The current state of the economy can be tough for any job seeker, especially new graduates. But don't let statistics intimidate you. In any economy, the best candidate will be hired. In a field of qualified candidates, it's up to you to stand out and make yourself memorable – in a good way. Here are some interview tips that will help you stand out from the crowd for a variety of school therapy jobs.
Making yourself stand out in a field of qualified candidates with similar credentials is no easy feat. It can be especially nerve-wracking for those fresh out of graduate school with little to no experience in the field.
As a leader in the school staffing industry, we understand the interview process like no one else. That’s why we have compiled a list of our top interview tips we know will help you stand out amongst the crowd:
5 Top School Therapist Job Interview Tips
- Practice Your Communication Skills
- Express Your Passion
- Do Your Homework
- Sell Yourself
- Gather Documentation
But what do each of these mean? Let’s dive in:
Tip #1: Practice Your Communication Skills
The role of any therapist relies heavily on strong communication skills. Regardless of the situation, a good therapist can remain calm, reassure their students, and explain therapy procedures in terms that are easy to understand, all while exhibiting professionalism, confidence, and competence.
It is normal to feel nervous before or during the interview, but in order to land the job, you must demonstrate the qualities that the interviewer is looking for in a top candidate. The more prepared you are, the more organized and competent you will appear. One way to do this is to practice your responses to typical interview questions. Here are some of our top example questions:
General School Therapist Interview Questions
- What interested you in this position?
- What are your greatest strengths? And weaknesses?
- What is the first thing you do when working with a new client?
- How do you stay organized?
- Describe a time you had difficulties with a student or parent. How did you manage the situation?
- What is your process for designing treatment strategies?
- Describe your greatest accomplishment with a patient.
- What do you feel are the most important qualities of a good therapist?
Speech-Language Pathology Interview Questions
- Why did you want to become a speech-language pathologist?
- What steps do you take when writing individualized education programs (IEPs)?
Occupational Therapy Interview Questions
- Why did you pursue a career in occupational therapy?
- Describe a time when you advocated for occupational therapy.
- How do you stay up-to-date on new technology relevant to occupational therapy?
Physical Therapy Interview Questions
- Why did you decide that physical therapy was the career for you?
- How do you motivate your patients?
- What are ways you’ve found to be successful in tracking a patient’s progress?
Tip #2: Express Your Passion
Therapy is the type of career you are drawn to for emotional reasons; because you have a deep desire to help others, or because therapy helped you or a loved one at some point. Without going overboard, tell the interviewer about why you chose this profession and let them see how deeply committed you are to patients.
Tip #3: Do Your Homework
Take time to research the school you are applying to. When the interviewer asks why you want to work for this school or district, be ready with a better answer than “it’s close to home.” Check press releases and news about the school so you can talk about their commitment to innovative therapies, green initiatives, or emerging technologies. This is a great time to discuss something the school is proud of. The goal is to make the interviewer feel that you don’t just want a job, you want this job.
Tip #4: Sell Yourself
There is a fine line between presenting yourself in a professional, positive manner and overselling. Bragging can be a turn-off to potential employers, but presenting your credentials is appropriate.
Find the line and don’t cross it. Say just enough to pique the interviewer’s interest, and then let your documentation say the rest.
Tip #5: Gather Documentation
One crucial step when preparing for an interview is compiling and organizing your necessary documents. Think of it as if you are building a professional portfolio. As a recent graduate, your resume may not be the most impressive. Spruce it up by including letters of recommendation, school records, and relevant work history or experience. If you volunteered for a student crisis hotline or a clinic during your college years, for example, it is not only a great experience; it demonstrates a real commitment to the profession. Don’t forget to bring a physical copy of your resume to the interview, even if you sent one in beforehand.
Organization is another important skill for a school therapist, and presenting a portfolio shows the interviewer that you are a forward thinker and well-prepared. Remember, landing the right job isn’t just about your previous schooling or experience. Employers conduct interviews to find a person who meets the job criteria and is the right fit for the job. They want to hire someone who is cooperative, friendly, easy to work with, professional, and someone who makes others feel comfortable. If you can convey that you are that type of candidate, you will have a much better chance of landing the position.
Ace Your Next Interview
As you prepare for your next interview, don’t be afraid to practice responses to common questions with a friend or family member and ask for feedback. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will feel in your interview, and the more your passion and personality will shine through.
Ready to set up an interview with ProCare Therapy? Apply with us today!