17 Guidance Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a guidance counselor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Guidance counselors help students in elementary, middle, and high school make important decisions about their education and future careers. They also provide support to parents and educators. To become a guidance counselor, you need a master’s degree in guidance and counseling.

If you’re interviewing for a guidance counselor job, you can expect questions about your experience working with students, your counseling methods, and your understanding of the educational system. You may also be asked about your ability to deal with difficult situations.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve gathered some common guidance counselor interview questions and answers.

Are you familiar with the requirements for becoming a guidance counselor in this state?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have done your research on the requirements for becoming a guidance counselor in their state. They want to make sure that you are prepared to meet these requirements and can do so with ease. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to become licensed as a guidance counselor in this state.

Example: “Yes, I am familiar with the requirements for becoming a guidance counselor in this state. I plan to complete my master’s degree in counseling by the end of next year. After graduating, I will apply for certification through the National Board for Certified Counselors. Once I receive my certification, I will submit an application to the state board of education to become a registered guidance counselor.”

What are the most important qualities for a successful guidance counselor?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your perspective on what it takes to be a successful guidance counselor. They want to know that you have the skills and abilities necessary for the job, so they can determine whether you’re qualified for their open position. In your answer, try to identify two or three qualities that are most important in a guidance counselor.

Example: “I believe that the most important quality for a guidance counselor is empathy. A good counselor needs to understand how students feel and help them navigate challenges at home and school. Another important quality is patience. Guidance counselors often work with students who are going through challenging situations, so I think it’s essential to remain calm and empathetic when working with these kids.”

How would you handle a situation where a parent was upset about their child’s grades?

As a guidance counselor, you may encounter parents who are upset about their child’s grades. An interviewer wants to know how you would handle this situation in a professional manner while also maintaining the parent-teacher relationship. In your answer, demonstrate that you can empathize with the parent and explain why you believe it is important to maintain positive relationships with parents.

Example: “I understand that parents want the best for their children, so I would first try to reassure them that I am committed to helping their child succeed. If they were still unhappy with their child’s grades, I would ask them what grade they expected their child to achieve. Then, I would provide them with information on the grading scale used by our school district and discuss strategies I use to help students improve their grades.”

What is your process for helping students set and achieve goals?

This question can help interviewers understand how you approach your work and the steps you take to achieve results. Describe a few techniques or methods that you use to help students set goals, monitor progress and celebrate success.

Example: “I believe it’s important for students to have an idea of what they want to accomplish before we start working together. I ask them to write down their goals in a journal so they can reflect on them regularly. Then, we discuss each goal and create a plan for achieving it. For example, if a student wants to get better grades, we’ll talk about why this is important to them and come up with strategies for studying more effectively. We’ll also set smaller milestones along the way to keep track of our progress.”

Provide an example of a time when you helped a student overcome a significant obstacle.

Guidance counselors often help students overcome obstacles that may be preventing them from succeeding in school. Employers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you can use them to help their students succeed. In your answer, try to describe a specific situation where you helped a student overcome an obstacle. Explain what steps you took to help the student and what the results were.

Example: “In my previous role as a guidance counselor, I had a student who was struggling with math. The student’s grades were slipping, and they were becoming discouraged. We met for several sessions to work on math concepts together. I taught the student some basic strategies for solving problems and encouraged them when they made mistakes. After working with me, the student raised their grade by two points.”

If a student came to you with a problem, how would you determine the best way to help them?

This question can help interviewers understand your counseling style and how you would interact with students. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you helped a student overcome a challenge or problem.

Example: “When working with students, I always try to make sure they feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts and feelings. In my experience, this is the best way to get an accurate idea of what’s going on in their lives and what they need support with. Once I’ve listened to them, I’ll ask questions to better understand the issue and determine if there are any solutions that we can work toward together.”

What would you do if you noticed a significant drop in a student’s grades?

Guidance counselors often monitor students’ grades and attendance to ensure they are performing well in school. Interviewers may ask this question to learn how you would handle a situation like this. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to investigate the cause of the student’s poor performance. Explain that you would want to understand why the student is struggling so you can help them overcome their challenges.

Example: “If I noticed a significant drop in a student’s grades, I would first try to get in touch with the student to see if there was an issue at home or at school that could be affecting their performance. If the student doesn’t have any issues, then I would work with teachers to find out what areas the student is struggling in. Then, I would meet with the student to discuss strategies for overcoming these challenges.”

How well do you handle stress?

Guidance counselors often work with students who are experiencing a lot of stress. They may be struggling in school, dealing with family issues or facing other challenges that can affect their ability to learn. A guidance counselor needs to have the emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills to help these students cope with their stress. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you understand how stress affects students and that you know how to help them manage their emotions.

