Job interviews are an essential component of the job search. The job interview process for physical therapy assistants (PTAs) could be a path for a hiring manager to get to know you, your skills, as well as your clinical experiences. Knowing how to answer some common PTA interview questions can help you feel more prepared for your interview.
In this article, we’ll go over a few Top 20 Physical Therapy Assistant Interview Questions and Answers, along with some sample answers, to help you prepare ahead of time and make a great first impression.
1. Why are You Interested in This Role?
This is the most basic and fundamental question that almost every interviewer often asks in the start of the interview process. The idea is to start the conversation and with a question that highlights the interest factors. This answer will clearly show your enthusiasm for the job and what brings you here, in the organization. Is it money? Or the career?
“I am Physical Therapy Assistant. As soon as I went through your ad, it piqued my interest. Your organization is well known, and I have right kind of experience for your vacant post as well. So, this is why I applied for it. I believe to work for entire life with a suitable hierarchy and the job completely appeals me.”
2. What are the Roles of a Physical Therapy Assistant?
Patients receive rehabilitative care from Physical Therapy Assistants in collaboration with Physical Therapists and other PTAs. The interviewer is interested in knowing if you have sufficient knowledge of the field. If you are unfamiliar with the responsibilities of a PTA, you are likely to be rejected right away. Before applying for the position, do your homework.
“In most physical therapy clinics, a Physical Therapy Assistant’s duties and responsibilities include counseling patients and their families on what to do after treatment, observing the patients they’re working with before, during, and after therapy and reporting notes to the Physical Therapist, assigning specific exercises for the patient and assisting them in doing these exercises, and using devices, such as crutches.
3. What are the Qualities That a Physical Therapy Assistant Need to Be Successful?
The work is both difficult and rewarding. It takes a special person with the ability and dedication to keep a patient on a painful exercise regimen in order to achieve desired results. It’s the kind of relationship where the PTA and the patient share the joy of achievement when difficult therapy results in physical progress. As an example, qualities could include:
“The Physical Therapy Assistant should have Good Communication Skills, A Sincere Desire to Help People and Improve Their Quality of Life, The Ability to Work Independently While Still Being a Team Player, High Degree of Professionalism, A Good Motivator and Advocate, and Good Problem Solving Skills.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You manage Them?
PTAs frequently face difficulties in their work. Any incident that occurred between you and your coworkers can be quoted. This is an excellent example of a challenge. This question may be asked by the interviewer to assess how well you work within the organization and how you handle awkward situations. Concentrate on the steps you took to assist in the resolution of the problem. You can demonstrate your problem-solving and communication skills by focusing on the resolution rather than the conflict.
“I took a job at a clinic where I worked with a physical therapist who valued critical feedback when I first graduated. This response made me feel disappointed in my position because I was new to the field and wanted to make a good first impression. We had a meaningful discussion after I met with this therapist and explained why her feedback was upsetting for me. Together, we devised a system to help her balance her critical and positive feedback. The meeting improved my confidence, our working relationship, and even her relationships with other team members.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Physical Therapy Assistant?
Physical therapist assistants work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. The interviewer wants to know that how your day starts as a professional and either it meets up the opened position or not. You can provide complete details and give a lengthy reply if you want as this question is the most important question and the more your share right things over here, more the chances of getting hired will increase.
“I normally used to observe patients before, during, and after therapy. Help patients do specific physical therapy exercises as part of the plan of care. Treat patients using a variety of techniques. Use devices and equipment to help patients. And educate a patient and family members about what to do after physical therapy treatment”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
When recruiters ask this question, they’re trying to figure out if your previous work experience qualifies you for their clinic. Give a brief overview of your clinical experience in your response. Take into account details from your internships and university courses that demonstrate your skills and knowledge if you are a recent graduate with limited experience.
“My clinical experience as a recent graduate contains two internships that I completed during my executive year. My first internship was in a self governing institution that served elderly patients, many with cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, where I worked with a caseload of ten patients each week. I completed my second internship in a hospital ward. I assisted patients recovering from injuries with the lead physical therapist, which allowed me to gain experience working with wound-care patients.”
