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Tips for Evaluating Prospective LPC Associates

Evaluating character directly in an interview can be tricky, but you can assess aspects that give strong indications. Here's how to get a good sense of an LPC associate's character during the interview:

Focus on Professionalism and Ethics:

  • Ethical Decision-Making: Present hypothetical scenarios that challenge ethical boundaries (e.g., confidentiality breaches, client conflicts). See how they navigate the complexities and prioritize client well-being within the ethical framework.

  • Professionalism: Observe their communication style, punctuality, and overall demeanor. Are they respectful, well-prepared, and able to articulate themselves clearly?

  • Boundaries: Ask about their experience with maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients. This indicates self-awareness and responsible practice.

Look for Traits that Align with LPC Values:

  • Empathy and Compassion: Ask them to describe a challenging client situation. Do they demonstrate a genuine understanding of the client's struggles?

  • Cultural Competency: Explore their experience working with diverse populations. Do they show a willingness to learn and adapt to different cultural backgrounds?

  • Integrity and Honesty: Present a situation where transparency might be difficult. How do they approach the challenge and prioritize honesty?

Behavioral Interview Techniques:

  • Use the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result): Ask them to describe past situations where they used specific soft skills. For example, "Describe a time you had to de-escalate a client in crisis." This reveals their thought process and how they applied soft skills in action.

  • Focus on Specific Skills: Tailor your questions to assess desired soft skills. Here are some examples:

  • Communication: "How do you explain complex concepts to clients in a clear and understandable way?"

  • Active Listening: "Tell me about a time you had to actively listen to a client who was expressing strong emotions."

  • Problem-Solving: "Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with a client to develop a solution to their challenges."

  • Teamwork: (For group practices) "How do you effectively collaborate with colleagues to ensure comprehensive client care?"

  • Empathy and Compassion: "How do you build trust and rapport with clients from diverse backgrounds?"

Follow-up Questions: Dive deeper! Don't settle for a simple answer. Ask follow-up questions to understand their approach, thought process, and the outcome of their actions.

Reference Checks: Contact references provided by the candidate. Seek insights into their work ethic, character traits, and interactions with colleagues. For an editable Release of Information template for you to speak to previous/current supervisors/employers, see information about our essential Supervisor Toolkit below.


  • Focus on Job-Related Traits: Character evaluation should connect to the specific requirements and values of the LPC associate role and position.

  • Avoid Stereotypes: Don't rely on assumptions based on appearance or background.

  • Structured Interview Process: Develop a standardized interview format with consistent questions for all candidates to ensure a fair and objective evaluation. For an editable Prospective Supervisee Interview template, see information about our essential Supervisor Toolkit below.

By focusing on these aspects, you can gain valuable insights into an LPC associate's character and make an informed decision about their suitability for the role.

LPC associates rely heavily on soft skills to build rapport, navigate sensitive situations, and effectively counsel clients. Here are some tips on how to uncover these soft skills during an interview:

Situational Questions:

  • Present Hypothetical Scenarios: Pose realistic situations an LPC associate might encounter. Observe how they navigate the challenges and utilize soft skills to achieve a positive outcome.

  • Focus on Emotional Intelligence: Present scenarios that require emotional intelligence, like managing client anger, resistance, or grief. See how they demonstrate empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution skills.

Beyond the Interview:

  • Writing Samples: If applicable, request writing samples like case studies or progress notes. This provides insight into their communication style, empathy, and ability to document client interactions effectively.

Red Flags:

  • Poor Communication: Watch out for rambling answers, lack of clarity, or difficulty expressing themselves.

  • Dominating the Conversation: A candidate who constantly interrupts or talks over others might struggle with active listening and collaboration.

  • Lack of Empathy: Pay attention to how they discuss clients. Do they show genuine concern and understanding?

By incorporating these strategies, you can effectively assess an LPC associate's soft skills during the interview process and identify candidates who possess the necessary interpersonal qualities to excel in the role.

Purchase the essential Supervisor Toolkit digital download that includes a Prospective Supervisee Interview template, a Release of Information for you obtain signed approval to speak to previous and/or current supervisors, employers, etc., for a total of over 40 forms to assist with LPC Supervision.  For more information, click here.

Happy supervising!

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