Occupational Therapy Interview Questions And Tips

Hey guys!
Today I want to talk to you about the occupational therapy admissions interview. So I’m mostly going to cover, um,
what are some common occupational therapy questions that you might be
asked during an interview what are some potential question that
you can ask the school that you’re interviewing at and then just a trick that really
helped me during the admissions process. Alright, so first I’m gonna start off with
some common occupational therapy admission interview questions. Now, I
personally interviewed at three different schools, so the question that
I’m giving you are questions that either I heard at
all the schools or at least two of the schools or they even if I didn’t hear them in my
personal interviews, I know from reading other people’s interview
experiences that these are common occupational therapy interview questions
that I am going to be giving you. So, um, the first one that is definitely
a question that you’re going to most likely get, it’s probably at almost
every single interview is, um, “How do you define occupational
therapy to a friend?” because most programs wanna make sure that
you know what occupational therapy actually is and that you’re getting into
something that you have a clear understanding about, so
that they don’t waste their time on you. That sounds really harsh, but I think, you know, they don’t wanna admit someone
who doesn’t actually understand what they’re getting into so that’s really an important question. This
question it so easy because if you know that you want the
occupational therapy, you have had to do your hours of observation, then your prerequisites, that sort of thing. You
probably really understand what occupational therapy is, but at the same time it’s
such a hard question to state in a concise statement,
so I would definitely practice this one, because it’s one of
those things where you’re like, “oh yeah I know what occupational therapy is, I could tell it to you” and then you go to actually explain it and
you realize just how complex the answer is and how difficult
it can be to, um, really just described to someone in
simple terms in a short statement what occupational therapy is. So, go ahead and definitely, um,
practice that question. Another question that’s very common is, “Specifically why
would you like to attend this program?” So, I would make sure because I know when I
went into my interview I had selected my schools probably six to eight months before, so I
really before the interview needed to brush up on why did I actually, you know, decide that I wanted to apply to
this school. So, I would recommend, even if you definitely knew that you had a
reason to go to this school and to interview at
this school, just go ahead and kinda brush up go, go back to the schools website and see specifically what drew you to this
program in the first place, because you don’t want to get there and be like, “Man, I knew there are things that I really like about this
program but I don’t remember what they are.” So, go ahead definitely kinda
re-research, re-remember, kind of what you liked
about the program. Other questions that I was asked at most
schools or that I know are common questions are things like “How will you handle the difficult workload?”
So, graduate program are more complicated than undergrad, or they’re supposed to be, I mean,
I haven’t been in one, but that’s what you hear, you know. So they want to make sure that you’re going
to make it through the program and that you’re not just going to drop out, because if
you’re going to drop then they’d rather give that space to someone else. So they really want to know how are you going to
handle the workload. Another question that I know that I got, was, um, “How do you work in a group? And, “What are some conflict you might have had in a group
and how did you resolve those conflicts?” That sort of thing, because there is a lot of collaboration within occupational therapy programs and they want to make sure that you’re gonna be able
to work through that and they’re not going to have a lot of drama. I think that’s why the question’s there
least. And then another question is, “What are your strengths and
weaknesses?” I think that I only had this at one interview, but it’s still an important one
to prepare for. Um, I think I’ve heard of other people that have had
that question, so I would, you know make sure that you have at least one or two, um, strengths and one or two
weaknesses that you can share and then another one is diversity. “How do
you handle diversity? What are your experiences with diversity? What does diversity mean to you?”
That sort of question. I don’t remember exactly how that was worded, but I do know that I got asked that question
at two of my different interviews, just kind of how I handled diversity and what are my
experiences with diversity. So those are the questions I came across that were pretty common for me or that I have seen that other people have had and i’ve seen
the question come up a lot from other people’s experiences. So, I
would definitely recommend preparing for those questions specifically.
Now there are other questions that definitely might come up to your school, so I would suggest um, googling maybe your school name and
admissions questions, because you never know, somebody might have posted previous year’s admissions questions. I’ve
definitely seen that before. So, if you wanna, kind of get more inside tips on
what your school might specifically ask, I would definitely inte– or I would definitely recommend
kind of googleing the school name and you might be able to find some more
specific questions for your school. Alright, so the next thing I want to talk
about are some potential questions that you can ask the school that you’re interviewing
at. Now these are very generic questions. I didn’t do any school specific questions, because, of course, I don’t know what schools you’re interested. So, that would be kind of silly for me to do. But, um, these are just generic questions, I
would recommend also having some school specific questions, but in case you can’t think of
any questions or in case you get in a situation where you go into the
interview and they answer all your school specific questions before you get to the part
where they ask you if you have any questions, these are ones that you can pull out of your back pocket and that should work for every school. So,
the first question that I have is, “How does a program make up
for any weaknesses that it might have?” So even the best programs are going to have
areas that they’re just not a strong in and I think, one, this question is great
because it kind of, tells you what–what those weaknesses are and then it also gives you information on
how does a school make up for that. So you kind of have an idea. If the school
doesn’t make up for any of it’s weaknesses, I think that says
something about program. So that’s a great question just for you to have that
