In this article, we will be sharing some of the questions with answers that you might be asked in your interview as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
I believe that your organization will be able to provide me with great opportunities and chances to polish my skills in this field. I read about your mentorship programs in this field and it got me to apply for this role. With several supervisors on board, It will be a great chance for me to learn directly from them.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
The responsibilities may vary from organization to organization as few counselors work privately and few are associated with an organization. A few basic roles are :
3. What Are The Qualities That A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Needs To Be Successful?
To perform well in this role, one should have experience in the past to deal with psychological and physical disabilities along with health challenges. Since record-keeping is important, one must know using software programs as well. As a Counselor, the role involves working with other healthcare professionals for the possible treatment of the client. Good communication skills are essential to having a caring attitude and conversations with clients and family members.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
Right after my graduation, I got a chance to work at a local organization in the same role but as a starter. Since it was my first professional job, all of the experience was new to me. In one of the appointments, I was assisting the supervisor and the client was a difficult one. He started shouting at me and passed a few mean personal comments at me. I got disappointed in my work and my supervisor spoke to me about it a few days later. She taught me to never take such comments to heart and do the best of my work for every client. It helped me a lot and soon I was handling clients on my own. It was an achievement for me!
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
My day starts with meeting individuals separately or in groups depending on the need. This is the first task I have when I enter my workplace. I have my schedule all lined up and I check all time slots for possible meetups. While counseling, I evaluate the skills, educational background, and abilities. If I don’t have meetups planned then I will be working on the treatment plan after consulting with other people on board for the relevant case i.e. therapist and doctors. By the end of the day, I maintain the progress record.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I started my career as Junior Counsellor back in 2015 at YZ Corporation in XYZ City. As a fresher, I had several responsibilities like reviewing case files and coordinating with eh service providers. I got a chance to work with several team members to develop rehabilitation plans. I started providing counseling sessions within a few weeks of my jobs and my focus was on their abilities, interests, and skillset. I was able to develop several referral resources over some time that helped in generating leads for visually impaired clients. I was also in charge of hiring and training the support staff based on the requirement.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
The role is not technical but involves a lot of emotions and mental health stability. While dealing with any of my clients, it is important to understand that they are coming to you because they need help differently. Few have care providers with them while few are on their own and do not want to involve their families in the counseling. Accepting your client is the smart strategy in this career.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
I won’t call it a challenge but a different angle to this job will be dealing with handicapped clients. I have worked with several other cases but this will be my first time being involved with a different group of people. I have skills and abilities and I am sure I will be able to prove them to this organization.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
To be able to help in my profession is one of the biggest motivations to do better in my field. I take pride in my job and I enjoy helping my clients to live better lives. To provide better care and treatment plan, I am always researching so that I can bring a change in their lives. I sometimes do get exhausted but I make sure that my professional responsibilities are not compromised. I try to drop by the gym or a nearby jogging track, it helps me regain focus!
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
I was assisting a case with my supervisor at my first job. All the treatment plans and counseling were completed and there were good signs of improvements as per the progress file as well. During the interviews for employment, the client showed some signs of anger and there were several spells in several rounds. We got to know a month later about the episode from their care provider. We had to create a new treatment plan for the client. I learned that I should stay in touch for the initial few weeks with all my clients to assist them in their treatment.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
My experience and my skill set make me competent enough to qualify for this role. As you can see in my resume, I have worked at different organizations and have been working closely with all my cases and have been able to maintain documentation and reports for all cases closure at my previous organization. I have maintained the network that helped me train my clients and get them a job relevant to their fields and interest.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement to date has been a project working with youth with disabilities. I coordinated with the school management and care providers and even other students to train the youth regarding available services that could help them in getting a job. I helped in identifying their career goals and provided my support throughout the program. I also got a chance to train my staff regarding the changing concepts of vocational rehabilitation and educate them about new policies and procedures. I do believe that if the whole organization is well trained and informed about this type of facility, we can make a significant change in society.
13. To Communicate With Clients And Their Care Providers, What Is Your Style?
While having one-to-one discussions with any of my clients, my approach is structured communication. I help them understand short and long-term goals in the program. If they are regular clients, I give them a quick recap of previous sessions and ask them to share feedback if they have any. Once in a while, I also engage their family members in the discussions so that they can share feedback and also share personal insights of the client with me. Overall helps me in understanding the patient’s progress and connecting with them more passionately.
14. How Do You Handle Challenges At Work? Do You Feel Pressurized?
I believe every patient is a challenge in them. While dealing with any client of mine, I try to maintain my positive behavior and offer them the professional support they are looking for. Due to their mental health, it becomes hard to deal with because they are either in defensive mode or somewhere in the early stages of depression. I deal with empathy and remind them that we all have one common goal i.e. to make them stand on their feet in society and financially too. In my experience, I have learned that motivation helps a lot in dealing with challenging patients.
