School Professional Resources

School Behavior Specialist (BCBA, RBT, ABA) Interview Questions, Answers, Tips & Preparation

School Behavior Specialist Interview Preparation

If you are hunting for a school behavior specialist position, you’ll need to impress potential employers with your skills and background. How? Your interview. If you ready yourself for this vital meeting, you can wow the hiring committee and land the job of your dreams.

To prepare for your interview, it is a good idea to research your potential school site. You should get to know the district and school, and especially the types of students that you will service. Many interviewers ask candidates if they have any questions, and you should show interest and knowledge of their approach. You should also bring copies of your resume with you to provide to each person on the interview panel.

The best way to prepare for an interview is to know what kinds of interview questions are frequently asked of school behavior specialists. Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions so you can begin to prep for your big meeting.

School Behavior Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Many school behavior specialists report receiving similar questions during the interview process. No two interviews are identical, but you can likely expect to hear one of these frequently asked questions.

  • What is your experience working with children with disabilities?
    In your response, you should describe your dynamic and varied background, working with students of many ages and with different challenges. With this question, the interviewer is looking for something particular. School behavior specialists deal with unique individuals, each with their attitudes, routines, and difficulties. The hiring committee wants to see that you have the experience to handle many different kinds of mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
  • How would you handle an aggressive child who may criticize you during your interactions?
    The answer to this question should display your professionalism, patience, and knowledge of best practices in behavior analysis. You can explain that you treat all children with respect and establish clear rules beforehand to avoid these situations, but you are prepared to handle them as they arise.
  • What is your familiarity with ABA?
    You will likely run into a variation of this question in your interview. As one of the essential components in a behavioral specialist’s experience, knowledge of ABA is critical. If you do not have any direct background, having an extensive understanding of the approach is imperative.
  • Why do you want to work with students with Autism?
    Many students who work with a behavioral specialist fall on the Autism spectrum. While many answers would work, interviewing panels are likely looking for candidates to have both an in-depth understanding and a passion for working with this population. If you understand ABA therapy principles but don’t have experience with these students, you can show your knowledge to impress the committee.
  • What do you see in your future as a behavioral specialist?
    The interviewer is looking for your ambition and plans to develop professionally. Your answer should encompass your excitement to work with students with behavioral challenges, as well as your desire to be a valuable team member at this school and district. The key is for your response to revolve around student success.

BCBA Interview Questions and Answers

As a BCBA, you possess an exceptional level of experience, education, and training. Make sure that your answers reflect that background, as you may run into questions like these.

  • What is your background as a BCBA?
    Rather than list all of the positions you have held, dive right into those supervisory skills you have. If you have experience training others in behavioral analysis, highlight that in your answer.
  • Tell us about your experience with ABA.
    While behavior specialists as a group utilize ABA, a BCBA needs to have a comprehensive and deep understanding of the therapy. Your answer can differentiate how you have incorporated – or at least understand – both discrete trial therapy and natural environment training approaches in prior training.
  • How do you use your knowledge to benefit all stakeholders?
    You will want to emphasize your ability to locate resources to support clients, families, and other professionals. Your goal is always client success, and you assist support professionals in helping achieve this outcome.
  • What methods do you use to support less experienced professionals?
    As a BCBA, you can explain how you offer model teaching and direct instructional supports such as in-service training to other professionals.
  • How do you approach assessment?
    This question is probing your ability to design and use multiple assessment tools, depending on individual clients. These may include functional assessments or strategies to reduce maladaptive behaviors.

RBT Interview Questions and Answers

As a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), you provide critical support to professionals such as BCBAs. Here are some sample questions you may face.

  • What is your understanding of ABA?
    As you can see, ABA is a central theme across behavior specialties. You should possess a solid understanding of it, and your answer should reflect that.
  • How do you support BCBAs?
    Your response should demonstrate your knowledge of the RBT’s role in supporting BCBAs. Your primary focus is carrying out intervention plans and ensuring that BCBAs have the tools to design and implement their strategies.
  • Why do you think you are an excellent RBT?
    The answer to this question should be all about the students, showing that you care and support them as they achieve behavioral objectives.
  • What specific skills does a qualified RBT have?
    You should highlight your support capabilities. These include administering assessments, helping students acquire skills, assisting behavior reduction, and documentation and reporting.
  • How do we know you are qualified to be an RBT?
    For this response, you can list the many milestones you achieved to become what you are today. These steps include your high school diploma, 40 hours of supervised training, passing the RBT Competency Assessment, and passing the RBT exam.

ABA Interview Questions and Answers

ABA therapists deal with a unique day-to-day experience, and no student is the same as the last one. Here are some sample questions an ABA might hear.

  • How do you handle uncomfortable situations?
    ABAs may face uncomfortable situations at work, either with coworkers or clients. Your answer should emphasize your communication skills, how you don’t hide from conflict, and use multiple strategies to resolve tensions.
  • What are the categories of differential reinforcement techniques?
    There are four differential reinforcement: incompatible behavior, alternative behavior, other behavior, and low rates. Many ABAs in school settings prefer differential reinforcement of alternative behavior.
  • Why do you want to leave your current job to join us?
    In this answer, you want to stay optimistic about your current ABA position while demonstrating your desire to move on to more growth and evolution in your career
  • How do you work with challenging parents?
    Often, difficult parents are struggling with giving control to professionals who treat their children. In your response, you can include teaching parents strategies to use at home to support positive student outcomes.
  • What is your biggest weakness as an ABA therapist?
    Many people can answer questions about their strengths, but weakness questions can be difficult. Be honest with the committee but be sure to include how you learn from mistakes and continue to grow professionally.

School Behavioral Specialist Interview Tips

Some interviews will go better than others. Preparation is essential, though, to give yourself the best chance at obtaining that job.

  • Rehearse
    Interviews can be stressful as you have many eyes and ears paying attention to your words and actions. You can practice answering questions out loud, either with a companion or alone.
  • Research the school and district
    At the end of the interview, many hiring committees ask if you have questions. This moment is your chance to show that you learned about them, to impress them with your ambition and knowledge.
  • Make yourself a team member
    Throughout the interview, strive to show that you are ready to join the team as a productive and positive member. This trait can go a long way towards an employer deciding on you over someone else for the position.

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