25 Behavior Interventionist Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a behavior interventionist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a behavior interventionist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Behavior interventionists work one-on-one with students who have emotional and behavioral disorders in both public and private schools. They help these students learn to control their emotions and behaviors and to improve their social and academic skills.
If you want to become a behavior interventionist, you’ll need to be prepared to answer a range of questions in your interview. Questions will likely focus on your experience with children, your ability to handle difficult situations, and your knowledge of behavioral disorders.
To help you prepare, we’ve gathered some common questions and answers that you can use to help formulate your own responses.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, is a federal law that governs how students with disabilities are educated in public schools. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience working within the parameters of the law and understand its requirements. In your answer, try to explain what the IDEA is and why it’s important for behavior interventionists to be familiar with it.
Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). I have been working as a Behavior Interventionist for the past five years and during that time I have had extensive experience in providing services to children with disabilities. I understand the importance of IDEA and how it provides students with disabilities access to an appropriate education. I also understand the need to ensure that all students receive the necessary accommodations they require to be successful in their educational setting. In addition, I am knowledgeable about the various components of IDEA such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements, and other related regulations. Finally, I am committed to staying up-to-date on any changes or updates to IDEA so that I can provide the best possible support to my students.”
This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your behavioral intervention strategies and how you apply them to improve a client’s behavior. Use examples from previous experience that highlight your ability to use effective strategies to support clients in their learning and development.
Example: “I have found that the most effective strategies for improving a client’s behavior are those that focus on positive reinforcement. I believe in providing rewards and recognition for desired behaviors, as well as redirecting negative behaviors into more productive activities. For example, when working with clients who exhibit challenging behaviors, I often use token economies to reward them for completing tasks or engaging in appropriate behaviors. This helps to reinforce the desired behaviors while also teaching the client how to manage their own emotions and reactions.
In addition, I have had success using visual supports such as social stories and visuals schedules to help clients understand expectations and develop better self-regulation skills. Finally, I find it important to provide consistent feedback and support throughout the intervention process. By offering praise and encouragement, I can help build trust and foster a sense of security which is essential for successful behavior change.”
As a behavior interventionist, you may encounter situations in which parents are not receptive to your suggestions. Employers ask this question to make sure that you can handle these challenging conversations and still maintain the trust of both parties. In your answer, try to show that you understand how important it is to keep communication open with parents.
Example: “If I encountered a situation in which a client’s parents were not receptive to my suggestions, I would first take the time to understand their perspective. It is important to listen and empathize with any concerns they may have before attempting to move forward. I would then explain why I believe my suggestion would be beneficial for their child and provide evidence to support it if possible. Finally, I would offer alternative solutions that could address their concerns while still achieving the desired outcome. Ultimately, my goal would be to come to an agreement that works best for both parties.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you use your knowledge of behavior analysis to support students. Your answer should include a specific example from your experience and show that you have an understanding of what strengths and weaknesses are in relation to behavioral interventions.
Example: “My process for identifying a client’s strengths and weaknesses begins with getting to know the individual. I take time to build rapport, understand their goals, and learn about their current environment. This helps me gain insight into how they interact in different settings and what motivates them.
Once I have this information, I can begin to assess the client’s strengths and weaknesses. I use a variety of assessment tools such as interviews, observations, and standardized tests to evaluate the client’s behavior, communication skills, and social interactions. Through these assessments, I am able to identify areas where the client is excelling and areas that need improvement.
I also collaborate with other professionals who may be involved in the client’s care to get an even more comprehensive understanding of their abilities and needs. By taking all of this information into account, I am able to create an effective intervention plan tailored to the individual’s unique situation.”
This question can allow you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to changing situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific details about the situation and how you implemented a solution that helped improve the client’s behavior.
Example: “I recently had to implement a change to a client’s behavior support plan. The client was exhibiting aggressive behaviors and I needed to find an effective way to reduce the frequency of these behaviors. After consulting with the family, we decided that implementing a token economy system would be the best course of action.
To begin, I created a list of positive behaviors that the client could engage in to earn tokens. These included things like completing homework assignments, following instructions, and participating in group activities. I then set up a reward system for when the client earned enough tokens. This allowed them to receive tangible rewards for their hard work. Finally, I monitored the client’s progress closely and provided feedback on how they were doing.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you interact with clients who may not be able to communicate verbally. Use your answer to highlight your interpersonal skills and ability to read non-verbal cues.