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role?
Because this is not a typical job, it necessitates a completely different approach. Cases differ from one situation to the next and from one person to the next. The interviewer wants to know how you handle different situations and what the best strategies are for performing this job.
“It is not a normal role where you have to deal with machines or computers. It is all about humans and patients. There are different approaches to different patients. It completely depends upon age and other factors. I normally see the condition of my patient and work according to it. This is the right kind of strategy to work according to the condition, stage, and age of the patient. With elderly patients, you need to work with patience, tell jokes, and give light exercises.”
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
This question can be used to demonstrate your suitability for the position. It can also be used to show that you are motivated by challenges and capable of completing difficult tasks. Your response to this question will assist with giving questioners a feeling of what sort of worker you would be: Are you a slacker, or somebody hoping to develop your abilities and take on new obligations?
“As far as the field is concerned, I have no issue. Working with different doctors and building the framework is little bit time taking process which will get settle after some time. I am expecting full support from the superiors and hoping that all the equipments are present to provide the best service to the patients.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?
This question can help the interviewer learn more about you and your motivations for doing the work you do. It could be an opportunity for you to explain why you want to work as a PTA. A good way to answer this question is to give specific examples or tell a storey about a time when your work made you happy.
“Every day, my job allows me to make a quantifiable difference in the lives of others. I form genuine bonds with my patients, which improve their quality of life. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I have done my best to serve my patients and that, as a result of my efforts, they are feeling better and achieving their goals.”
10. Describe a Time When You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt?
When the employer inquires about a time when you failed or made a mistake, demonstrate that you accept responsibility for your mistakes rather than blaming others. Accept responsibility, admit that you could have done things better/differently, and explain your actions in a clear and direct manner.
“I was working with a patient once and I underestimated the condition of the patient. She had a fear for the treatment and I suggested few hard exercises’ to her and she got scared. The next day I felt extremely bad and her condition was really very upsetting. I blamed myself and learnt a lesson never to treat an old lady like this.”
11. Why Do You Feel You are The Most Suited for This Role?
The questioner likewise needs to ensure you know what they are searching for in a task applicant, and that you can do the work if you somehow happened to be employed. One of the objectives of the meeting is to decide if you are ideal for both the job and the association.
“I have experience in this field and medical knowledge which is required for this position. Other than this, I have worked with the staff and patients that were critical and tough to handle. I believe that my experience will provide value to your medical facility.”
12. Share with Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Make a comprehensive list of your professional accomplishments before your interview. Perhaps you’ve received recognition or awards at work or during your post-secondary education. Consider the value you brought to a project as part of a team. Perhaps your research was published, you received a five-star performance review, or you surpassed a tough task. Whatever accomplishment you choose to highlight, be sure to include the steps you took to achieve success.
“My greatest achievement was to treat a patient who was almost rejected by the entire therapist. She was a 89 years old lady and she had a brain hemorrhage. She could hardly move and my efforts and assistance brought a slight movement in her body and from there, everyone started to make effort and she got fine after few more years of therapy.”
13. How Do You Motivate Patients?
This is a question that interviewers may ask to assess your interpersonal skills. Your response to this question may reveal information about your personality and approach to treating patients. Consider a specific example of a time when you motivated a patient to help you prepare for this question. To the interviewer, describe the situation and how you helped the patient.
“In a hospital setting, I worked with a patient who had been in a workplace accident and had lost most of the function in his right hand. This patient’s progress was discouraging, especially since he was a painter before his accident. We discussed his art at each appointment and collaborated to come up with new ways for him to express his creativity. I encouraged my patient to keep making progress by taking the time to get to know him and involving him in the decision-making process.”
14. How Do You Communicate With Patients And Families About Expectations And Status Updates?
This question may be asked by interviewers to learn more about your approach to communicating with patients and families. This question is especially important if you want to work in a setting where you’ll be managing multiple cases at once. It’s critical to be specific about your communication strategy with patients and their families.
