Assistant Psychologist Example Interview Questions

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In light of the previous article focussing on Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner interview questions, the response was great and so far, that article has been read over 500 times in 5 days! People evidently want to see more, right? The best part about it, those (TPWP) interview questions will remain on the website. So, this week, lets focus on Assistant Psychologist (AP) (example) Interview questions.

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I have written about the AP process quite A LOT, below are some useful articles.


Where to start: Obtaining an AP role

AP Interviews: The last step

Here goes…. These questions have come from various (over 10) AP interviews and peer supervision with other AP’s.

Important note: You may not get ‘directly’ get asked the question of ‘What are the NHS Trust / ‘this service’ (Perhaps relevant to private provider) values’ BUT, attempt to incorporate these into ALL of your answers in the interview.

You also need to be focussed on the clients/ patients you would be working with and the challenges, the setting and the aims of your work. Have a read about ‘the centre / department’, what do they do?

Assistant Psychologist Example Interview Questions:

Can you tell us about yourself

  • Be open, be honest and relax!

Why have you chosen to apply for this (AP) role and why Psychology?

  • Just tell them why, be clear.

Can you tell us about a time when you faced a predicament in a team and how you resolved the problem?

  • Think about team work – Strictly, think about examples of when you have worked in a team – the challenges, the things you overcame, the outcomes and also, challenges of MDT working (if you use work examples). Remember, get to the point and don’t be subjective.

This question will be using the example of an Acute inpatient mental health setting (as if the AP interview was in this area): ‘Can you tell us about the challenges of working in Acute inpatient mental health (as an AP)?

  • Think about the fast turn over of beds / patients
  • Think about the dominant ‘medical model’ in mental health and the difficulty for Psychology to merge / provide input.

Can you tell us about a Psychological Model you are familiar with and how this might be useful in this setting?

  • In inpatient (for example), think about what you might be faced with? – People perhaps need some support with distress tolerance skills to help stabilise them – Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) might be a useful model in this instance.

Can you tell us about a situation you have been in when someone has become aggressive or if they did – you were in this situation, what would you do?

  • Clearly an assessment of your situational judgement and general demeanour as a clinician.

Can you tell us about why someone might self-harm?

Can you tell us about some interesting research you have read in the area? (the area of which the AP job interview is for)

  • Always have a little look at some research pre-interview. DO NOT over indulge – two papers is more than enough.

Another point I wish to make is THINK about the importance of supervision!! – For your development and, for your decision making as an AP!

One final thing, The Dos: Be warming, be open, be (very) reflective, understand the qualities of a clinical psychologist but also, the qualities of an Assistant Psychologist because that’s the post you are interviewing for and they are CRUCIAL for the team.

I hope you found this article useful and gained some insight / preparation tips for your next AP interview. Also, remember, congratulate yourself when you do get an AP interview – they’re very tough to get and you’ve clearly done amazing!

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