25 School Counselor Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a school counselor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a school counselor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
A school counselor’s job is to help students develop academically, emotionally, and socially. They work with students of all ages, from elementary school to college. School counselors also work with parents and teachers to create a healthy school environment.
If you’re interested in becoming a school counselor, you’ll need to go through an interview process. During your interview, you’ll likely be asked questions about your experience working with children, your education, and your counseling skills.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with sample questions and answers that will help you prepare for your interview.
This question is a great way to see how ambitious you are and what your goals are for the school counseling department. Your answer should include specific tasks that you would like to accomplish in your first month on the job, such as creating an action plan or organizing files.
Example: “In my first month on the job, I would like to get to know the students and staff at the school. I want to understand their needs and challenges so that I can best serve them in my role as a School Counselor. I also plan to review existing policies and procedures related to student counseling services and make any necessary changes or updates. Finally, I will create an action plan for providing comprehensive counseling services to meet the needs of all students. My goal is to ensure that every student has access to quality counseling support and resources.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and how you found out about the job opening. They want to know if you applied for the position on your own or if someone referred you. You can answer this question by briefly explaining who told you about the role, what their relationship was with the school and why they thought you would be a good fit for the counseling position.
Example: “I heard about the position through a colleague of mine who works in the same field. She had recently seen the job posting and thought I would be an excellent fit for it. After researching more about the role, I was even more excited to apply. The opportunity to work with students and help them achieve their goals is something that I am passionate about.
I have been working as a School Counselor for the past five years and during this time, I have developed strong relationships with my students and colleagues. My experience has allowed me to gain knowledge on how to effectively counsel students and provide them with resources they need to succeed. I am confident that my skillset will be beneficial to this new position.”
This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are applying for this position. It’s important to show that you have done your research on the school, its mission statement and what makes it unique. You should also highlight any personal connections you may have with the school or community.
Example: “I am very interested in working for your school because I believe that my experience and expertise as a School Counselor can be put to good use. As an experienced counselor, I have worked with students of all ages and backgrounds, providing support and guidance on a variety of issues. My goal is to help each student reach their full potential by helping them develop the skills they need to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially.
I also understand the importance of creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. I strive to create a culture of respect and understanding in which every student feels valued and respected. I believe this is essential for fostering a positive learning experience for all students. Finally, I am passionate about advocating for the rights of all students and ensuring that they have access to the resources they need to thrive.”
School counselors often work with students who are struggling in school or at risk of dropping out. An interviewer may ask this question to learn how you handle these situations and ensure the student’s success. In your answer, explain what steps you take to help these students succeed.
Example: “I believe that intervening with at risk students is a very important part of my job as a school counselor. My approach to working with these students involves building relationships and trust, so I can better understand their needs and provide appropriate interventions.
In order to build relationships, I make sure to be available for the student whenever they need me. This could mean having regular check-ins or providing them with resources outside of school. I also take the time to get to know each individual student and their unique circumstances in order to create an intervention plan tailored to their specific needs.
Once I have established a relationship with the student, I focus on helping them identify and address any underlying issues that may be causing them to struggle. This could include talking about mental health, family dynamics, or academic difficulties. By doing this, I am able to help the student develop coping skills and strategies to manage their emotions and behaviors.”
This question can help interviewers understand what you find challenging and how you approach challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific skill that helps you overcome the challenge.
Example: “The most challenging part of this role, in my opinion, is helping students navigate the complexities of their academic and social lives. As a school counselor, I understand that every student has unique needs and challenges. It’s important to be able to identify those needs and provide guidance and support accordingly. My experience as a school counselor has taught me how to do just that – listen to each individual student and tailor my advice to fit their specific situation. I have also developed strong communication skills which help me build relationships with both students and faculty members. This allows me to provide an effective and comprehensive counseling service. Finally, I am committed to staying up-to-date on current research and best practices so that I can ensure I’m providing the highest quality of care for my students.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you can contribute to their school. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Focus on highlighting your most relevant experience and soft skills.
Example: “I believe I am the best candidate for this job because of my extensive experience as a School Counselor. I have been working in the field for over 10 years, and during that time I have developed an understanding of how to effectively support students with their academic, social, and emotional needs. My background includes providing individual counseling, group counseling, crisis intervention, and classroom guidance. I also have experience developing and implementing school-wide programs to promote positive mental health and well-being.
In addition to my professional qualifications, I bring enthusiasm and dedication to my work. I am passionate about helping young people reach their full potential, and I strive to create a safe and supportive environment where all students can thrive. I understand the importance of building relationships with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders in order to foster collaboration and ensure success. Finally, I am committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field so that I can provide the most effective services possible.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have any experience working with students and how that experience may relate to your role as a school counselor. If you do not have direct experience, you can discuss other experiences where you worked with people who are younger than you.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience working with students. During my time as a School Counselor, I have worked closely with students of all ages and backgrounds to help them achieve their academic and personal goals. I am passionate about helping students reach their full potential and providing guidance in areas such as career exploration, college readiness, and social-emotional development.