Example: “When working with a non-verbal client, I use a variety of strategies to determine their feelings and needs. First, I observe the client’s body language, facial expressions, and behavior for clues about how they are feeling. I also look for patterns in their behaviors that may indicate when they are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.
I also use visual supports such as pictures and symbols to help communicate with the client. These can be used to show different emotions, activities, and objects so that the client can point to what they need or want. Finally, I create opportunities for choice making so that the client can make decisions about their environment and activities. This helps me understand their preferences and interests, which can give me insight into their feelings and needs.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and whether you have the skills to diffuse it. Your answer should show that you are willing to intervene in situations like this one, even if they’re not directed at you.
Example: “If I noticed that two of my clients were bullying each other, I would take immediate action. First, I would separate the two individuals and create a safe environment for them to express their feelings without fear of retaliation or further harm. Then, I would talk to each client individually in order to gain an understanding of why they are engaging in this behavior. Once I have identified the root cause of the issue, I can then work with both parties to develop strategies to address the underlying issues and prevent future occurrences. Finally, I would provide guidance and support to help the clients learn how to interact more positively with one another.”
Stress is a common problem for behavior interventionists. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to manage stress and remain calm in high-pressure situations. In your answer, explain how you handle stressful situations and provide an example of a time when you successfully managed stress while working with clients.
Example: “I understand that working with clients can be stressful, but I have developed strategies to help me manage my stress levels. First and foremost, I remain organized and plan ahead so I am always prepared for any situation. This helps me stay focused on the task at hand and prevents me from feeling overwhelmed. Secondly, I prioritize self-care and make sure to take breaks throughout the day to clear my head and reset. Finally, I practice positive self-talk and remind myself of the progress I’ve made when I start to feel stressed. These techniques have helped me maintain a calm demeanor while working with clients, even in challenging situations.”
This question can help interviewers understand your experience working with challenging clients and how you handled those situations. Use examples from previous work experiences to highlight your problem-solving skills, ability to communicate effectively and commitment to helping others succeed.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience working with clients who have severe behavioral issues. During my time as a Behavior Interventionist, I have worked with many individuals who had challenging behaviors such as aggression and self-injurious behavior. In each case, I was able to develop an individualized plan that addressed the client’s unique needs and helped them make positive changes in their behavior. I also have experience providing crisis intervention services when needed. My approach is always to use evidence-based strategies while maintaining a respectful and compassionate attitude towards the client. I believe this combination of skills makes me well-suited for this position.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your ability to collaborate. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of when you shared responsibilities with other behavior interventionists and the positive outcome that resulted from this collaboration.
Example: “When working with a team of other behavior interventionists, I believe it is important to communicate and collaborate effectively. I strive to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions while also taking responsibility for their own tasks. I am always willing to take on additional responsibilities when needed, but I also understand the importance of delegating tasks in order to ensure that all members of the team are contributing equally. I make sure to provide clear expectations for each task so that everyone knows what they need to do and can work together to achieve our goals.”
This question can help an interviewer understand how you stay current on the latest research and best practices in your field. It can also show them that you are willing to learn more about the job, which can be helpful if they want to see improvements or changes in your performance.
Example: “Staying up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in behavior intervention is incredibly important to me. I make sure to read professional journals, such as The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, regularly. I also attend conferences and workshops related to behavior intervention whenever possible. In addition, I am an active member of several online forums dedicated to behavior intervention where I can discuss topics with other professionals in the field. Finally, I have a network of colleagues who I consult with when I need advice or information about current trends in the field. By using these resources, I stay informed and ensure that my practice remains current and effective.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your ability to evaluate the success of a plan and make adjustments as needed. Use examples from past experience to describe how you analyze data, identify trends and implement changes to improve outcomes for students.
Example: “When evaluating the effectiveness of a behavior support plan, I take a comprehensive approach. First, I assess the individual’s current level of functioning and define the desired outcome. This includes gathering information from family members, teachers, and other professionals who are involved in the individual’s care. Once the goal is established, I create an individualized plan that outlines specific strategies to address the identified behaviors.
Next, I monitor progress by collecting data on the frequency and intensity of the target behaviors. I also track the implementation of the intervention strategies, such as how often they were used and if any modifications were necessary. Finally, I analyze the collected data to determine whether the intervention was successful in meeting the desired outcomes. If not, I adjust the plan accordingly and continue monitoring progress until the goals are achieved.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you would be a good fit for their school. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight any experience or skills that make you an ideal candidate. You may also want to mention what attracted you to the position in the first place.