15. How Do You Ensure That You Are Following Laws And Regulations?
I keep myself updated with the latest publications in the relevant fields and industries to ensure that my practice is as per law. I am attending several trainings and seminars throughout the month and I get a chance to connect with my relevant teams so it helps me too. It’s a huge responsibility and should be taken care of seriously.
16. How Do You Track The Progress Of Your Client?
I have been using several database software since my first job my first internship was back in 2009. The software is a blessing when it comes to keeping a record for your clients. Many organizations are using several software and training their employees as part of their orientation. The recent database that I was using in my current role, has the feature of clients logging in to the online version and checking their appointments and relevant reading material. I do believe that such features make it easier to keep track of all your clients and also connect with them through the cloud system and respond whenever needed. In my case, I have seen better responses and progress reports who can discuss their concerns with their counselor.
17. Share Your Experience In Maintaining Boundaries With Your Clients.
I have a friendly nature and am a great listener too. While dealing with clients, I always inform them beforehand that sessions are going to be held as per the requirement and they can only contact me via official numbers only. I will not be sharing my number with them to ensure professional behavior throughout the support. To keep the session focused on their treatment, I make sure that I do not overshare my personal experience and information with them. I do give them examples but it is within the boundaries of professional help.
18. Do You Think Social Skill Training Is Important?
Due to mental health issues, there are a lot of people who face issues in social skills. To date, social skill training is not the only treatment that can be provided to the patient. It has to be accompanied by other treatment plans to ensure progress in the patient. Several therapies may include dialectical, cognitive, and talk therapies. During vocational rehabilitation, social skill training helps in employment. Since 2001, It is one of the major parts of vocational rehabilitation programs worldwide. Once the client becomes socially skilled, the progress reports always show improvement as it builds confidence in them to perform well in their normal lifestyle.
19. What Are The Major Components Of Vocational Rehabilitation Programs?
The program includes the following:
- Planning of goals and setting milestones,
- Help in getting a job,
- Training the client with skills that are required for a possible job,
- Providing counseling and guidance related to career,
- Assisting in health conditions,
- Evaluating the possible workplace for the client and
- Training the mind to avoid possible mental barriers of the client.
20. If You Come Across Any Client Who Is Demotivated, What Will Be Your Task?
Demotivation is common among such clients because their life has taken a 360 turn and they do not have confidence in themselves. It can be due to an accident or some drug addiction or anything else. I will conduct one-to-one sessions with the client first to understand their life history and preferences when it comes to career choice. I will assist him in finding ways to return to a possible career that is easy for him and also mind refreshing. Once I know the details, I will introduce him to decision-making so that his treatment can continue and he can feel normal in life.
21. Have You Ever Done Virtual Counseling?
Before COVID-19, it was never considered an option for counseling due to limitations but as we all know, COVID did change the overview of normal life. COVID was a stressful time for everyone and it took a major toll on clients who were already dealing with mental health issues. For 2 years now, I have been taking virtual counseling sessions with the majority of my clients. E-therapy has now become normal and it’s possible to reach out to clients through various modes like video calls, emails, or even chats.
22. It Has Been Almost A Year And Your Client Has Not Gotten A Job. What Will Be Your Action Plan?
Getting the right job is sometimes hard and it’s harder than it seems. If my client has not gotten a job, I would not discourage them at all and share a list of problems in the job market. Instead of this, I would introduce them to a few courses or training that can enhance their skills and knowledge regarding the job. They can take free classes or online courses depending on their choice of career. This will surely help them in getting a better job as compared to what they were looking for before.
23. Your Client Has An Interview Scheduled For Tomorrow. How Will You Help?
I will be there to train and help the client to practice more and more for their interview tomorrow. I do understand that anxiety before the interview is real but I will try my best to train them. I will go on the internet and search for possible interview questions related to that field and train them to answer better. I am sure with a counselor behind their back, they will be performing great!
24. Do You Like Working In A Group Or Doing Your Task Alone?
I have gotten a chance to work under both circumstances and honestly, I have enjoyed both. In group work, it is easier to allow the tasks and record the progress every time otherwise it’s a solo show. Discussing the treatment plan with your fellows is always beneficial because you get to hear and understand other person’s perspectives as well.
25. Last, What Is Your Working Style?
To make a successful treatment plan, I am always working on myself to ensure positive behavior. I make sure that I do not get emotional and show any sign of anger or impatience in my working time. As different plans can be implemented, criticism is part of it as well. I take feedback positively and try to improve myself and my approaches. To deal with stress, I try to maintain my mental and physical health in check so that none of my clients faces any issue due to me.
As we have listed the top 25 questions for your interview as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, don’t forget to take your professional resume on the day of the interview. Shake hands with the interviewer with confidence and a smile. Good luck with Project Practical.