Questions to Ask a Behavioral Health Clinician Candidate

You want the best behavioral health clinicians on your team. This is why the questions you ask candidates during interviews are so important.


Focusing your questions on the skills and traits you are looking for helps you determine which candidates demonstrate them. You can use this information to hire the most qualified candidate.


Consider asking the following questions when interviewing a behavioral health clinician candidate.


What Do You Consider to Be the Most Important Traits for a Behavioral Health Clinician?

Determine whether the candidate’s values align with your organization and its purpose. Listen for specific traits and why they are important.


For instance, the candidate may share that they feel compassion, active listening, and verbal communication are most important in their work. Compassion is required to connect with clients. Active listening helps show clients they are valued. Verbal communication provides clients with advice and helps them explain their feelings.


Tell Me About a Time You Helped a Client Open Up. How Did You Accomplish This?

Uncover details about the candidate’s therapy tactics and how they may benefit your organization. Listen for a specific example, the technique used to help the client, and the results.


For instance, the candidate may have had an 11-year-old client who suffered from severe social anxiety. Even his mother could not encourage him to speak with the candidate in the room. So, the candidate focused on talking with his mother. This appeared to alleviate some stress for the boy.


The candidate let the boy draw pictures. Eventually, she asked if he could write a few words to describe what he was feeling. Encouraging him to write meant he could communicate in a way that was comfortable for him.


Which Types of Assessments, Specific to Trauma or Evidence of It, Have You Used to Help Your Clients?

Gauge the candidate’s knowledge and usage of available assessments. Listen for multiple assessments and the reasoning for using them.


For instance, if the candidate typically works with children, they may like to use the Child Behavior Checklist. This helps the child’s parents identify potential behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The candidate also may use the Pediatric Emotional Distress Scale to help assess a child’s level of trauma in response to a recent traumatic event.


Need Help Hiring?

PsychPros can match you with the candidates to need for your team. Contact us at, (513) 651-9500, or


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