The Top 10 Crisis Text Line Interview Questions and How to Ace Them

Seeking a meaningful career in mental health support? Crisis Text Line may be the perfect opportunity. As an innovative leader in crisis intervention services, this organization leverages technology to provide free, 24/7 emotional support for people in distress.

So you’ve applied for a crisis counselor role and landed an interview – congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare for some of the most common questions you can expect during the hiring process at Crisis Text Line.

In this article, I’ll share insider tips and sample responses to help you nail your interview and launch an impactful career as a compassionate, tech-savvy first responder.

Overview of Crisis Text Line’s Hiring Process

The hiring process at Crisis Text Line involves multiple stages:

  • Online application – You’ll need to submit a resume and complete an online form detailing your skills and experience.

  • Pre-recorded video interview – If your application is successful, you’ll be asked to record video responses to preset questions. This allows recruiters to evaluate your communication skills.

  • Live video interview – The next step is a live video chat with a recruiter to discuss your qualifications in greater depth.

  • Supervisor interview – If you progress past the video interviews, you’ll have a final conversation with a supervisor in your potential team.

  • Reference and background checks – Finally Crisis Text Line will contact your references and perform background checks before making a hiring decision.

Throughout the process, they evaluate your emotional intelligence, empathy, communication abilities, problem-solving skills, and ability to manage crisis situations. Preparation and practice are key to showcasing these qualities successfully.

Now let’s dive into the top 10 questions to expect and exactly how to knock your answers out of the park!

1. Why do you want to work as a crisis counselor?

This is often the very first question since it reveals your motivations and passion for the role. Interviewers want to know what drives your desire to provide crisis intervention services.


  • Discuss how you’re drawn to help others through active listening, compassion, and emotional support.

  • Share any personal experiences that sparked your interest in mental health advocacy. However, don’t overshare personal trauma.

  • Highlight your alignment with Crisis Text Line’s mission and values. Emphasize their innovative approach.

  • Convey your excitement to apply both soft skills like empathy as well as hard skills like data analysis to make a difference.

Sample Response: I’m deeply driven to help others through difficult times, even life-threatening moments of crisis. Having battled anxiety myself, I know firsthand the darkness that mental health issues can bring and the lifeline that compassion provides. This instilled in me a passion for supporting vulnerable populations through active listening, empathy, and crisis intervention. That’s why I’m thrilled by Crisis Text Line’s innovative, tech-forward vision for mental healthcare – the ability to meet people where they are, in their darkest hours, through an accessible medium like texting. I’m inspired to apply both my interpersonal skills and data analysis abilities to create meaningful connections with texters and provide them with customized support to de-escalate crises. I can’t wait to join a team of empathetic, dedicated individuals to bring help and hope to our community.

2. How would you handle a crisis situation via text?

Crisis counseling over text is much different than in-person or telephonic support. Interviewers want to assess your ability to establish rapport, actively listen, and de-escalate crises solely through written messages.


  • Discuss how you would respond calmly, empathetically, and without judgement.

  • Highlight steps like asking open-ended questions, paraphrasing their feelings, brainstorming coping strategies, and providing resources.

  • Share how you would follow Crisis Text Line’s methodologies, while personalizing support for the texter’s unique situation.

  • Convey your ability to identify high-risk situations and get emergency responders involved if necessary.

Sample Response: If a texter reached out in a moment of active crisis, my first priority would be establishing a connection through compassionate, non-judgmental messages to make them feel heard and supported. I would ask open-ended questions to understand their situation and paraphrase their feelings to validate their emotional state. If I identified a high-risk situation, I would get emergency services involved right away while keeping the texter engaged. For less critical situations, I would collaborate with the texter to brainstorm coping strategies tailored to their circumstances, perhaps encouraging self-care or referring them to counseling services. No two crises are alike, so it’s vital to personalize support based on the texter’s unique needs while upholding Crisis Text Line’s evidence-based frameworks. My goal would always be to comfort them through their distress, provide resources, empower their resilience, and guide them to safety.

3. How would you handle an angry or abusive texter?

Crisis counselors inevitably encounter challenging situations like angry, abusive, or manipulative texters. Interviewers look for emotional control and conflict resolution skills.


  • Emphasize staying calm, limiting emotional reactions, and maintaining clear boundaries.

  • Discuss applying empathy and patience to uncover root causes behind their anger.

  • Share how you would point them to appropriate resources without escalating the situation.

  • If they cross serious lines, convey your ability to involve supervisors without judgment.

