Physical Therapist Assistant Interview Questions

The goal for a successful interview for a Physical Therapist Assistant is to demonstrate strong knowledge of physical therapy techniques and procedures, showcase the ability to work well in a team environment, and exhibit excellent communication skills with both patients and healthcare professionals.

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Situational interview questions

  • Imagine you're working with a patient who has been experiencing persistent shoulder pain after a recent surgery. Despite completing all prescribed exercises, their pain has not subsided. What steps would you take to identify the underlying issue and adjust their treatment plan accordingly?
  • You notice that a patient you are working with is struggling to keep up with their rehabilitation exercises, and it is impacting their progress. What strategies would you use to motivate and encourage them to stay committed to their treatment plan?
  • A patient you are seeing reports feeling extreme fatigue and shortness of breath during exercise. As their physical therapist assistant, what steps would you take to assess whether these symptoms are indicative of a larger issue, and adjust their treatment plan accordingly?
  • You are working with a patient who has been experiencing chronic knee pain for years. Despite undergoing traditional therapies such as medication and injections, their pain persists. What innovative and alternative therapies would you suggest to help reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life?
  • Imagine you're working with a patient who has recently experienced a stroke and is experiencing mobility issues on one side of their body. What techniques and exercises would you recommend to restore their strength, balance, and range of motion?

Soft skills interview questions

  • How do you ensure effective communication with patients during treatment sessions?
  • Tell me about a time when you needed to collaborate closely with a colleague to achieve a positive result with a patient.
  • How do you handle difficult or emotional conversations with patients and their families?
  • Describe a situation where you were able to motivate a patient who had lost hope or was feeling discouraged about their progress.
  • How do you prioritize and manage your workload to ensure top-notch patient care while also meeting administrative responsibilities?

Role-specific interview questions

  • Can you explain the difference between active and passive range of motion exercises in physical therapy?
  • What strategies do you use to motivate patients to adhere to their rehabilitation program?
  • How do you evaluate the effectiveness of a patient's physical therapy treatment plan and make necessary adjustments?
  • How do you manage and document patients' progress and treatment plans in electronic health records (EHR) systems?
  • Can you describe a case where you had to work collaboratively with a supervising Physical Therapist to modify a patient's treatment plan based on new information or changes in their condition?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you describe a challenging situation you faced in your career as a Physical Therapist Assistant? What was your task in that situation and what actions did you take to resolve it? Finally, what were the results of those actions?

2. Have you ever dealt with a patient who was not responding well to treatment? Can you walk me through the situation, your specific responsibilities, the actions you took to try to improve the patient's progress, and the results of those actions?

3. Tell me about a time when you had to work with difficult coworkers or colleagues in your workplace as a Physical Therapist Assistant. What was your task or responsibility in that situation? How did you handle the situation and what were the outcomes of your actions?

4. Have you ever had to make a decision on your own without the guidance of your supervisor in your role as a Physical Therapist Assistant? Can you describe the situation, your task or responsibility, the actions you took to resolve the issue, and the positive or negative results of those actions?

5. Can you give me an example of a particularly successful rehabilitation program or treatment plan you developed and implemented as a Physical Therapist Assistant? What was the initial situation and what was your task or responsibility? What actions did you take to create and implement the program, and what were the results of those actions?

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