knowledge, um, and I think it’s also a genetic question
that shows that you’re interested. Another question that I have is, “How involved are the Alumni?” and that,
I think really speaks to a program and the quality of the program. Because if you
have a lot of Alumni that are setting up fieldworks and are really trying to help the next group of occupational therapy students at that school, I think it just shows that they really enjoyed their experience, they really, um, felt like they had a great experience
and, therefore, they want to contribute to that school and they want to help other students have the same experience they had. Um, so, I think that that’s just a great question that really speaks to the
quality of the program. Another question if you’re interested in the AOTA national
conference is “If the school helps students go, if
there’s a way for students to get time off or to get financial help with attending the
conference.” Um, that’s just if you’re interested in that knowledge that’s a
great question. And then, um, what’s my last question? My
last question, yeah, my last question is, um, and this is really my
favorite question. I love asking this question, because so many programs really don’t have a
great answer for this and this is something that i think is so
important to know as a student going into the program is, especially if you if you’re planning on
working in certain areas is, “How does the program prepare you in case
you’re going to work with clients that have a low budget and really don’t have, um, the means to
buy fancy equipment. How does the school prepare you?” Is it just that they gonna tell you, “Oh, write grants to do this or are they really going to teach you various
techniques that are gonna save you and your client money, different
materials you can use and how you can, kinda, work work around budget constraints so– That question I love asking, It’s just, it’s interesting to see, um, how the
schools respond. And a lot of schools really don’t have a great answer,
at least in my experience. But I think that’s good to know, because
if you really want to work in that low budget area or an area that is impoverished, it is important to know,
are you going to keep be prepared for that situation
post-graduation? And also, just even if you aren’t planning
on going into, you know, an area that is gonna be
a low-income area, I think it’s important to know, um, what are some low budget techniques anyways so that you aren’t– you’re– it’s just saving you and
your client money and that’s always a great thing. Lastly, I just wanted to share with you a
trick that I used when I went through the interview process that personally help
me be, um, a little bit more confident
when I went into the actual interview. So, for me, I was already planning on
bringing in some sort of writing utensil and paper because I just
wanted to be able to jot down notes in case they said something that I wanted to research later and really honestly because I had
multiple interviews, to just kind of remind myself what I liked about, kind of how
they responded um, so that afterwards I could refer back to
that. So, I already was planning on bring in– in a notebook type thing, so, um, what I did was I kind of, I had a pad of paper similar to this so I had this sort of paper and I put
it in a nicer folder, it’s not like I just walked in,
but I had this type of paper and I put in a folder and I what I decided to do for me what I really actually would
recommend that you do, if you’re interested in it, if this is something that
help you, is, on either, you can do it on like the
second or third page or you can do it at the end, and the reason
I’m saying not to do at the very beginning is because you don’t really wanna walk in with paper that has a bunch of your writing on it. But what I did is I went to the last page and this is just an example
one, this isn’t the exact one that I brought in but I just kind of made it up real quickly to show you what I did. On the back of it I wrote down, so
here’s my, kind of, my notebook paper and I wrote down here, if you look,
I wrote “potential interview questions.” So I just wrote out for me, I
literally wrote down the questions I wanted to ask the
school and the reason that I think it’s nice to do this is because if you get– get in there and you’re at the interview
and you’re like really just understand what they’re saying everything you get
to the end and you’re like, “Shoot, what was I gonna ask them?” You can always, you know, just
flip back to the end. And if it’s at the end, it’s a really easy place. You know where it is, or two pages in, that’s also easy. You know where to find it. You don’t want it to be somewhere stuck in the middle. Yet it still gives you that clean
appearance from the front like you don’t have it written there. Um, this way you can just flip
back and be like, “Oh just one second, I had a couple
questions!” Just flip it open and be like, “Oh, I want to know…” and whatever you wrote down. The other thing that I have, that if you look a little bit further down here, is I wrote down some, um, I actually wrote
out interview questions and I wrote out what my response was. So, this kinda felt silly when I was
doing it. But, I wrote down, for example, um, for example this one right here is, “How will I handle the workload?” and I just wrote down what my answer
would be in the most eloquent way that I could think of.
Because, honestly you might go in there, even if you prepared, if you’re extremely nervous, or who knows what, you might get in there and you might just
totally blank on what you were gonna answer and, as embarrassing as it might be to have
to flip back and be like you know, “I’m not 100 percent sure– let me–
I know that I– Can I just have a second to think about
it–” and then to just look back, you know, um, That’s definitely embarrassing, but it’s better than honestly going in there and having no clue and no idea
what you should do. So, this is something that I did that I
would totally recommend to somebody. And honestly, I didn’t even have to
use it, because I think just going through the process writing
out and having to brainstorm and really like um, consolidate and condense what I was
gonna say and put it in the best words, just having to go through that process, I think
really helped me prepare for the interview. So, I
never even had to look, but I also about just so confident going
into the interview knowing they were going to stump me because I had
the answer written down. So, even if I couldn’t remember and I
blanked, I could always the reference it. S,o that’s just something I think is
super helpful, um, I would totally recommend it. I just think that
it makes you feel more confident, makes you feel more comfortable, and honestly what harm does it do it? It takes a few
minutes for you to jot it down and they’re never gonna know if you don’t
reference it. They can’t see it. So, I just think it’s a great way to
just feel a little bit more confident and a little bit more prepared.

