When it comes to a job, the most difficult stage to clear is the interview round.
You may have done exceptionally well on your written exam and other such rounds, but if you don’t perform well in this round, there are chances that you may get rejected. So, it is important that you must be well prepared and confident for this round too and prove that you are the most deserved candidate for the job.
Well, there are a number of possible interview questions, and it all depends on the interviewer what questions you’ll be asked. Therefore, you should be prepared for everything and anything. Here, we have prepared a list of a few important questions with their sample answers, which you might be asked for an OTA interview. Keep in mind that these are not the only questions that will be asked and you may get a completely different set of questions. But, most of them will be the variation of these, so prepare them well to crack the interview with ease.
1. Tell Me About Yourself?
The very first and obvious question in any interview is “tell me about yourself” or “Introduce yourself.” This is asked to know your personal details, and to make you feel comfortable and ready for the interview mode. You don’t really have to prepare for this question as all you have to tell is about yourself. Start with your name followed by your educational details, certification details, and a bit about your hobbies and interests.
2. Why Did You Choose Occupational Therapy Assistant as Your Career Path?
Here, the interviewer wants to know your dedication and motivation towards the profession. For answering this question, you have to think carefully about the reasons for choosing this particular career path. You can share any of your personal experience or history or the situation that made you move into the profession.
For example, once I was at my grandparents home, and suddenly my granny got a heart attack. No one else was at home and I was worried. I called up the ambulance immediately and called my neighbor (who was an OT). He immediately provided CPR to my granny and fortunately she was saved. That day, I decided to move into the profession.
You may not have any personal experience and in that case, you can say I love interacting with people and get immense satisfaction by helping people. Therefore, I want to move into the profession.
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3. Why Do You Want This OTA Job?
First of all, don’t confuse it with “why should we hire you” or “why you want to be an OTA”, etc. Even if you know these are not the same questions, your answer might go in that direction. Now, you have to tell your skills in such a manner that it shows you’re the best-fit candidate for the job. Next, you have to tell a few good things about the health-care organization and present it in a way that presents the reasons for why you want this job.
For example, your answer could go like this. I love helping people and making their life sublime. Your health-care center is one of the highly recognized centers that believes in integrity with the customers, and because I believe in the same, it would be a great pleasure working with you. Along with the job satisfaction, it will also help shape my career.
4. What Do You Like to do in Your Free Time?
This question also does not require any preparation and it is not necessary that your reply should be related to your job. You can simply quote your hobbies or interests like reading novels, playing any kind of sports, or anything that you are interested in.
5. What are Your Strength and Weaknesses?
When you are asked about your strengths and weakness, in strengths you have to mention the skills that would help make the life of the disabled or sick people better. For example, positive attitude, patience, creativity, etc., are the skills required by an OTA. You can articulate them.
Now comes the weakness part. Nobody actually likes to face this question. You can not bluntly say “I don’t have any weaknesses” nor you can directly tell your weak points. The question requires a balanced answer. You have to present your weakness in a positive way that how your weakness is actually your strength.
For instance, a sample answer can be, I am bit of a talkative person and can easily make other people comfortable, which can help me understand my patients well.
6. Tell Me About Your Best Experience With the Patient?
In this question, you have to share a medical incidence that was the best throughout your career. Let’s look at the sample response.
Once I had a patient who was unable to move due to an accident and was in critical condition. He was in the hospital for 35 days and I had to look after him and had to assist him in every single task from bathing to feeding and providing him medical aid. After 35 days of hard work, he was back to his normal life. He was so happy and was thanking me again and again. He still comes to meet me once or twice in every 2-3 months. This is the best experience in my life.
7. What Do You Know About Our Healthcare Organization?
This is the question that you can not answer on your own, and you must have detailed knowledge about the health-care setting you are applying in. For this, you have to visit the organization’s website or you have to collect the information from various sources like newspaper and brochures of the center. Tell them about the services they offer, what is the culture of the organization, when it was established, etc.
8. Have You Faced Any Difficult Situation in Treating Patients?
The answer to this question depends on the candidate. First of all, if you are a fresher, you will not face this question. If you are not, then the answer depends on your work experiences. You can tackle it like:
I have treated a number of patients but once I had a kid as my patient who was injured severely. He got injured again while playing in the hospital and started crying and yelling with pain. Unfortunately, his family members were not there, and I had to give him medical aid and emotional support at the same time. This was one of the difficulties I faced as an OTA.
9. If You have a Disagreement With an OT, How Would You Deal with that?
Well, I would wish, I never face such a situation. But, if there is any such situation in which I have a disagreement with an OT, then I would try to resolve it as soon as possible. Any disagreement would create a bad atmosphere. I would admit if I was in the wrong, and if not, I will try to make the OT understand the situation and provide reasonable logics for the same to end the conflict in a proper manner.
10. What Challenges are You Looking for in This Occupation?
This question is asked to know what exactly you are looking for in the new job. You can tell what kind of patients you want to handle and on what kind of project you want to work. You can also twist the answer by saying those challenges that would effectively utilize your abilities, skills, and experiences and help for the betterment of life of disabled.
11. When Have You Demonstrated a Great Deal of Patience in the Work Place?
The question is different from other questions as the recruiter wants to test whether you are patient or not through this question. To respond to this question, you have to give an example from your working experience. Here’s a dummy situation.
I once had a patient who was refusing services and was constantly disturbing everybody else. He was not ready to undergo the treatment procedure set for him. At that time when no other assistant was able to tackle the situation, I somehow managed to persuade him to continue with the therapy and treatments set out for him.
