Top 20 Respiratory Therapist Interview Questions & Answers 2023

It would help if you prepared adequately before stepping into an interview room. This article sums up 20 frequently asked questions when interviewing for the position of a respiratory therapist

1.    Why Are You Interested In This Role?

This is generally one of the first questions in job interviewers. It may be an assessment of your motive, or the interviewer may be trying to find out if you are a good fit. 

Tip #1: Your reason should not be monetary. 

Tip #2: Ensure that you convince the interviewer that you are a perfect fit. 

Sample Answer 

I am passionate about helping people with respiratory issues. I have lots of experience given that I have worked in several institutions and believe that I can use that for your institution’s benefit if given a chance. 

2.    What Are the Roles Of a Respiratory Therapist?

Do you know your duties as a respiratory therapist? Tell the interviewer. 

Tip #1: You can choose to stick to the job description. 

Tip#2: Mention some of the duties of a respiratory therapist if the description was not offered. 

Sample Answer 

A respiratory therapist performs diagnostic and function tests to assess the lung capacity and capability of patients. He/ she also works with physicians to develop treatment plans and evaluate the progress of patients. 

3.     What Are the Qualities That a respiratory Should Possess to be Effective?

Certain qualities dictate professional success. Therefore, you should ensure that you know and have these qualities if you want to be a perfect fit for the job at hand. 

Tip #1: Mention qualities that are job-specific. You may try to link them t the job. 

Tip #2: your answer should be short. 

Sample Answer 

A respiratory therapist should be compassionate, detail-oriented, patient, a good communicator, and a problem solver. He/ she should also have extensive science and math skills. 

4.    What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?

Every employer wants an employee who is a problem solver. He was you handle challenges will tell whether you can address the challenges at hand or not.

Tip #1: Give an experience. It shouldn’t sound crammed. 

Tip #2: Clearly outline how you solved it since that is all that matters

Sample Answer 

I was working with young mothers during my former job place. Most of them were so scared that they would start screaming when I attended to their kids. Some were rude and arrogant when I gave them test results and accused me of faking results. My interpersonal skills helped me calm them down all the time. 

5.     Describe Your Daily Routine As a respiratory therapist?

You are expected to have conducted a research level to know how things work even if you have not served as a respiratory therapist before. 

Tip #1: only mention activities that are relevant to the job. 

Tip #2: Try as much as possible not to throw yourself under the bus. 

Sample Answer 

My daily routine as a respiratory therapist revolves around meeting patients and conducting tests on them. I then meet with other physicians to discuss what we are dealing with before coming up with a proper treatment plan guided by the tests’ results. 

6.    Briefly Describe Your Experience?

Most people mishandle this question. The interviewer is not asking for a recap of your CV. All he/ she wants is to know some of the areas you are good at to assess whether you will be an excellent addition to the institution. 

Tip #1: your experience should be relevant to the job. 

Tip #2: You can mention some of the things that you have learned. 

Sample Answer 

My first job at Johnson Institute mainly focused on children. While here, I learned (You can include some of the systems and equipment that you used or even procedures that you became good at)

7.     What kind of strategies and mindset is required for this role? 

You cannot take up a job without the right strategy and state of mind and succeed. Therefore, the interviewer must find out whether your approach and mindset are in line with the task at hand. 

Tip #1: Everything you mention should be job-related. 

Tip #2: You can offer examples. 

Sample Answer 

This role requires someone who is focused since it covers a very complicated body system. The best strategy is team working with other physicians to uncover any underlying issue that may need attention. 

8.    What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in This Job?

It would help if you had taken your time and assessed the institution’s operations. This will help you answer this question correctly. 

Tip #1: Do not mention a challenge that can be easily remedied. 

Tip #2: Your answer will tell the interviewer whether you are competent or not. 

Sample Answer

 I have realized that the respiratory therapy ward is secluded from the rest. It may be quite challenging working swiftly with other doctors if the need arises. However, I am optimistic that we can find a solution. 

9.     How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?

Seeing patients break down after delivering bad news can be traumatizing. Therefore, there must be a motivating reason that keeps you coming back. 

Tip #1: Your motivation should not be material in nature

Tip #2: sell yourself. 

Sample Answer 

I love helping people with respiratory conditions, given that I am also asthmatic. The face of relief from patients’ eyes keeps me coming back. 

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10.  Describe a Time You Failed in this role and the Lesson You Learned.

The beauty of failure is that we learn to do things differently. This is not a trap. 

Tip #1: Your experience should not sound rehearsed. 

Tip #2: The interviewer’s primary focus is on the lesson learned. 

Sample Answer 

I once diagnosed a patient with a chronic chest infection, and the family went wild. They hurled accusations and called me all sorts of names, and I lost my temper for a minute. I admitted to having lost my cool with my supervisor, who later summoned me. I learned that this field requires lots of patience and understanding. 

11. Kindly Tell Us About A Respiratory Condition That You Have Treated and The Approaches You Used. 

The interviewer is assessing your general knowledge and level of expertise. He/ she wants to know whether you have dealt with complex cases and if you can handle some. 