I believe that every student deserves the opportunity to succeed and I strive to create an environment where they can feel safe and supported. My approach is to listen carefully to each student’s individual needs and develop tailored strategies to best address those needs. I also collaborate with teachers, administrators, and other staff members to ensure that students are receiving the necessary support.”
This question is an opportunity to show your passion for working with students. Your answer should include a personal story that explains why you chose this career path and what motivates you to do it every day.
Example: “I chose to pursue a career as a school counselor because I am passionate about helping young people reach their potential. As an educator, I have seen firsthand how important it is for students to receive the right guidance and support in order to succeed. School counselors provide this essential service by offering individualized attention, resources, and advice that can make a real difference in a student’s life.
I also believe that every student deserves access to quality counseling services regardless of their background or circumstances. My experience working with diverse populations has taught me the importance of providing equitable care and creating an environment where all students feel safe and supported.”
School counselors often provide feedback to students, parents and teachers. Interviewers want to know how you can give constructive feedback in a way that helps others improve their performance or behavior. Use examples from your experience of giving feedback to show the interviewer that you are capable of doing so effectively.
Example: “I believe that providing constructive feedback is an important part of being a school counselor. I strive to provide feedback in a way that is both honest and encouraging. When giving feedback, I focus on the behavior or action rather than the individual themselves. This helps to ensure that the recipient can take away something positive from the experience.
I also make sure to be specific when providing feedback so that the person receiving it knows exactly what they need to work on. For example, instead of saying “you’re not doing well”, I might say “your grades have been slipping lately, let’s talk about how we can get them back up”. Finally, I always follow up after giving feedback to check in with the student and see if they are making progress.”
School counselors often work with students who are struggling emotionally or socially. They may not want to talk about their problems, but the counselor needs them to open up so they can help them. Your answer should show that you understand how difficult this situation can be and that you have strategies for getting through it.
Example: “When a student does not want to talk with me, I understand that it can be difficult for them to open up. My approach is to create an environment of trust and understanding. I start by building rapport with the student and letting them know that I am there to help. I also make sure to respect their boundaries and allow them to take their time in sharing what they feel comfortable discussing.
I find that when students are given space to express themselves without judgement or pressure, they often become more willing to share their thoughts and feelings. I also use active listening techniques such as paraphrasing and summarizing to demonstrate my understanding and encourage further discussion. Finally, I provide resources and referrals to other professionals if necessary. By taking these steps, I strive to create a safe and supportive atmosphere where the student feels heard and understood.”
This question can be tricky because it’s a chance for you to explain why you’re looking for a new job without sounding negative about your current employer. It’s important to remember that the interviewer is likely asking this question to understand more about your decision and how it relates to their school, so try to answer honestly while also showing enthusiasm for the position.
Example: “I am leaving my current job because I have reached a plateau in terms of professional growth. After five years as a School Counselor, I feel that I have gained the necessary experience and knowledge to move onto something more challenging.
I am looking for an opportunity to expand my skillset and take on new responsibilities. I believe this position at your school would provide me with the perfect platform to do so. The role offers the chance to work with a diverse student body and use my expertise to help them reach their full potential. It also allows me to explore different approaches to counseling and gain valuable insight into the latest trends in education.”
School counselors often work with students who have experienced abuse. Interviewers want to know how you would handle such a sensitive situation and ensure the child’s safety while maintaining their privacy. In your answer, explain that you would report any suspected cases of abuse to the proper authorities and support the student through the process.
Example: “If I were to handle a child abuse case, my first priority would be the safety of the child. I would ensure that they are in a safe environment and provide them with any necessary resources or referrals for further support. I would also take the time to listen to their story and assess the situation thoroughly.
I understand the importance of confidentiality when dealing with sensitive cases such as this one, so I would make sure to keep all information confidential and only share it with those who need to know. I would work closely with the family and other professionals involved to develop an action plan that is tailored to the individual needs of the child. This plan could include counseling, therapy, legal assistance, and other services as needed.”
Bullying is a serious issue in schools, and school counselors often need to help students who are being bullied. Your answer should show that you understand the severity of bullying and how it can affect students’ lives. You can talk about your plan for helping students who bully others or those who are being bullied.
Example: “I believe that bullying is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately. As a School Counselor, I would take an active role in preventing bullying by educating students on the importance of respect for one another. I would also create a safe environment where students feel comfortable to come forward with any issues they may have.
