Occupational Therapist Job Interview Questions

It is human nature to become nervous and freeze before an interview. No matter how much you are prepared, since, you are a human being, interview anxiety is completely normal. But, all this doesn’t mean that you can not overcome this problem. It is possible if you plan everything very well including your dress (as the first impression is the last impression), confidence, resume, research about the designation you have applied for and most importantly, common as well as tricky questions related to the interview.

If you have completed your graduation and master’s in occupational therapy and want to practice as an OT in a renowned clinical setting, rehabilitation center, hospital or private clinic, you are required to be well-prepared and confident about the interviews. These interviews for the job of an occupational therapist are amongst the most intense ones.

You may be asked about some complex situations or terms that may make your palms sweaty, and you might not be able to answer them accurately at that point of time. But, if you are already aware of the kind of questions going to counter you, this task would become much easier and comfortable.

In order to make your interview an easy-peasy one for you, we have accumulated some knotty questions, frequently asked in the interviews of OT, with their expected answers:

Question 1. Tell me something about yourself?

This question seems to be the easiest one as it is very common and is asked in every other interview, but actually, it is the toughest. It helps an interviewer to decipher that whether you are eligible for the job or not. Your answer must comprise all the qualities and traits that are required to be a good occupational therapist.

Sample Answer I am a compassionate, empathetic, highly motivated, and active person and want to dedicate my life to serve people. I am a good listener and enjoy helping others. I have gained an experience of 2 years in caring and assisting people with disabilities and inspired them to enhance their abilities in order to lead a normal and comfortable daily life.

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Question 2. Why do you want to work in the health-care sector?

People who choose health-care professions are quite helpful and sympathetic. Making money is not their only motive. This question is an opportunity where you can evince how much you are passionate and ardent to help out patients with any kind of disorder.

Sample Answer I can’t see anyone going through a trauma and when in pain. I always try my best to serve them. This inspires me to get into this profession. Also, effective therapies and techniques of occupational therapy will guide me to help people more efficiently.

Question 3. Why are you leaving your current job?

Criticizing about your previous job doesn’t make sense here, this is the time to be optimistic. Don’t give any negative feedback, mention only the positive aspects. Also, avoid bad-mouthing about your boss, coworkers, and other team members. Instead, concentrate on the moment and future opportunities.

Sample Answer I have learned a lot from my previous job and coworkers and discovered my hidden abilities and skills that are essential to be a proficient occupational therapist. But now, there are no chances of growth, and I want to face new objectives in OT.

Question 4. How would you handle a patient who complains about everything?

With this question, the interviewer wants to know how much patience do you have and whether you have the capability to handle a moody and irritated patient or not. Here, you can share an incident that can prove that you have been through such situations and know the ways to control them smoothly.

Sample Answer Patients’ injuries and disabilities make them sad and irritated. Being a nurse, I understand their emotions and situation, try to provide them more care and support and assure them that everything would be fine.

Question 5. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

This question is asked to you because the interviewer wants to find out if your strengths suit the job requirements or not. If you have good leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, compassion, patience, etc., it would be highly beneficial for the organization. Weaknesses are asked to know if they are harmful to the job or not. Be careful, while discussing your weaknesses.

Sample Answer I have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. I believe, I possess a helpful nature and it sometimes becomes my weakness.

Question 6. What is your greatest failure?

It is difficult to answer about our mistakes. This question is a trick to know about your flaws and failures and what you did to conquer it. This is the time to hide the truth here. You can give a palpable instance and say about what you have learned from them.

Sample Answer During my first job, I made a blunder mistake of entering wrong data in a patient’s report. Fortunately, it was noticed by my higher authorities. Since then, I started re-checking all the reports and data.

Question 7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

With this question, the interviewer wants to estimate how ambitious you are, what are your dreams, career plans and heights you want to achieve in the profession.

Sample Answer In the coming 5 years, I want to gain deep knowledge of occupational therapy. For this, I want to earn a doctoral degree in occupational therapy while serving patients. I believe, it will enhance my capabilities and skills to aid people with advanced techniques and methodologies.

