Wednesday, May 20, 2015

OT Student Corner | Questions YOU Should Ask at an Interview

Interviewing is more than just answering questions. You want to be prepared to ask questions, too! Remember, the interviewer is trying to figure out if you are a good fit for the position, but you are also trying to figure out if the position is a good fit for you.

Ideally, many of these questions will be answered during the interview, but just in case they're not, these are things you'll probably want to know about a potential job.

  • How many OTs work here? Is it a big team? Will you be the only OT? Are there OTs with more experience or specialty practice areas that you can learn from?
  • How long have you been working here? I always like to find out what the staff turnover is like. Generally, places that have low staff turnover are very proud of it and will start to rattle off how long each person in the department has been there. That's a sign that it's a good place to work. Higher turnover isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just something to be aware of.
  • Who will I report to? This will give you an idea of how the company is structured and how much supervision you can expect.
  • What is a typical caseload size? This is just good information to have. If they give you an unclear answer, that may be a red flag.
  • What does a typical day look like? As we know, there is no such thing as a "typical" day in OT. But, they should be able to tell you the hours of the job, approximate number of clients seen in a day, number of treatments vs evaluations, meetings, etc.
  • What is the population that is served? This might seem obvious based on the setting and the homework you did prior to showing up for the interview, but it's helpful to ask about age ranges and specific diagnoses. It might turn out that the population served is much more specific (or general) than you anticipated.
  • What assessment and evaluation tools are used? It's good to know what is used and this is also an opportunity to share your familiarity with the tools used by this site.
  • How is documentation completed? This includes both written vs computerized, as well as all at once (at the end of the day) vs after each client. You can also ask about progress reports, re-evaluations, and discharge notes to find out how frequently you will be required to do those.

Always, always, always do your research before your interview! Check out the company's website, Facebook page, etc. Be sure to ask a question that is specific to your interests, as well as a question that is specific to the company.

Here are a few that I usually ask:

  • I noticed on your website that you have a program in XXX. What is the role of OT in this program?
  • Do you accept fieldwork students?
  • How do you support career growth?
  • How do you support continuing education requirements?

P.S. Common interview questions.

Do you have any questions you would add to this list? Please share in the comments below!

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