School counselor is an important person at every good educational institution. Students need help when taking decisions about their future, facing difficult or unknown conditions and struggle to get along with somebody. Please let me thank you for applying for this job. It is absolutely crucial to have good counselors at schools and I am glad you took a decision to become one. And how to do it?
Emotional intelligence and communication skills are crucial.
Of course the hiring committee, or a school principal, will give you many questions. But before you start to prepare for it, you should understand the real decisive factors – emotional intelligence and communication skills. Either you demonstrate it in your interview, or they will choose someone else. Now, what does it mean?
Communication skills does not represent knowing terminology or having theoretical knowledge of various procedures and processes used in typical school counseling. Of course these things are important and beneficial and can help you, but it isn’t decisive. To be able to consult children means to be able to connect with them at the first place. It means to understand their communication, to be an excellent and devoted listener, to have a full understanding for their needs and desires and an motivation to seek it. So, be humble. Show them and tell them that you want to ASK the students at the first place, and just then advise. Show them your methodology and declare you know what you do and want to actively seek the students – not only wait for them in your office to come. Please, keep it on your mind while answering any kind of school counselor interview questions.
List of typically used questions:
- Why do you want to become a school counselor?
- What do you want to accomplish on this position?
- What practical experiences have you had that make you feel capable of being a school counselor?
- Why do you want to work as a counselor at our school? Why not some other institution?
- What is it that you like about working with (grade level) school students?
- How would you win the hearts and trust of our students?
- How do you handle criticism?
- What is your school counseling/educational philosophy?
- What goals would you set for yourself in this job?
- How would you approach individual student planning?
- Describe how you would implement small group counseling/classroom lessons?
- How important is the paperwork for you?
- How do you imagine a typical day in work as a counselor?
- How will you evaluate your school counseling program?
- What is the role of the school counselor in relation to teachers, parents, administrators and other counselors?
- How would you work with irate/angry/stupid/passive parent?
- How would you work with children from orphanage?
- What would you do if one your students told you she was pregnant?
- What would you do if a student shared with you his suicide plans?
- One of your students told you he/she is gay. How would you react?
- One student wanted to drop out of school. What would you do?
As to the answers, you will have to find it on your own. Keep in mind the right principles and attitudes of a great counselor. Doing so, you should easily find the right answer to every question from our list.
Ask questions too!
Interview is a dialogue. Try to be there not only physically, but also with your thoughts. Ask them relevant questions and show your interest to learn more about the students and problems they face. That’s the way to get a job…
Want to learn more? Have a look at our 15 most common interview questions and answers article, or check some interview questions for other educational positions. Thank you!