Interview Questions: How You Were Able to Make a Positive Contribution to a Client’s Situation?

Mental Health Counselor InterviewAs a mental health counselor, your job is to contribute something positive to a client’s situation. You have to be compassionate, empathetic, and kindhearted to your clients to be able to make a significant difference in their lives. You need to help them discover themselves and support their personal growth as a person.


When you assist clients with clinical conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, you help them avoid serious complications that can lead to bigger problems. To achieve this, you need to have a variety of strategies and techniques.

Interviewers in the mental health counseling field might ask you to share some experiences in which you were able to contribute something positive to a client’s situation. How can you answer this request?

Before the interview, try to relax and reflect on your past experiences. Prepare for this question; write down the things you’ve done to help a client overcome his or her problem. Ask yourself what you did to help that patient. It could be one of the following:

  • Talk therapy. You talk to clients and substitute their problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with more adaptive ones. You replace negative emotions with positive ones by talking to them about happy things.
  • Application of new activities. You teach people new ways to solve their problems and react to stressors. You provide new information on how they can handle their difficulties better than before.
  • Group therapy sessions. You gather several people with common dilemmas and encourage them to support one another and work towards a common treatment goal.

After writing down your past experiences, choose one that you can explain the best. However, make sure that it’s a good story wherein you can convey your skills and abilities as a counselor. Usually, giving an example is one of the best ways to provide an explanation, so if you have several choices, pick the most inspiring one.

Formulate a detailed description of your example. Describe it by using words that will cause the interviewer to remember you and your skills and abilities. Provide specific information on how you were able to contribute to a client’s situation – contributions in which you were able to make a difference in that person’s life.

Normally, interviewers ask this question to see if the applicant’s values align with those of the company or the agency. So, in providing your answer, show how your values and ethics are parallel to theirs. Let the interviewer know that you possess the skills and abilities that they are looking for – the expertise necessary for doing the job.

Counselors are usually those with knowledge (and a degree to prove it) in psychology, psychiatry, and other courses invested in people’s well-being. Mental health counselors especially focus on helping people develop emotional stability to navigate life’s challenges with equanimity, confidence, and optimism.

Therefore, if you are a mental health counselor looking for a new job even your first job, try some of these ideas to show how you have changed your clients’ lives for the better.

Read 7107 times Last modified on Monday, 07 March 2016 12:17
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.