Sample School Counselor Interview Questions and Answers

Did you send your school counselor resume and received a call back? Congratulations! You already read our tips on the perfect interview appearance and how to master your body language, and now you’re curious to find out which specific school counselor interview questions you are most likely to be asked? You’ve come to the right place.

As a school counselor, you’ll play a crucial role in students’ lives. You’ll help them achieve academic and life milestones by promoting a healthy and secure environment to succeed in and outside school. You’ll collaborate with teachers, the rest of the school staff and parents to accomplish this.

Your day-to-day responsibilities will vary, you’ll:

  • handle both individual and group counseling sessions
  • provide students with support to make choices about their academic path
  • counsel students to overcome any concerns related to self-esteem, anxiety, fitting in or relationships
  • screen for bulling, cyberbullying, and any other form of behavioral issues

With such a high-responsibility job, preparing yourself thoroughly for the interview should be your top priority. The questions will mainly focus on your job experience, education, and motivations, but will also touch on hypothetical scenarios you might very likely encounter in the role. Some of the most common school counselor interview questions and answers are outlined below.

School Counselor Interview Questions

  1. Why did you choose to become a school counselor?
  2. What characteristics should a school counselor possess?
  3. In your opinion what is the most challenging part of this job?
  4. Why are you interested in working for our school?
  5. How would you work with the rest of the school staff to increase the impact of your job?
  6. What would you do if one of your students reported domestic abuse?

Question #1: Why Did You Choose to Become a School Counselor?

The interviewer will often want to investigate how and why you entered the profession in the first place. Just like other similar school counselor interview questions, this one is a conversational ice breaker, but it also allows the recruiter to understand your drive and what motivates you day after day.

  • Make sure to convey your passion and enthusiasm for working in schools and with students.
  • It’s a great idea to use the storytelling method to engage the interviewer even more.

How You Could Answer

I’ve always known working with kids was my calling. During university I was tutoring middle schoolers and highschoolers. Soon enough I realized how fulfilling it was to see them succeed. I was also bonding with them; they would often stick around after class to ask me advice on various topics. I guess they were seeing in me an older brother. This motivated me to later become a Spanish teacher in a local high school. Thanks to my tutoring years, I was able to build strong relationships with my classes.

Then the same thing started to happen. Students would initially come to me if they were struggling with the classes, but then they would trust me with more personal matters. I believe these kids needed someone to talk to and I felt honored to be that person. Growing up and figuring out what to do with your life at such a young age can be so intimidating. I wanted be the person to help them do that and I feel it really comes very natural to me. That’s why I chose this career.”

Question #2: What Characteristics Should a School Counselor Possess?

Working in such a close contact with kids and teenagers can be a very fulfilling job. However, it is also often very challenging. School counselor interview questions are looking for answers that will reassure school directors that candidates know what it takes to succeed in the role.

  • To come up with the right answer to this question it is helpful to think about the times in the past that you were successful in your job. What abilities did you demonstrate back then?
  • Giving a practical example is an excellent idea to prove you know exactly what you are talking about.

How You Could Answer

The top three qualities school counselors should possess to succeed are: attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills, and empathy. The first is essential for observing and picking up on signs of discomfort from students. Interpersonal skills and communication are indispensable, just like some knowledge of psychology to convey information in the most effective way.

Finally, empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes allows a counsellor to deeply understand their students’ behaviors. For instance, a student could be failing a class because they are having trouble at home, rather than because they have difficulties learning. A good school counselor should be able to pinpoint that there’s a problem and talk to the student in the most sensitive way possible to help them.”

Question #3: In Your Opinion What is the Most Challenging Part of This Job?

Interviewers hiring school counselors are looking for candidates that are aware of the challenges they will face in the job and are not afraid to tackle them.

  • Don’t be afraid to mention what you believe to be the most difficult part of the job. Awareness is exactly what schools are seeking.
  • Try and describe a time when you had to manage these difficult situations and what helped you in doing so.

How You Could Answer

“I think that one of the greatest challenges of a school counselor role is dealing with mental health disorders in students. The cases of mood and eating disorders I encountered during my previous job experiences taught me that students suffering from these issues need extra safe spaces to open up and recognize what they are going through.

To succeed, it’s fundamental to listen to them and always keep an open door policy even when they refuse any direct offer of help. Collaboration with teachers and parents is also necessary to create a united front. What really helped me support my students was learning more about these disorders with targeted courses as well.”

Question #4: Why Are You Interested in Working for Our School?

One of the school counselor interview questions, just like in any other profession, will be about the reasons that pushed you to apply to that specific institution. Essentially, what they want to know is why you think you could be a good match for each other.

  • To provide a strong answer, it’s critical that you do some research on the school and identify what makes them unique.
  • Mentioning a shared view on values that the school considers important, or a personal connection will make you a better candidate in the eyes of recruiters.

How You Could Answer

“I’ve been keeping an eye on your school for some time now and I must admit that I really admire the way you created a safe environment for every student, no matter their background. I’ve been reading and hearing directly from a friend that works here about the types of projects you put in place to promote diversity and inclusion. I would consider myself very lucky if I had the chance to be part in those.”

Question #5: How Would You Work with the Rest of the School Staff to Increase the Impact of Your Job?

To support students effectively, counselors must collaborate with teachers and other school employees. It is normal then that at least one of the school counselor interview questions would revolve around teamwork and cooperation.

  • Show yourself as open to join forces with other school members and willing to learn from others.

How You Could Answer

“Working together with the entire staff involved in the students’ lives is fundamental for the success of our programs. Without communication and collaboration, our job would be in vain. When a new teacher starts to work in the school where I operate, I make sure to have a meeting with them to provide all the necessary resources and information about the students. This helps to set them on the right path. I also make a point of holding a meeting periodically to discuss any concerns about students and create a strategy of action together.”

Question #6: What Would You Do if One of Your Students Reported Domestic Abuse?

Enquires about how you would behave in certain situations, the so-called behavioral questions, are to be expected among the school counselor interview questions. Schools need their counselors to be calm, discrete and follow the right procedure even in the face of the worst situations.

  • Don’t be afraid if you don’t know the exact procedure. Schools just want to know that you can be trustworthy to handle such cases once you have been trained.
  • Make sure to mention that while the student’s well-being is your top priority, you won’t lose focus and will always follow the school's directions.

How You Could Answer

“If I received a domestic abuse report from one of my students, I would first make sure to reassure the student in question that I would do whatever is in my power to help him. Providing emotional support would be essential in such cases. Then I would check the exact school protocols and proceed according to what they instruct.”

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