Interview Questions and Tips For Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy candidates are usually asked different types of questions about their traits, career goals, future plans, etc.

Plus, they are asked generic as well as scenario-based questions to test their occupational therapy knowledge and skills.

Apart from being prepared for the questions, it is necessary to dress appropriately for the event and practice interview etiquettes beforehand.

Thus, pay attention to details like how you greet the interviewing panel, how you communicate, what you bring to the interview, etc. After all, your first impression is the last impression.

Occupational therapy job interviews are more extensive than the ones meant for getting admission in a training program.

Moreover, while going for an interview, remember that an interview is stressful for the job seekers as well as interviewers. Thus, be honest, positive, and assertive in your approach and try to break-the-ice.

Here’s an effective tip: Rehearse your interview mentally through visualization in order to boost your self-confidence, and overcome anxiety and stress.

However, keep in mind that this mock interview is supposed to prepare you for the event, so do not fantasize.

If possible, gather information about the job description and specifications to help you prepare for the interview. It shall give you an idea about the organization’s expectations from the candidates.

Needless to say, assess your skills, requirements, and determine your short term and long term plans beforehand. Moreover, judge yourself as per the skills and qualities required for the position you are applying for.

Bear in mind that occupational therapists tend to have characteristics like empathy, patience, ingenuity, creativity, flexibility, good communication, problem solving, observational, and organizational skills.

Common Occupational Therapy Interview Questions

  • Tell us something about yourself
  • State two of your biggest strengths and weaknesses
  • How would your colleagues define you
  • What made you choose occupational therapy
  • What is the role of an occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant in a multidisciplinary team consisting of various other therapists
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of occupational therapy in your opinion
  • Why do you want to join this hospital/organization/school
  • What volunteer work have you done
  • Why should we chose you over other candidates
  • Give us an example of a time when you had to make an ethical decision. Describe the situation. What did you do?
  • Tell us about a patient you have helped the most in your career
  • Tell us about the most difficult patient that you have had to deal with in your career
  • How do you handle aggressive and confused clients
  • If a client is confused about resigning or continuing with the same occupation, how would you help him
  • Do you prefer to work alone or in a team
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years; professionally and personally

It is suggested that you visit the interview location beforehand so that you feel comfortable there on the interview day. Plus, it will help you determine the amount of time taken to get to the location.

Hence, you can plan accordingly so that you reach the place in time, perhaps a little early so that you can freshen up and relax. Furthermore, consider taking extra copies of your resume to the interview.

During the interview, listen to the interview/interviewers carefully and give them your undivided attention (do not check time).

In case you do not understand any question, politely request the interviewer to repeat it. In addition, you can ask questions after the interview is over if you have any queries. It shows that you are interested in the job.


The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., Career Management And Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Occupational Therapists

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