Human Resources/Transition into HR from Psychological counseling
My name is Marina and I hope you can help me out with my dilemma.
I graduated with Master's degree in Cinical Counseling/Psychology, did some post graduate work and received my professional license .i spent 5 years working at both non profit and for profit mental health care centers. Since then I've decided to stay home with 2 kids that I brought to life ;-) 5 years later I'm ready to enter the professional world again and want to try myself in HR field. I know that fields of HR and Psychology have many commonalities I'd like to get your opinion on how would a person with my background enter the HR field. What HR areas would be more applicable to a person with my background and experience?
I worked with all age ranges from age 3 to over 80. Counseled individuals presenting with career issues, being stuck in the job, changing careers to such problems as depression, anxiety, phobias, marital issues etc
I'd really appreciate your input. I'm very job/career hungry especially after staying home with 2 kids which taught me working under tons of pressure, multitasking and constant planning ;-)
Thank you in advance.
Your are in a good situation.
What you lack is the exposure to HR FIELD.
AND also lack of education in HR .
BOTH CAN OVERCOME IN A COUPLE OF YEARS.
I WOULD SUGGEST, JOIN ANY DISTANCE LEARNING UNIS
AND COMPLETE MBA HR DEGREE.
AT THE SAME TIME , PICK UP ANY HR JOBS IN THE
-LABOR INTENSIVE INDUSTRY LIKE ‘’FED EXPRESS’’ ETC
CURRENTLY, YOU CAN ENTER IN FIELDS LIKE
Top Online MBA Business Schools.
American Sentinel University
Capella University ***************************
DeVry University *********************************
Ellis College of New York Institute of Technology
Florida Metropolitan University
Grand Canyon University
Jones International University
Kaplan University ************************
Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University ************
Regis University Online
Saint Leo University
Thunderbird - The Garvin School of International Management
University of Phoenix Online ************
Western International University
ALSO ‘’ PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
THE ONES WITH THE ASTERICK MARK, ARE THE BETTER ONES.
The Benefits of Majoring in Psychology
Psychology majors typically start out with
an above-average interest in people
Courses taken encourage understanding
and appreciation for a wide variety of
people and perspectives
Prepares you with skills that are
specifically needed in various work fields
Top Qualities/Skills Sought by Recruiters
1. Communication skills
(verbal and written)
3. Teamwork Skills (works
well with others)
4. Strong Work Ethic
5. Analytical Skills
8.MOTIVATION / INITIATIVE
The Transferrable Skills of Psychology Majors
• Interpersonal Communication Skills (oral and written)
• Analytical Skills – the ability to observe, analyze &
• Critical & Inferential Thinking
• Insight to deal effectively with people
• Problem Solving
• Decision Making
• Good Listening
• Concern for and sensitivity to others
• Research Skills
Real Life Career Paths of former Psychology majors
Senior Neuroscience Specialist
for Abbott Laboratories
Customer Service Rep
and Account Specialist
College Recruiting, Interviewing
Sourcing, Resume Screenings
For Amerada Hess Corp
Resident Assistant and
Psychology & Labor and Industrial Relations
POSITION: Human Resources
POSITION: Residential Counselor
for SERV Behavioral Healthcare
Social Science Counselor, Life Skills Trainer
Director of Activities
Fields to consider:
Human Resources Personnel
Sample Titles: Generalist, Recruiter, Trainer, Assistant
Nature of the Work:
Recruit new employees
Assist with personnel hiring decisions at almost every level, from a company's upper management to its line workers
Manage benefit and compensation packages
Help with employee training
Assist with outplacement services for laid off employees
Good communication skills
Ability to work in a team
Integrity and fair mindedness
Strong Organizational Skills; Ability to multi-task
Salary and Outlook
Banking and Financial Services
Sample Title: Financial Analyst
Nature of the Work:
Interpret how national and international events such as politics,
technology, money exchange rates, etc. can influence the prices of stocks and bonds or business transactions.
Make recommendations to clients as to which specific bonds and stocks
to buy or sell based on predictions of financial status or earnings of those bonds and stocks.