Question 8. When you feel most satisfied with your job?

Here, you need to tell about your likes, dislikes and demonstrate how much you are determined to be in this profession and the reason why you are perfect for this job.

Sample Answer I will feel satisfied in my job only if I would be able to provide satisfactory treatment to my patients.

Question 9. What motivates you to work as an Occupational Therapist?

Instead of equivocal answers, this question demands a perfect and genuine answer that can highlight your positive features that are beneficial for your job.

Sample Answer Disabilities and injuries of patients motivate me to do my best in order to relieve them from pain. In my last job, I was in-charge of an emotionally broken patient. He has no hopes of getting normal. His disability prompted me a lot, and I encouraged him a lot to regain his normal life again. In the end, he began leading a peaceful and comfortable life, and I achieved my target.

Question 10. Describe your former supervisor.

Don’t be an emotional fool here, if you had any grudges against your former supervisor, then it is not the place to open your mouth against him/her. Be positive and explain what you have learned from him/her.

Sample Answer He was a proficient supervisor with outstanding skills and qualities. He was always humble to everyone and working with him was really a great experience.

Question 11. Why should I hire you?

This question is the most favorable one for you. You have a golden opportunity to impress your recruiter with your answer. You can highlight all your skills and abilities here.

Sample Answer As I have 2 years of experience in occupational therapy and capable of handling all the issues. Also, I am ready to undertake all the responsibilities related to this job, so you can hire me. I assure you to give my best in improving the health of the patients.

Question 12. How would your friends describe you? How your enemies describe you?

This question is synonymous to the one, where you are asked about your good and bad characteristics, and of course, the answer is somewhat similar.

Sample Answer According to my friends, I am a compassionate, empathetic, ardent, and helpful person. For my enemies, I am competitive and persistent.

Question 13. What do you like to do in your free time?

It again seems a funny and easy-going kind of question, but actually it is quite tricky. This question is to know about what kind of person you are besides being a professional. Your answer should neither be too honest (especially if you pass most of your idle time on social networking) nor be very fake.

Sample Answer I love traveling, reading books, gardening, and writing.

Question 14. Why do you want to work here?

This question demands complete research. You should have complete information about the place you are going for an interview and want to join. Try to find out the important reasons why you want to join that facility/school/hospital/clinic. You need to show that are enthusiastic to have this job.

Sample Answer Sir/Madam, I have heard a lot about your institute. You are serving the patients since long and are a renowned name in the field of occupational therapy. I would feel the prestige to be a part of such a college/school/hospital where I could get more chances to help disable people and of course, for a bright future.

Question 15. If you get a chance to specialize, which field would you choose?

It is a tricky way to know about your likes and dislikes. You are required to analyze all your past experiences and try to figure out which department is most suitable for you or where you can perform your best.

Sample Answer I have always loved serving old people and taking care of their health. So, I think I can give my best while treating aged patients and that’s why I wish to practice as a geriatric occupational therapist.

Question 16. According to you, what are the negative and positive features of being an occupational therapist?

This question to know what you don’t like about occupational therapy, they will try to figure out what do you actually think about the profession.

Sample Answer The positive thing what I think about occupational therapy and being an occupational therapist is that it provides me a platform to take care of emotionally, physically or mentally disabled patients. Along with that, this profession has many work settings and one can choose that suits him/her the most. Though according to me, there is nothing negative about this job, occupational therapists and related professionals may need to work long hours, during night shifts and even on weekends, thus, it can be very stressful.

Question 17. How do you go about making important decisions?

This question is asked to know how would you behave at the time of making critical and crucial decisions that are important for the institute or patients.

Sample Answer Whenever I am in a situation to take an important decision, first of all, I like to stay calm. Then, I like to hear other views and opinions about it, but at the last, I decide what my mind and heart say is right for me.

Question 18. What would you do if the work of a subordinate or team member was not up to expectations?

This question is to analyze about how would you behave with your teammates or coworkers and what efforts will you make for team-building. You should be positive while answering this question.