Tip #1: Show that you have experience with such cases 

Tip #2: Convince the interviewer that you have high levels of treatment approaches

Sample Answer 

I have dealt with several cases of Middle East Respiratory Virus. I offered treatment according to the severity of the virus and monitored the patients frequently. 

12. What is the best way of explaining a respiratory treatment to an anxious patient, in your own opinion? 

The interviewer wants to know whether you will be professional, empathetic, and transparent when performing painful procedures for the patients. 

Tip #1: Show that you can keep the patient calm

Tip #2: Convince the interviewer that you can meet individual patient’s needs. 

Sample Answer 

 I would first model the procedure and answer all the questions asked by the patient. I will offer the best pain relief and coach the patient through every process. I also understand that this differs from patent to patient. 

13. What Would You Do If A Patient or Family Member Disagreed with Your Assessment? 

You should be prepared to, at times, conflict with patients or their family members. The interviewer wants to know if you will manage to handle such cases independently and your general attitude. 

Tip #1: Show that you can resolve conflict independently 

Tip #2: Show that you are willing to listen to the patient’s concern. 

Sample Answer 

I understand that a patient’s family is always invested in his/ her treatment. I would listen to their concerns and address them directly and independently. I’d also come up with a list of solutions and offer as much information as I can

14. How Do You Deliver Bad News to a Patient Or His/ Her family? 

The interviewer wants to know how emotionally involved you can be in your treatment and handle bad news and outcomes well. 

Tip #1: Show that you understand the importance of support after the news. 

Tip #1: Show your ability to deliver news gently. 

Sample Answer 

I’d first assess the situation and communicate in the warmest manner ever. After this, I’d offer the family several support resources

15. What Would You Do If Another Respiratory Therapist Had A Different View About a Diagnosis? 

The interviewer wants to know if you can work well with other respiratory therapists. Your answer will tell him/ her whether you can be an asset or a liability. 

Tip #1: Show that you can respectfully collaborate with fellow team members. 

Tip #2: Show that you are a team worker. 

Sample answer 

I would ask my colleague to elaborate more and listen to his/ her concerns. I’d then try to approach the situation from his/ her perspective and offer practical solutions and involve colleagues. 

16. How Would You Advise a Patient Who Caught an Asthma Attack But Has No Medication? 

This is a technical question, and the interviewer is trying to assess your level of expertise. Ensure that you answer it well. 

Tip #1: Show a high level of expertise. 

Tip #2: Your answer should be clear and well thought out. 

Sample Answer 

I will tell the patient to be as calm as possible and then take long, deep breaths. He/ she should then identify the trigger and do away with it before sitting upright and taking a high caffeinated drink. This should help ease his/ her attack. 

17. Why Is A Patient pH Measured Before Respiratory Therapy Is Given? 

The interviewer must ask questions that deduce your expertise. Therefore, make sure that you handle this with the level of knowledge the second question needs. 

Tip #1: Explain in a clear manner

Tip #2: Talk confidently

Sample Answer 

Knowing the acidotic/ alkalotic balance before treating a patient helps therapists assess his/ her lung function and decide whether the patient requires further testing. This is a mandatory procedure that must be done, or else complications might arise. 

18. Can You Mention an Infection Control Protocol That Respiratory Therapists Should Practice Before Seeing Any Patient? 

The interviewer wants to know if you will put the patient at risk or protect his/ her interest. You must take enough precaution not to infect or reinfect the patient, thereby worsening his/ her situation. 

Tip #1: Mention a known sterilization protocol. ‘

Tip #2: Show that you know what you are talking about. 

Sample Answer 

I consider Healthcare Infection Control Advisory Committee Protocol one of the best sterilizing protocols for both apparatus and equipment. However, a respiratory therapist can also use personal sanitization protocol before seeing a patient. 

19. Mention the Steps You Will Take To Minimize Respiratory Complications

Your job as a respiratory therapist is delicate, and an interviewer must ensure that you are up to the task. 

Tip #1: Mention the right steps 

Tip #2: Show that you have mastered your craft. 

Sample Answer 

To minimize respiratory complications, I suggest that people place more fans n their houses for fresh air, get vaccinated, perform respiratory exercises, cough up respiratory secretions using given medications, use feeding tubes for serious respiratory conditions and raise his/ her head when lying down. These steps should help somebody minimize respiratory complications. 

20. How Do You Meet Your Patient’s Respiratory Needs? 

This is yet another technical question that requires tact and skills to answer. How you meet your patients’ respiratory needs will help the interviewer know whether you are qualified for the job at hand or not. 

Tip #1: Show a level of skill and tact when answering the question. 

Tip #2: answer in a chronological order

Sample Answer 

I first assess the patient’s pulmonary needs via a pulmonary assessment test to develop a detailed respiratory therapy plan in consultation with a physician. 


These are some of the most asked questions in respiratory therapy interviews. I hope that they will give you a proper foundation as you prepare for your interview. All the best, and believe in yourself. 

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