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Mental Health Counseling Program Interview Questions

Key Takeaways:

  • Be prepared for questions about your motivation for entering the field of mental health counseling.
  • Expect questions about your ability to handle challenging situations and demonstrate empathy.
  • Prepare examples of past experiences that highlight your communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Anticipate questions about your career goals and role models.
  • Bring specific questions you have to the interview.

After you send in your mental health counseling program application, the next step is preparing for the interview. While some colleges don’t require a mental health counseling program interview, this is a common part of the admissions process. By practicing the following mental health degree program interview questions, you can increase the odds that your application will be successful. 


Preparing for the Mental Health Counseling Program Interview 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 42,000 openings for behavioral disorder, substance abuse, and mental health counselors in the United States every year. Every state requires that counselors be certified, and you will generally need to attend a master’s program in mental health counseling to get your certification. After sending in your mental health counseling degree application, the next step is preparing for your interview. 

Other than reading through the following mental health degree program interview questions, you should try practicing them with a friend. You can also set up a video camera to record yourself answering these questions. Then, you can review the footage and adjust your answers. 

1. Why Do You Want to Get an Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling? 

This is one of the most common questions you will be asked in an interview. One of the biggest reasons why admissions counselors ask this question is to see if their program is a good fit for your needs. For instance, a master’s in clinical mental health counseling might not be the best choice if your goal is to work as a substance abuse counselor.   

2. What Do You Think Your Top Three Strengths or Challenges Are? 

Many jobs and colleges incorporate this question because it reveals a lot about who you are as a person. More importantly, it shows how self-aware you are. Everyone has weaknesses, so don’t be afraid to discuss some of your personal challenges. The important thing is to show how you are working on those challenges and trying to grow as a person. 

3. How Will This Mental Health Counseling Program Help You Achieve Your Career Goals?   

In answering this question, you should discuss your long-term goals. Then, you should connect your goals to how this master’s in mental health counseling will help you achieve your dreams. You don’t have to worry about changing your objectives later on. College admissions counselors know that plans often change, so the important thing is connecting the goals you have today to the master’s program in mental health counseling. 

4. What Faculty Member Do You Want to Work With? 

While you might not learn about faculty members during your mental health counseling program application, this question is more common if you are signing up for a master’s degree that has a thesis option. Before your interview for the master’s in mental health counseling online, take some time to research the faculty members. If you get asked this question, you can mention the faculty members who specialize in your focus area. 

5. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? 

If you are applying for a master’s in mental health counseling online, this is a fairly common one of the degree program interview questions. Like many of the previous topics, this question is supposed to demonstrate the way the clinical mental health counseling master’s programs are going to help you. For example, a master’s degree in mental health counseling is required in California, Texas, and other states to be a mental health counselor. If you want to work as a mental health researcher, a master’s degree may not be a requirement. 

6. Tell Me About Yourself.

If you are applying to get a master’s in mental health counseling online, this is often the question the interviewer will start with. Your mental health counseling degree application only shows a few details about who you are as a person. During the interview, you have a chance to divulge more information about your hopes, interests, and aspirations. 

7. What Challenges Have You Overcome? 

Pursuing a mental health counseling program isn’t easy. Before accepting you into a mental health counselor master’s degree, the admissions counselor wants to be confident that you have what it takes to succeed. You can demonstrate your abilities by talking about major issues you have been confronted with in your life and how you overcame each problem. 

8. Can You Tell Me More About Your Grades During Your Bachelor’s Degree? 

Admissions counselors know that working a full-time job, taking part in extracurricular activities, and completing your degree are challenging to do at the same time. While you should always try to get the best grades possible in a mental health counseling program, it won’t always be easy. If you have had bad grades during your bachelor’s degree, this question is your opportunity to explain why you struggled with your grades. 

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This is one of the most important degree program interview questions for another reason as well. Other than explaining why your grades suffered, you need to show what you learned from the experience. Ideally, you should be able to show an admissions counselor that you will be able to prevent future academic issues from happening.

9. What Books Have You Read Recently? 

Your mental health counseling degree application already shows your academic qualifications, so the admissions counselor wants to know more about who you are as an applicant. By asking about books you have read, the counselor is trying to figure out if you are someone who enjoys learning. In addition, they can use this answer to gauge your personal interests.

10. Who Is Your Role Model? 

With this kind of question, the interviewer wants to learn more about who you are. Role models are people we aspire to become, so your personal role model demonstrates a lot about what you want out of life. With this information, the interviewer can determine if you are a good fit for the mental health counseling program.

Tips for a College Admissions Interview for Mental Health Counseling Programs 

During your interview with the academic committee, there are a few things that the school will be looking for. The committee’s goal is to find students who will benefit from the school’s program. More importantly, they want to find students who will complete their entire degree. There are only so many spaces available in each master’s degree program, so schools want to find applicants who will make the most of these opportunities. 

Prior to your mental health counseling program interview, the school will review a few key factors about each applicant. They will look at the courses you took and your grades. Getting a decent grade in a hard class is often better than excelling in an easy subject. Additionally, the school will look at your standardized test scores, class rank, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and recommendations. 

If you seem like you would be a good fit for the program, you will likely be called for an interview. This may be conducted virtually or in person. While the interview is only one piece of your entire mental health counseling program application, it is incredibly important. To impress the committee, use the following tips during your mental health counseling program interview to stand out. 

Bring Specific Questions 

At some point in the interview, the admissions committee will likely ask if you have any questions for them. This is your chance to shine. Your questions show that you care about going to their school and have prepared for the interview. Put some energy into creating specific questions that can’t be easily discovered online.  

Prepare for the Most Common Interview Questions 

With a friend or a mirror, practice the most common interview questions. Some of these questions are bound to come up, so you should have your answers ready before the big day. Most interviewers will generally ask similar questions. 

Use the STAR Method

The STAR method stands for situation, task, action, and result. Basically, it involves thinking of situations in your previous academic career or professional life. Then, you want to show what the problem was and how you dealt with it. At the end, you will discuss the result of your actions. You don’t always need to achieve perfect results. Instead, the result may be that you made a mistake and learned from it. 

Often, you’ll see the STAR method used in job interviews. It is particularly effective because it uses stories to convey your personal qualities and abilities. Researchers have found that people are particularly good at remembering stories, so the interviewer is more likely to remember you if you answer them using this story-based method. 

To practice, use the STAR method to answer each of the interview questions in this article. Even when you get different questions in your interview, you can naturally pivot your answer to one of your prepared stories. With a partner, practice pivoting your answers until it feels natural.

Get Ready for Your Mental Health Counseling Degree Application

After submitting your mental health counseling program application, you should take some time to prepare for the mental health counseling program interview. If your mental health counseling program requires an interview, your answers will determine whether your application is a success or failure. By practicing the right counseling degree program interview questions, you can help your mental health counseling program application stand out from the crowd.