Top 21 Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions In 2024 [With Answers]

Humans feel emotions. Anger, Hate, Jealousy, or maybe Love, there are several feelings and sensations that are a part of the human journey and remain with them throughout their lives. To live a stable and happy life it is necessary to maintain an adequate balance between all these human emotions and not let them overwhelm.

However, not everyone possesses that great mental strength and certainly needs the help of a specialized mental health counselor, who uses his gift of the gab to make them feel positive and optimistic. It is a noble profession and if you are having an interview session for a job opening for mental health counselor, make sure that you read all the questions mentioned below.

Mental Health Counselor Interview Questions

21 Best Interview Questions To Study

1. What Is Your Understanding Of The Cerebrum and Its Various Lobes?

Being a mental health counselor, you are expected to be aware of the basic structure of the human brain, which controls feelings and emotions. Hence, revise your college notes, as you will certainly be asked questions from this aspect.

Sample Answer

Sir, the cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain and is divided into two parts, the right hemisphere, and the left hemisphere, which is joined by Corpus Callosum. Further, it has four lobes, which are:

Name of the LobeFunction
Frontal LobeInfluences and controls the “personality” of an individual.
Temporal Lobe1) It controls the hearing process and memory storage as well as recall.
2) It possesses a LIMBIC system, which controls basic human drives, such as Hunger, Anger, Sexual Drive, etc.
Parietal LobeIt interprets the sensory inputs, that is interpretation of the objects perceived by our five senses, other than the human eye.
Occipital LobeIt interprets our visual inputs, that is interpretation of the objects perceived through our eyes, into their size, shape, color, and texture.

2. A Patient Is Stressed Due To His Personal Issues, Which Has Affected His Sleep Walk Cycle Besides Reducing Appetite. What Can Be Done To Treat Him?

This question tests your practical working knowledge.

Sample Answer

Sir, it is common for individuals to feel the heat of toxic relationships, poverty, constant expression of desires, which leads to mental stress and agony. When prolonged this ultimately leads to depression and causes these issues, which are controlled by the hypothalamus gland, present in the diencephalon part of the human brain. In order to treat this patient, there should be medications that will control his anxiety levels along with giving proper counseling. Words and verbal treatment are magical, and such a person must always be forced to look towards the bright side.

3. Can You Explain To Me The Autonomic Nervous System?

This question tests your core principles of the human nervous system, which controls human emotions.

Sample Answer

Sure, sir, an autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts, which are:

  • Sympathetic System: When humans are stressed, nervous, anxious, or excited, then this system releases the Adrenaline Hormone.
  • Parasympathetic system: It releases acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Its primary function is to slow down the heart rate, dilation of human muscles, and acts as a neuromodulator.

4. What Is Your Understanding Of The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D)?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various psychological illnesses and issues that prevail in mental health patients.

Sample Answer

Sir, P.T.S.D, or shell shock, is an old mental illness, which was first seen in world war veterans, who reacted abnormally and differently after returning from war. In normal patients, it is a result of involuntary recreation of toxic memories, which are attributed to traumatic events and happenings that occurred in the life of the patient. Such patients feel numb and lose their ability to react appropriately in different situations. For example, they might start crying even on a happy occasion, when those flashbacks or nightmares re-surface.

5. What Are The Three Most Important Attributes That Every Mental Health Counselor Must Possess?

This question tests how much you understand your profession.

Sample Answer

Sure, sir, These are:

  • Critical Thinking: A mental health counselor must have the ability to assess the mental health of the patient critically and devise solutions that are feasible and create a greater impact upon the patient.
  • Active Listening: If a mental health counselor is not able to understand the situation, crisis, or mental state of the patient, then he or she is bound to fail. Thus, every counselor must have the patience to listen to the problems, which can be achieved using active listening.
  • Empathy: A counselor will be better positioned if he or she has the skill to empathize with the patients. By stepping into the shoes of the patient, a counselor can understand the root cause of the problem, and create solutions that can help them overcome their fear and anxiety.

6. What In Your Opinion Are The Possible Causes For Mental Stress? Explain Using Any Established Psychological Theory.

This is a high-level thinking question, which requires you to align the mental agony with an established psychological theory.

Sample Answer

Sir, I would like to relate A.H. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory with mental stress. As per this theory, every human moves to the next stage of hierarchy or motivation only when his needs pertaining to the current level are satisfied. For example, only when a person feels secure and has a regular source of income (Stage 2), he moves to the next level and wants to feel loved and belonged (Stage 3). Now, humans are greedy and are always looking for ways to surpass this hierarchy in the quickest way possible. When they fail to do so, it leads to the creation of a feeling of envy and jealousy leading to mental agony.

7. Which Therapy Of Mental Counseling Focuses On Human Thinking and Belief System?

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of the various type of therapies used to counsel and treat patients.

Sample Answer

Sir, Cognitive Therapy is a technique, which focuses entirely on the way a person thinks and the things he believes. This therapy is based on the assumption that all the behaviors and actions are a result of the way human thanks and perceives different things. For example, If a person has developed a belief system that only by earning money he will become happy, then until he earns money, he will remain in a stressed condition. Thus, using cognitive therapy, mental health counselors prefer to alter the way a person thinks, by using effective speeches and giving counseling sessions.

8. Can You Name A Few Best Mental Health Software That Are Widely Used By Counselors?

This question tests your awareness of the various types of software available in the market.

Sample Answer

Sure, sir, These are:

  • EHR Your Way
  • OnCall Health
  • InSync Health Care Solutuions

9. What Is The Primary Cause That Makes A Person Suicidal? Explain From The Context Mental Disorders.

This question tests your understanding of the various types of mental disorders.