When it comes to handling students who bully other students, I would first talk to them privately about their behavior and explain why it’s wrong. I would then work with the student to develop strategies to help them better manage their emotions and deal with situations without resorting to bullying. Finally, I would involve parents or guardians if necessary to ensure that the student receives the support they need to make positive changes in their behavior.”
School counselors often work with teachers to create plans for students. These plans can include academic goals, social skills development and other important aspects of a student’s life. Interviewers may ask this question to learn how you collaborate with others and develop strategies that help students succeed. In your answer, explain the steps you would take to create these plans with teachers.
Example: “As a School Counselor, I understand the importance of working collaboratively with teachers to create effective plans for students. My approach would be to first build strong relationships with each teacher in order to gain an understanding of their individual teaching styles and student needs. This will allow me to better tailor my counseling services to meet the specific needs of each student.
I also believe that open communication between myself and the teachers is essential in creating successful plans for students. By having regular meetings with teachers, I can stay up-to-date on any changes or updates that need to be made to existing plans. Furthermore, this allows us to discuss any new strategies or approaches that could potentially benefit our students.”
School counselors often work with students and their families to ensure they meet state graduation requirements. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you have the knowledge necessary to help your students succeed in school. In your answer, explain what you know about state graduation requirements and how you plan to support your students as they prepare for high school graduation.
Example: “I am very familiar with state graduation requirements. I have worked as a school counselor for the past five years and during that time, I have become well-versed in the various requirements of each state. I understand the importance of ensuring students meet all necessary criteria to graduate on time.
In my current role, I work closely with teachers, administrators, and parents to ensure that our students are meeting the required standards. I also provide guidance and support to help them stay on track. My experience has enabled me to develop an understanding of the different regulations and expectations from one state to another. This allows me to effectively communicate with stakeholders and advise students accordingly.”
School counselors often use computer programs to create student schedules, record attendance and communicate with parents. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you have the necessary skills to complete these tasks. Before your interview, review the job description to see which computer programs they list as requirements. In your answer, name any programs that match those listed in the job description.
Example: “I am very familiar with using a variety of computer programs. I have experience using Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I also have experience using Google Drive, which includes Sheets, Docs, and Slides. In addition to these programs, I am comfortable working with online databases, such as SIS and PowerSchool. Finally, I have used various software programs for data analysis, such as SPSS and SAS.”
School counselors often have to keep up with the latest trends in their field. They may attend conferences, read journals or take online courses to learn about new ways of helping students succeed. Interviewers want to know that you are committed to your own professional development and will continue learning throughout your career as a school counselor.
Example: “My approach to professional development is rooted in the belief that continuous learning and growth are essential for success. I strive to stay up-to-date on best practices, research, and trends in school counseling by attending conferences, workshops, and seminars. I also make sure to read relevant literature and articles related to my field.
I believe it’s important to be open to feedback and constructive criticism from colleagues and supervisors. This helps me identify areas of improvement and develop new strategies for working with students. Finally, I take advantage of any available opportunities to shadow experienced counselors or participate in mentorship programs. By doing so, I can learn from their experiences and gain valuable insight into how to better serve our student population.”
School counselors often work with students and their families to help them overcome challenges. When a student is struggling in school, the counselor may meet with the family to discuss strategies for improvement. If you are interviewing for this position, it’s important to show that you can provide support to both students and their families.
Example: “I believe that supporting families in crisis is one of the most important roles of a school counselor. I approach each family with empathy and understanding, while also providing them with resources to help manage their situation.
When working with families in crisis, my first step is to assess the needs of the family and identify any potential risks or safety concerns. From there, I work with the family to develop an action plan that addresses their immediate needs, as well as long-term goals for managing the crisis. This may include connecting them with community resources such as mental health services, financial assistance programs, or support groups.
In addition to providing resources, I strive to create a safe and supportive environment for the family by actively listening to their concerns and validating their feelings. I also provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process, helping the family to navigate difficult decisions and find solutions that are best for everyone involved.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your counseling style and how you plan to help students succeed. You can answer this question by describing a specific strategy or two that you’ve used in the past, such as goal-setting or academic monitoring.
Example: “I believe in a holistic approach to helping students reach their academic goals. I focus on both the student’s individual needs and strengths, as well as their environment. For example, I have implemented strategies such as goal setting and tracking progress, providing resources for tutoring or extra help, and creating an atmosphere of support and encouragement.
I also work with teachers and administrators to ensure that students are receiving appropriate accommodations and modifications based on their individual needs. This includes working with parents and guardians to create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if necessary. Finally, I strive to provide students with the tools they need to be successful, including study skills, time management, organization, and test-taking strategies.”
School counselors often have to make decisions that are in the best interests of their students. This question allows you to show your ability to think critically and act on behalf of a student’s needs. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you had to make a tough decision for a student.
