How to ACE Your Travel Therapy Interview
I always dread any interview. My palms sweat, my armpits sweat, it’s just horrible. But that is the amazing thing about travel therapy! As a travel therapist, you almost never have to interview in person! Most interviews for travel assignments take place on the phone. That means I can wear my sweatpants while talking to my future manager!
In this blog post, I will discuss the key tactics to ace your travel therapy phone interview. I will also provide the questions that most travelers get asked during these interviews as well as the key questions you should ask your potential assignments.
The Travel Therapy Interview Process
Lets back up quickly and go over the process of starting your travel therapy assignment.
Your Travel Therapy Company and recruiter have found the perfect travel assignment for you. They send out your resume to that potential assignment. Travel positions move quickly, so you should here back from your recruiter in about 2-3 days on average with an answer from the potential assignment.
The next step after getting the green light for your potential assignment, is to interview for the position. Travel interviews are almost always over the phone and take roughly 15-20 minutes. Usually it is the facility manager that will be interviewing you.
The purpose of this interview is to ensure that the facility feels you are a good fit for their company. However, you should also take this time to make sure you feel that the assignment is right for you as well. Even though travel assignments are short contracts, often 13 weeks, those 3 months are long enough to want to make sure that the facility meets your work expectations.
After you interview, you should hear back from your recruiter within several days to one week. It is your recruiter that will tell you if you aced your interview and got the position or if you have to keep looking.
What Questions Will Be Asked During A Travel Therapy Interview
Below are a list of the most common questions facilities will ask interviewees and that therapists often ask facilities. I have tried to include the most important questions to ask a travel assignment but this list is not absolute. Take the time to prepare for each interview. Make sure to think of specific questions that you want answered and specific qualities you expect from your ideal travel contract.
Key Questions When Choosing A Facility:
· What are the required work hours?
· Are these hours guaranteed?
· Will you often require weekends or overtime?
· Is there documentation time built into those hours?
· What is the caseload expected on week 1 and later weeks?
· Is there any orientation or mentorship?
· What is the client population?
· How do the physical therapists document (computer, laptop, paper)?
· What is the EMR system?
· What do therapists like and not like about the facility?
· What is the pay rate?
· Is housing provided?
· Have other travelers worked at this location? What were their reviews?
· Does this facility re-sign clients?
· Do you know the location the facility is in, is it safe, nice?
What Questions Facility Manger’s Will Likely Ask You:
· Tell me about yourself?
· Why did you become a physical therapist?
· Tell me about your past jobs and training?
· Describe your experience and skills?
· What was your average caseload and patient population?
· Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
· What are your strengths and weaknesses?
· What EMRs have you used?
· How did you handle a difficult relationship with an co-worker or patient? Give an example.
· Tell me about a complicated or interesting patient/case you’ve had? How you solved it?
· Tell me about a stressful situation you faced and how it was resolved?
· What do you add to the clinic and why should we hire you?
· Why are you interested in working here?
· What are you doing to increase your knowledge?
· What is your ideal salary?
· Are you looking to sign on permanent if that position arises?
How Do I Answer These Questions and Come Up With My Specific Questions:
The above lists were the main sample questions that most travelers ask their potential assignments and that most managers ask travelers. However, you want to prepare your own list of questions and also a list of answers to help you ace your travel interview.
When thinking about answers to potential travel therapy facility questions:
List your goals
List your strengths and weaknesses
Prepare examples of an highlight in your career
Prepare examples of struggles or difficult situations at work you overcame
When thinking about what other questions to ask a travel therapy facility:
List your family’s needs (school, location, housing, benefits)
List things you would be willing to compromise on
List your personal and professional needs
List your goals and how this facility can help meet them
Tips To Prepare for The Travel Therapy Interview:
Use the tools above to help you prepare for you travel therapy interview. Below are a list of key tips to also help you ace your interview!
Have your phone by you at least 15 min prior to the scheduled phone interview. Managers are always running early or late, so be prepared for a call that is 15-30 min early or later than your scheduled interview.
Make sure you are in a quiet setting at least 15 min before your interview.
Prepare a list of questions you want to ask the facility manager.
Review your list of questions 5-10 min before your phone interview
Review your resume and list of answers to the questions managers may ask you at least 5-10 min before the interview.
Have both lists of questions near your side to review throughout the interview.
Remember that it is “OK” if you have forgotten to ask a question or think of important questions later. If this happens, simply email your recruiter the questions and they can forward these to the hiring manager.
During the Interview:
Facilies are looking for the perfect answer to their questions. But just providing the best answers isn’t enough to score your dream travel assignment.
Have you ever gone on a date, and the person in front of you meets all your requirements to date-yet something is just off? That can be the same with a job interview.
It is not enough to simply answer the questions during an interview. You must answer questions with authority, confidence, and passion for what you do!
Below Are The Keys To Separating You From A Good Interviewer And A Great Interviewer:
· Be friendly and kind
· Be passionate
· Be confident yet empathetic and flexible
· Be easy going yet driven
· Illustrate your ability to be a team player
· Communicate professionally
I know you are probably thinking that this is an odd list. But think of what your ideal co-worker would be. They would be someone you could depend on and someone who you like to work alongside. Be that person in the interview! Provide the best answers but with personality!
I hope this article has helped you prepare for your first or for your next travel therapy assignment. These list of questions were obtained from my personal experience in over 8 travel assignments across the nation and are not an absolute list but hopefully a very excellent guide for your interview process. I leave you with two last tips:
★ Remember, the interview is about illustrating your ability to be a team player, a top- notch therapist, as well as your interest in the position.
★ Gather information to make sure the job is right for you while also demonstrating why you are perfect for the position.