Under this role, you will be in charge of providing educational support and guidance to students as per their emotional and academic challenges. The aim will be to build a child’s career and plan with them. In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as a Student Counselor.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I always wanted to pursue a career where I could use my Master’s degree i.e. counseling. I feel that I am always attracted to helping school students because they are young and they required a lot of attention and care too.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Student Counselor?
- Understanding a child’s academic, social and behavioral issues without judgment.
- Creating solutions for students to achieve their career goals and plans,
- Acting as a bridge between students and their parents or teachers to ensure career goals,
- Guiding students on career choices as per their skills,
- Sharing relevant reading materials with students for career counseling,
- Creation of counseling programs for students,
- Having outside referrals for all activities and
- Reporting to law enforcement departments in case of any abuse.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Student Counselor Needs To Be Successful?
Patience and friendly behavior are the key requirements for this role at any school. One should have great communication skills to deal with students and their parents along with teachers.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
In my previous role, I had to deal with a lot of bullying cases. It was heartbreaking to discuss the cases with the young kids and when due to fear, they do not report the issue to the management. To tackle this issue, we set up an anonymous cell where kids could send in their details regarding any bullying case and we started taking strict measures to tackle this issue. It helped.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Student Counselor?
Every day is different from each other as per the requirement. In a few days, I have to conduct a few events and programs with young students that are related to social issues or academics. Apart from programs, I have one-to-one sessions with my students where I provide support to them regarding their career choices and the goals they want to achieve.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I have been in this field for 6 years now and I have worked with several kinds of students during this tenure. I started in a local school where the dropout rate was high and it was consecutive. With the help of management, I conducted one-to-one sessions with to be graduated students and shared career possibilities with them in local areas and other cities as well. With such sessions, the admission percentage increased by an almost double percentage.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
I make sure that when I am talking to students, I talk at the same pace as them. The generation gap should be eliminated between us and I should be able to provide the best care forward to my students. I also make sure that I do not judge any student who is sharing their struggles with me because I have to provide the best professional advice to them.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
The rise of mental health issues is one of the biggest challenges I foresee especially after the pandemic. There has been a sudden increase in anxiety, depression, and mental health issues in young students. It is important to deal with all this professionally and keep a check on all students for early symptoms and inform the parents too.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
Seeing my students acing in their careers and becoming an important part of the society is the motivation. Many students have met me recently and they thank me for providing support during this time and assisting them to make good choices in their life. It brings me immense joy and motivation when I see them excelling.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
Once I was dealing with an abuse case in my previous role and I displayed my emotions too prominently in front of the student and I felt that she did not feel right about it. I do understand that it’s very hard to open up in front of a stranger about any matter and my reaction made her uncomfortable. Ever since that incident, I keep reminding myself that I should put my professional behavior forward so that no student feels insecure while talking to me.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I believe my strength lies in my Interpersonal skills and compassion for teenagers. I am also great at handling crises as I create and implement individual plans to make sure that a child’s emotional and mental needs are met. Over the years, I have become a great listener with patience. While listening to a teenager, I always make sure that I give them proper attention so that they have a safe space to vent down their problems because the treatment begins here. If I can make their life better with my strengths, it is a great achievement for me. Every child matters and so does their physical and mental health too.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
Recently, I came across a student who has severe anxiety issues when dealing with the public and she was afraid of taking part in any school activities. With the help of various stakeholders, I involved her teachers and parents to assist in her issue. Together we created a plan for her that helped her in fighting anxiety and she was able to focus in her classes again within a few sessions. It worked out great and I felt proud that we were able to identify such minute things in a child’s behavior and devised a plan.
13. How Would You Discipline A Child Who Is Constantly Disturbing Classes?
I would separately speak to them first and explain how it is creating issues for everyone around him. While talking to him; I will try to identify the cause of this behavior and action. Most of the time the underlying challenge is emotional and children end up doing such things to get attention from their surroundings. I will discuss it with the psychological counselor on board and inform the parents about this too so that they can keep a check on home activities as well.
14. Sometimes Parents Are Under-Involved In A Child’s Personality. How Would You Deal With It?
I believe that a good environment at home can make a child’s life. In my case, I have dealt with a variety of parents, few are least bothered and few are overly involved. If I see that parents are not responding to any of my communication regarding their child, I would highlight the issue to senior management of the school so that they can get in touch with the parents directly. Once parents are in sync, I would develop a special support program for their children to perform better in their educational and extra-curricular activities.
15. How Do You Balance Your Tasks Like Completing Documentation For Record Purposes And Assisting Students?
My priority is always addressing the immediate needs of my students. Once the need is addressed then I can focus on the paperwork. I usually make sure that I am balancing all my duties and that nothing is neglected at all. I keep my documents updated and keep all parents informed about the progress report every week. This helps in staying on top of all tasks and strategizes more effective plans for all my students.
