Thursday, February 29, 2024

Peer Support Specialist Interview Questions

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Interview With Amber Luckey: Certified Peer Support Specialist

Peer Support Specialist Interview Questions

I must say that Amber truly gives us a “pair of shoes” to walk with her in her peer work as a volunteer on the behavioral health unit at a local hospital. I was so encouraged by her level of commitment, insight, and intentionality that she brings to her peer work. Be encouraged with me as she shares her insights regarding how she views success, her most rewarding experiences and advice she gives to other peers here in NC.

“Peer support is vitally important work that is moving mental health treatment towards a more recovery-oriented system of care and I love being apart of that.”

Q: How do you define success?

” I define success not in the absence of challenging moods but in the presence of better choices.”

peer support Ted Thomas“Joy to you Amber, as you continue on her journey in your peer work and your own recovery.”-Bryan

Sample Interview Questions Behavioral

You should compile your own personalized, behavioral-based questions, incorporating your organizations Standards of Performance. The following is merely a sampling of the kinds of queries by subject matter that you might want to consider as you draft that list:


  • When you were facing a transitional change in your job responsibilities, what methods or processes did you use to ensure a positive outcome for you and the company?
  • When you had to do a job that was particularly uninteresting, how did you deal with it?
  • Tell me about a time when an upper-level policy change or decision held up your work. How did you respond?


  • What types of things in your work have upset you, and how did you react to those situations?
  • Describe a time when you communicated some unpleasant feelings to your supervisor. What happened?

Organizational Skills

  • How do you organize your work to ensure that you are the most effective and productive?
  • Think of a day when you had plenty of things to do, and describe how you scheduled your time.
  • Tell me about your work experience in managing multiple job priorities with varied deadlines. When and how do you determine priorities and deadline changes?



About the Best Practice Series

Our Best Practices Series, based on employee-developed and employee-managed practices and programs, includes the following:

  • Hourly Rounding
  • Service Recovery
  • Standards of Performance

What Are Your Expectations On Us

This is a tricky question. In most other interviews I would suggest saying that you have no expectations , but in a peer interview everything is about teamwork, and you probably should expect something from your new colleagues .

Perhaps you can say that you hope to get initial guidance and support from them, to help you get a good grasp of the job. You can also say that you hope for clear and honest communication in the team, and that they will give you regular feedback to help you to do better

Special Tip: You can also , and practice your interview answers anytime later:

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What Is Dsm And Why Is It Used

This question assesses your familiarity with DSM, a fundamental practice among psychological health professionals.

Tip #1: Explain the meaning of DSM

Tip #2: State why DSM is used

Sample Answer

DSM is the acronym for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is a handbook used by mental health professionals to help them diagnose individuals with mental problems. This diagnosis is the first step to helping patients receive the right treatment.

Peer Interview Questions And Sample Answers

Top 10 peer support specialist interview questions and answers

Preparing for a peer interview means reviewing potential questions that an interviewer could ask you about your communication tactics and workplace attitudes. By taking the time to think through your answers, you can show your potential coworkers that you are a great professional to work with.

In this article, we define peer interview questions and provide you with 12 potential peer interview questions along with sample answers to help you create your own unique responses.

Related:What Is a Peer-to-Peer Network?

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Frequently Asked Questions: Peer Specialist Training And Certification

This list of Frequently Asked Questions was compiled by Via Hope staff that respond to thousands of inquiries about the Peer Specialist Training and Certification program each year.

What is the Peer Specialist Certification training ? The Peer Specialist Certification course is a forty hour training followed by a written certification exam. Participants must successfully complete both to become a Certified Peer Specialist . Once certified, a peer specialist must earn at least 20 Continuing Education Units every 2 years to maintain his or her certification. The program is administered according to the policies in the Via Hope Certified Peer Specialist Policy and Procedure Manual.

Do other organizations offer these trainings? At this time, Via Hope is the only entity in the state that offers a Peer Specialist Certification Training that is recognized by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

When is the next Peer Specialist training? Please visit our Upcoming Peer Specialist Certification Trainings web page for information on the next training.

Who is eligible to apply for the Peer Specialist Certification training? The training Eligibility Requirements are described as below:

How do you determine who gets accepted for trainings? Each application is reviewed and scored, using the application scoring rubric, by Via Hope staff members.

In order to be certified, is there an exam at the end of training? Yes.

