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MHANC, Inc.

CLP Structured Interview


Position: Counselor; Mental Health Congregate Treatment Community Residence

Competencies & Sets of Qualities to Gauge:


Core counselor conditions: sincere, honest, congruent, respectful, accepting,
empathetic, unconditional positive regard
Patience, works well under pressure, maintains composure in crisis situations
Comfort with being responsible for clients correctly self-administering medication
Time management, multitasking, learns quickly
Comfort in asking for help, comfort in saying I dont know when faced with an
unfamiliar task at work
Basic computer skills and knowledge, comfort in using a computer
Communication, comfort briefing other staff and relaying orders to complete time-
sensitive work
Self-confidence, assertiveness
Discerning, fair
Respect for work in mental health, strong work ethic, reliable attendance

Pre-interview Instructions:
1. Act casually and encourage candidate to be relaxed.
2. Disclose information that can be conducive to candidate comfort such as this
being the first time you are interviewing people for a job.
3. Talk about your experience at MHANC; about its mission, various work and
organizational culture; and about the responsibilities of the position for which the
candidate is interviewing.

Interview Instructions:
1. Ask the candidate each item (i.e., each provided question or command). Speak
slowly for long items.
a. Try to elicit a more comprehensive, detailed, or categorically better
response by clarifying as needed, by using relatable analogies such as
ones about other roles in the workforce or in life in general, and by asking
follow up questions as needed. In doing so, do not lead the candidate to a
more valuable response by giving examples herein.
b. Score each response by discerning the most analogous rating for the
candidates response based on the evaluative criteria that accompany
each item.

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2. Add the points together then turn to the scoring page. On the scoring page, write
the total score (i.e., total points) and refer to the scoring key to learn the
candidates quantified suitability for the position (i.e., interview performance).
Scoring Instructions:
1. [Optional Notation] Circle any examples in the evaluative criteria with which the
candidate responds. Write in the margin (next to the respective evaluative level
of criteria) any keyword(s) the candidate answers with that are categorically
qualifying for the evaluative criteria level. Write in the margin a summation of
their response.
2. Score an insufficient response with one (1) point. Score a standard response with
two (2) points. Score three (3) points to responses that exceed the standard. For
accurate results, ensure every item is answered and scored.
3. Write the score of each item in the margin next to the respective item number.

Items:

1. Tell us about any experience working with people who are mentally ill.
A. What population(s) have you worked with?
B. How long did you work in the relevant field(s)?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

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CLP Structured Interview, Part-Time Counselor

2. The counselor position requires monitoring clients taking their many


medications correctly. Explain why you would be comfortable being responsible
for making sure clients take their medications correctly.

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

3. What are some good qualities of a mental health worker?


A. What else? Go on. [Because the evaluative criteria are focused on the
quantity of suitable answers.]
B. Give an example of a behavior or scenario showing (that quality). What
does (that quality) look like?
C. How would (that quality) be good for a mental health worker?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:

Insufficient:
Does not express more than three good qualities of a mental health
worker.
Standard:
Expresses four or five good qualities of a mental health worker such as
compassion or empathy, patience, kindness, sensitivity, encouragement,
persistence, congruency, honesty, sincerity, acceptance, provides
unconditional positive regard, listens well, has ability to manage time
strategically, has ability to multitask, is confidential/discreet or respectful of
clients privacy, is open to learning or seeks to learn more.

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Exceeds Standard:
Expresses six or more good qualities of a mental health worker.

4. This position requires working well in teams and not assuming details in
important areas like client medications. What would you do if you do not know
how to perform a task at work that you are responsible for completing?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

5. An ADL is an common and standard task most people perform daily, weekly or
otherwise regularly. Examples include cooking, showering, and doing laundry.
How would you show people how to be more functional in an ADL in which they
have a problem doing? You can pick an example like doing laundry to explain
your answer.

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:

Insufficient:
Does not express teaching or a hands-on approach.
Examples:
Show them a video on Youtube.com on how to be more functional.
Tell them to try to ignore their deficit(s) and instruct them to perform
the ADL.
Standard:
Expresses a hands-on or tailored approach, and patience.

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Examples:
Demonstrate desired behavior and encourage them to copy and
regularly practice it. Show, hands-on, how to do something with
which they needs help.
Role model for them. Lead by example.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
Consistently explain to them how to be productive in the problem
ADL.
Consistently encourage conducive thinking, behavior, and
environmental or social factors that can help mitigate the problem.