Analytical and Problem Solving Skills
Numeric Computation and Money Management
Salary and Outlook:
Average annual starting salary is $42,000 and about $53,800 with a
master's degree. Bonuses are awarded based on performance.
Job opportunities will be quite favorable for the next 10 years.
Sample Titles: Account Specialists, Media Relations Officers, Public Affairs Officers
Nature of the Work:
Serve as advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, governments, universities, hospitals, schools, and other organizations; Strive to build and maintain
good relationships with the public.
Put together information to keep the public, interest groups, and stockholders aware of the policies, activities, and accomplishments of an organization.
Inform management of relevant public attitudes and concerns.
Ability to write and speak well; Creativity and initiative
An outgoing personality and self-confidence
An ability to express thoughts clearly and simply
Good judgment, decision-making, problem-solving, and research skills
An understanding of human psychology
Enthusiasm for motivating people
Competitiveness; An ability to function as part of a team
Salary and Outlook:
Average starting salary $30, 312
Opportunities are expected to increase faster than the average through 2012
Nature of the Work and Sample Titles:
Admissions: Recruiting, evaluating and admitting students; work with financial aid
directors who oversee scholarship, fellowship, and loan programs.
Alumni Relations: Planning events, communicating with alumni in the form of letters & magazines, updating their contact information.
Development: Fundraising, soliciting alumni, family & friends of a university,
researching donor potential, writing letters, planning fundraising events.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Outgoing Personality; Assertive
Detail oriented; Organized; Creative;Team Player
Work well under pressure
Good research skills (for Development)
Willing to travel (for Admissions)
Salary and Outlook:
Average starting salary- $30,000
Employment will grow as enrollments increase in colleges and universities Government
•Foreign Service Officer (Department of State)
•Defense Intelligence Agency
•National Security Administration
•State, County and City Government
Nature of the Work and Skills Required:
Depends on which agency/organization in the government you choose to pursue
Some Common Requirements:
•In depth background check; clean financial record
•Tact, courtesy, integrity, and an ability to be objective
•An ability to get along well with others; good communication skills
•A firm dedication to public service
Psychology and Health Related
Nature of the work:
You may work in various non-profit organizations such as:
Community Health Clinics, Social Service Agencies
Schools and Correctional facilities
Treatment Centers and Care Facilities
A strong desire to help others and a strong sense of responsibility
Patience, understanding, and caring in their dealings with others
Good communication skills
Social Service Assistant
Alcohol or Drug Abuse Counselor
Case Management Aide
Mental Health Aide
Social Work Assistant
Community Support Worker
Other Fields To Consider
Event Planner; Conference/Meeting Planner
International Relief Worker
Research and Public Policy
Market Research Analyst
How Can You
Break Into These Fields?
Search Career Services Alumni Network
Family, Friends, Faculty
Conduct Informational Interviews
Get involved in student clubs/organizations
Attend Career Days and Employer Information Sessions
• Explore Interviewtrak/Monstertrak and other career links
• Gain some experience
• Build a resume that highlights your related skills and write a winning
Qualifications to Prepare for a Career in Human Resources
Some of the key skills and personal qualifications you will need to work successfully in Human Resources include:
• Effective interpersonal skills so you can interact successfully.
• Knowledge of computers and information systems.
• Effective spoken and written communication.
• Comfort with diverse people who have various educational levels, cultural heritages, religious practices, ages, work experience, and opinions.
• Understanding of statistics and finance.
• Conflict resolution skills.
• Able to set and accomplish goals and work as a member of a team.
• Demonstrate a high level of integrity, confidentiality, and fairness.
Experience to Prepare for a Career in Human Resources
It is difficult to break into a career in Human Resources above the entry level. Successive positions at the HR generalist and manager level, or above, require the knowledge and experience obtained in entry-level positions.
Occasionally, experienced individuals who have held managerial-type positions in business, government, or the military might be considered for positions above entry level. They should consider obtaining certifications or taking coursework related to their Human Resources area of interest in preparation.
If you are seeking an entry level HR position, try to obtain some experience while you are in college as an intern. Even part time work or an internship in other fields adds to your potential as a candidate. Leadership roles in clubs, volunteer experiences, club or college sports, and real world projects for a company add to your credibility as a candidate.
What careers can I pursue?
Only a small percentage of psychology graduates go on to become chartered psychologists, specialising in clinical, educational, occupational, forensic, health or sports psychology. It's a fiercely competitive field and, apart from securing a good degree, the main challenge for graduates is acquiring relevant work experience.
However, psychology graduates are well-equipped for numerous roles. The scientific and research elements of their courses make market research, academia and numerate careers such as accountancy realistic goals, according to Margaret Holbrough, a careers adviser at Graduate Prospects.
"With their understanding of people and how they behave in different situations, psychology graduates could viably pursue careers in human resources, careers advice, psychotherapy and counselling, advertising, marketing and retail management," says Holbrough.
I have listed some of the areas the RECRUITER would focus on.
In addition to regulations tests like personality tests etc ,
the recruiter would be looking at
-handling/ managing issues/situations.
-managing/handling of HR PROJECTS
-EXPERIENCE in planning/ processes
-managing HR CONTRIBUTIONS
-your knowledge of HR techniques/tools
-upkeep/update of HR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT.
FOCUS ON CORE HR FUNCTIONS/STANDARDS.
International personnel management
Health and safety
Pay and benefits
Training and development
Discipline and grievance
SOME OF THE HR skill and knowledge requirements
I.2 Decision making
and problem solving
I.3 Business acumen
I.4 Credibility and
II.1 Knowledge of
II.2 Knowledge of
II.3 Knowledge of
II.5 The HR
department as a part
of the organisation
III.1 Management of
III.2 Management of
III.3 Management of
III.4 Management of
III.5 Management of
IV.1 HR planning
IV.3 Employee and
IV.5 Health, safety,
welfare and security
IV.6 Systems and
FOCUS IS ON THE COMPETENCIES REQUIRED FOR A
SUCCESSFUL HR MANAGER?
The suggested competencies are
-human relations handling skills
-professional knowledge of HR
-adding value through people development
-strategic thinking capability
-business / culture awareness
-communication [ oral/ written ]
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGERS ARE ASSESSED IN THE FOLLOWING
AREAS DEPENDING ON THE PLACE THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE
APPOINTED. EXAMPLE --USA OR MIDDLE EAST OR ASIA ETC.
-how would you manage the Equity compensation,
-how would you handle merit pay,
-how would handle the healthcare benefits
- how would you manage COBRA.[usa]
-how would you manage , at the workplace ,Discrimination.
-how would you develop personnel policies,
-your experience with HR manuals
-your experience with employee handbooks.
-how would you manage Job analysis & personality research.
-how would you handle Employee motivation.
-how would you manage Continuing education.
-how would you manage Telecommuting program guidance.
-how would you handle Salary surveys.
-how would you handle Labor issues.
-how would you handle Alternative staffing.
-how would you manage Independent contractors.
-how would you handle Blended staffing.
-how would you manage Temp workers.
-how would you manage Foreign nationals.
-how would you handle Recruiting, hiring and termination issues.
-how would you conduct Employee background checks.
-how would you manage Layoff
-how would you manage learning and development.
-how would you handle -- Addressing worker performance.
-how would you conduct/ manage 360 degree feedback.
-how would you manage Disasters (all)
-how would you manage General Management (all) Property -
-how would you conduct Emergency Plans.
-how would you manage OSHA (all) Regulations - ADA, EEOC, DOL, NLRB, OSHA, MSHA, US Codes.
-how would you manage Safety Mgt (all) Security - Background Checks, Bomb Threats,
-how would you manage Counter-Terrorism, Personal Protection, , Violence.
-how would you manage , as more women are entering the workforce.
-how would you manage different amenities at the workplace.
-how would you manage as more women with children are entering the workforce.
-how would you manage the needs of different facilities at the workplace.
