Activity: Interviewing for Hire

Activity: Interviewing for Hire

women shaking hands

When you receive an application from an individual mental health professional for a staff position or a response to the Request for Proposals from an agency, you must prepare for the next steps of reviewing these responses, selecting those that might be a “match” for your program, and organizing an interview process. It is highly recommended that you organize an interview team, including parents and direct service staff. Interviews might be held with an individual applicant or, in the case of a community agent applicant, include an agency representative (administrator, supervisor) as well as the mental health consultant who is applying as the MHC. In some cases, when subcontracting with another agency for ECMHC services, it will be important to clarify what role your program staff will play in hiring and/or selecting the individual who will be providing the consultation.

It may be important to bring potential candidates in for one or more in-person interviews. In addition, it is valuable to have standardized interview questions for all applications as well as unique questions relevant to each applicant to focus the interview process. These questions should include both general questions about experiences and skills, as well as “hypotheticals” – examples of particular scenarios with children, families, and staff that consultants might encounter in your program.

For an example of some interview questions and hypothetical interview scenarios in the resource, see Head Start Early Head Start Program: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Interview Questions

What are some additional key questions that you want to include in the interview in order to focus on your program’s values and priorities?

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This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.