Are you going to be interviewed for a school psychologist position and don’t know what to expect?
First of all, congratulations! Your many years of study will soon start to pay off. Secondly, you came to the right place!
Not only will I give you some examples of School Psychologist Interview Questions that you might get, but also I will explain what the requirements for the profession are. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to focus on all the important areas that you are more likely to be tested on.
Now it’s time to get some work done. With a bit of preparation, you will ace the interview!
- What Does a School Psychologist Do?
- Education and Skills Requirements
- How To Prepare for The Interview?
- The Most Common School Psychologist Interview Questions
- Don’t Feel Prepared Enough?
- Final Thoughts
What Does a School Psychologist Do?
Why is it important to review what a school psychologist does? At the end of the day, this is going to be your profession, and you should already know what your duties will be.
However, the recruiters will not give this for granted, and they might ask you some questions like:
- Describe a day in the life of a school psychologist
- Among your daily duties, which one do you consider to be most important?
- Apart from students, who else can benefit from a school psychologist? And why?
Expect to be asked at least a few similar questions if you don’t have any working experience. In this case, your future responsibilities are the first topic you need to focus on when you get ready for the interview.
Here’s a useful overview of a school psychologist’s main duties:
- Assessing students educational, emotional, and social problems
- Helping students to overcome their issues
- Support students and teachers with their learning and teaching issues
- Counseling teachers and parents
- Diagnose learning disabilities and find solutions to facilitate the student’s learning process
- Helping diverse learners
- Implementing programs to address behavioral and learning problems
- Implementing and maintaining students records
Education and Skills Requirements
A big part of the job of a recruiter is to verify that you meet all the requirements. Is your education up to standard for the role? Do you possess all the necessary hard and soft skills?
Let’s find out what they are looking for…
Even though on rare occasions, a school psychologist can get an entry-level job with just a bachelor’s degree, most states have stricter regulations about education requirements. Therefore, a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in school psychology is usually necessary, along with a 1200 hour internship.
Hard skills are those skills that are specifically related to the job and that you have acquired through education and work experience.
Some of the most important skills that a good school psychologist should have are:
- Extensive knowledge of school psychology theory and practice
- Familiarity with psychology research methods
- Understanding of basic statistical analysis techniques
- Academic writing and presentation ability
- Knowledge of APA and NASP ethical guidelines
While hard skills are easily measurable, soft skills are the exact opposite. Soft skills are those skills that relate to our personal traits, and they’re mainly developed outside of a school or work environment. Since they’re not strictly connected to any specific position, soft skills are highly transferable between different jobs.
Here are some soft skills that any employer requires from a school psychologist:
- Interpersonal skills
- Active listening
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Social perception
- Strong ethics
How To Prepare for The Interview?
It’s now time to use this information to get ready to answer the most popular questions for a School Psychologist interview.
How can you do that? Let’s find out…
Research the school
Having a basic knowledge of the school, you’re applying for can help you to understand what specific obstacles the students might face in their learning process. By doing that, you’ll be able to narrow down the questions that are more likely to come up.
Moreover, recruiters love to ask almost every candidate why they would like to work there. Be ready to give a convincing reason that is strictly relevant to that organization if you want to sound credible.
Read the job posting
The job listing will most likely contain all the requirements and responsibilities that we talked about. However, some additional skills might be included, and it’s guaranteed that some of the questions will revolve around them.
Prepare your answers
Write a list of all the requirements that you found on the job posting, in this article, or through your research. Include all the hard and soft skills that are crucial to excel as a school psychologist.
Relative answers are essential…
Any question that you’ll be asked will be about this list. You might be required to provide concrete examples of a situation where you had to use any of those skills. Keep in mind that your answer should always be relevant to the job; therefore, pick examples from your work experience or your educational background.
To make sure you include all the important information in your answer, use the STAR method. Describe the Situation, define your Task, illustrate your Actions, and finally explain what the Result was.
Practice your answers
As you practice your answers, make sure you don’t try to memorize them. When we do that, we all sound unnatural and therefore not credible.
You might want to practice a few times in front of a mirror, paying close attention to your body language. Being a psychologist, you will be able to detect any contradictory sign that a recruiter would also notice immediately.
The Most Common School Psychologist Interview Questions
Here’s the moment you were waiting for. What are the most common questions that you will get?
Why did you choose this career?
Working as a school psychologist is a job that demands a strong sense of responsibility. The impact that you will have on so many students’ lives is huge. Their problems will become your problems, and there will be times when you will not be able to draw a borderline between your career and your private life.
What were your motivations when you decided to go down this route? Recruiters want to be sure that you’re aware of what this job entails. Do you still remember that school psychologist that helped you to overcome a difficult moment? This is the perfect moment to talk about that.
With this question, the recruiters want to assess your specific knowledge. Consider this as a question that you could get at a university test; the more technical the question, the more precise the answer has to be.
Use numbers and statistics to make your reply more convincing, and go straight to the main point without wasting time with unnecessary details.
How would you approach the parents of a student that you decided to place in a special education program?
Since you will spend most of your time talking to students, teachers, and parents, communication is the top soft skill that you will have to show to the recruiters. But remember that communication is not just about speaking, but it also relates to your listening abilities.
Moreover, in a sensitive situation like this one, empathy plays a major role too. Make sure you include all these aspects in your answer.
What’s your biggest strength?
This is your chance to shine! Since the question doesn’t have a wrong or right answer, you can speak about everything you want as long as it is relevant to the job. Pick one or two of the skills from the list that you prepared and prove to the recruits that you really mastered them.
Use the STAR method to describe how those skills have helped you to achieve your biggest accomplishment in your career. The best part is if they ask you what you are most proud of, you can use the same answer. It works perfectly with these and countless other questions.
Do you have any questions?
Most people overlook the importance of this moment. This is your last opportunity to influence the interviewers’ decision, but keep in mind that whatever you say will give them additional clues about your personality. Show them your interest in the job and use this chance to learn more about the position they’re offering and the school you’re applying for.
If you ask the right questions, you will confirm the good impression that the recruiters already have about you.
Don’t Feel Prepared Enough?
Not to worry, I’ve got you covered! Check out my comprehensive guides on Guidance Counselor Interview Questions, How to Answer What is Your Greatest Strength, Why Do You Want to Work Here, Answering Tell Me About Yourself in Interview, as well as Why We Should Hire You in 2023.
But if you’re looking to expand further than School Psychology or counseling, you’ll want to take a look at Child Psychologist Job Description, Counseling Psychologist Job Description, Counselor Job Description, Child Care Provider Job Description, or even our Neuropsychologist Job Description. And see if that interests you.
It’s perfectly normal to get a bit nervous before a job interview. But with some preparation and practice, that feeling will disappear, and you will start looking at the interview as a great opportunity to show the recruiters that you have everything it takes to succeed in that job.
By doing that, you will maximize your chances of getting offered the position. Once you understand what kind of interview questions you will be asked, your answers will come naturally.
Let’s Get Interviewing!