As a physical therapist, you are always on the move. You use exercises and movement training to help patients regain strength after illness or physical injuries. During the interview process, hiring managers are searching for candidates who are knowledgeable about the human body and eager to improve the current conditions of their clients. To help you prepare for the potential questions asked during your in-person or phone interview, this article outlines the 8 common physical therapy interview questions, plus some helpful interview tips.
8 Common Physical Therapist Interview Questions
1) Tell me about the patients or services you’ve previously worked with?
This is a very common question and one when asked you should be able to answer easily. Be prepared to answer a brief history of your experience. If you don’t have much experience that is okay. Just be honest. The good news is that many physical therapy jobs, especially those looking for travel therapy, take new grads or those with not a lot of experience. So no need to worry if you don’t have years of experience or extensive training in required fields. Again, just be honest to your potential employer.
2) How do you motivate patients?
This is a great question to showcase your interpersonal skills and how you connect with your patients. When asked this question, it is a good time to tell a story of a time you motivated a patient and the results they received.
3) When was a time you had to deal with a disagreement with a coworker & how did you handle it?
Conflict with co-workers is a common occurrence. So when asked, be sure you have a story to tell that proves you have conflict resolution skills.
Communication Skills Are Important
4) How do you set expectations and provide status updates to patients and their family members?
This is a question where you can really highlight your organizational and communication skills for this particular career. Talk about how you communicate when working in a fast environment and with many patients.
5) What has been the most challenging case you’ve dealt with?
This question might not be as common as the ones listed above. However, when asked to describe a challenge many physical therapists get hung up. You are prepared to talk about the good times that sometimes you don’t prepare to answer the questions that relate to challenges. Even if you don’t get asked this direct question during your physical therapist job interview, it’s a good one to have your answer ready.
6) What are ways you’ve found to be successful tracking a patient’s progress?
Attention to detail is a very critical skill as a good physical therapist. It’s very important especially when it comes to monitoring a patient’s progress. Do you track progress online allowing for patients to monitor their progress as well? Do you have a chart that you write down and review with your patient at the beginning and end of every session? Be prepared to speak to this during the job interview when applying for a physical therapy position.
Questions That Highlight You
7) What makes you happy about being a physical therapist?
This interview question should be one that gets you out of your chair ready to answer. What makes you happy about being a PT? You should be able to nail this question because it is the career path you have chosen. But be prepared. You don’t want this answer to drag on too much. This is a great question for your hiring manager to get to know you on a personal level.
8) Why would you be a good fit to work here?
When this interview question gets asked, this is your chance to have a great closing remark. The hiring manager is looking for confirmation that you would be a good fit with their team and patients. Explain how you’d fit with the team and highlight your team first attitude.
Additional Helpful Physical Therapist Interview Questions & Answers Tips
Before your physical therapy job interview be sure to familiarize yourself with the posted job description, the desired personal and clinical skills listed. This is important to note because ideally, you want to be able to demonstrate those skills in your answers on the interview day. In addition, practice answering these common interview questions with personal examples to help support your answer in advance.
During your physical therapy job interview, the hiring manager is looking for someone who is empowered by being part of a team as well as being able to confidently work independently. They want someone who is willing to work with others to share ideas, solve problems, and learn from colleagues. A desired physical therapist will demonstrate how they strive for their patients’ success on a personal level.
Overall it is important to demonstrate during your PT interview:
- Being able to work independently and collaborate with colleagues
- Compassion and empathy for their patients’ success
- Clear communications skills and able to explain the purpose of your methods to help patients better understand
- Listening and evaluating a patient’s comprehensive history to diagnose the root of the problem
- Open and confident body language. You want to make sure you aren’t slouching, do not have your arms crossed, and are smiling
Host Healthcare Travel Therapist
Hopefully you enjoyed reading the 8 common physical therapy interview questions. Now you are ready to take on any interview for a physical therapy position. If you are interested in being a travel therapist, you are in the right spot. Host Healthcare offers an extensive list of travel therapy jobs. In addition, call a specific recruiter directly or if you don’t have a recruiter, call (844) 812-8094 and one of our friendly recruiters will be happy to help.