guidance counselor provided me when my parents divorced made me realize how important the position is to students. Talking to an adult other than my mother and father provided a lot of clarity for me.

Q:

Describe a situation in which you worked with teachers and administrators to solve a student’s problem. What did you do to successfully collaborate?

A:

The applicant will need to work with many other people in the student’s life, including teachers, principals, parents, tutors and other students, and the way they answer will provide insight into how they approach this task. They need to provide concrete examples of success working as part of problem-solving team to meet the needs of the individual.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Effective communication between all parties
  • Flexibility in creating solutions
  • Recognition of all relevant and potential stakeholders

Example:

I focus on using my empathy and effective communication skills to meet the needs of my students. By objectively analyzing a situation and communicating with each affected party, I am able to work well with a team to help the needs of all individuals that seek guidance.

Q:

What procedure would you use if a student reported abuse by a parent or teacher?

A:

Look for the applicant to communicate their ability to weigh confidentiality needs against legal requirements to report abuse. They should adhere to school protocols. They should take time answering the question to show the care and diligence they would use in the situation.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of legal requirements
  • Acceptance and adherence of school procedures
  • Respect of student confidentiality

Example:

I understand the balance between a student’s confidentiality and my legal requirements to report abuse. I would familiarize myself with school procedures related to this type of situation upon being hired, and I would follow them in handling the situation. With respect to my student, I would offer them a listening ear and, within school regulations, help them obtain outside help, including foster care, if needed.

Q:

How would you deal with a consistently disruptive student?

A:

The applicant should show that they can handle the many types of student problems that come to a guidance counselor. As a potential employer, you need to know that they can handle children with behavioral issues. Since such disruptions cannot be allowed, they must show their ability to permanently deal with the problem. The answer should illustrate their ability to work with the student to find the cause of the bad behavior and work to provide coping skills to prevent it.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of school policies on the issue
  • Ability to get the student the appropriate psychological help
  • Effective communications and teamwork skills to work with parents and others at the school

Example:

I would work with the student to identify the cause of the problem and alleviate it. This could be an underlying mental illness or an issue at home or with another student. I would do this in an efficient manner, recognizing that it is completely inappropriate for one student’s issues to adversely affect everyone else involved, including other students, teachers and administrators.

Q:

What experiences do you have that make you more qualified as a guidance counselor than others?

A:

The applicant should show an ability to work with children from various socio-economic backgrounds and to help students develop their interests. Of course, their degree and certification matter, but this question really focuses on what makes them different from all the others with a degree and certification.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Real world experience
  • Strong education
  • Successful one-on-one communication with children

Example:

My experiences student coaching gymnastics while in school provided me with first-hand experience working with children from a variety of backgrounds. I communicated to them from the beginning that I was available to them to listen and help in more than acrobatics.

Q:

How do you think a guidance counselor supports a school's overall mission and values?

A:

As the school's hiring manager, you want to ensure a couple of things — that the candidate knows the school's basic mission and values and understands how their role supports the school as an institution. A good answer to this question should answer both of these questions and give you insight into whether this candidate is right for your organization.

A strong answer should include:

  • Reference to the school's mission statement
  • An understanding of a guidance counselor's role
  • Explanation of how a guidance counselor furthers a school's mission

A great answer might sound similar to this example:

Example:

"A guidance counselor is often the person who helps students align their behavior with the school's mission and values. I truly believe in and respect this school's commitment to a holistic worldview and service to others. I think that as a guidance counselor, I can have a tremendous impact on promoting those values through my individual interactions with students and through the general programming I produce for the school as a whole. I have several ideas for multi-cultural events that would introduce new concepts to the kids."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021