What Is Your Process For Evaluating A Client’s Needs

This question may be common in certain support worker roles, such as those involving a client’s healthcare. An interviewer may use this question to learn about your technical skills and work experience. To answer, consider how you assess a client’s needs. You may customise your response for the specific role. For example, if you’re applying to a role that uses a specific process or filing system, and you have this experience, you can include these details. Consider reviewing the initial job posting to learn more about the technical skills the employer desires.

Example:’When evaluating a new client, I use a three-part process. First, I interview the client directly and ask them some general questions to learn more about their personality and preferences. Depending on the client, I have follow-up questions where I ask about goals and specific tasks the client needs help with. Next, I interview the family members. Then, I create my observation notes. If I am working as part of a team, I also contact my colleagues to gather additional data. I compile this information to determine the client’s needs.’

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Appendix D: Interview Questions To Ask

Ascertaining lived experience

This can often be the most challenging aspect of the interview process. Obviously, it is important to ask questions that are in line with labour laws, yet also equally important to ascertain that individuals have the experiences necessary to perform the duties associated with the role and to relate to the challenges being faced by the student population. Below are some examples of questions that can be asked in to ascertain this qualification:

  • The role of peer supporter involves drawing from personal experiences of mental health and/or addiction challenges to provide support to others coping with similar challenges. Can you tell me about experiences you have had that will be helpful in the role of peer supporter?
  • Can you tell me about courses/trainings/resources youve accessed that may be beneficial in the role of peer supporter?
  • How would you describe the role of peer supporter to others?
Understanding of the importance and application of boundaries

A peer supporters ability to maintain professionalism and accept and uphold boundaries is crucial for the success of the program and the role. Providing scenario-based questions to ascertain how an individual would respond and whether they are contemplative of boundaries and relationship-building strategies prior to participating in the peer support training program is helpful.

Self-management and personal responsibility
Ability to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team

Do You Have Any Questions

RI Interview with Peer Support Specialist

This one you can almost be assured will be asked, and you better have some ready.

By asking questions you demonstrate initiative, and show that you care enough about the job to have done some research. Ask questions that focus on areas where you can be an asset. Beyond this, other questions may be more direct including productivity, expectations, training, and other logistics. All this being said, try and limit the questions to no more than three or four.

Lastly youll want to ask about the next step in the process and when to expect to hear about the position.

Top job interview materials:

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Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years

The interviewer asks this question to test your ability to make plans and set goals.

Tip #1: State your future career goals

Tip #2: Show that your career goals align with those of the health facility

Sample Answer

In five years, I would like to have a deep knowledge of the profession. I expect to handle more complex challenges. Moreover, I will be excited to take on more role-related and managerial responsibilities.

Describe Your Process For Monitoring A Patient’s Health

Interviewers may ask this question for health-related support worker roles to evaluate your ability to observe and monitor a client’s well-being. When answering, consider your technical skills and observation experience. Try to describe how your observation skills help to keep patients safe and healthy. Consider using a specific positive example if possible.

Example:’In my last role, my organisation used a client file we updated weekly. I also created an additional note system to monitor a patient’s health daily. After each visit, I schedule five minutes where I can write my notes. I find it’s helpful to have written daily data I can refer to when I evaluate a patient’s progress and needs. I also schedule a monthly evaluation, where I review the client’s files and my notes. At this time, I update the client’s plan as needed. This helps me ensure I am helping clients with their changing needs.

Last month, my notes helped me move a client to a more independent home. I was working with a client in a care facility, and using my notes, I could see how well the individual was progressing. When the medical team was evaluating the patient, I used my notes as part of my report. This helped the team decide the patient was ready to move into a different, more independent location.’

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What Is Your Experience With Patients Suffering From Mental Illnesses

The interviewer wants to hear what you have found out about people with mental problems.

Tip #1: Mention something you have discovered regarding handling these patients

Tip #2: Prove that you can effectively support the mentally ill persons

Sample Answer

Over the past four years, I have served patients with psychological problems. My experience is that the well-being of these patients can be improved significantly by offering appropriate treatment. I have witnessed several who have recovered through psychotherapy.

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What Experience Do You Have With Respects To This Particular Mental Health Support Worker Position

Top 10 peer support specialist interview questions and answers

Answer tips:

Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you know you do not have much experience in the job you are applying for, plan for this question ahead of time and ensure you can provide some relatable examples based on what you have done.

Almost all interviewers will appreciate confidence and pride in the work experience you have earned and your passion in transfering these valuable skills to your future role or position.