Example: “I believe I am an ideal candidate for a behavior interventionist position because of my extensive experience and knowledge in this field. I have been working as a Behavior Interventionist for the past five years, providing support to children with special needs and their families. During this time, I have developed strong skills in understanding individual behaviors, creating effective behavior plans, and implementing strategies to improve social-emotional functioning.
In addition to my professional experience, I also possess a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis which has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of evidence-based practices used to address challenging behaviors. My education has also given me the ability to develop data-driven interventions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual client.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with behavioral models and theories. It can also show them which ones you prefer to use in your work as a behavior interventionist. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list several behavioral models and theories that you are familiar with and explain why you find each one useful.
Example: “I am most familiar with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). I have had extensive experience working with both of these models in my current role as a behavior interventionist. ABA is the science of applying interventions based on the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors. It focuses on increasing desirable behaviors, decreasing undesirable behaviors, and teaching new skills. PBIS is an evidence-based framework for creating safe and effective school environments that support positive student behavior. It uses data-driven decision making to identify, assess, and intervene when needed. Both of these models are highly effective and I have seen great success using them in my work.”
This question can help an interviewer understand your priorities and how you view the role of a behavior interventionist. Your answer should reflect your understanding of what is expected in this position, as well as your personal values.
Example: “As a behavior interventionist, I believe the most important aspect of my role is to provide support and guidance to individuals with behavioral challenges. My goal is to help them develop positive behaviors that will enable them to lead successful lives. To do this, I use evidence-based strategies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to assess individual needs and create tailored plans for each person. I also work closely with families and other professionals to ensure everyone involved has the necessary resources and information needed to be successful. Finally, I strive to build strong relationships with those I serve in order to foster trust and understanding. This allows me to better understand their unique circumstances and tailor interventions accordingly.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your experience with meeting frequency and how you plan for success. Use examples from your previous work to explain the importance of regular meetings and how they help students achieve their goals.
Example: “When working with a client, I believe it is important to meet regularly in order to evaluate progress and make changes to their plan as needed. The frequency of these meetings will depend on the individual needs of the client. For some clients, weekly or bi-weekly meetings may be sufficient, while for others more frequent check-ins may be necessary.
I also think it is important to remain flexible and adjust meeting frequency if needed. If there are any sudden changes in behavior or new goals that need to be addressed, I would suggest having additional meetings as needed.”
This question is an opportunity to show your critical thinking skills and ability to make decisions based on the information you have. You can use examples from your experience that demonstrate how you would evaluate a situation, gather data and implement a solution.
Example: “When faced with a lack of data on how an intervention will impact a client’s behavior, I would take a proactive approach. First, I would consult the literature to see if there is any research that could provide insight into the potential outcome of the intervention. If not, I would then work closely with the client and their family to develop an individualized plan of action. This plan would include collecting baseline data before implementing the intervention so we can accurately measure its effectiveness. Finally, I would monitor the progress of the intervention and make adjustments as needed based on the results. By taking this comprehensive approach, I am confident that I can effectively address the issue of a lack of data on how an intervention will impact a client’s behavior.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you respond to challenging situations and whether you have experience with crisis management. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you helped a client overcome a difficult challenge or problem.
Example: “In my previous role as a behavior interventionist, I worked with a student who had severe anxiety that caused him to act out during class. The school’s administration was concerned about the escalation of his behaviors and asked me to meet with him one-on-one to discuss what we could do to help him manage his anxiety. After meeting with him for several weeks, he began to feel more comfortable talking about his feelings and learned techniques to calm himself when he felt anxious.”
Example: “I recently had the opportunity to provide crisis management for a client who was struggling with severe anxiety. This client had been dealing with their anxiety for years, but it had become particularly acute in recent weeks.
My first step was to assess the situation and determine what interventions would be most effective. I decided that providing calming strategies such as deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation would be beneficial. I also worked with the client to develop an action plan for when they felt overwhelmed by their anxiety.
Once we had established these coping skills, I monitored the client’s progress closely and provided support whenever needed. We discussed triggers of their anxiety and how to best manage them. I also helped the client identify any underlying issues that may have been contributing to their anxiety.”
The interviewer may want to know how you customize your plans for each student and ensure that they’re meeting their unique needs. Use examples from past experience where you’ve created individualized behavior intervention plans for students with similar challenges but different needs.
Example: “When creating a behavior intervention plan, I make sure to take into consideration the individual needs of each client. First, I assess the client’s current behaviors and identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to their behavior. Then, I work with the client and their family to develop an individualized plan that takes into account the unique circumstances of the situation.
