Athletic Trainers are Multi-skilled and highly qualified health care professionals who provide service in collaboration with a physician. You will need a bachelor’s degree for this role. The majority of employers prefer a master’s degree. It is estimated that 70% of Athletic Trainers have master’s degrees. Experience working with athletes is also a plus for this role.
Have a look at these 20 questions and answers that you will expect o encounter in your interview. These will be insightful in your preparation for an interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
Give your motivation for applying to this role. Share what makes you a great candidate for the job.
“I was drawn to this position because I like working with highly motivated individuals. Athletes are constantly pushing their limits to improve themselves. I would like to be the push that makes them achieve excellence. I believe my skills and qualifications are a great match for the position and I would be a great fit.”
2. What Are The Roles Of An Athletic Trainer?
What role are you going to play in the organization? Share your expectation while ensuring it matches the job description for the role.
“The role I expect to play is providing athletic training services to athletes. I will also apply tape or bandages to prevent injuries while training. I will evaluate injuries and provide first aid. I will also develop injury prevention programs for the clients. In the case of injuries, I will implement rehabilitation programs in the best interest of the athlete. These are roles I have played in my previous roles and I believe will come in handy in this role.”
3. What Are The Qualities That An Athletic Trainer Needs To Be Successful?
A combination of attributes is required for this role. Explain to the interviewer the attributes while demonstrating how you can handle the role.
“As an Athletic Trainer, you should be passionate and confident. You need to show belief in the athletes that you are training. You need the ability to make decisions and be trustworthy. It also helps to be attentive and empathetic while handling athletes. You should show consistency in your work ethic as this will build the confidence of the athletes. You should be knowledgeable in a wide area of things especially to do with the human anatomy.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
As with any role, there are bound to be challenges along the way. Share a challenge you have encountered and how you managed it.
“I faced a major challenge with an injured athlete that was eager to return to the field. He was not ready for intense training and the physician had communicated the same to him. The coach was also pushing to have him back on the team as he was a key player. I had to remain firm and stand by my word. I explained to the athlete that I was working in his best interests and that once recovery is completed he would be able to do what he loves again. He understood the information and waited for a full recovery.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As An Athletic Trainer?
What activities do you expect to fill up your days? Describe this to the interviewer.
“Being an athletic trainer keeps me on my toes and that is what keeps it interesting. My daily routine depends on the season. On a typical day, I work with athletes. I provide education and training to help them prevent injuries. When an athlete gets injured, I assess the injury to determine if he needs urgent care or can wait till the next day to see a specialist. I always check if an athlete has suffered a concussion. This presents itself differently in different athletes and requires urgent attention. In the summer I am always on the lookout for heat exhaustion and dehydration among the athletes.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Explain to the interviewer what you have done so far in your career as an Athletic Trainer.
“In my line of work, I have been fortunate enough to work with two college football teams, a ballet class, and a high school football team. In my work, I have been able to offer education to prevent injury and explain best practices to the athletes. I have also given first aid training to the teams such that they can assist one another in the absence of a trainer. I have also done rehabilitation of injured team members and followed their treatment plans to ensure they are back to the field. With this background, I am confident that I will be able to excel in this role.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
Explain to the interviewer the mindset and strategies that you should possess to be successful in this role.
“This role requires someone consistent to deliver results. Athletes are constantly pushing their limits therefore you need to express confidence that they will be able to assist them by ensuring they do not injure themselves. You should also be empathetic and a great listener to assist the athletes to break records.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
In your research, ensure you identify the areas that may cause challenges in your work. Share a challenge and explain how you will mitigate it.
“I understand that several players are out with injuries. I expect that they will be eager to return to the field and seek clearance as soon as possible when I join the team. I will ensure that I review their medical records well to avoid more serious injuries to them. I will liaise with the specialists to determine if they can be cleared to play.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
This work may be exhausting from the odd hours worked and therefore requires a strong person who can still stay motivated despite the daily situations encountered. Articulate how you can stay motivated all through.
“I derive motivation from my personal goals. For me to perform I have to go the extra mile to attain my personal goals. Each day, I strive to do better than the previous day in helping ensure that work runs smoothly. This personal challenge has enabled me to stay upbeat all through as I pursue my goals. I also derive motivation from close collaboration with colleagues and the success of athletic programs we run at the schools.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
The interviewer is interested in your ability to bounce back after failure. What strategies did you employ to rise above your failures? Share these while ensuring they are relevant to the job role.
“When starting, I took up a lot of programs that led to suffering stress and exhaustion. I was very enthusiastic about the role and wanted to do as much as possible in the shortest time possible. I learned that it is good to also plan to have free time in your schedule to help unwind. This time ensures that you stay productive. Nowadays, I do not overcrowd my calendar with many teams. I focus on a few and aim to provide the best care possible. I also get a chance to unwind so that I can be a better team player.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
Here is your invitation to sell yourself well. Explain your unique abilities and how they will make you shine in this role.
