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What Should I Know Before Interviewing for my First School Counseling Job After College?

Counselors play an integral role in shaping the lives of the people who depend on them for advice. Whether you are planning a career as a school counselor, a substance abuse counselor or a career counselor, there are many great opportunities to make a difference in the field. Preparing for your interview is the first step in the process. Making a favorable impression will make all of the difference when you are searching for a counseling career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for school and career counselors is growing rapidly. The BLS predicts a 19% growth in the field between 2013 and 2020 as there is an increased need for skilled counselors to help students navigate the new work marketplace. Career and school counselors assist their students in selecting a career path and making educational choices that support their goals. The BLS states that the median wage for counselors in 2010 was $53,380 and is expected to increase.

Preparing for the interview can be challenging. There are elements of the counselor interview that are unique to the profession and test your ability to exercise good judgement. These questions are designed to demonstrate your proficiency in handling the range of issues that you will have to deal with during the course of your career.

Some questions are asked to determine your attitude about your role in the school. A school counselor wears many hats, from social worker to adviser. Your interview will focus heavily on how you see your responsibility in this role.

Potential Interview Questions

  • What is the role of counselor in the school?
  • What leadership qualities do you possess that make you right for this position?
  • What new ideas would you like to implement?
  • What are some creative twists to solving old problems?
  • How will you effectively manage time in order to both counsel students and complete paperwork?

The new technological landscape has changed the way we view careers. As a counselor, you will be expected to keep up with these changes and be knowledgeable about how to solve uncommon problems. Your interview may include questions like:

  • How would you deal with a student who is being stalked on Facebook?
  • What advice would you give a student who is interested in a career as a freelancer?
  • What advice would you give a student who wants to erase negative information posted about him online?

Finally, there are some challenging situations that may test your judgment. Your interviewer may ask questions about how you will handle difficult situations.

  • How would you deal with an enraged parent?
  • What would you do if one of your students confided in you that they were pregnant?
  • What would you do if you suspected one of your students was addicted to drugs?
  • What challenges do lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students face and how will you meet those challenges?

Working as a school counselor means that you will wear many hats. According to the American School Counselor association, you will be responsible for advocating for your students and providing them with valuable guidance to deal with life's issues. Making a good impression during your interview is the first step in making a difference in the life of an impressionable student.

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