Psychologist, psychological counselor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist – these are professions easy to confuse, about which we have all heard and made an idea of their meaning. If you are in a position to hire a mental health professional for your company, it is good to know what questions you should ask in order to evaluate their professional qualities and make sure that you hire the right specialist for your needs. Getting the help of psychology staffing agencies can prove beneficial in the hiring process.
First of all, make sure that the person has the right specialization.
- The psychologist is necessarily a university graduate with a license in psychology. This professional studies human behavior and psychological processes: sensory, cognitive and volition. In the intervention plan, they apply tests to measure psychological characteristics: intelligence, attention, attitudes, skills and more. They propose and apply methods of therapeutic intervention centered on the client’s problem. Psychologist can also address social, professional and emotional adaptation issues.
- The psychological counselor is a psychologist who has undergone a training based on self-knowledge and personal development. They can therefore provide specialized psychological support and intervene with psychological means in order to facilitate self-knowledge, optimization and personal development of the patients. Counselors can also prevent and counteract problematic emotional, cognitive and behavioral situations.
- The psychotherapist is a licensed psychologist or a medicine graduate specialized in psychiatry who has specialized further in a certain form of psychotherapy. The purpose of psychotherapeutic intervention goes beyond the patient`s optimization and development phase; the psychotherapist also deals with transforming and normalizing psychological factors that are involved in personality, psychological or psychosomatic disorders.
- The psychiatrist is a medicine graduate specializing in psychiatry who works in a clinic or a hospital, but may also collaborate with institutions that treat people with mental disorders. Its main role is to diagnose various disorders in the psychic spectrum, to prescribe appropriate medical treatment, to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment, and to recommend a psychotherapy process according to the patient`s mental disorder.
Interviewing a mental health professional must be based on a set of relevant questions. Our suggestions include:
Can you present a suggestion you have made that was implemented in the mental health field?
See if the candidate can come up with an idea – from concept to implementation – that was successful and make sure the results are correctly emphasized.
What are you looking for in this position?
This is rather a typical interview question, but knowing how to answer is important for a mental health professional. The answer should express the candidate`s motivation by meeting challenges specific to this job. Ask the candidate to be specific about the challenges as well as the goals achieved in the past.
How would you approach a set situation?
With such a question, you can determine a candidate`s ability to adapt to a certain situation that may arise, and you should expect a clear and concise answer, based on academic knowledge and references to similar situations encountered in the past.
What are the qualities that make you suitable for the job?
Mental health professionals must have specific personal qualities including:
- Being trustworthy and open
- Being positive and encouraging
- Treating every situation with calm and reason
- Communicating clearly
- Setting reachable directions and expectations etc.