Sample Response: When faced with an abusive or angry texter, I would leverage my emotional intelligence to stay grounded, limiting any knee-jerk reactions to their hostility. While maintaining clear boundaries regarding acceptable conduct, I would apply empathy and patience to uncover the pain or struggles fueling their anger. My goal would be to form a connection that opens the door to constructive solutions, perhaps by asking questions to understand their frustrations or paraphrasing their emotions. If they are receptive, I would guide them towards counseling services. However, if they cross serious lines with threats or harassment, I would not hesitate to get my supervisor involved to maintain the safety of both our volunteers and the texter themselves. With a balanced, compassionate approach, I believe even challenging situations present opportunities to seed positive change.

4. How would you handle burnout and stress in this role?

Managing burnout is a harsh reality of counseling roles. Interviewers evaluate your self-care strategies to sustain mental wellbeing.


  • Discuss the importance of setting boundaries between work and personal life. Share techniques like leaving work at work, unplugging after shifts, etc.

  • Outline self-care practices from stress management exercises to healthy outlets like hobbies, socializing, and exercise.

  • Highlight Crisis Text Line resources like seeking guidance from supervisors, buddy systems, counseling services for volunteers, etc.

  • Convey your ability to recognize signs of burnout early and be proactive about self-care.

Sample Response: This work is highly emotionally demanding, so appropriate self-care is absolutely vital for me to serve texters effectively while protecting my own mental health. I am very intentional about keeping firm boundaries between my role and personal life – when I’m not on shift, I fully unplug from work. I also integrate self-care into my regular routine, whether it’s yoga, getting outdoors, spending time with loved ones, or simply relaxing with a good book. If I felt signs of burnout like irritability or lack of engagement, I would immediately take a step back and speak with my supervisor or use Crisis Text Line counseling services for volunteers. It’s essential that we take care of ourselves before we can successfully care for others. By being proactive with robust self-care strategies and utilizing all resources available, I know I can sustain my mental wellbeing in this rewarding yet demanding role.

5. How would you handle a situation requiring resources you don’t have?

No one counselor can have all the answers, so interviewers look for resourcefulness and humility.


  • Discuss openly communicating with the texter about the limits of your direct knowledge.

  • Share your process for identifying appropriate resources, whether research, databases, or other counselors.

  • Highlight reviewing the situation with your supervisor to determine next steps.

  • Emphasize providing excellent follow-up by sending resources and checking on the texter.

Sample Response: If I encountered a situation requiring specialized knowledge outside my expertise, I would be upfront with the texter that I lack direct experience but will do everything I can to provide them with appropriate resources. First, I would review Crisis Text Line’s resource database and conduct quick supplementary research to find relevant helplines, support groups, or articles related to their specific issue. If I still felt unsure of the best direction, I would draw on my supervisor’s experience to decide next steps in the texter’s best interest. Before concluding our chat, I would proactively send these resources and express my genuine desire to follow up with them soon. No one counselor will have all the answers, but with resourcefulness and collaboration, we can still guide texters to the solutions they desperately need in times of crisis.

6. How do you evaluate the urgency or severity of different crisis situations over text?

Assessing severity and urgency is crucial yet

Texting In In crisis? Here’s everything you need to know about reaching a Crisis Counselor to help you from that hot moment to totally cool and calm.

  • People in the United States can text 741741 at any time to get help in a crisis.
  • The text is quickly answered by a trained, real person who works as a crisis counselor.
  • Through Crisis Text Line’s secure platform, the Crisis Counselor helps you go from a hot moment to a cool calm so that you can stay safe and healthy. They do this by actively listening to you and suggesting resources.

Our Crisis Counselors bring texters “from a hot moment to a cool calm” using techniques in empathetic listening. They work together to help the texter come up with a plan to stay safe once they’ve built trust and rapport, talked about the issues, and found out what the texter wants.

Our Crisis Counselors are dedicated, trained, supervised volunteers from around the United States. After a tough application process with several steps, a background check, and training, each person agrees to volunteer four hours a week until 200 hours are reached. Staff members with Master’s degrees in related fields or similar experience in crisis intervention are in charge of the Crisis Counselors.

You’ll receive an automated text asking you what your crisis is. Within minutes, a live trained crisis counselor will answer your text. That person will help you get through your tough time and help you make a plan to keep feeling better.

Yes. Crisis counselors only see the texts that people send them, and we won’t share that information with anyone else unless it’s necessary for safety or legal reasons. We take your confidentiality seriously. See our Privacy Policy here for more detail.

