Questions to Ask on Interviews
We are continuing our series on interview tips, adding on to our blog from last week. This is a topic that many of us don’t really think about until the moment comes. The moment when the interviewer asks you, “Do you have any questions?” and your mind, unfortunately, goes blank. You totally forgot to prepare questions, or maybe the interviewer already answered all of the general questions you prepared. You’ve just entered a sticky situation – you’re genuinely interested in the job, and you want to appear as such, but you’ve drawn a blank!
We’re here to provide you with your personal guide to the questions you should be asking after a teletherapy interview:
Most clinicians have questions in mind that they’d like to have answered during therapy job interviews – i.e. caseload info, schedule, and other general info about the students and school. However, it’s fairly likely that these questions will be answered either at the beginning of the interview or throughout your conversation with the interviewer. Some school districts even give a full overview of the position, school and caseload situation up front before they start asking you questions.
So what do you do when all of your general questions have been answered?
Focus on your goal.
Let’s go back to the basics of interviewing. What’s the goal of an interview – to receive a job offer, right? With all the competition in the industry today, you have to think of how you can stand out. Preparing questions that might seem out-of-the-ordinary at first will actually make you stand out as an extremely interested clinician.
Think back to therapy jobs you’ve had in the past.
Was there ever a position that tested and challenged your abilities, and was maybe lacking in certain things? Think back to it, and think about what could’ve helped you if you knew something up front before you started. Maybe they had a new process for IEPs or notes that would’ve been good to know beforehand, or a lack of testing or class materials that put you in a sticky situation once you started. Knowing certain things like this up front will help you be proactive and not reactive, and also give you a sense of how organized and supportive their team is.
Ask others and utilize your resources for inspiration.
Ask your mentors, therapy peers, previous co-workers, or even your recruiter for suggestions on what questions to ask! Your recruiter is a great resource for interview tips – it’s their job to facilitate interviews, so they’re very aware of post-interview questions other therapists are asking.
Start your list!
After you’ve done your thinking and reached out to others, start jotting questions down. To give you a head start, here are some great questions to consider:
- What are the age groups/grade levels of the caseload?
- How many total students will I be seeing?
- How severe are the students on the caseload?
- Are the students located in one school building or multiple?
- If multiple – will there be assistants/therapists/teachers I can contact for scheduling efforts?
- Is there an assistant to help with gathering students? How can I reach him/her?
- Do students have materials at the school to use during sessions (especially for OT)?
- If there are missed school days for weather or student absences, how difficult is it to reschedule sessions?
- How involved are the parents on this caseload?
- Are the parents aware that their students will be treated via teletherapy? How have they responded/what are their thoughts?
- Will I have access to the school’s IEP/notes system or who will be my liaison at the district for help?
- How many typical student referrals do you have in this school/department throughout the school year?
- Do you foresee more students being referred and added to this caseload?
- Why is this position open (i.e. more student referrals, a therapist retired, the last clinician resigned)?
- Has your district used teletherapy before/how familiar are you with teletherapy?
- Who would be my main point of contact for questions at the district – regarding scheduling, timesheets, paperwork etc.? Would that be you?
If the interviewer doesn’t reveal much about him/herself or their school district up front, it’s also great to almost “turn the interview around” and ask them the following questions. This shows your interest in not just the position but in working with their team overall. Even though you’ll be working remotely, you still want to create a great relationship and foster good communication:
- How long have you been with the district?
- What makes your district stand out?
- Any exciting plans for the future for your district (i.e. technology improvements, building extensions, more resources for teachers/students)?
- How long do you foresee this position to last? (Frequently, teletherapy has been used to temporarily cover services or an overflow caseload until another therapist can come in and cover. However, in many districts, students have shown so much improvement and engagement via teletherapy that districts have kept it for the long term).
See? That wasn’t so hard! Make sure to keep these questions in mind when prepping for a teletherapy interview. You’re guaranteed to appear more prepared when you do! If you’re an interview expert and you have additional advice, please add it in the comments section below!
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