17 comments

  1. Thanks so much for posting these tips! I'm in the application process right now and just heard back about an interview from my first school! Do you have any suggestions on particular sites for further interview questions that you found useful?

  2. Hey, just want to say thanks. This video helped me during the interview process and since I got into the program of my choice, gotta come back on here to show gratitude. I'm starting OT school in a few months and your videos are very helpful for preparation! Hope you don't stop making vids.

    Best,

  3. This video is great thanks. Im in high school and wondering what courses I should be taking. Basically I'm told chemistry biology math and English. Pls help

  4. When defining occupational therapy, is it better to state what all of it is in one sentence or to elaborate on it a bit? I have my interview this coming up Friday and I'm trying to prep as much as I can!

  5. Not every applicant is guaranteed to be accepted into the master program ,so what would be the best contingency or backup plans in case you don't get enrolled into the program especially with an undergraduate degree(psychology,kinesiology,biology etc)that most likely won't help you land a job?

  6. thank you so much for this video…I got into my program and this was very helpful and prepared me for my interview

  7. Hi! Did you send any thank you notes after your interviews? I’ve been advised to do that, but I’m so afraid I’ll forget my interviewers names. I could bring the notebook and write them down. And if I do that, do you think thank you emails would suffice?

  8. Can I just say thank you for those example questions to ask to my interviewers? I watched this video a few times, and those questions stuck in my head, those who interviewed me were well impressed with the questions. So thank you!

  9. I listened to this video 3 years ago. This video was on point. I dominated my interview. Muchicimas gracias!

  10. 2 &1/2 years today, I'm graduating from MS in OT at University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago. 🤸😃🙌

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