6. Part of the job is encouraging people to do things. Every week in a CR like this,
the residents have a meeting and decide who cooks on which night and who is in
charge of which chore for the next week. Cooking and chore charts are hung on a
wall at the start of each new week. How would you encourage people with SMI to
do a chore assigned to them.

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
Tell them to do it. Just make them do it.
Tell them to look at the chore chart.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
Show them the chore chart and make sure they understands their
assignment.
Explore with them how to perform the chore.
Try to inspire interest in them to complete the chore e.g., by
promising positive reinforcement.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
Consistently encourage with unconditional positive regard and
expectation.
Encourage as much as possible. Encourage often.

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Explain the benefits of performing the chore: structured living,


exercise, increased familiarity with the house and it appliances and
tools, potential for increased social interaction.
Reframe or restructure it.
Provide positive reinforcement.

7. How would you encourage people with SMI to eat or drink more nutritiously?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
Tell them to eat fruit.
Tell them to read the labels of foods and drinks they consume.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
Review and encourage toward any diet restriction they are
prescribed.
Help them read the labels of foods and drinks.
Encourage them to eat vegetables and drink a lot of water
Encourage them to avoid eating fried foods, candy, processed
foods including low-quality fast food, or sugary drinks.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
Tell them to ask staff for guidance whenever need be especially if
they has a dietary restriction.
Show them what important nutrition facts and ingredients to
consider on the Nutrition Facts labels of foods and drinks (these
include the amount of calories, fewer is better for most people; bad
nutrients: sugar, carbohydrates, sodium; good nutrients: protein,
vitamins, minerals; bad ingredients: sodium nitrite and nitrate,
partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, BHA, Red 40, Yellow 5; and
good ingredients: whole grains like 100% whole wheat, whole oats,
whole rye, quinoa, whole vegetables, grilled vegetables, grilled
chicken, egg whites).

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8. How would you manage a situation in which a resident was violating a house
rule such as by smoking indoors or by stealing property of another resident?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

9. How would you manage a situation in which a client is having very severe
symptoms? E.g., they may be sad and crying, paranoid and angry, and having
homicidal or suicidal ideation.

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1. Tell them to go to their room, close their eyes and try to relax.
2. Tell them to buck up.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1. Address the symptom(s) with sensitivity or try to discover a
workable strategy
2. Provide privacy and assess their symptoms and strengths. Then
try to manage it or call the supervisor, Mobile Crisis (or another
hotline), or the police.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.

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Examples:
1. Try to mitigate symptoms by using or teaching therapeutic skills
or techniques.
2. Build upon current strengths and strategies.

10. How would you manage a situation in which two residents are verbally
fighting loudly?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1.
2.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

11. How would you encourage people with body odor to bathe?

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1. Tell them to bathe.
2. Tell them their odor is distracting to others who live or work
there.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1. (Gives example of that is casual and sensitive.)
2.
Exceeds Standard:

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Expresses the standard and beyond.


Examples:
1. Follow-up later on their self-care.
2.

12. How would you manage a situation in which a resident is aggressive and
attempts to intimidate you? E.g., the client may be cursing, disrespectful and
invading your personal space.

Evaluative Criteria for Candidates Response:


Insufficient:
Does not express __________
Examples:
1. Yell back at the client and try to put them in their place.
2.
Standard:
Expresses __________
Examples:
1. Attempt to talk down the client by trying to reason with them and
discovering if they can be safely appeased.
2. Seek help from a co-worker or call the supervisor.
3. Call the police if they are a imminent physical threat to anyone.
Exceeds Standard:
Expresses the standard and beyond.
Examples:
1.
2.

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Scoring Page

Total Score (12 36): _______

Total Score Tier Key:

12 19: Insufficient (range of 8)


20 28: Standard (range of 9)
29 36: Exceeds Standard (range of 8)

Notes:

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Scoring is configured for twelve (12) well-explored responses. Adjust in accordance with
the following.

Quantity of items (#) times (x) three (3) equals (=) maximum score (max.).
Divide (/) maximum score (max.) into three (3) tiers that are equal or nearly equal
in range (i.e., quantity of possible scores).
If the three tiers are not equal in range, to give the candidate the benefit of the
doubt, assign the Insufficient total score tier with the least range or (if any two
tiers have a difference in range greater than two (2), assign the Standard total
score tier with the most range and adjust accordingly).

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