Sample Interview Questions for School Counselors

The American School Counselor Association posted some interview questions for school counselors. Interviewing for a position? It should be helpful to review these questions and think about how you will answer them prior to your interview.

Role of the School Counselor

  • How does the school counselor’s role support the school’s mission?
  • What do you see as the most effective use of a school counselor’s time?
  • How do the ASCA student standards (Mindsets & Behaviors) inform the work of the school counselor?
  • When you have implemented the ASCA National Model, how has it affected student success?
  • What do you think is the most important characteristic of a school counselor? What’s the most essential characteristic school counselors have that supports a caring/supportive school climate for all students?
  • When considering school counseling ethical standards and school policies, how would you handle a conflict between the two?
  • How will the school counseling program facilitate a more peaceful/safe school environment? 
  • What’s the school counselor’s role in promoting equity and access for all students? 
  • What can you provide that is different from a school social worker, school psychologist or mental health counselor? How does the school counselor’s role differ from other student service providers in support of all students?
  • What is the difference between a therapist and a school counselor? Or, how do school counselors support students who need therapy to be successful in school?
  • Describe your ideal school counseling program. Include some specific examples of what it will include. Or, how does the school counseling program support a school’s school improvement plan? 

Strengths and Interests

  • What influenced you to be a school counselor? What’s your journey to becoming a school counselor?
  • How will your practical experience inform your role as a school counselor?
  • What is your strongest asset? Talk about your strengths and how they will support the implementation of an ASCA National Model program.  
  • What do you know about our school that you would consider a strength? A weakness?
  • Tell us about a successful (satisfying) case that you have handled? And, one that was not so successful; what would you have done differently? Tell us about a time you helped a student be successful.
  • What makes you want to work at ______ School? 
  • What do you consider the most important reason(s) for you, personally, to become a member of this faculty? How will you achieve your professional at this school?
  • What do you like about working with (grade level) school students?  Describe how your specific skills/interests will help you connect to this student population.
  • How would you address cultural differences in a school setting?
  • What is something new you could bring to our program? What innovations or current best practices will you incorporate into your delivery of services?
  • How do you handle criticism? How can criticism improve one’s work?
  • How do you handle stress? Stress is part of schools; how does the ASCA National Model help to manage it? School counselors are confronted with a lot of stressful circumstances and stories. How will you maintain your professionalism and your personal wellness when confronted with these?
  • Are you available to work in the evenings for functions such as parent programs, student programs, etc.? Working in a school often includes extended hours. How will you balance work/life demands?
  • What experiences have you had in working with special education students? How are special education students included in a school counseling program?
  • What has your experience been in working with students of color? LGBTQ students? 
  • What is your experience with parenting programs? What support will your counseling program offer to parents? What instructional services can you provide? 
  • How do you approach writing letters of recommendation? 
  • How do you keep yourself organized? 
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 
  • Are you proficient in a language other than English? 

School Counseling Program: Define

  • How does a school counseling program support the school’s academic mission?
  • What is your school counseling/educational philosophy?
  • What is the counseling theory or approach that you most closely follow? How does your counseling theory or approach support student learning?
  • How does the ASCA National Model support all students?
  • How is the ASCA National Model defined, delivered, managed or assessed at an elementary/middle/high school?  

School Counseling Program: Deliver

  • How do you develop a plan to deliver the student standards (Mindsets & Behaviors) thru classroom lessons or group sessions?
  • How would you approach appraisal and advisement? 
  • How do you develop a positive relationship with students in individual counseling? Small-group counseling? What’s the role of a school counselor to student relationship in individual and group counseling?
  • What are examples of evidence-based strategies addressing student attendance?

School Counseling Program: Manage

  • How do you use data in a school counseling program? How does school data inform the school counseling program? 
  • What type of activities would you deliver in a school counseling program to address an achievement gap, opportunity gap or attainment gap? 
  • What innovative and new ideas would you like to employ as a school counselor? How does a school counseling program identify, select and implement new ideas to support student success?
  • How would you divide your time between meeting the immediate needs of the students and keeping up with the paperwork? How is your use-of-time spent to address the needs of all students? How will you effectively plan and manage your time as a school counselor?
  • What technology applications do you see being useful in your work?
  • How is your professional development plan a part of the school counseling program? How will you determine your own professional development needs? How will your professional development plan improve the school counseling program?

School Counseling Program: Assess

  • How will you assess the school counseling program?
  • What type of data would demonstrate an effective school counseling program? How do you use data to reflect on school counseling program goals? How do you use data to inform school counseling program growth? How will you convey this impact to stakeholders?
  • What do the most recent state standardized test results indicate about this school district and this school? What is your role regarding standardized testing?


  • How do you see the word “leader” fitting into your role as a school counselor? How do school counselors model leadership? How is leadership a part of the school counselor’s role? In schools, where can school counselors be leaders?
  • Describe a time when you provided leadership around a specific need/issue/situation?


  • How have you advocated for students? 
  • How does a school counseling program support school counselor advocacy? 
  • How do school counselors advocate for students differently than other school staff? 
  • How do school counselors advocate for systemic change? 


  • What is the school counselor’s role in relation to teachers, parents, administrators and other school counselors?
  • How would you address an irate parent?
  • How would you address a passive or uninvolved parent?
  • How do you see yourself fitting in with school counselors who have many years of experience as veteran teachers? What strengths do you bring as a new school counselor to the department?
  • What is your view on collaborative consultation in the schools?
  • Describe past interactions with parents in home visits.
  • How do you manage conflict and create solutions with stakeholders? 

What Would You Do If …

  • One of your students tells you she’s pregnant?
  • You suspect one of your students is being abused?
  • One of your students talks to you about wanting to kill himself/herself?
  • One of your students tells you he/she is being abused?
  • A student says a teacher doesn’t like him/her and requests a teacher change?
  • A parent asks you to switch their child’s teacher?
  • A student asks to be in the same lunch period as their friend?
  • You suspect one of your students is abusing drugs/alcohol?
  • One of your students admits to being sexually active?
  • One of your students tells you he/she is gay?
  • One of your student’s parents is terminally ill?
  • Your student does not get into his/her top college choice?
  • One of your students wants to drop out of school?One of your seniors is not going to graduate?
  • A parent asks to meet with you at 5 p.m. because that is the only time he/she can get off of work?
  • You see one of your students (or parents) in town?
  • One of your students continues to fail math (or any subject) each quarter?
  • You have a faculty member’s child in your caseload?

The American School Counselors Association publishes a lot of great information for Counselors. Here is a link to their post: