Guidance Counselor

While I was studying as a career guidance counselor, we had to undertake mock and real career guidance sessions with adults and GCSE students.  These sessions were recorded for assessment and reflection by fellow career guidance counselors and my fellow students.  A very thorough process.  In order to prepare myself as a successful career guidance counselor, I composed a list of questions that I could use throughout a career guidance session.  Obviously, I memorised them all!!


Within a ‘later’ career guidance blog, I will discuss the important of questions in terms of the career guidance session and how it may facilitate a career guidance counselors.  However, for now, I thought it might be beneficial to list my list of questions that may all career guidance counsellors within Egan’s Three Stage Model for career guidance.


Career Guidance Session Opening Questions – Guidance Counselor

What sort of things are you hoping to do this Summer?

You mentioned several spare-time interests, which do you spend most time on/enjoy most?

Would you mind if we discussed……?


Open questions: – to gather facts:

What does that involve?

When did you start?

Where do you go for that?

How did you get involved with that?

How often do you do that?


To explore implications (analytic):

Which do you prefer/like least?

What effect did that have?

What aspects did you find most difficult/easiest?


Focusing and clarifying:

Could you give me an example of that?

Could you tell me what you did in English today?

Could you tell me more about that project?

What part did you play in that?

How did you feel in that situation?

What makes you say you ought to stay on at school?

I’m not sure that I follow you….?



Can I come back to that in a minute?

You mentioned x before, what did that involve?

How does this relate to what you said earlier?


Summarising and feeling back:

I get the feeling that you prefer work with your hands

In other words, you mean….

From what you have said you seem to have the following options at present….


Egan’s (2006) Three Stage Model, Questions that a Guidance Counselor could use throughout the guidance process.


Stage 1 P1

Intros are made

Building rapport

Explanation of role

Establish the clients understanding of the possibilities within the interaction

Tell me a little bit about where you are right now?

What would you like to get out of the session?

Where are you now?  What would you like to talk about today?  We have about 25 minutes or so…


Allow the client to ‘tell their story’ – where they are currently ‘at’, the issues or thoughts that are present

What issues are the most important right now?

You may give them a menu?


Enabling the client to identify their current situation and guidance needs

Assisting with the client to establish the agenda for the interview

Summarising with the client to establish the agenda for the interview

Agree an agenda


Can you tell me a bit about you….

How do you spend your time?

What ideas have you got?

How can I help you, be of assistance for you today?


Summarise Stage 1 – gives the client the confidence that points have been heard and noted

Highlight key issues

Draws the discussion together

Aids and confirms progress – signposts.


Stage 2

Reflect on Implications

Develop issues and identify possibilities

Seek clarification.

Understand the client

Make the client work it out for themselves

Where did that idea come from?

  • Clients are helped to gain insight into their situation and to look forward to broaden their perspective
  • Clients are helped to set priorities from which possible goals will emerge
  • Clients are helped to reflect on the implications of their choice and establish preferred options
  • QUESTION: Where are your thoughts coming from? Parents, friend …so on.
  • Raise issues they need to be thinking about, looking at priorities and reflect on implications of possible options

What might be the difficulties with…..

What would happen if…

What might get in the way….

What needs to happen now…..

What’s going to be good about doing this…



Stage 3

Look at how to take forward planning action


Egan, G. (2006), ‘The Skilled Helper, A Problem-management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping’ (9th Edition), California: Books/Cole.


Diarmuid Haughian MA Career Guidance, QCG

Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselor