Physical Therapist Interview Questions to Ask

A physical therapist and her assistant work with a patient.

There’s a lot to consider when recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a new physical therapist, and it’s important to hone your strategy to hire and retain the best candidates. Physical therapists work closely with patients, most of whom are trying to overcome painful and debilitating injuries. This means you’ll need professionals with a great bedside manner and strong social skills. When devising physical therapist interview questions, make sure you’re able to assess the following (in addition to hard skills and professional experience):

  1. Are you successfully selling your company to the applicant and gauging compatibility?
  2. Do you have a sense of the applicant’s personality and ability to communicate effectively?
  3. Have you done everything you can to close the deal (assuming they’re a top candidate)?

1. Sell Your Organization to the Candidate and Assess Compatibility

Given the competition for physical therapists, recruiters and hiring managers need to be prepared to actively court their candidates. This means top candidates will be interviewing you, while both parties will be determining whether it’s a good fit. So, in addition to standard questions about skills and experience, you can ask physical therapist interview questions that assess how they’d fit in, which will also allow you to highlight your company’s best qualities.

  • Could you tell me about your ideal company culture?
  • Are you interested in mentorships with more experienced physical therapists?
  • Are you willing to share your expertise, possibly in a mentorship capacity, with more junior-level therapists?
  • Could you describe a time you went above and beyond for a patient?
  • What’s a time you had to deal with a difficult patient or coworker?

2. Evaluate Personality and Communication Skills

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

  • Could you describe a time you changed course when certain treatments didn’t seem to be working for a patient?
  • How have you communicated constructive or negative feedback to physical therapist assistants?
  • Would you give an example of how you would explain the necessity of certain treatments or exercises to a reluctant or skeptical patient?
  • What is the patient success story you’re most proud of?

3. Tie Up Loose Ends and Close the Deal

Since the demand for a qualified physical therapist is projected to continue, compensation is king when candidates compare job offers, and employers who want their choice of physical therapists will pay a premium. Some sample physical therapist interview questions to help you close the deal may include:

  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What would your ideal work week look like?
  • 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?
  • Compensation aside, what are some of the most important benefits in a work setting?

Put These Physical Therapist Interview Questions to Work

Knowing which physical therapist interview questions to ask is an important part of the puzzle. But first, you’ll need to attract top candidates in this increasingly competitive labor market. Make your search more efficient, and productive, by posting a free job ad with Monster.