“My background places me as a great candidate for this role. I have three years of experience in high school team management. In this role, I have provided training, advised accordingly, and helped rehabilitate injured team members. I have also designed injury prevention programs that have worked effectively. I hope to use this experience snd my eagerness to learn to excel in this role.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
What are you proud of in your career journey? The interviewer is interested in this information. Explain what makes you proud of your work before.
“My greatest achievement has been in empowering athletes. I have been able to impart knowledge on injury prevention and as a result, our injury figure reduced by 90% in the last quarter. This is a welcome improvement. It gives me great joy also to see rehabilitated athletes return to the field after injuries and go-ahead to perform well. My last soccer team made their way to the national competitions and emergence the top.”
13. What Would You Do To Motivate An Athlete Who Is Recovering From An Injury?
The interviewer is interested in what you would do to keep the motivation of an injured athlete going. Share what you would do to them.
“For a recovering athlete, I would ensure that I keep them informed on their progress. I will be positive about how fast they are making progress, I will keep reassuring them that they will be able to achieve full recovery. When running the therapy programs I will commend the efforts they are making towards recovery.”
14. How Would You Design A Diet And Fitness Plan For An Athlete?
You need to demonstrate your knowledge in physical fitness and nutrition to ensure maximum performance. Explain how you will go about this.
“When designing a fitness program, I first focus on the needs of the athlete. I focus on what areas need to be strengthened and design a workable plan to meet these needs. The diet plan needs to be holistic and friendly to the needs of the athlete. The nutrition program will follow the fitness program. I will work with a nutritionist to ensure the best plan is devised that will support the fitness program. I will also tailor the programs to the individual’s needs while realizing that each is unique.”
15. Have You Ever Misdiagnosed An Injury? How Did You Rectify That?
Mistakes may happen in your line of duty. You need great interpersonal and communication skills to be able to explain why you came up to that conclusion and apologize for it.
“One time, during a football match a team member fell and I saw like they suffered a concussion. Since I consider concussions a serious issue, I made quick phone calls to have emergency services take the athlete to the hospital. They arrived in record time and on assessing, they realized that it was not anything serious. Meanwhile, the athlete had been very shaken. I explained to the athlete what made me come to that conclusion. I apologized to the athlete and the other team members for causing an alarm. They were understanding and also got relieved that it was nothing serious.”
16. How Would You Help A Patient Understand Their Injury?
The interviewer is testing your communication and interpersonal skills. Share a strategy you use to inform the athlete of their injury.
“I will explain to them the injury in simple terms. I will also explain the effect that it has on their athletic performance. I will explain to them how they should work to enable faster healing. I will also give the treatment plan and timelines that they should be able to resume their training. It is important to be clear as possible as to what they will be capable of doing during this period to ensure they do not indulge in strenuous activity that will further delay their healing.”
17. What Do You Consider To Be The Key In Developing A Great Team?
Teamwork is a key ingredient in ensuring the successful coordination of athletic programs. The interviewer wants to know if you can develop this skill in a team. Share what you consider to be essential qualities for teamwork.
“The key elements to successful teamwork are trust, communication, and effective leadership; a focus on common goals with a collective responsibility for both success and failure. However, without trust and communication, the team will have difficulty functioning effectively. In this role, I am expected to work with different teams from doctors nutritionists, athletes, and coaches. It is essential to have great communication skills so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to a particular athletes’ performance.”
18. How Do You Determine The Right Training Program For An Athlete?
Tailoring programs with athletes is a great industry experience you need to develop. Share a strategy that you would use to determine this.
“I ask the athlete questions to determine their plan. I always want to establish what goals they have based on the competitions that they plan to enter. I will then design a program that makes them win. If I determine that changes need to be made along the way, I communicate the same to them. This strategy has worked well so far.”
19. What Key Words Would Your Colleagues Use To Describe You?
The interviewer wants to establish what you are known for. The way our colleagues describe us can give someone an idea of who we are. Tell the interviewer what your colleagues would say about you.
“My colleagues would use words such as a confident go-getter, resilient and hard-working person. They like how I teach safety procedures to ensure no one suffers injuries during training and in competitions. Nothing seems to put me down. I adopted this mindset because I need to be a pillar to my athletes to ensure that they deliver on their goals. If they win it is a win for me.”
20. If Selected For This Role, What Would Be Your Strategy For The Next 90 Days?
The first three months are crucial in adapting to the new organization. What strategies do you have in place that will make your adjustment easy? Share with the interviewer how you plan to transition smoothly to your new role.
“For the first 90 days, I plan to learn the culture of the college. I will also learn how stuff is done around here. I will sit with the athletic teams to understand clearly their expectations of my role. I will seek any clarification from them about the job description shared. At the end of the 90 days, I plan to issue a status report for my department. At this point, I should be able to come up with strategies for maximum performance of the teams.”
This role is competitive and you need to be enthusiastic about your performance. With the right attitude and experience, it will not be hard to convince the hiring team that you are the best fit. Prepare your answers for these questions and you will be sure to impress the interviewer.