Answer sample

Ever since my first paper route at age 10 Ive been doing something to keep myself busy and earn money. Back then, it was obviously about earning some spending money. What I didnt realize was that I was actually starting the journey of establishing what I liked to do and how I fit in to the grand scheme of things. I then worked as a junior computer tech in my last 2 summers of high school. It was here that I discovered what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do. I enrolled in college to get my degree in computer sciences, and I have been working around technology ever since.

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Support Worker Interview Questions With Sample Answers

For a support worker role, an interviewer may ask story-based or behavioural interview questions to learn more about your personality, work ethic and interpersonal skills. Interviewers use these questions to evaluate how an individual may perform in a new role, based on their past behaviours. When answering these questions, try to respond with a specific example. You can use the, which involves answering with a Situation, Task, Action and Result from your professional experience. Here are seven common support worker interview questions with STAR responses to help you prepare for your next interview:

What Type Of Company Culture Do You Work Best In

Along with asking about work environment, peer interviewers might ask candidates what sort of company culture they like.

Research the company beforehand and determine what cultural values they emphasize. You can usually find information about company culture on the companys website. Start with their About page and begin looking from there.

Then, when answering, you want to share similar value to what they offer. You dont have to exactly mirror what their website says, but the idea is that you should show some overlap in your answer.

For example, imagine a companys website has a section about employee values, and they mention collaboration and teamwork, open communication, honesty, and community involvement.

You could respond to this interview question by saying:

I like a company culture where people feel free to communicate and voice their opinions. Ive been in companies where it was a more closed-off process where people didnt feel free to give feedback to others, and the company ended up going out of business and I was laid off. So Id say that if your company values honesty and strong communication skills, then its a good fit for me in terms of culture. I also saw on your website that you mention community involvement. I love volunteering in the local community and have spent a couple of weekends helping out at < charity organizations name> . Can you tell me more about what this company does in the community?

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Peer Support : How To Become A Peer Support Specialist

Many types of professionals can help people living with mental health concerns. If youve experienced mental health issues yourself, you might have interest in a career where you can help others facing the same challenges. At the same time, you might feel unsure whether youre interested inor able to pursuethe years of education required to become a therapist or psychologist.

Some careers in the mental health field are less well-known than others. Not all require graduate school. One unique career path is the peer support specialist. This position differs somewhat from other mental health professions because it requires you to combine specialized training with your personal experience of living with mental health concerns.

Tell Me About A Time You Worked As Part Of A Team To Help A Client

The POZ Interview: Peer Support Specialists

Support workers often work with a healthcare or social team of professionals to assist a client. Interviewers may use this question to evaluate your interpersonal skills, personality traits and team-building abilities. To answer, think of a time you worked on a team to help a client. Try to use a positive example to show how you can succeed as part of a team.

Example:’Recently, I worked with a healthcare team to assist a client. As a support worker, my role was to travel with the patient and help them with their needs. When this client needed a surgical procedure, I visited the client’s medical team and family members each day to discuss the treatment plan and caregiving strategy before and after the surgery. After the procedure, we meet weekly to discuss the client’s needs and progress. Our teamwork and communication helped the patient fully recover after the surgery.’

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What Words Would You Use To Describe The Ideal Employee

In asking this question, your interviewer wants to identify your professional values. Your answer should include admirable traits for employees in the workplace.

Example:”I would use the words honest, dependable, self-motivating and compassionate because you need to know you have employees that will arrive on-time, complete work without being asked, support others and take accountability for their actions.”

How Would You Describe Yourself

Next, they may ask how youd describe yourself in general.

With this question, interviewers want to know whether youd fit with the company and team and whether you seem sure of yourself and confident in general, too.

To answer, pick a couple of positive traits related to this job and then explain why you chose those traits. For example, you could say:

Id describe myself as someone whos detail-oriented and clear in communication. I also enjoy working as part of a team. Thats one reason Im looking for a change right now. My current role involves mostly individual work, and Im fine with that, but in the future, Id like to be involved in more teamwork and collaboration, and I saw on your job description that your company seems to have a more collaborative environment with more interaction between employees. Id love a situation like that.

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What Are Your Salary Expectations

Many consider this question to be a loaded gun dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced. Often times, an interviewee will start talking salary before theyve had an opportunity to illustrate their skill set and value making any sort of leverage valueless. Here, knowledge is power, as salary often comes down to negotiation. Do some research into your industry to establish base rates of pay based on seniority and demand but keep in mind your employer is hiring you for what they believe you are worth, and how much benefit they feel you will provide.

One relatively safe approach is simply asking the interviewer about the salary range. If you wish to avoid the question entirely, respond by saying that money isnt a key factor and your primary goal is to advance in your career.

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