Whether you’re interested in stepping into a career in mental healthcare or healthcare, the role of a clinical supervisor can be a rewarding position to be in.
When preparing for a clinical supervisor job interview, candidates should be prepared to answer questions about how supervisees perceive them, their communication approach, and their leadership style.
Clinical supervisor interview questions may also include topics of:
- stress management,
- specific experiences implementing disciplinary actions,
- and professional strengths/weaknesses.
Employers ask candidates these questions to gauge how well one might fit into a supervisor role with the current staff and employees.
Your answers to these questions also reveal a lot about your skill sets and your competency when handling this versatile, high-stress job.
The main roles of the clinical supervisor include managing the mental health or healthcare facility by guiding doctors and psychologists, optimizing patient treatment plans, and working on administrative duties.
Keep reading to learn how the following seven clinical supervisor interview questions relate to these duties and why the questions are so important.
We’ll also share example answers to questions to help serve as a starting point when it comes to preparing your own interview answers.
Without further ado, let’s get into the questions and answers!
Clinic Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers
The following seven common clinic supervisor interview questions should be answered honestly and as specific to your professional past as possible.
1. Tell me about a time that you had to discipline a supervisee.
One of the not-so-fun aspects of the clinical supervisor role is being strict and regulating the actions of supervisees.
Employers ask this question because they want to know how you handle this responsibility and whether or not you can do so with assertiveness and fairness.
They also are looking to see if you care about the integrity of a clinic and maintaining its order and adherence to guidelines.
While working as a clinical supervisor at a Rebirth Mental Health Clinic, I had to remind a counselor on several occasions to adhere to their appointment schedule with punctuality.
I approached the situation as an opportunity for growth and clinical improvement, making sure to assert myself and explain to the counselor why this change was important for everyone involved.
2. How would you describe your leadership style?
Sharing your leadership style preferences in your interview will tell the interviewer a lot about how their current staff may take to you if they end up hiring you.
It’s important to be honest about your approach while providing a positive picture of your leadership abilities.
I am partial to the democratic leadership style, wherein each staff member has a valued role and opinion on matters pertaining to the clinic.
I care about having an openness to feedback, while still maintaining authority in order to garner respect in the clinical atmosphere.
Direct and clear communication helps me to achieve this leadership style.
3. How would you describe your ability to wear many hats in the workplace?
This interview question aims to find out what your adaptability looks like as a supervisor.
Supervisors must take on the roles of managing, organizing, administrating, etc.
See also: Medical Administrative Assistant Interview Questions
You should answer in a way that highlights your adaptability skills, perhaps relying on a personal anecdote.
I pride myself on my ability to be a versatile supervisor.
I recognize that I may have to juggle administrative duties with more hands-on patient care and counselor guidance at times.
In my last job as a supervisor, I had some days where there was barely enough time to finish the paperwork in between meetings with counselors.
I started to make myself highly organized and have strict schedules for the workday so that I could prioritize and get everything done.
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4. How would your past supervisees describe you as their supervisor?
Answering this question reveals a lot to the future employer.
If you only say overly positive things, they may be wary of you embellishing.
But if you talk to a supervisee you oversaw in a past job, you can get firsthand insight and maybe even quote that.
In my most recent role as a supervisor, a clinician I worked with closely told me that they appreciated my communication style and organization as their supervisor.
If there was ever any miscommunication, they felt comfortable being direct with me in order to improve the situation and ultimately improve patient care, as well.
5. Describe your biggest weakness that might hinder your ability to be a supervisor.
The age-old weaknesses question is bound to come up in most interviews.
The interviewer wants to find out if you are the kind of employee who is willing to own their shortcomings and even grow from them.
Stepping into a supervisor role at a new clinic, I worry about my ability to be assertive, as I never want to step on toes in a new environment of people I don’t know that well yet.
However, I recognize the importance of strong and fair leadership in this role, and should that fear arise, I would approach it by learning more about the staff and how to accommodate them while staying true to myself.
6. What is your approach to hiring?
As a clinic supervisor, you may have to hire new counselors at some point.
The employer asks this question to gauge your criteria for a “good” staff member and to see that you have the company’s values in mind.
I look for counselors who are organized, competent, and willing to grow in a team clinic setting.
It will of course be important that they share the values of this clinic, which I hope to gauge from interviews.
See also: Clinical Data Manager Interview Questions
7. What are the qualities of an ideal clinical team?
Your answer to this query reveals the qualities that you value most in a team of clinicians.
It also explains your leadership style in some ways.
I highly value honesty, clear communication, professionalism, and open-mindedness when it comes to supervising a clinical team.
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Clinical Supervisors
Clinical supervisor interview questions may range from queries about one’s past supervising roles to questions about how one might handle stress and more.
Refer to our above example answers to prepare for your next clinical supervisor interview.
Best of luck with your upcoming interview!
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