Are you in the process of or thinking about hiring a camp counselor?
Camp counselors provide important guidance and are responsible for the safety of children and campers of varying ages.
Be prepared with several camp counselor interview questions related to working with children, age specializations, as well as behavioral interview questions related to child care.
Best Camp Counselor Questions to Ask
Below you’ll find a sample list of camp counselor interview questions that you should use during the job interview process. You’ll find typical interview questions, situational, behavioral, and interview questions used to gauge teamwork, and more.
Common Interview Questions for Camp Counselors:
- What qualifications do you have that make you suitable for this position?
- Are you a team player?
- Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
- How do you handle stressful situations?
- What do you do when you don’t know the answer to a question?
- What made you want to be a camp counselor?
- Did you attend camp as a child? What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
- With what age groups do you have experience working?
- What do you like most about working with kids?
- What do you think are the top three qualities everyone who works with kids must have?
- What sorts of activities would you do with a group of children in (ages the counselor will be working with) age group?
- Do you hope to have a career working with children?
- Do you have any CPR or other medical certifications/training?
- Why would you be a good fit for our camp?
- Why did you decide to interview for our camp rather than another one?
Behavioral Interview Questions for Camp Counselors
As a camp or youth program recruiter, you may want to leverage behavioral interview questions when hiring camp counselors. Behavioral based interview questions will give you a sense of how a counselor will perform or behave in specific circumstances. Questions related to stress, time management, and pressure situations are perfect for assessing your camp counselor candidates.
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Camp Counselors:
Behavioral Interview Questions:
- Explain a time when you had a conflict with a friend, coworker, or employer. Who was involved? What was the conflict? How did you resolve the conflict?
- Tell me about a time that you helped solve a particularly difficult issue with a child.
- Give an example of a time when you helped an upset/sad child and made them happier.
- Name an activity you would do with children of [insert age group].
- You notice a couple of cliques forming among the campers, how would you address this to ensure every camper felt included?
Situational Interview Questions:
- What would you do if one of your campers refused to do an activity?
- If it’s raining, how would you entertain a group of 10-20 campers?
- How would you handle a camper who misbehaves or does not listen to instructions?
- How would you respond to a parent who is upset about how you handled their kid(s)?
- How do you handle a homesick camper?
- How would you handle a fight between two campers?
Questions for Teamwork:
- Describe a situation when you had to work closely with a difficult or confrontational coworker. How did you handle the situation? Were you able to collaborate or work through your differences?
- Describe a conflict you had with other camp counselors. What was the conflict and how did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time where you stepped into a leadership role. Do you find yourself stepping into these roles frequently?
Questions to Test for Adaptability:
- Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
- Share an example of an awkward situation at work. How did you address the situation?
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems with a camper/child and initiated preventative measures.
- Describe a time where you had to come up with activities that worked for campers of different age groups. What were those activities? What were the outcomes?
Questions to Assess Time Management:
- Describe your experience with a very disruptive or upset child who required a lot of your time. How did you manage this situation while ensuring your other campers were adequately cared for?
- Talk about a time when you felt overwhelmed. What did you do?
- Give an example of an important goal you set for yourself. Did you accomplish that goal? How did you ensure that you accomplished it?
Questions to Assess Communication Style:
- Give an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade a camper to agree to an activity they did not want to do at first. How did your persuade this person?
- Talk about a time when you had not communicated well. How did you correct the situation?
- Describe a time when you received negative feedback and turned it into something positive.
Uncover Motivation and Values:
- Discuss a challenging situation or problem where you took the lead to correct it instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
- Describe a time when you went over and above your role as a camp counselor. What motivated you to put forth the extra effort?
- Give an example of a mistake you’ve made? How did you handle it?
- What do you find most difficult about being a camp counselor? How do you overcome this difficulty?
Check Camp Counselor Candidate References to Avoid Unsuitable Hires
Recruiting camp counselors is a serious task. Parents are entrusting your camp to take good care of their children and to keep them safe and happy. It’s important to know at minimum: Do your counselor candidates have patience in chaotic situations? How do they handle children who require positive discipline? What are their communication skills like? Do they have solid experience working with little ones?
The best way to ensure you hire camp counselors that are a good fit for your camp is to implement a rigorous reference checking process. This task can seem daunting when it implies hours on the phone chasing down references who don’t provide much helpful information about your candidate.
Harver partners with employers throughout the United States and globally to automate their reference checks, streamlining an otherwise time-consuming and manual process, and capturing better feedback while ensuring the best quality hires.
And the results have been outstanding. On average, many customers are finding through the reference feedback that up to 10% of their candidates are deemed unsuitable to work with children. That includes 4% of candidates who are flagged by Harver Reference for potentially faking their references. Without our fraud detection, all these unfit candidates may have otherwise slipped through the interview process.
One YMCA manager mentioned to us that he couldn’t believe the negative reviews they were seeing for some candidates who would have otherwise been hired. He strongly feels this feedback would’ve been missed using phone-based reference calls. Are you catching these unsuitable candidates with your current reference checking process?
Save Time with Reference Check Automation
The best part is that by using Harver’s reference check service to gather this more thorough, candid feedback there is much less work for your organization. In fact, time-to-fill for the YMCAs decreased by 1-3 weeks because on average references submit their feedback within 1 day. That’s a very fast turnaround time versus traditional phone references. Recruiters and managers are saving precious hours of reference checking time, while gathering better candidate information. Time spent checking references drops from 72 minutes per candidates down to just 2 minutes!
Recruiting and hiring quality camp counselors can be an arduous task. By asking the right questions during the interview and gathering significant, candid feedback from your candidates’ references, you’ll be able to weed out any bad hires and focus on bringing only safe, caring, responsible and capable individuals in to run your camps.
How to hire camp counselors better and faster
With Harver Reference and our comprehensive suite of automated hiring solutions, your organization can identify better fits for camp counselor jobs and hire them faster and with less effort. Schedule a call today to learn more and get answers to your questions.