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Episode 134 | Must Ask Interview Questions



  • Episode 134 | Must Ask Interview Questions 00:00


Must Ask Interview Questions

Hi Group Practice Listeners! In this episode, I’m talking all about the kinds of questions you should be asking when you’re interviewing clinicians for your group practice. .

In this episode we cover:

  • career trajectory questions
  • hungry, humble, smart questions
  • personal interest questions
  • creativity and clinical skill questions
  • feedback and supervision questions
  • general orientation questions

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Maureen Werrbach

Maureen Werrbach

Hey, everyone, I’m excited about today’s episode. So something that’s been asked a lot is what type of questions are you asking in your interviews with potential therapists. And so today, I want to talk about some scenes, some areas where you want to be focusing and coming up with some questions. And if you want some specific questions, we’ve got a whole whole long list of them in the exchange, and that’s at You can go there and download the whole list.

But I want to talk today about some must ask interview questions and focus specifically on the theme where you want to come up with questions.

And so to start off: interview questions around orientation.

What’s, you know, ideas would be what’s important about you as a candidate that doesn’t come across in a resume? What made you decide to apply at whatever your agency is? It’s really good to see how they orient in relation to your business, in terms of values, in terms of their journey, in terms of their needs, and desires and wants out of a business, and how that correlates to what you as a business or an organization can actually offer.

Okay, then, related to the ideal team player, if you haven’t read that book, I’ve mentioned it a few times. It’s really good. And it has its own list of interview questions to ask. It relates to the three things that they look for in people that they hire. And it’s people who are hungry, humble and smart. If you are looking for team members who are hungry, humble and smart, they’ll be coachable. They’ll be more likely to be invested in your business, they’re more likely to do the work that they’re supposed to do and actually do it well.

Humble, Hungry & Smart Interview Questions:

And so with humble, it’s, you know, asking questions around how they handle failure, describing their current team members and what their current team members are like, and just listening to the types of words that they use. You know, maybe asking questions around, you know, who is someone that you look up to who does something better than you do? It’s something that you find really important and seeing what what comes up, what kind of words are they using, will tell you, you know, how humble they are.

Hungry, is, you know, questions related to their drive. So what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever worked on something? What do you do when you’re not working? What’s your work ethic like? These are really good questions to ask around the topic of hunger and how much they are willing to go above and beyond and not fall short. And that’s something that we see happen commonly, because we’re not asking questions around their drive and hunger, is we employ people who do barely the bare minimum. And so a great way to bypass that is making sure that you’re asking questions around the the ideas of hungry, humble and smart.

Smart interview questions, in the Ideal Team Player, it isn’t about you know, smarts around you know, that how they do therapy, though that might be important, right? But more people smart.

So like questions: Have you ever worked with a difficult boss or colleague and how did you manage that? Right? This is people smarts, team smarts. Are the people that you’re hiring, able to navigate relationships within your organization? You know, think about workplace culture. So you might ask questions around, like, what kind of people annoy you? And how do you deal with them? And his question, and how they answer will tell you a lot about how smart they are.

You also want to think about the category of intra and interpersonal. So, you know, what are your thoughts on a therapist being in therapy, do you find that it’s important for therapists to do their own therapy, just to see, engage, you know, what, how they feel about therapists doing their own mental health work? What would you say are your weaknesses and your strengths? What role do you tend to play in a team? Do you tend to be like the leader or the listener? Do you tend to be flexible and can kind of jump from leading and listening depending on the type of team that you’re working with? So you can get a sense of who they are in relation to the teams that they work with.

Another good interview question that often gets asked:

…and I know this is a common one is, you know, what would your best friend or colleagues describe you as, as a person or as a colleague, and see what comes up. It gets them to shift out of their own minds and out of what they think, or how they are perceived by other people.

Questions around interest.

So teach me something you’re really interested in right now. And see how they light up how they get engaged, how they communicate, if they have interests outside of you know what they’re doing at work, it’s really important that your team has interests and goals and aspirations and that they’re working towards things. Because it’s part of life fulfillment, and when we’re fulfilled and working towards it, we tend to do our best work. What do you do for fun? What motivates you what stresses you out? Or frustrates you? What kind of trainings are you really interested in pursuing?

This is really good for seeing where are they looking forward in their own professional identity. Such as: are they making plans for themselves to grow as a professional? Are they stabilizing? Or because they’ve done a ton of trainings? Are they kind of flatlining and not, you know, focusing on professional growth? So topic of interest you want to be focusing on? Like, what things are they interested in? What are they doing to pursue their interests, both professionally and personally?

Supervision and feedback is another important topic you won’t have some questions on.

Questions could be: What’s the best way for you to receive feedback? And what’s the worst way? This is really good for you, as a leader to know how to give feedback to that person. You can ask, you know, how will I know if you aren’t receiving feedback well? Or, if that feedback isn’t helpful to you, how would I know that? How are you receiving in person trainings right now? And feedback and supervision? What does that look like? Do you like it? Or do you not? What would you like more of what would you like less of when it comes to in person or obviously virtual right now, training and feedback, etc.

Describe your favorite boss and your least favorite boss. And why this is a really good one, because it gives you some insight into what they like and what they don’t like when it comes to supervision and feedback. And it often happens that a leader or someone who manages or their boss, what they liked and didn’t like is going to relate to how they did or did not get feedback.

Creativity and clinical skills is another area you want to have some questions on.

And so obviously is an important one. It changes depending on the type of clinician you’re bringing on if they’re provisional, or fully licensed, the type of questions around creativity and clinical skills is going to shift.

And then the last two are career trajectory and then just the practical & important questions.

So with career trajectory, it’s you know, I like to ask questions around why you’re choosing a group practice versus starting something solo just to listen in on the verbiage and what’s coming up for them so that you can get a sense of how long term is going to be. Are they planning to use it as a launchpad? Asking questions around long term goals or where they see themselves in a year or three years from now is a good question to ask. Asking questions around, you know, marketing, if that’s important to your group practice.

In terms of practical and important, what’s your general availability? What is your niche? What populations? Do you like to work with other populations that you feel like you need more training on? Are there populations that you don’t want to work with for whatever reason, and why? What type of schedule are you looking for? And then asking, are there any questions that you have for me around the practical and important side?

Those are the general themes that I like to look at in terms of really encompassing the whole person and the role that they would play in my business and the role that we would play as their employer kind of covers it all.

So: practical and important questions, career trajectory related questions, creativity and or clinical skill questions, supervision and feedback questions. And with this it relates more to how they best are supervised and in what ways do they like to get feedback versus not it helps to see, you know, does your business align with what works best for them or not? Questions around interest, questions around intrapersonal, and interpersonal, and then the hungry, humble, smart related questions.

And then the general orientation related questions, you know, how they found you, you know, ensuring that they align with your vision and values, and the overall goals that you have for your business and that what you can offer them is what they need and what they can offer you as an employee is what you need as a business owner.

So I hope those are helpful questions. And like I said, if you’re looking for a whole list of specific questions inside of each of these categories, you can join The Exchange and grab those in the Documents tab on the website.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

7 Days to Level Up Your Practice

This 7-day challenge is to help you LEVEL UP your group practice-no matter what stage it’s in. I’m a sucker for shaking my business up a tiny bit every once in a while. It keeps me alert, motivated, and not bored.

therapy notes

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* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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