Imagine if the next time you’d walk in an interview, you’d have a clue of the questions the interviewer is going to ask. Well, you don’t have to imagine it anymore as this article will give you guidance on how to ace the interview.
Have you recently been called to an interview for a radiation therapist position? Well, you are in luck! In this article, we will be tackling this question. So who is a radiation therapist?
A radiation therapist is a part of a care team that helps take care of patients with cancer using radiation treatment. Note that they are part of the oncology team. Now that you have a brief understanding of who a radiation therapist is, let’s dive into the interview questions you should expect.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
Often than not, this is often among the first questions interviewers tend to ask. In most cases, the interviewer wants to see if you’ve done some research; secondly, they wish to know if you are aware of what you are looking for.
The employer wants to hire a candidate who cares about their career, knows their path, and has assessed their future.
I’ve been working in the oncology industry for five years now, and it’s a field I delight working in. I must add I was intrigued by your job description, and I’d not want to miss out on the great opportunity your team is offering. With my experience, I’m confident that I’ll get on speed very quickly and start bringing great results to your hospital.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Radiation Therapist?
Employers tend to ask this question as they need to assess if your experience aligns with what they are looking for. In most cases, employers tend to hire candidates who have shown that they have taken up similar responsibilities before.
While answering this question, you should share examples of how well you executed your responsibilities.
My duties and responsibilities often involve explaining my patients’ treatment plans and determining the best course of radiation for the patients. With this, I ensure that I answer any questions the patients might have about their procedures. I delight working hand in hand with the oncologist to develop a great radiation treatment plan.
While dealing with my patients, I make use of my customer service skills to ensure that every patient is satisfied and comfortable.
3. What Are The Qualities That Radiation Therapist Need To Be Successful?
Take use of this opportunity when asked this question, as it is a chance for you to sell yourself. It will be of benefit if you add a personal touch while answering this question.
I believe to be a radiation therapist, you need more than academic excellence to succeed. One skill that can help pave the path to success for a radiation therapist has excellent communication skills. Once I started prioritizing this skill at my previous job, I noticed that my employers and patients were happy and satisfied.
It is important to do the job correctly; I strongly believe that communication skills are at the heart of the industry.
4. What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
When asked this question, it is best that you take it as an opportunity to share a challenge that you managed to make an accomplishment. What interviewers are looking for is to see how well you are able to deal with challenging situations.
This is a common question asked in most interviews. Therefore it is important that you prepare your answer beforehand.
At my previous workplace, I interacted with a patient who was reluctant to go through radiation therapy. He stated that he was scared and was skeptical about the whole therapy. I took my time to understand his fears and later on highlighted the benefits of going through with the therapy. We told him that it was normal to be scared and assured him that everything would work out perfectly. He agreed to take the therapy from our talk and thanked me for persuading him to take it as his health improved.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Radiation Therapist
Note that the daily routine is a mirror of the candidate’s personality. This is a behavioral question most interviewers ask. A daily routine is a reflection of the candidate’s discipline in their life.
I start my day by checking the equipment that I’ll use during the radiation process. I make sure to take a quality assurance x-ray in order to ensure that it produces accurate beams. Once I confirm that every piece of equipment is okay, I proceed to check the patients’ appointments.
I take pride in helping the patients; before we start the treatment, we often ensure that the patient understands how the treatment takes place. Once I finish this, I ensure that they are comfortable and go on with the treatment. During the treatment, I often use CyberKnife’s ability to synchronize treatment to the motion of the tumor while the patient is breathing.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Interviewers tend to ask this question in order to gauge your preparedness for the role. While answering the question, ensure that you relate your answer to the position.
I have five years of experience in the industry of medicine. I have worked with many patients and helped them through their healing journey. As a radiation therapist I made use of my communication skills to ensure that I clearly communicate to my bosses and my patients. As your radiation therapist, I assure you that I’ll integrate the same principles I had to help my patients get better.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
While answering the question, ensure that you highlight a mindset that is likely to help you do better at your job.
It takes strength to interact with people who are going through their healing process. A strategy that I stand for and have seen do wonders in my career is making use of interpersonal skills. Being patient with my patients is a holy grail for me; allowing them to express how they feel while actively listening to them makes them feel valued.
This mindset has helped in building my rapport in the industry.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This kind of question gives the interviewer an overview of the kind of employee you are. A great way of answering this question is by portraying your skills.
I understand that this job requires me to take good care of the patients. I’m motivated to make sure that my patients are well taken care of. I have had success in caring for my patients. The biggest challenge I foresee in this job is dealing with patients who are frustrated because there is no progress in their health. This is a common challenge that happens in this industry.
I believe my interpersonal skills and my knowledge in oncology will be of help when interacting with such patients.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
This is a common question asked in most interviews as it helps uncover the candidate’s personality and work ethic. In most cases, the interviewer wants to see if you can go the extra mile when need be.
My motivation comes from my will to want to learn and acquire new skills. Two years ago I took up a course in communication skills. I’m eager to showcase my skills as I’m certain that this skill aligns with this position. The opportunity will allow me to listen to the patients actively, it is a challenge I’m looking forward to.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
While answering this question, it is best that you remain upfront and accountable. Employers hardly want to hire someone who blames others for their mistakes. In most cases, interviewers ask this question as they want to assess if you are an accountable person. Try and be brief.
