Are you a new or soon-to-be graduate feeling stuck about finding your dream job?
Unsure of how to prepare for your upcoming interviews?
Want surefire advice for making a great first impression?
If you’re answering these questions with “yes,” let us share our top school-based therapy job interview tips with you!
At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we’ve been helping new clinicians like you launch satisfying, successful careers in school-based practice for more than two decades. Today, our network of qualified, committed, and innovative Independent Contractor clinicians serving schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware is several hundred practitioners strong.
By giving you some pointers about what we look for when bringing new therapists onto our team, we hope you’ll get a clearer idea of what it takes to ace that intimidating, all-important interview no matter who it’s with.
How You Can Make a Great First Impression Over the Phone
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Your first impression is a lasting impression.” In the world of interviewing, that saying is 100% accurate.
And believe it or not, your first impression starts with how you answer the phone.
We at PTS use a screening call as the first step in our interview process. We use this call to learn about not only what you’re looking for in a position, but also your personality. We want engaged candidates who are excited to begin school-based practice.
What interview tips can help you sound like that kind of candidate?
- If you’ve scheduled a call for a specific time, make sure you’re ready to answer.
Don’t sound half-asleep. Avoid background noise. How you sound when you take the call will show the interviewer whether you’re a professional who’s serious about the position.
- During your screening call, answer all questions accurately.
For example, telling the interviewer you’re open to a part-time position when you know you only want a full-time therapy job isn’t accurate. If the interviewer presents you with a part-time opportunity down the road and you decline, you may appear as though you’re not sure what you want in a position.
- Sound engaged and be engaging.
Practice active listening. Give the interviewer time to talk, and don’t interrupt. When you do talk, make the interviewer feel they want to take the next steps with you because you sound like a candidate eager to learn more about the company, and get a position in school-based practice.
How to Nail Your Face-to-Face Interview
You may think the most difficult part of landing your dream job is doing well during your in-person interview. But it doesn’t have to be!
Here are a few tips for acing your therapy job interview:
- Anticipate the interviewer’s questions.
Look over your CV and application from the company’s perspective. What unique features of your coursework or experience might come up? Are there gaps or irregularities you should be ready to explain? You’ll feel more comfortable if you’ve prepared for possible questions and have practiced your responses.
- Research the company and prepare questions of your own.
Read the company’s mission statement. Know the services it offers. Find out about its community engagement. This research helps you ask questions at the interview’s end to show you’re truly interested in this company, and even talk about how you’d be a great fit.
- Present well by dressing the part.
Always make sure your physical appearance is on par with the occasion. Showing up to a job interview wearing what you’d wear to hang out with your friends on the weekend isn’t appropriate. You should always wear business professional attire for in-person or virtual interviews.
- Answer the interviewer’s questions in adequate detail.
At PTS, we want candidates who provide detailed responses to questions. Short “yes” and “no” answers aren’t usually acceptable, and we may ask you to elaborate. We want passionate candidates ready to talk about the experiences that led them to where they are today. (This advice also applies to the screening call.)
- Follow up within 24 hours.
Send an email or handwritten “thank you” note to the person who interviewed you in which you reiterate your interest in the position. If you forgot to mention any important details during the interview, the note allows you the opportunity to add them.
Two Other Important Therapy Job Interview Questions
At PTS, two of the most important questions we ask during our screening process are:
- Are your state clearances up to date, or will you have them updated within one year?
If you’re considering a position with PTS, it’s helpful to have all your clearances updated before interviewing. A lot of the schools and school districts we serve have immediate staffing needs in their special education and related services programs, so we’re looking for a candidate who is ready to go.
- Are you willing to work as an Independent Contractor?
All our positions at PTS are Independent Contractor positions. We ask you to familiarize yourself with the tax, scheduling, and other benefits of working as an Independent Contractor vs. working as an employee. If you have a general idea of the differences, you can generate questions to ask during the screening process to better your understanding.
You can also download our free eBook to help you determine whether practicing therapy as an Independent Contractor is right for you.
Start Your School-Based Therapy Career by Connecting with PTS
If you meet our clinical qualifications, have a great personality, and are excited about getting started in school-based practice, you may not need too many therapy job interview tips, because you’re exactly the kind of candidate we at PTS want to find and work with!
Check out our current openings and connect with PTS. We can help you build a strong career in school-based therapy long after your initial interview is done!