On this page, you will find sample responses to some of the most frequently asked questions for an occupational therapy job interview, broken out into 4 categories as listed below. Be sure to also reviewYour Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Job Interview to learn all the essential strategies and tips you need to know before, during and after your job interview.
- General questions about your background, character and qualifications
- Questions related to salary
- Questions related to a specific setting or population
- Behavioral Interview Questions
1. General Questions
When an interviewer asks you questions related to who you are, they are trying to get a feel for how well your experiences and qualifications meet the needs of the organization. “Tell me about yourself” is not an invitation to divulge your personal life stories, but to articulate your value. That means, every question must be met with a response that highlights your experience, accomplishments and the value you’d bring to the organization. Here are some examples:
Here is another great example provided by a recent graduate who received an offer the day after her interview:
As you can see in both of the examples above, you must provide an example of an action that you took to overcome your weakness, resulting in a positive outcome. In the first example above, the action that was taken to overcome the weakness is “worked on trusting others and creating collaborative work environment.” The resulting positive outcome was “higher productivity, efficiency and outcomes.” In the second example, the action that was taken was to overcome the weakness is seeking additional training and support. The resulting positive outcomes was “increased confidence and readiness to take initiative.”
2. Questions About Salary
If asked about your salary requirements, always answer in a range, not specific numbers. This range should reflect your understanding of your value based on the location and practice setting, as well as your level of education, experience and skills. Important: wait until you have a job offer before you negotiate your salary so that you have a number to respond to.
3. Questions Specific to the Setting or Population
Every employer will be interested in knowing how well your previous experiences have prepared you for the specific practice setting and population for which you will be working. Be ready to provide clear, specific and relevant examples from your experiences that demonstrate your readiness to address the specific population of the facility.
This question is asking for you to describe how well you’d fit in with the practice setting and work environment for which you are applying. So be sure to demonstrate your readiness to navigate and perform effectively in this practice setting.
Be specific with the types of assessments and treatments you used.
This question calls on research. Be sure to know the organization’s strengths and how that correlates with your passion and career goals.
4. Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions are often employed to help the employer learn about your skills, abilities and personality through various case scenarios. The idea behind these type of questions is that your past behavior reflects how you will behave in the future. So be sure to include an ACTION that you took that led to a positive OUTCOME or RESULT.
HOW DID YOU HANDLE A SITUATION WHERE YOU DID NOT AGREE WITH MANAGEMENT?
MORE QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
The questions during your interview may not come in this exact format below, but all of these questions are important to think about because they will help you articulate who you are and the value that you would bringto the organization. In addition to hard skill sets, the employer is trying to assess your emotional intelligence, character, interpersonal skills and integrity. So be sure to review these questions and develop your own strong and compelling personal narrative.
Questions About Your Confidence and Competence
- How would you describe yourself? How would your enemies describe you?
- What are you most proud of?
- What do you consider your greatest “failure?”
- Tell me about a time when you delivered a positive experience for your patient.
- What can you bring to our team that other candidates cannot?
Questions About Your Learning Style
- What kind of feedback works best for you?
- What kind of management/supervision do you prefer?
- What kind of working environment do you thrive in?
- What are some of the things in a job that are important to you?
Questions About Your Interpersonal Skills
- Have you had a disagreement with your supervisor? How was it resolved?
- What kind of individuals do you find it most difficult to work with?
- Do you have experience working with people of different backgrounds and interests?
- What are some essential communication skills necessary for this position?
Questions About Your Problem-Solving Skills
- Tell me about a time when you had a difficult patient and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a quick or hard decision.
- How do you cope with a stressful or overwhelming situation?
- Can you think of an example of problems or challenges that you find difficult to solve?
- What do you believe are key success factors for an effective therapy session?
Questions About Your Intent and Motivation
- What can you tell us about our facility? What do you know about us?
- What are your professional goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Do you have any questions for us?