16. What Is Your Approach To Reaching A Troubled Teen?
If I suspect any unusual behavior in terms of anger, struggle with self-esteem, or lying, my first approach is to talk to them and ensure that they know that I understand. A few times youth feels that no one is understanding them and they start pushing their loved ones away. At this time, they surely need someone who understands them. I listen to them to understand their situation. In my experience, youth mostly feels that adults are not listening to them because it ends up in advice and lectures. They are not looking for another parent or another teacher, they’re looking for friends, someone they can talk to, someone they can trust, someone to just be there.
17. Why Stress Management Is Important In This Field?
It is one of the common issues faced in the counseling field. While dealing with the student’s emotions, the pressure starts building up on social workers. If you want to remain in this field, I always suggest that one should know how to drain stress from the mind. One of the most effective ways involved in stress management for a social worker is learning how to relax. If you can spend time relaxing despite your hectic schedule dealing with people who are experiencing serious problems, it is always possible to overcome the extreme tension that can affect your mind and body. Today, one of the most favorite relaxation techniques includes yoga or meditation. This can calm your mind and body to restore your good feeling. Because of this, you can deal with the different problems and continue to serve many individuals who need proper encouragement to overcome their uncertainties in life. Remember that constant meditation can refresh your mind and bring back the strength of your body. In addition, you can face all the challenges positively without allowing negative emotions to defeat you.
18. Our Field Is Always Changing. As Such, What Have You Done With Regards To Personal Development When It Comes To A Student Counsellor Position In The Last 12 Months?
Due to the pandemic, I got a lot of time for training. I was able to take some online certifications during this time from universities abroad. I also attended a few pieces of training locally with my team members. It was one of the best experiences of learning new things. Also, I had to deal with a lot of new patients who were suffering due to back-to-back lockdowns all across the countries. Teenagers who were not staying at home most of the time were facing abuse at home and family time got intense too for them.
19. How Do You Deal With Students Who Have Domestic Issues?
I first check all the rules lay by the school management so that I know how far I can go in these matters. If I am not sure, I do not hesitate in asking my experienced team members regarding such issues. I will inform the relative authorities regarding the issue and for my job, I will provide emotional support to the student who has been the victim. I will make sure professional help is added to the program so that there are no mental health issues in this regard.
20. The World Has Now Become A Cultural Village. How Do You Explain This To Young Students?
I believe the earlier the better! Kids should know and understand cultural differences that can help students learn a lot by just accepting someone different from them. Empathy skills are essential in today’s world. In my correspondence with the students, I make sure that I have healthy discussions about different cultures through family traditions, history, and their uniqueness. Kids should be taught this at the earliest age possible because a sense of equality is important.
21. Have You Ever Witnessed Bullying G In Your School? How Do You Report?
I haven’t seen live bullying but I have seen cases of bullying in my career. I have separated both parties from each other and have separate discussions between the two parties so that I can understand the issue that led to this activity. Once this happens, I will probably have combined meetings to make them understand that it should not repeat in future other serious consequences.
22. Do You Have Experience In Working With Special Children?
I have limited exposure in terms of IEPS. I have always seen a separate counselor in the schools who deal with Individualized Education Programs for such children. I got a chance once to collaborate with IEP Counsellor to help her gather some information related to career opportunities. I would love to work more in that sector.
I feel there are a lot of untapped opportunities for special children that could be explored for them and give them importance in society today. They should not be neglected and they can be an immense force in tomorrow’s workforce in the country.
23. How Do You Deal With Students Who Tell That They Want To Drop Out Of School?
I would arrange some meetings with the student personally and ask them for a specific reason for this decision. Their answer will help me understand the challenges they are going through and maybe some ways can be sorted out. I can assist them in overcoming challenges that are making them think about dropping out. I would always be encouraging them to focus on their studies and always seek counselors’ help in achieving goals and studying instead of dropping out.
24. How Do You Handle Criticism Of Your Work?
I take it as feedback instead of criticism. It is up to me if I have to incorporate the feedback in my profession or is it just from someone jealous of me. If I believe that it’s something constructive then obviously I will address it and even incorporate it into my style otherwise It does not affect me at all. I have received my fair share of criticism throughout my career and I don’t get personally invested in it. I listen and I only keep information that matters to me, rest is gone in the air from my side.
25. In What Ways Can A School Improve The Counselling Program?
Surveys can be carried out and students can fill in about the current counseling program. The replies will help in determining what sort of improvements can be made in the future and how other schools are performing. Young kids always share with their friends what their schools are doing. This information will help in knowing your current standing in a counseling program. I have conducted several surveys from time to time, I recommend 6 months time period to engage students in counseling programs.
Dress well for your interview and take your updated resume in a hard copy with you. Smile as you greet the interviewer and be confident as you answer their questions. These 25 questions are surely going to help in acing the first round of interviews as a Student Counselor. Good luck!