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How to craft physical therapy interview questions

How to craft physical therapy interview questions

There’s a lot to consider when recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a new physical therapist, and it’s important to hone your strategy in order to hire and retain the best candidates. One key area to focus on is the interviewing process, where you can learn a great deal about your applicants’ skills, personality, and cultural fit. The following physical therapy interview questions can get you started.

Interview questions to sell your company and evaluate compatibility

Given the competition for physical therapists, recruiters and hiring managers need to be prepared to actively court their candidates. So, in addition to standard questions about skill and experience, you can ask questions which assess how they’d fit in, as well as give you an opportunity to highlight your company’s best qualities.

  • How would you feel about working in a collaborative environment?
  • Are you interested in mentorships with more experienced physical therapists?
  • Could you describe a time you went above and beyond for a patient, as well as a time you had to deal with a difficult patient or coworker?

Recruiter Tip:“In the interview, my focus is on attitude and geography,” says Andy McCall, manager and team leader for physical therapist recruiting at McCall and Lee. “Many guys want to live in LA or San Diego and work with athletes. But the reality is, where do Mom and Dad live, where do you want to raise your kids?”

Assess personality and communication skills

In addition to highlighting what makes your organization stand out among the rest, it’s important to evaluate your candidate’s soft skills and to discuss the realities of the job, as these will help improve employee retention. A few examples of these types of physical therapy interview questions include:

  • Could you describe a time you changed course when certain treatments didn’t seem to be working for a patient?
  • Could you explain ways you’ve communicated constructive or negative feedback to PTAs?
  • Could you give an example of how you would explain the necessity of certain treatments or exercises to a reluctant or skeptical patient?

Recruiter Tip: “A caring personality is important,” says McCall. “PT has a sales and customer service aspect now, especially for outpatient.”

How to close the deal when hiring physical therapists

Again, since the demand for qualified physical therapist is projected to continue, compensation is king when candidates compare job offers, and employers who want their choice of PTs will pay something of a premium. Some sample interview questions include:

  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What types of career development programs would you be interested in?
  • What kinds of benefits are most important to you? PTO? Flex time? Comprehensive health benefits?

Recruiter Tips: “Money talks — it’s most often the incentive for students to take one job versus another,” says Stan Dacko, chair of the physical therapy department at Lebanon Valley College.

Still, the quality of the work experience is very important to many physical therapists. “What drew me in was Athletico’s focus on helping patients achieve their desired outcomes, teamwork, and advancing the career and educational goals of their employees,” says Kristen Peterson, a physical therapist in Chicago.

Improve your hiring strategies

Knowing which physical therapy interview questions to ask is an important part of the puzzle that is recruiting and retaining top PT employees. But it’s also vital to know where to find the best candidates, the current state of the PT labor market, and effective management strategies. For more expert recruiting advice, the latest in hiring trends, and even some great deals, sign up for Monster Hiring Solutions today.