“I make structured communication a part of my practice. Every time I see a patient, I remind them of our long-term and short-term treatment goals. Before we begin our session, I briefly summaries the work we did in our previous appointment, have the patient self-report any adjustments they noticed between appointments, and ask if they have any questions about their current treatment plan. I try to include caregivers and family members in the treatment process whenever possible by asking if they have any questions.
15. How Do You Deal With Difficult Cases?
This question may aid the interviewer in evaluating your problem-solving abilities and comprehending your approach to dealing with difficult situations. It may provide you with an opportunity to assess your problem-solving abilities.
“Working with reluctant patients is one of my greatest issues as a physician. In those situations, I try to put myself in my patient’s shoes and remind myself that we’re both on the same team. When I approach difficult cases with compassion and understanding, I find I have a better chance of succeeding. We can work together to solve their problems if I can understand the problem from my patient’s point of view.”
16. What Methods Do You Use To Keep Track Of A Patient’s Progress?
The questioner may want to know how you organize and evaluate your cases in response to this question. You could describe how you keep track of your patient’s progress and keep track of your observations. Your response to this question could demonstrate your attention to detail.
“Our clinic used a database to keep track of patient records during my internship. As part of my onboarding process, I learned how to collect and input patient information. Patients could also track their progress online between appointments using our system. This feature allowed us to keep track of their progress and talk about their observations before starting therapy.”
17. What Do You Do If One Of Your Physical Therapy Patients Refuses To Work With You Any Longer?
Your candidate must be able to support not only the physical therapist’s needs, but also the needs of the patients and their families. For a variety of reasons, patients may choose to discontinue therapy regimens early. These factors could include anything from a lack of motivation to financial constraints. Your candidate should be supportive of the patient’s decision, whether or not he or she agrees with it.
“If a patient abruptly stops to work with us, I would first inquire as to why he or she is ceasing sessions before working out a solution with the physical therapist to ensure the patient continues to receive proper care as patient’s health comes first.”
18. How Do You Ensure That Laws, Regulations, Industry Policies, And Company Protocols Are Followed?
Physical therapist assistants should ensure that an organization’s compliance with relevant legal rules is maintained and improved. This question can be used by an employer to determine whether a job applicant will be a reliable hire in this field. A good candidate for physical therapist assistant should be able to communicate a practical strategy for increasing compliance.
“I keep track of changes to legal and industry requirements for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants by reading healthcare journals and publications. Keeping track of any new requirements, keeping them in mind as I work, and double-checking my work against them on a regular basis helps me stay in compliance.”
19. As A Physical Therapist Assistant, Have You Ever Had To Travel To A Patient’s Home To Perform Your Duties?
Physical therapist assistants may be required to travel to patients’ homes, depending on their needs, to assist physical therapists in completing the care regimens required for their recovery, particularly if patients have difficulty travelling longer distances due to physical limitations. The interviewer wants to know whether you have done such things and how you manage them at organizational level.
“I have worked with a number of patients in the privacy of their own homes. I always accompany the physical therapist when we first meet a patient who demands that we travel to them so that I can provide necessary support during the sessions.”
20. What Time In Your Job As A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Did You Feel The Most Fulfilled?
The interviewer will ask this question to wind up the conversation. This question will be asked just to make you, and the interviewer relaxed. This will give an idea about your desire towards the job as well and to motivate you further, and end the conversation with a smile.
“I’m a person who enjoys interacting with others. When I was interacting with neighborhood residents, making sure I was able to meet their needs and providing them with the best possible comfort in a difficult situation, I was happiest and most satisfied. It was clear that this was my favorite aspect of the job. Part of the reason I’m interested in this position is that I know I’d have more public interaction, on a more critical level.”
Physical therapist assistants help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients. These were the top 20 Physical Therapy Assistant Interview Questions and Answers to help your clear your interview.
Best of Luck for your Interview!