We do not charge texters. If you have an AT&T cell phone plan, There are standard text message rates if you have a plan with a different carrier. It works the same way as texting a friend.

Nothing will appear on your bill if your cell phone plan is with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. If your plan is with another carrier, our short code, 741741, will appear on your billing statement.

Crisis Text Line works on all major US carriers and most minor regional carriers. However, shortcodes (like 741741) are not allowed on many prepaid plans like T-Mobile’s. In case you can’t text us, you can add our number to WhatsApp and text the keyword directly from the chat.

You can text in again if you are experiencing a crisis. However, you should not feel dependent on us. Crisis Text Line is not a replacement for long-term counseling, in-person therapy, or a friend.

Our goal is to respond to every texter in under 5 minutes. There may be longer wait times at busy times, like at night or when we “go viral” on social media.

Yes, our system is only able to process 160 characters in one message.

There are some carriers that still don’t use shortcodes, which means that the few people who have these phones can’t use Crisis Text Line via SMS. (We hear that sometimes you get an auto-error response. Sometimes nothing at all. We know this isn’t ideal (and we wish those carriers would let us!) If your phone company doesn’t let you use shortcodes, you can also get our service through WhatsApp.

When the Crisis Counselor and Supervisor do a risk assessment and decide that a texter is in immediate danger of suicide or murder, our first step is to try to work with them to make a safety plan. If the texter can’t make plans for their own safety, the Supervisor can call 911 and ask them to send someone to do a wellness check.

Data Crisis Text Line was built from the ground up around technology and data with the goal of helping people thrive.  We’ve collected one of the largest health data sets in the world. Here’s everything you need to know about how we’re using data to change the world.

See the issues we track at If you’re a researcher or practitioner with interest in another issue, submit your suggestion in the form at the bottom of

Visit our Open Data Collaborations page to learn more. is a mission-driven enterprise teaching people to have more empathy, cultural competency, and hard conversations.

Back in 2018-2022, Loris. AI used what it learned from Crisis Text Line’s training and de-escalation techniques to make the high-stress job of customer service better for people’s health.

We thought this group could help us stay in business longer and do good by making the world a more empathetic place. However, we decided to exit the relationship entirely, with no financial gain and requiring that Loris. ai return or delete any and all data from Crisis Text Line.

Crisis Text Line has no current relationship of any kind with had not accessed any Crisis Text Line data since the beginning of 2020.

Crisis Text Line did not share personally identifiable data with has their own independent leadership team including having their own CEO since August 2019.

Crisis Text Line takes a lot of steps to make sure that texters feel safe and secure by encrypting, controlling access to, detecting intrusions, and other safety measures all the time.

Crisis Text Line has never monetized personally identifiable information, directly or with any third-party organizations.

Crisis Worker Hotline Experience


What questions are asked in a crisis counseling interview?

Related Interview Questions What experience do you have working with children and adults impacted by abuse and trauma? Discuss how you would respond to a family presenting in crisis. Tell us about your knowledge of community resources or community programs. Conducts psychosocial and/or trauma- specific assessments.

How do you handle crisis situations interview question?

How would you handle a crisis situation? Sample answer: In a crisis, the first step is to stabilize the person. I would use active listening to understand how they are feeling and make sure they are safe. Then, I would find out what they need and what they are afraid of.

Why is crisis text line important?

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by empowering a community of trained volunteers to support people in their moments of need.

What is a crisis worker interview question?

Crisis workers are often tasked with difficult and complex situations that require the ability to think quickly and manage multiple stakeholders in a professional and diplomatic manner. This question allows the interviewer to gauge your ability to handle stressful situations and work with people from different backgrounds and perspectives.

What is a Crisis Text Line crisis counselor?

Becoming a Crisis Text Line Crisis Counselor is a great way to help people in need. Additionally, it offers you an opportunity to get volunteer hours and build your resume. As a Crisis Counselor, you’ll help people who are going through a difficult time and may be a lifesaver for someone who’s in a dark place.

What questions did the crisis management officer ask during the interview?

Senior Manager of Crisis Management was asked May 8, 2020 Tell me about your background? Crisis Management Investigator was asked March 22, 2018 If I could give you 5 promises what would they be? Crisis Management Officer was asked May 8, 2022 What motivate you to move from current company and join Qatargas?

How do you prepare for a crisis intervention interview?

Prepare for this question by thinking about the types of crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques you have used in your past roles. For example, if you’ve worked as a social worker or counselor, discuss how you’ve helped people understand their emotions and develop strategies to manage them.

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