While with hospital X, I had not learned the essence of active listening; there was this time I interacted with a patient who I did not intentionally try to listen to her grievances. I aimed to push her to take the treatment. She got frustrated and decided to choose another hospital. I was disappointed, but I did not let it deter me from being better.
This is why I took up communication skills classes which have helped me learn how to actively listen.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Most Suited For This Role?
Some people find this question a bit scary; in retrospect, it helps the candidate show the interviewer why they are qualified for the position. While answering the question, ensure that you match your qualification with the job description.
As I was going through the job description, I knew I’d make the perfect match. My experience in taking care of the patients perfectly aligns with what you are looking for. I’m confident that my experience will come in handy as I take up the position of a radiation therapist.
My great communication skills and work ethic makes me a perfect fit for this job. I have the experience to make a great difference to your team from day one. To add to this, I’m excited to work at your hospital.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
Interviewers tend to ask this question as they want to see what qualities make you stand out from the crowd.
My greatest achievement happened while I was working at hospital X. I took note that the hospital struggled at accessing patients’ details. So I took the initiative to install an updated CRM system and later trained the team on how to use it. There were tremendous changes as the queue at the hospital reduced since the employees would easily access the files.
That month I was named employee of the month.
13. What Did You Like Most About Your Last Position?
Interviewers tend to ask this question in order to get insight on your skills and abilities. Ensure that your answer relates to the job description.
In my last position, I had the chance to work on my leadership skills. It was scary and, at the same time, exciting for me. I worked with Hospital X for five years. I enjoyed working with my colleagues as we eventually became a big family.
I did see the need to take the next step in my career, and joining a larger hospital will help develop my skills. I want to put into action what I learned.
14. What Did You Like Least About Your Last Position?
This is a tough question for most people. In most cases, the interviewer asks this question to assess how well you can discuss negative work experiences. While answering, ensure that you give your answer a positive angle.
I enjoyed working with Hospital X; those five years were the best. However, over time I got to assess and realized that I no longer had room for professional growth. This was because the hospital went through some difficult times, which eventually drained their funds.
My professional growth was interrupted, and this is the reason why I applied for this role.
15. How Do You Handle Stress?
In most cases, the interviewer asks this question to see how you react when presented in a stressful situation. How you resolve the stressful situation portrays your problem-solving skills.
For me what I deem most while handling a stressful situation is effective communication skills. While working at hospital X, there was an instance where the x-ray did not present accurate beams.
During this time, I gathered my team and brought it up that we have uncertainty in our responsibilities. So from that day, we delegated duties on who would be checking if the equipment is properly functioning. It is great that from the meeting, the inaccurate results have never happened again.
16. Tell Me About A Time You Had To Deal With A Frustrated or Overwhelmed Patient Because Of Lack Of Progress?
Whenever you get this question, the interviewer is trying to assess how well you can deal with a difficult patient. Ensure to add a real-life experience.
While working at Hospital X, I had the chance to interact with a frustrated patient because of lack of progress after taking therapy. I did not rush at giving him an answer and did my best to listen to him actively. Once he was done, I assured him that it is okay to be frustrated.
Later I explained to him how radiation therapy works. I explained to him that there are cancer patients whose first-line treatment may start working and then suddenly stops.
I assured him that this is normal and explained to him that our team would assess the situation to see if he is fit for the second-line treatment. He was satisfied by this as he did not have enough details of how radiation therapy works.
17. Tell Me How You Stay Up-to-date On The Latest Radiation Treatment and Related Developments?
Whenever an interviewer asks this question, they want to see if you are a candidate who pushes themselves to learn more about your industry. This will help the interviewer realize that you do not have to push you to read on materials to do with radiation therapy.
One particular strategy that helps me stay up-to-date with radiation treatment is that I have subscribed to website X. They always offer materials on radiation therapy and any related developments. Also, I have subscribed to magazine X, which is great for people in medicine as it offers insights on the latest developments.
18. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
When an interviewer asks this question, they look for how honest the candidate is and their will to self-improve.
A weakness that I have is that I struggle with being patient. One of my short-term goal is I’m learning how to be understanding with others. In the long run I’m confident that it will be of help in my position.
I have taken the initiative to take up interpersonal skill courses as I’m sure that the course will help me better my ability to be patient.
19. Would Detail Out The Radiation Regulations?
This is an important question an interviewer might ask to assess if you are acquainted with the laws a radiation therapist should follow.
A regulation I as a radiation therapist should always stand by is the one set by NRC. The regulations states that there are restrictions on the quantity of radiation that personnel and the general public can be exposed to at nuclear power plants. Occupational exposure is limited to 5,000 mrem per year. The typical worker at a nuclear power plant earns 101 million yen per year.
20. Can You Describe The Rules Of Radiation Protection?
This question will help set you aside with other candidates. A technical question helps the interviewer know if the candidate is acquainted in their line of work.
The radiation protection law is ALARA which stands for as low as reasonably achievable. The principle simply dictates if the patient requires a small dosage and the dose has no direct benefit. Then it is best that you try to avoid it. This will help make use of the three basic protective measures in radiation which is distance, time and shielding.
Lastly, “a desire to succeed is essential but being prepared is much more important. You might have the drive to get the job, but it will help you if you are well prepared for it. I hope the questions will help. Best of luck!