-how would you handle equal emplyment opportunites laws
-how would you handle equal pay/ awards
-how would you handle anti discrimination laws
-how would you manage outsourcing of products/ services
HOW DID YOU MANAGE OR CONDUCT
-HR MARKETING [ internally ]
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING & MANAGING
COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN , BRIEFLY, YOUR APPROACH
-HR STRATEGIC PLANNING
-TALENT PLANNING/RETENTION / MANAGEMENT
-DEVELOPING LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT BUDGET
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN
-MANAGING DIVERSITY AT WORKPLACE
-MANAGING THE CHANGES IN ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE
-ALIGNING HRM WITH CORPORATE OBJECTIVES / STRATEGIES.
-CREATING/ MANAGING HR DELIVERABLES.
-HR CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMPANY'S COMPETITIVENESS.
-AUDITING YOUR OWN HR DEPARTMENT.
CAN YOU BRIEFLY EXPLAIN
-HOW/WHAT HR CAN CONTRIBUTE IN MERGERS.
-HOW/WHAT HR CAN CONTRIBUTE IN ACQUISITIONS.
-WHAT HR SYSTEMS HAVE YOU SET UP
-WHAT INTERVENTIONIST ROLE HAVE YOU PLAYED
-HOW WOULD YOU SET UP/MARKET GREENFIELD SITES IN HR.
-HOW/WHAT HR CAN MAKE CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMPANY'S
-HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT WITH HR-SET UP IN AN ORGANIZATION.
WHAT ARE THE Compendium of Current Tools and
Techniques , YOU ARE COMPETENT IN APPLYING
ON THE JOB.
*360 degree Evaluations
*After action Reviews
*Alternative Dispute Resolution
*Breakthrough Action Teams
*Chaos Theory and the New Science
*Contingent Work Force
*Cross functional Teams
*Economic Value Added
*High Performance organizations
*Job Enlargement/job Enrichment
*Just in Time/ just in Case
*Lateral Thinking/Out of the Box Thinking
*Laws and Principles: Murphy/Parkinson/Peter
*Lean Production/Lean and Mean
*Management by Objectives
*Management by Walking Around
*Networking (Personal Strategy and Structure/Information flow)
*New Paradigm Business
*One Minute Manager
*Open Book Management
*Pay For Performance
*Peer Mediation/Peer Intervention Teams
*Principle centered Leadership
*Quality of Worklife
*Quick Response/Rapid Deployment Teams
*Reinventing the Corporation
*Results driven Quality
*Right Brain Thinking
*Self development Group
*Self managing Work Teams
*Spirituality in Organizations
*Third Wave/Fourth Wave Organization
*Trickle Down Technology
*Zero based Budgeting
Review these typical interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Read
the questions listed; you will also find some strategy suggestions with it.
1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared
in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items
unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that
relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up
to the present.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with
management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do,
you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason
such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.
3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have
specific experience, get as close as you can.
4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have
set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.
5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a
paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the
hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview
6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview.
Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and
who are the major players?
7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can
be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what
you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.
9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done
on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate
it to your long-term career goals.
10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer
even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if
they are well thought of.
11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do
not answer it. Instead, say something like, That's a tough question. Can you tell me the
range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.
12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you
often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your
team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.
13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I'd like it to be a long time. Or
As long as we both feel I'm doing a good job.
14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the
same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization
versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization.
Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.
15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong
feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That's the type of answer that works best here. Short
and positive, showing a benefit to the organization.
16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do
not say yes if you do not mean it.
17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things
about the people or organization involved.
18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points
as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this
19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other
candidates to make a comparison.
20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then
considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.
21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you.
A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.
22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure,
Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your
positive attitude .
23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something like:
A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can't wait to get to work.
24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.
25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23
26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get
you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.
27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.
28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience,
Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver
29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and
tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay
positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.
30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don't get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract,
which would have given you more responsibility.
31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates
to the type of position applied for.
32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more
than this one.
33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition
34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.
35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss
tell you that you are successful
36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a
chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can
create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and
philosophical implications. Just say yes.
38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or
consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management
expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according
to the situation, instead of one size fits all.
39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well
intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far
ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.
40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal
any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do
not hand it to them.
41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.
42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.
43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then,
point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.
44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, loyal to
subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.
45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute
46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.
47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and
work hard but enjoy your work are good.
48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no
49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.
50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to
the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of
projects will I be able to assist on? are examples.