Sample Answer I have already worked in an institute and in my 2 years of experience I met different kinds of people so, I am quite familiar with such situations and know how to handle them. While dealing with an under-performing subordinate, first of all, I will try to find out some quick solution to the problems occurring due to that and then, try to find out the reasons for which he/she was not able to perform well.

Question 19. What are your salary requirements?

To answer this question, you can refer to the various authorized sites where you can find how much is the salary of an occupational therapist and related job titles for the position you are applying for. Do proper research and always answer in a range, don’t say exact figures. With this, your interviewer comes to know that you are aware of everything regarding this job.

Sample Answer Sir, according to my skills, education, experience and this position, I think I should be paid in the range of $95,000-110,000.

Question 20. According to you, what is occupational therapy?

You don’t need to give a scholarly definition for this question. You just need to say what is the real meaning of OT for you and explain it to them in your own language. This question is asked to know how deeply you understand the term.

Sample Answer For me, Occupational Therapy is a creative medical process that should be applied to the patients going through some kind of impairment or disability with great care and support, so that they can get relief soon.

Question 21. What’s your biggest professional accomplishment till date?

This question is asked to get the complete overview of the candidate’s career. With this, the interviewer wants to know about what is the best situation you have faced yet or the most difficult task you have handled till date, the action you took to accomplish it and what were the results. Many candidates find this question troublesome to answer. Before going to face the interview, you must know about your top three achievements, as a practiced recruiter may ask you for the second one, once you complete answering for the first. Never reply this question with any of your personal achievements, other than professional. Also, be ready with a short and simple answer that has all the content that is essential to satisfy the recruiter.

Sample Answer I have numerous remarkable achievement in my career till date. The most notable for me was a case in which the patient was severely injured. There were mere chances of his survival and unfortunately, some members of the staff were absent that day. I was posted as an occupational therapist in the hospital. Luckily, I didn’t have any patient for the treatment that time. When I get to know about the situation, I asked the case administrator to allow me to assist him. He agreed, and I handled all the tasks with confidence that he asked me to do. Fortunately, all our efforts became fruitful, and we were able to save his life. Later, I helped the same person to lead a normal life using occupational therapy.

Some Questions Asked about the Institute

Question 22. “Describe a situation where you did not agree with management and how did you handle it?”

This question is quite tricky to answer as you have not necessarily confronted such a situation with management officials. But, even if you have never been through all this, saying ‘no’ to this question is not a correct choice. Instead, you must think about what you would do if you confront such circumstances. This will let them know your ability to handle such cases. Always give a positive reply to such questions. Don’t bad mouth about the officials as it may put a negative impact on the interviewer.

Sample Answer 1 year back I was serving an elderly patient who was emotionally imbalanced. He was under my supervision for 6 months and was about to become normal. But there were some tasks remaining for me to do with him. My assistant made a mistake and patient’s reports got exchanged with another patient with the same name. Also, he submitted the file to the management officials, and they asked me to relieve him from the hospital. I was trying to explain to them that there might be some misunderstanding, and I can’t allow to discharge him, but they ignored what I said. Finally, I insisted them to let the patient undergo all the essential tests that can reveal his current condition and they agreed to it. Finally, I was proved right by the test reports.

Question 23. Tell me something about our hospital/ school/ clinic.

Do proper research to answer this question. You should know about all the current achievements of the company, names of executives or managers sitting at higher posts in the Institute, places where the school/hospital is having its branches, services provided, etc.

Sample Answer (Name of the Institute) is a well-known name in the world of occupational therapy. It has ‘x’ branches all over the United States and serves all the patients with great care and support.

Question 24. Do you have any questions for us?

This is a chance where you can show how smart you are and how much research you have done to obtain this position in their institute. You can raise some questions like, what kind of person are they looking for this job, what are their future plans regarding enhancement of the Institute, etc.

Sample Answer Yes sir, one question is arising in my mind. Can you please tell me what kind of candidate are you looking for this job position? I mean skills and traits.