I also ensure that my plans are evidence-based, using research-supported strategies such as positive reinforcement, extinction, and differential reinforcement. Finally, I continually monitor the progress of the plan and adjust it as needed in order to maximize its effectiveness for the client. This process helps me create tailored interventions that are tailored to the specific needs of each client, ensuring that they receive the best possible care.”
The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your ability to work with others and collaborate on projects. Use examples from past experiences where you worked well with other professionals, such as teachers or doctors, to provide services to clients.
Example: “I understand the importance of collaboration when it comes to providing services to clients. I have experience working with a variety of professionals, including teachers and doctors, to create an effective team approach. When collaborating with other professionals, I believe in open communication and respect for each professional’s expertise. I would ensure that all members of the team are aware of their roles and responsibilities, as well as those of the others on the team. This allows us to work together efficiently and effectively to provide the best possible service to our clients.
In addition, I am comfortable leading meetings and facilitating discussions among team members. I can help to ensure that everyone is heard and respected while also helping to move the conversation forward towards achieving our goals. Finally, I am willing to take feedback from my colleagues and use it to improve my practice and better serve our clients.”
This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your experience and expertise as a behavior interventionist. Use examples from your previous work to highlight your ability to assess clients’ needs, develop effective strategies for helping them achieve their goals and monitor progress toward those goals.
Example: “I have found that the most successful strategies for helping clients make progress toward their goals are those that focus on positive reinforcement. I believe in using rewards and praise to motivate my clients, as well as providing them with clear expectations and consistent feedback. I also like to use visual aids such as charts or graphs to help track progress and stay motivated. Finally, I strive to create an environment where my clients feel comfortable expressing themselves and can ask questions without fear of judgement. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, I am able to better understand my client’s needs and tailor my interventions accordingly.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working with parents and guardians. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
Example: “I have extensive experience working with families to help them develop positive parenting strategies. I have worked in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and private practice. In each setting, I have been able to build strong relationships with the families I work with and provide them with evidence-based interventions that are tailored to their individual needs.
My approach is to first assess the family’s current situation and identify any areas where they could benefit from additional support. From there, I collaborate with the family to create an individualized plan that includes both short-term and long-term goals. This plan typically includes activities such as teaching positive reinforcement techniques, providing guidance on how to set limits and expectations, and helping parents learn how to respond effectively to challenging behaviors.”
Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our society, so it’s important for a behavioral interventionist to be able to use technology effectively. This question allows you to show the interviewer that you understand how to use technology as part of your job.
Example: “I believe that technology can be an incredibly powerful tool to support clients’ behavioral needs. Technology has the potential to provide a wide range of resources and tools for behavior interventionists, such as data collection and analysis, which can help us better understand our clients’ behaviors and develop effective interventions. It also allows us to track progress over time, providing us with valuable information about how our interventions are working. Finally, technology can be used to create virtual learning environments where clients can practice their skills in a safe and secure setting.”
When working with students who are disruptive, it’s important to remain calm and use positive reinforcement. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience handling challenging situations in the classroom. In your answer, explain how you used your communication skills to help resolve the situation.
Example: “I recently had a situation with a client who was becoming increasingly agitated and disruptive. I knew that it was important to act quickly to de-escalate the situation before it got out of hand.
The first thing I did was take a step back and assess the situation. I noticed that the client was feeling overwhelmed by the task they were trying to complete, so I took a few moments to explain the process in more detail and provide additional support. This helped them to feel more comfortable and understand what needed to be done.
Next, I used calming techniques such as deep breathing and positive affirmations to help the client relax. I also provided verbal cues to remind them to stay focused on the task at hand. Finally, I offered praise and encouragement for their efforts throughout the process.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenging situations and maintain a positive relationship with the client. Use your answer to highlight your interpersonal skills, ability to remain calm under pressure and commitment to helping clients succeed despite challenges.
Example: “When it comes to handling challenging behaviors while maintaining a professional relationship with the client, I believe in using positive reinforcement and redirection. I strive to create an environment that is both supportive and encouraging for the client. When faced with challenging behaviors, my first step is to identify the underlying cause of the behavior. Once I have identified the cause, I can then work on developing strategies to address the issue. This could include providing additional support or resources, redirecting the behavior, or implementing a reward system.
I also believe in open communication with the client. It’s important to keep them informed about any changes or strategies being implemented so they feel included and respected. Finally, I always maintain a calm demeanor when dealing with challenging behaviors. By remaining patient and understanding, I am able to effectively de-escalate situations and build trust with the client.”