Top 20 Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions & Answers 2024

Editorial Team

Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions

You should take your time and review some of the potential questions when preparing for a mental health counselor interview. Studying possible questions puts you in a better place to land the job. This article covers general, behavioural, and technical questions that you can be asked in an interview. 

1.    Why Are You Interested In This Role? 

Most people haven’t yet discovered that this question offers interviewers a chance to impress the interviewee. 

Tip #1: Do not mention things such as money and vacations. 

Tip #2: Sell yourself, but make sure that your reasons are focused on the institution. 

Sample Answer 

I have been a mental health counselor for over a decade and have amassed lots of experiences that I believe I can apply to your institution. 

2.      What Are The Roles Of A Mental Health Counselor?

The interviewer wants to know if you have gone through the job description. This is a straightforward question. 

Tip #1: Skip to the job description if there is one. 

Tip#2: Outline the major roles

Sample Answer 

A mental health counselor works with organizations or individuals to improve mental health. He/ she encourages clients to open up and examine issues that may lead to how they feel. 

3.      What Are The Qualities That a mental health counselor Should Possess to be Effective?

Every career has certain specific qualities that pursuers must have to be successful. 

Tip #1: Only mention job-specific qualities. Do not talk about things that are not related to mental health counselling. 

Tip #2: Do not take too much time. 

Sample Answer

A mental health counselor must be empathetic to the client’s plight. He/ she should be patient and understanding to accommodate all types of clients. Other qualities include confidentiality and proper communication. 

4.      What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?

The interviewer wants to know whether you can effectively tackle problems that may arise in your work.

Tip #1: Talk about an experience or a general experience

Tip #2: Highlight how you dealt with the problem. 

Sample Answer 

Most of my clients were children from abusive families. They were so scared that getting them to open up was a problem. To solve this, I had to spend the first few days engaging them in things that they liked to loosen them up a bit. They would talk with time. 

5.      Describe Your Daily Routine As A Mental Health Counselor? 

You need to understand how the field or institution operates to be eligible for a position. 

Tip #1: Your daily routine should be job-related. You can use the job description while answering. 

Tip #2: Do not mention activities that may make you lose a chance. 

Sample Answer 

I have gone through your firm’s operation and discovered that my daily routine would be meeting clients, diagnosing them, listening, prescribing drugs, and writing a report afterward. It is not also different from the daily routines in other places. 

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6.      Describe Briefly Your Mental Health Counselling Experience?

The interviewer does not want you to mention what is in your CV. He or she wants to know some of the things that you have experience in. 

Tip #1: You can mention all the therapy methods that you are experienced in. 

Tip #2: mention a given experience that makes you stand out

Sample Answer 

I have vast experience in using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which has helped me diagnose and treat several disorders over time. I have also dealt with children in my career and have vast experience in child therapy. 

7.      What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Needed for This Role? 

Every job requires a given state of mind and strategy for success. The interviewer wants to know whether you understand what is needed for success. 

Tip #1: The mindset and strategy should be job-specific

Tip #2: You can illustrate by giving an example. 

Sample Answer 

An excellent mental counselor should have a non-attachment strategy to prevent him/herself from being drawn into the client’s emotions, which may cloud judgment. He/ she should have a goal-oriented mindset. 

8.      What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in This Job?

This may seem unfair, but the interviewer expects you to have done proper research before coming for the interview. 

Tip #1: Look around the place of work and identify a challenge

Tip #2: your challenge should be job-oriented

Sample Answer

I have discovered that your counseling rooms are far away from the entrance. I believe that this may be quite inconvenient to the old. 

9.      How Do You Stay Motivated at Work? 

Listening to everyone’s problems and trying to help them come with a solution while also having your own can be quite overwhelming. The interviewer must know what keeps you going. ‘

Tip #1: Your motivation should not be monetary. 

Tip #2: You can turn this around to your benefit

Sample Answer 

I love helping people get solutions for their problems. Seeing someone come out of depression into appreciating things that are around him/ her. I also love achieving my goals. It gives me the push to continue working even harder. 

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10. Describe a Time You Failed in this role and the Lesson You Learned?

It is normal to view this question as a trap. However, the interviewer is testing whether you are accountable or not. 

Tip #1: Do not give an experience that will throw you under the bus. 

Tip #2: Clearly outline the lesson learned

Sample Answer 

I once had a client who came for therapy and completed all the sessions. He showed signs of improvement and even went back to his old happy life. However, I realized that he committed suicide later. I failed because I did not keep in touch after successful therapy, thinking that he was okay. I know I should not blame myself for it, but I should have done more. 

11. Could You Please Describe Your Counselling Style and How it Will Fit Our Organization? 

The interviewer is trying to establish whether your counselling style, experiences and therapy methods can fit the organization. 