Example: “I think stress is an inevitable part of life. I believe that everyone has the tools they need within themselves to overcome stressful situations. As a guidance counselor, my goal would be to help students identify what stresses them out and then teach them techniques for managing their stress. For example, if a student is stressed about a test, I might ask them to take deep breaths and calm down before starting the exam.”

Do you enjoy working with children?

This question is a common one for guidance counselors to answer. It helps employers understand if you are passionate about working with children and can help them determine whether or not you would be a good fit for their school. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific experiences that have helped you develop your passion for working with kids.

Example: “I absolutely love working with children. I find it so rewarding when I am able to help students overcome challenges in their lives and learn new things. In my previous role as a teacher, I had the opportunity to work with many different types of children, which has helped me develop strategies for helping all kinds of kids succeed.”

When working with a group, how do you determine who should lead the activity?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your leadership skills and how you interact with a group of students. Your answer should show that you can work well with others, communicate effectively and make decisions when needed.

Example: “I always try to let the students decide who leads the activity. I will usually give them several options for activities or games they can play and then allow them to choose which one they would like to do. This helps me avoid any conflict between students about who is leading the activity. If there are no volunteers, however, I will step in and lead the activity myself.”

We want our students to feel comfortable coming to the guidance counselor for help. How would you help a student feel comfortable talking to you?

The interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you can help students feel comfortable in the guidance counselor’s office. Use examples from previous experiences where you helped a student feel at ease or encouraged them to open up to you.

Example: “I always make sure to greet students with a smile when they come into my office. I also try to remember what their interests are so that I can start our conversations by asking them about their hobbies, sports teams or other activities they enjoy. This helps me get to know them better and makes them feel more comfortable talking to me.”

Describe your experience working with students from diverse backgrounds.

Guidance counselors often work with students from a variety of backgrounds. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with diverse populations and can help students learn about different cultures. In your answer, share an example of how you helped a student who came from a background that was different than the majority of students in your school.

Example: “At my previous job, I worked at a high school where most of the students were white. However, there were also many Hispanic and African-American students. One day, one of the African-American students asked me for advice on what he should do when his teacher made racist comments in class. I talked to the teacher and explained why it was inappropriate to say those things in front of students. The teacher apologized and agreed to be more aware of her language.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their school. Before your interview, make a list of three things that make you unique from other guidance counselors. These could be specific skills or experiences that relate to the job description.

Example: “I am passionate about helping students find their strengths and discover what they are good at. I also have experience working with students who have learning disabilities and know how to help them overcome challenges in the classroom. Finally, I am committed to making sure every student feels safe and supported at school.”

Which subject areas do you enjoy working with the most?

Guidance counselors often work with students of all ages and grade levels. Interviewers want to know which age groups you enjoy working with the most, as well as what subjects you find most interesting. This helps them understand if your personality is a good fit for their school’s culture.

Example: “I have worked in elementary schools for the past five years, so I am very comfortable working with younger children. However, I also love working with high school students because they are at such an exciting time in their lives. They’re preparing to leave home and start college or begin their careers, so it’s fun to be part of that process. I feel like I can make a real difference in their lives.”

What do you think is the most important thing a guidance counselor can do for students?

This question can help interviewers understand your philosophy of guidance counseling. It’s important to show that you value the role of a guidance counselor and what they do for students. You can answer this question by explaining how you would approach your job as a guidance counselor if you were hired for the position.

Example: “I think the most important thing a guidance counselor can do is listen to their students. I believe it’s crucial to create an environment where students feel comfortable talking about their problems, whether they’re academic or personal. As a student myself, I know how hard it can be to talk to adults sometimes, but I also know that guidance counselors are there to help us through those tough times. I always make sure to give my full attention to students when they come in for appointments.”

How often would you meet with students?

The interviewer wants to know how often you would meet with students and what your schedule might look like. They want to make sure that the school’s counseling department has enough staff members to accommodate student needs. Your answer should include a description of your typical day as well as any special circumstances that may arise during the year.

Example: “I typically meet with students once a week, but I also have an open-door policy where they can come see me at any time if they need help or just want to talk. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a death in the family, I will adjust my schedule accordingly. I always want to be available for my students.”

There is a conflict between two students in your office. How would you handle it?

This question is an opportunity to show your conflict resolution skills. It’s important for a guidance counselor to be able to resolve conflicts between students and help them find solutions that work for everyone involved.

Example: “I would first make sure the two students are safe, then I would ask each student what happened and how they feel about it. Then I would talk with both of them together to see if there was a way to solve this problem without anyone feeling hurt or left out. If not, I would try to get more information from other sources like teachers or parents to better understand the situation.”


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