Questions to expect in a job interview within the Mental Health and Addiction Field.

It takes a special kind of person to work in Mental Health and Addiction industry. The work is never boring, certainly challenging and a great opportunity to build relationships with individuals.

You don’t just support people; you help them make positive changes in their lives and that’s no small thing.  With rising demand for mental health services, there is a greater need than ever for high-quality professionals.

Without a doubt a new job interview is challenging for many people and navigating the interview is a key stepping stone into a new opportunity. As a helping hand, we have compiled some of the common questions people seeking a career in the healthcare and mental health field will get in their job interview.

Knowing some of the questions that may come up in an interview can help a lot. Consider these typical questions in advance so that — as a prepared candidate — the interview provides the medium in which to shine. And hopefully it will help open the door to a lasting and rewarding career in the healthcare field.



Tell me about a suggestion you have made that was implemented in the mental health field.

It’s important here to focus on the word “implemented.” Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from concept to implementation and illustrate how it was considered successful.

Be sure to emphasize the results of your ideas. The idea itself does not need to be profound, but you should mention how it improved business. If possible, mentioning multiple examples will demonstrate a pattern of independent thinking that shows your capability as a worthwhile health care employee.

Also, be clear on showing your awareness of what mental health is and how you are capable to problem solve situations in the past that have arisen.


What challenges are you looking for in this position?

This is a typical interview question to determine what you are looking for in your next job, and whether you would be a good fit.  Whether it is a job in mental health for a position as a social worker, nurse, addiction treatment or healthcare specialist, knowing how to answer this question is important.

The best way to answer this is question is to express how you are motivated by challenges, have the ability to effectively meet challenges, and have the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job.

Be sure to describe specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past. Showing your capacity to analyze, understand, and then how you solved specific problems in past health care related jobs is worth spending time on in your reply.


How would you approach set situations?

This question tests your ability to adapt to situations. This question will also give you an example of a situation you are likely to encounter during work and asks you to explain how you would approach it.

Give a clear and concise answer which explains the process you would take step by step. Use your academic knowledge to supplement your answer and reference documents such as the Mental Health Act where applicable. Also, it is worth reviewing the Canadian Mental Health Association’s resources.

Be sure to reference similar situations you have encountered in the past to show that you have gained positive results from this course of action.


What personal qualities do you have that make you suitable for the role?

Begin by identifying three key qualities that are posted in the job profile that are your strongest attributes.

There are some characteristics which almost all successful professionals possess and be sure to highlight the ones that define you as a person and what you are passionate about.

Here is a list of the ones that are considered assets in the addiction treatment and mental healthcare areas of employment:

Trustworthy and open

Communicative both in informing and giving feedback

Positive and encouraging

Calm and reasonable

Set clear direction and expectations



Strategic in vision and problem-solving

Decisive and clear-thinking


What are the biggest risks of mental health in your opinion?

This question is designed to assess your understanding of the complexities of the job and an awareness of the risks.

Your answer should demonstrate that you are aware of the realities of the environments that you may be required to work in and how you intend to care for yourself in this demanding field of work.

Being able to be both positive and flexible in your response when facing adversity is a true asset. Illustrating how you are able to navigate challenging situations with an example is often a great way to how your value and would be considered a good capability to have in this field of work.


It’s well worth the time giving back this this great community of people. Small things like celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada is just one example of where we can all make a difference and celebrate both the challenge and the great reward a career in a mental health care related job.

We would love to hear how considering these question helped you in your mental health job interview.