- How do you deal with situations in which patients are resistant to current treatment programs? …
- How would you gain patients’ trust? …
- How would you communicate with very young patients? …
- How would you help a patient overcome a smoking addiction?
ABA Therapy Interview Questions and Answers 2019 Part-1 | ABA Therapy | Wisdom IT Services
Example Questions ABA Therapists Can Expect in Job Interviews
When interviewing for a position as an ABA therapist, you might be asked questions like these:
- What is your educational background?
- BCaBAs and BCBAs are expected to have undergraduate degrees, and BCBAs are expected to have at least a master’s degree. Employers will want to know about the education track a potential employee has taken. This is not necessarily to judge you based on where you went to school, but to know what degrees you pursued, how those relate to your current certification, and details about your academic achievements.
- BCBAs are also expected to have some practical experience or publication credits involving education, psychology, therapy, or a related medical practice.
- What professional experience do you have?
- Like education, professional experience says a lot about a job candidate. Many people use a combination of education and experience to qualify for their board certification exams. Therapists, nurses, teachers, and other paraprofessionals or caregivers who want to work with children on the autism spectrum have important prior experience that changes their outlook on ABA therapy.
- This history can also tell a potential employer more about how the interviewee became interested in ABA therapy. Passion for working with children and helping people overcome obstacles is important.
- What experience is most related to the specific position?
- Interviewers will want to know why you want to work with their specific business, so you might talk about a history with specific age groups, people with developmental disabilities, or people who are neurodivergent. Learning how personal work and educational experience relates to the job posting is crucial.
These questions may be answered in the job application, during the in-person interview, or both. Interviewers may ask further questions, including:
- How do you handle setbacks with your clients?
- Working with a sensitive group like children or adults on the autism spectrum means therapists will encounter high-stress days, setbacks in skills acquisition, and tough emotional experiences. Helping people overcome developmental differences is very rewarding, but it is not easy.
- Employers need to know that potential employees can regulate their own emotional reactions, maintain compassion and patience, and modify the overall ABA therapy plan to adjust any sessions as needed to continue progress.
- How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?
- Awkward or tense situations with children, adults, or parents or caregivers are inevitable. Misunderstandings happen. It is important for a potential employer to know that someone they hire can navigate these situations with grace and understanding.
- What types of reinforcement techniques have worked in your experience?
- Like understanding how an applicant’s work and educational experience fit in with their business, potential employers will want to understand how an applicant’s personal preferences for creating a treatment plan or conducting individual therapy sessions fits in with their mission or business model.
- What do you like most about your current/most recent job?
- If you left your previous position on bad terms, it is still important to find something good to say about the experience, to indicate that there was learning and growth. Employers know that there are many good reasons for seeking a new position, but they will want to know how this relates to previous experiences. This might also relate to their understanding of how you handle stress or negative situations.
- How do you handle uncomfortable or difficult situations with parents?
- It is understandable that parents are protective of their children and worried about their long-term health. If they perceive something has gone wrong in a therapy session, it is important to work directly with them, so everyone comes to an understanding. This might involve explaining the specific approach, asking for their guidance to better support their child, or offering ABA-related parent training in the event they do not yet understand the ABA therapy process.
- Do you have experience working with animals and in what setting?
- Some children with autism have pets at home, emotional support animals, or even service animals. The clinic, school, or medical center may also have therapy animals or work with programs providing therapy animals. While this is not a vital component of being an ABA therapist, animal therapies are becoming increasingly popular, so it is important to be truthful about animal experience and even allergies.
What do you do to gain trust of your clients?
Trust is essential in a work of a therapist, and you won’t get far with your clients unless they trust you. You can talk about different ways of gaining their trust, for example:
- Repeatedly ensuring them that your meetings are confidential, and everything they say will remain in your office.
- Being a good listener before anything else, and constantly showing an honest interest in their problems.
- Patience. Maybe they won’t say anything in the first and second meeting. But you won’t give up. You will continue meeting them, trying to build trust, hoping that they eventually open up.
- Sharing something from your life with them. This technique is a bit controversial, and some therapists do not like it. In my experience, however, it can do wonders with patients who struggle to trust you and to open up. When they see that you trust them–sharing something from your personal life with them, perhaps opening about problems you experienced in the past, it is easier for them to trust you and open up about their problems. Law of action and reaction rules the universe, and therapy or human relations are no exception to the rule.
In any case, ensure the interviewers that you will do whatever you can to gain trust of your clients, and that you won’t give up easily.
What feeding therapy techniques have you used with your patients?
As an ABA Therapist, youve likely seen patients with food related behavioral issues. Have you used a reward system to convince your pickiest of eaters to try new foods? Perhaps the kitchen staff at the school is on board with recognizing change, and providing praise as well. After attending therapy sessions with you, have your patients started to cut their own food, properly use utensils, wait quietly at restaurants, or wipe their own mouth without being asked? These are examples of success stories you can share with your interviewer.
“Confusion and distaste towards textures and temperatures can be difficult for some of my patients to overcome. Ive used Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy to help my patients overcome some of their behaviors related to food and nourishment.”
“I have learned a little bit about feeding therapy techniques during my time in University. The techniques I learned included teaching a child with autism to use utensils, and providing them with strong posture support during meal time. More severe cases may required help with motor functions such as getting the food from their plate, to their mouth. Also, reinforcing with food itself may be a reward if there is a food the patient especially appreciates.”
“When working with patients that suffer from a food related aversion, I make a point to educate the family on the importance of reinforcement and how to use my therapy methods successfully. This past month Ive been working with a family and teaching the importance of ignoring the negative behaviors and reinforcing the small, positive wins.”
If you want to ace your upcoming interview, practice with our topical-based interview question sets.