Sample Answer

Sir, an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) refers to a mental illness, in which a person enacts, creates, or thinks about some disturbing and unwanted thoughts. Soon, this obsession turns into compulsion and makes you perform several tasks that are completely abnormal and erratic. For example:

  • An urge to keep your house floor absolutely clean, wherein you clean it aleast 7 to 8 times a day.
  • An obsession to grow your nails, and develop a fear from cutting them
  • An excessive need to feel secure and safe, which includes checking for door locks several times in the night, in worst cases every 5 minutes.

It is amply clear that these tasks are abnormal in nature and interfere with the normal functioning of several necessary human processes. When not controlled or checked for, this makes a person suicidal.

10. When Humans Interact and Share Their Internal Feelings With Each Other, They Tend To Feel Relaxed and Calm. How Can You Relate This With Your Profession?

This question tests whether or not you are aware of the various therapies used to treat mentally suffering patients.

Sample Answer

Yes, sir, This statement is absolutely true and I can certainly relate it with Group therapy in which several traumatic patients who share a similar issue or problem are gathered and made to sit in a group. They all share their feelings with each other and narrate their problematic incidents in a group. By doing this, they feel monkeys are off their back and tend to feel light as well as calm. At this point, we counselors attempt to soothe them and alter their way of thinking besides pushing them towards a brighter side of life.

11. What Mental Issues and Problems Can Be Treated With The Help Of Mental Health Counseling?

This question tests your practical working knowledge.

Sample Answer

Sir, effective mental counseling can treat several problems, such as:

  • Depression
  • Addictions to drugs, alcohol, or any other harmful substance
  • A feeling of deep sorrow and grief
  • Various mental disorders, such as eating disorders, compulsive disorders, etc.

12. As Per Your Resume, You Are An Experienced Professional and Have Worked With Several Mental Health Centres. How Do You Describe Your Best and Worst Reporting Manager?

It is true that employees face several bosses and seniors that not only supervise their work but also evaluate their performances. All these seniors or reporting managers are different and adopt different methods to handle their juniors. This differentiation enables the employees to categorize them into good or bad. Through this question, an interviewer wants to know the reasons or the basis, using which you categorize your reporting managers.

13. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses As A mental Health Counselor?

This is a common interview question and is asked in almost all the interview sessions held across the world. To prepare a perfect reply, understand the job description comprehensively and base your strengths and weaknesses upon it. Further, it is true that sharing weaknesses will certainly lead to the creation of a negative impact, but you just cannot avoid it or answer it diplomatically in reply to this question.

14. It Might Be Ironical But True. Mental Health Counseling Is A Stressful Profession and When Done On A Daily Basis Counselors Feel Stressed and Burned Out. How Do You Manage This Situation?

Stress strikes everyone in this world, no matter you are a mental counselor yourself. A stressed employee always acts as a burden for the organization, and always delivers a sub-standard performance. Thus, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various strategies and techniques using which you are able to manage your stress levels.

15. Where Are You Working Currently and When Can You Start Working With Us?

In an ideal response, just share the:

  • Complete name of the organization with which you are currently working and
  • Your genuine date on or after which you can start working for the company

16. We Are An Evolved Mental Health Center and Possess A Big Clientele. Thus, We Will Allot Several Tasks To Our Counselors That Need To Be Completed Before The Deadline. How Do You Ensure A Timely Submission Of All The Tasks?

The best way to complete all the multiple deadline-based tasks is to prioritize them on the basis of a prioritization technique. Most employees prefer to prioritize on the basis of the difficulty level of the tasks, time consumption, or the urgency level. If you have any other tried and tested technique, which suits you, feel free to share it.

17. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

It is common for the interviewers to ask about your salary expectations during an interview session itself, just to ensure both you and your employer-to-be are on the same page. To prepare an ideal response for this question, just conduct a deep analysis of the mental health counseling industry and determine the salaries offered to the various professionals that share a work experience similar to you. Post this, calculate a mean salary, and base your salary quote on it.

18. There Will Be Times When You Will Fail To Perform To The Best Of Your Abilities. How Do You Handle Your Workplace Failures?

No one can always be successful. There will always be ups and downs in every person’s life, with which we have to deal and cope with. Failure has the ability to crush the confidence level of an employee and makes them feel inappropriate or unfit. An employee with such a mindset is not able to meet the established benchmarks and delivers a poor performance. Thus, an interviewer is always interested in knowing the various techniques using which you are able to manage your workplace failures.

19. For The Past Several Years We Have Been Delivering “Quality” Services To Our Patients. How Do You Interpret The Term “Quality”?

This is a word-based interview question, and requires you to share your own version of the interpretation of the term “quality”. Be specific, and explain your answer using real work experiences.

20. There Are Several Mental Health Centres and Hospitals. Why You Chose To Work With Us?

Through this question, an interviewer wants to know your level of seriousness towards the mental health center you have applied to. In an ideal response, just share the:

  • Achievements of the company
  • The rich history and associated facts pertaining to the company
  • Your personal interests towards the employer

21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

Be it an interview session for filling the vacancy of a psychologist or a mental health counselor, this is the last question that every interviewer asks you to conclude your big day. Thus, this question gives you one last opportunity to make hay while the sun is still shining. In order to do so, you can always ask a few relevant counter questions from your interviewer that are related to the ethics followed, rules and procedures implemented at the workplace, the incentives offered, etc. Prepare your own ideal response by reading the model questions mentioned below:

Model Questions

  • What are the various incentives and allowances that are offered by the company to its regular employees?
  • How many paid leaves are offered by the company to its mental health counselors?
  • Is it the policy of the company to reimburse the maternity expenses of its employees?

Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For Mental Health Counselor interview):

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