12. Do You have the Plans to Be an OT in Near Future?
This is a very flexible question as the answer to this depends on the will of the applicant. He may or may not be interested in it. If you are not interested, then say a simple “no” and explain “why.” You may also say yes and answer accordingly. Some people may choose to obtain the degree as part-time and continue with the OTA job.
13. What do You Dislike about Occupation Therapy?
This is not an easy question as it seems. Only an incompetent therapist assistant would dislike the job. You can reply in a positive way by saying that if you dislike anything, you would not have chosen this field as a career option.
On the other hand, if you are a fresher, you can say I haven’t worked as an OT before so I cannot say anything.
14. Why Should We Hire You?
This is a very common question not only for an OTA interview but for all. Even if you have all the qualifications, and you think you are the best suitable person for the job, you may face trouble answering this question. Don’t give answers like “I’m hard working” and like.
In spite of this, Supplement your answer with examples and proofs that why you are suitable for the position and why you are different from other candidates. This will surely give a positive impression to the interviewing panel.
15. Why Did You Leave the Last Job?
You have to be very confident while answering this question. You must never mention the negatives of the previous organization or call that workplace bad. You have to provide a decent yet strong reason for the job change. For example, you can say, I feel that change is a part of life. I have worked for more than a year there, and I always seek for challenges which I think this job would provide.
16. Were You Involved in Any Voluntary Activity? How Do You Believe This Helped Your Career?
The answer to the question depends on the candidate. There is nothing wrong if you haven’t taken part in any voluntary activity, and you can say no in a positive manner like I haven’t gotten the chance to volunteer for any activity, and if in future I get any, then I would definitely grab the opportunity.
If you have done any such work, then explain about it. An example is as follows: I have volunteered many rehabilitation programs and took an active part in the camps organized for mentally challenged people. It boosted my confidence level and improved my skills. I came to know about their habit and different ways to treat them.
17. In Your Opinion, How Should an OT and OTA Function Together?
The interviewer through this question wants to know your opinion on teamwork. You can answer it like:
According to me, there must be good communication between the OT and an OTA. For developing strategies to provide care and obtain realistic outcomes, it is essential to listen to each other with an open mind and work as a team.
18. Explain the Role of an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
If you are planning to go into the field, you must know the exact role of an OTA. If you are unsure about the responsibilities or if you don’t know the duties then there are minimal chances of your selection. A candidate is expected to be acquainted with all the role and responsibilities of OTA. So, go through them properly before the interview.
Some of the important ones are as follow: monitor patient’s performance, evaluate the basic living skills, help the patients return to a normal life after an injury or illness, maintain the record of each and every patient under them, keep equipment and supplies ready for therapy and/or operation, etc.
19. Are You an Organized Detail Oriented Person?
If you want to work as an OTA, it is important that you must be an organized person. There are a number of patients that an OTA looks after. So, keeping their details in a proper way is vital. Also, if you are supervised by an OT, you should take notes carefully.
So, you can give your answer like this: Yes, I’m a very organized person which is my strength too, and when it comes to keeping notes, I’m extra careful so that I can avoid mistakes during the time of therapy.
20. What Motivates You as an OTA?
For answering this question, you have to tell what is the thing that inspires you to stay in the field. A sample can be as follows: The satisfaction that is achieved by making an incredible difference in the lives of the patients and helping them in different situations along with learning new techniques to treat them keeps me going.
21. What do You Not Like to Do as an Occupation Therapy Assistant?
This is a very tricky question. The interviewer is not seeking for an answer about roles and responsibilities that you would not like to handle. Rather, he wants to check your presence of mind. You can say that I would not want to disobey my supervisor, I would not want to do be engaged in any illegal work, I do not want to disrespect this profession, and more such answers you can think of.
22. Do You think Some Patients Should Get Preference Over Other?
If you face such a situation, then don’t give the answer in simple “Yes” or “No”. Give your answer in a positive manner and tell them that how the health-care can be improved by making some preferences. There may be some patients who are critical and must be given treatment as soon as possible. So, there is nothing wrong if a patient is given priority over the other.
23. What Kind of Patients Would You be Interested in Specializing In?
The answer to the question depends on the role or the position offered by the workplace. For example, if they are offering a role to look after elders, then you can say you want to specialize in geriatrics, and want to take care of the aging population as they need our support the most.
If the role offered is general, you can say that I don’t want a stagnant career and therefore, do not want to specialize in any particular area. Rather, I would like to treat patients of different kinds and age group so that I can improve my skills and efficiencies.
24. How Long Do You Plan On Working Here?
No organization would hire a person who is willing to switch job soon. Never say that it depends on the salary or the existence of better offers. Every company wants a stable employee who can serve for at least enough time that the cost incurred on Him/her is covered and some profit is obtained. You can say, I want to stay as long as I have a positive impact on the organization.
25. Do You Have Any Question?
This is obviously the last question for the interview. Don’t start winding down from the interview mode, instead, be energized and alert at this moment too.
The very first thing that you must keep in mind is, never say “No” or “Not this time” as an answer to the question. Start your answer by thanking them for giving the opportunity to sit for an interview and ask some of the questions like:
- What are the goals that you would want this position to achieve?
- What is the turnover rate?
- How long have you been working with the organization?
These are just the sample questions and you can ask other questions too depending on the situation and the organization. Also, remember that you should not ask about the salary and questions like ” can I work from home?”, “can I arrive early or leave late?”, “how often the review occurs?”, and more questions like that.
Remember, the ones who leave the best impression are always remembered and hence, selected.