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DPT interview questions: 11 tips that can help you answer them

Securing a job interview for a Doctor of Physical Therapy position is a significant achievement after the successes of graduating, or even moving to a different practice to further your career. The interview stage is an opportunity for you to showcase your qualifications, experience and passions. Tips to ace the hard interview questions you may face can include:

  • Tell us about yourself — Keep it relevant. Cover your academic and professional background. Emphasize any experiences that can highlight your commitment to physical therapy. Be sure to mention any volunteer work or shadowing experiences that can bolster your accomplishments,
  • Why did you want to become a physical therapist? — Be sincere. Share your personal story or any experiences that led you to the decision to become a physical therapist. Did your decision stem from a desire to make a positive impact on patients’ lives? Do you have an enthusiasm for helping people regain their mobility and independence? 
  • What sets you apart from other applicants? — Highlight your unique qualifications; to mention any specific skills or experiences you have that can make you stand out from the crowd. Talk about any relevant certifications or research you have received or accomplished that can showcase your dedication to your profession. 
  • How do you handle challenging or uncooperative patients? — Patients need and deserve empathy. Describe your approach to being empathetic and willing to communicate with your patients to build a relationship. Share how you will actively listen and adapt your style to meet your patients’ needs. If you have any success stories that illustrate your ability to handle difficult situations, be sure to share.
  • How do you handle stress and pressure in a fast-paced clinical environment? — Adaptability and resilience are incredibly important in a physical therapy clinic. Showcase your coping strategies for time management, stress-reduction techniques, and how you seek support from mentors or peers. If you can share a challenging clinical situation you successfully managed, it will reflect your stress management skills. 
  • How do you handle time management and multitasking in a clinical setting? — Organization is your best friend. Explain your approach to how you prioritize your tasks, manage your time efficiently and stay patient centered in your focus. Be sure to showcase any tools or strategies you use to achieve this. 
  • How do you stay informed about developments in physical therapy? — Continuing education in any medical profession is vital. Talk about your commitment to continuing your education and how you will stay up to date on the latest research and techniques. Mention any recent conferences, workshops or courses you’ve recently attended or will soon attend. 
  • Describe a situation where you worked effectively with a health care team. — Teamwork is essential when working with patients. Highlight your ability to communicate effectively with your colleagues and how it can contribute to coordinating patient care. 
  • Can you explain your approach to developing a personalized rehabilitation plan for a patient recovering from X? — Your interview is sure to have technical questions to help evaluate your knowledge, skills, and ability to make clinical decisions. It’s vital to be ready to answer a variety of technical questions to show your competency. 
  • What are your long-term career goals in physical therapy? — Are you looking for a permanent position? Or is this position a stepping stone in your physical therapy career? It is essential that you, and the team you’re interviewing with, are clear on the expectations of employment so no one is disappointed down the road.
  • Why do you want to work at this particular clinic? — Be specific. Mention any unique aspects of the clinic that align with your career goals or values. Discuss the specific things about the clinic that made you decide to apply for the position. 

In addition to preparing for the tough questions, make sure you fully understand the job description, responsibilities and expectations of the position you are applying for. Familiarity will help you ace your interview and allow you to showcase that you are the best candidate for the position. 

Ready for a new and exciting career opportunity? You’ll find it at Back in Motion 

Back in Motion Physical Therapy firmly believes that partnership means creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Back in Motion is proud to be part of the Alliance Physical Therapy Partners partnership that brings together physical therapy clinics around the nation to help people get the kind of treatment they’re looking for and then exceed their expectations. 

But we realize that our clinics can’t serve the people in their communities with exceptional PT without amazing PT team members and admin staff. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for hardworking individuals who want: 

  • A less hectic daily schedule than most PT providers require. 
  • Exceptional health, retirement and wellness benefits. 
  • Readily available mentorship and professional development opportunities. 
  • To be part of a team that’s committed to caring for its patients and the local community.

Want to learn more about the current career opportunities available at Back in Motion Physical Therapy? Check out our Careers page.

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