Example: “When I was working as a school counselor at an elementary school, one of my students came to me with concerns about her parents’ divorce. She asked if she could switch seats so she wouldn’t sit next to her brother because he was making fun of her. I knew that switching seats would only move the problem, so I talked to the brother privately and explained how his actions were hurting his sister. He apologized and promised to stop teasing her.”
Example: “I recently had to make a difficult decision on behalf of a student’s best interests. The student was struggling academically and socially, and I felt it was important to intervene before the situation got worse. After consulting with the student’s parents, teachers, and administrators, I decided that the best course of action would be to have the student receive additional support services outside of school. This included weekly counseling sessions, tutoring, and extra academic assistance.
The decision was not easy, as there were many factors to consider. However, I knew that this was in the best interest of the student and their future success. In the end, the student was able to get the help they needed and was able to improve both academically and socially. It was an incredibly rewarding experience for me to witness the transformation in the student and know that my decision made a positive difference in their life.”
School counselors often work with students who are going through challenging situations. They need to be able to maintain confidentiality and privacy when working with these students, their parents and other school staff members. A hiring manager may ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality in your role as a school counselor. In your answer, explain how you will protect student information from being shared without permission.
Example: “I understand the importance of confidentiality and privacy within a counseling program. I ensure that all conversations between myself, students, and parents are kept confidential at all times. I also make sure to keep any records or notes securely stored in a locked filing cabinet when not in use. Furthermore, I always provide an informed consent form for each student so that they can be aware of their rights regarding confidentiality and privacy. Finally, I am very mindful of my language and behavior while working with students, as this is essential for creating a safe environment where students feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics.”
School counselors often work with students who have mental health issues. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience working with these types of assessments and how you might apply that experience to their school counseling department. If you do not have any experience, consider sharing what steps you would take to complete a mental health assessment if you were hired for the position.
Example: “Yes, I do have experience with mental health assessments. During my time as a School Counselor, I worked closely with students and their families to assess the student’s overall mental health. I used various assessment tools such as interviews, questionnaires, and observations to gain an understanding of the student’s emotional, social, and academic functioning. I also collaborated with outside professionals when necessary to ensure that the student was receiving the best care possible. My goal was always to provide comprehensive support for each student in order to help them reach their full potential.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of special education laws and regulations. Your answer should demonstrate that you understand the process for creating an IEP, including how to identify a student’s needs and develop goals and objectives.
Example: “When creating an individualized education plan for a student, I believe it is important to take into account the whole child. This means looking at their academic needs, social-emotional wellbeing, and any other factors that may be impacting their learning.
I would start by gathering information from the student’s teachers, parents, and other professionals who work with them. This will help me gain insight into their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals. Next, I would meet with the student to discuss their educational goals and develop plans to reach those goals. Finally, I would create an individualized plan that incorporates all of the gathered information and outlines specific strategies and resources to support the student in reaching their goals.”
School counselors often work with students who are facing challenges in their lives. These challenges can include poverty, abuse and neglect. Interviewers want to know how you will help your school’s students overcome these issues. In your answer, explain that you understand the importance of addressing community problems. Explain that you would be willing to collaborate with other professionals to ensure students receive the support they need.
Example: “As a school counselor, I understand the importance of addressing issues in the community. School counselors can play an important role in helping to create positive change in communities by providing resources and support to students, families, and educators.
One way that school counselors can help address issues in the community is through offering individual counseling services to students who are struggling with mental health or behavioral issues. This could include providing guidance on how to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, bullying, substance abuse, and other challenges. By providing these services, school counselors can help students develop healthy coping skills and build resilience.
Additionally, school counselors can provide group counseling sessions for students to discuss topics such as social-emotional learning, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and diversity. These sessions can help foster understanding and acceptance among students from different backgrounds and cultures, which can lead to more inclusive environments.
School counselors can also connect students and families to outside organizations and resources in the community. For example, they can refer students and families to local food banks, housing assistance programs, job training opportunities, and other services. Finally, school counselors can work with teachers and administrators to create policies and practices that promote safety and well-being in schools and the wider community.”
School counselors often work with parents to address their child’s needs. Parents may be concerned about their child’s academic performance, social skills or emotional well-being. A school counselor can help a parent understand how they can support their child at home and provide them with resources that will help the student succeed in school.
Example: “I believe that it is important to build a strong relationship with parents in order to effectively address their child’s needs. I strive to create an open and honest dialogue with parents so that they feel comfortable discussing any concerns they may have about their child. I also work hard to ensure that the parents understand the importance of their involvement in their child’s education, both at home and in school.
When addressing a student’s needs, I will collaborate with the parent or guardian to develop an individualized plan for the student. This plan should include strategies that are tailored to meet the student’s specific needs and goals. I will also provide resources and support to help the parent implement these strategies. Finally, I will monitor the progress of the student and make adjustments as needed.”