Tip #1: Look into the background of the hiring firm. 

Tip #2: Highlight how your counselling methods are unique yet complimentary. 

Sample Answer 

I have extensive training in trauma counselling but have dealt with frontline work with populations at risk. I take a client-centred approach when dealing with clients thanks to my trauma counselling training, which helps my client unlock their inner potential. I believe that my experience and training will help me work closely with your team of experts. 

12. How Have You Developed High Degrees of Fortitude and Patience? 

A mental health counselor needs must develop high degrees of patience and professionalism. 

Tip #1: Describe how you grow and practice your patience levels. 

Tip #2: Explain the role mental fortitude plays in your course of operation. 

Sample Answer 

I was trained on how to exercise patience during my early training to ensure professional delivery. The classes I had when training helped me to obtain good emotional balance during my sessions. I believe that empathy is an asset when growing patience levels. 

13. How Do You Define Your Success as a Mental Health Counselor? 

Mental health counselling can be emotionally draining. The interviewer would like to know how you still define success healthily and realistically even after all this. 

Tip #1: the definition of success is relative. 

Tip #2: Deliver an answer that is client-focused

Sample Answer 

 My definition of success is helping a client out of his emotional turmoil and seeing him take steps, albeit small, towards changing his life. I see myself as an achiever when that happens. 

14. Why Did You Choose to Be a Mental Health Counsellor? 

 Such questions offer you a chance to sell yourself. The interviewer wants to know why you chose this particular profession out of the thousands of available ones. 

Tip #1: Your answer should show passion. 

Tip #2: Your reasons should be out of good intentions. 

Sample Answers

I grew up in a family with mental issues. Dad was always depressed, which took him to an early grave. Therefore, I decided to become a counselor to understand mental diseases better and help people go through the same. 

15. What Are Your Favourite Therapy Methods? 

This interviewer is testing your level of experience and preferences. Keep in mind that this is a technical question that should be met with the response it deserves. 

Tip #1: Show the interviewer that you learned something while schooling. 

Tip #2: Do not forget that you are a counselor

Sample Answer

I am okay with all types of therapy approaches, be it long or short term. However, I prefer blending all these approaches depending on the client. All in all, I prefer the most effective method that will meet my client’s needs. 

16. What Do You Do To Help Maintain a Healthy, Well-balanced Life? 

You should be in the right mental frame to successfully help others with their problems. 

Tip #1: Talk about habits that are related to self-care

Tip #2: Connect the habits to healthcare. 

Sample Answer 

I always do what I tell my clients to during their spare time. I exercise daily. I prefer cardio and yoga since they help me relax my mind. I also get outside in the evening to catch up with my friends and family. All these things help me feel fulfilled and happy, giving me the right mental space to deal with my clients. 

17. Tell Me About a Time When You Helped A Client Open Up 

The interview wants to know more about your therapy tactics and how they can benefit his/ her institution. 

Tip #1: Include a specific example. 

Tip #2: Make sure that you include the technique and results. 

Sample Answer 

I once dealt with a client who was suffering from social anxiety. It was so bad that no one could encourage her to talk in a crowded room. Instead of forcing her to speak with me, I made her talk to the parent to reduce some stress. I allowed him to illustrate what he was feeling and write them down graphically. He didn’t have to speak, but at least he communicated. 

18. What Are Some Of The Assessments That You Have Used To Help Your Clients? 

This is a technical question. The interviewer is assessing your knowledge and usability of the available assessments. 

Tip #1: Include more than one assessment

Tip #2: Include your reason for using the assessment

Sample Answer 

My career is built on working with children. I use the Child Behaviour Checklist to help parents see their kids’ potential behavioural and learning problems. The paediatric Emotional Distress Scale also helps to assess a child’s trauma levels. 

19. Describe Your Clinical process, Before, During, And After Your Session with a Client? 

The interviewer wants to know your structuring and organization of routine and whether they benefit the client. 

Tip #1: Outline your typical routine 

Tip#2: Explain why you love handling roles in a given way. 

Sample Answer 

I review my clients’ notes fifteen minutes before starting a session before jotting down a few notes. I avoid writing when the session is on and instead talk my clients through an issue. After the session, I take lots of notes and file them in the client’s folder. 

20. What Is DSM And How Can Therapists Use It in Practice? 

This is another technical question which should be handled carefully.  

Tip #1: This is a fundamental practice which you should know. 

Tip#2: Define the term and its importance

Sample Answer 

DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a handbook used by therapists and mental health professionals in diagnosing clients with mental disorders. It helps clients receive the right treatment. 


These are some of the commonly asked questions in a mental health counselor interview. I hope that they will give you the right foundation as you go about your preparation. All the best!