The waiting is over and now you are ready to be interviewed for your traveling physical therapy job. Right away you will realize that the biggest difference in this interview versus others you have done in the past is that this one will be over the phone. Initially this may seem like a relief and you may be thinking how you can just stay in your pajamas and slippers and relax, but a phone interview presents its own kind of challenges and requires just as much planning as a traditional in-person interview.
Challenges of phone interviews for Travel PTs
- Much of communication is done through body language, which is obviously something missing from a phone interview. This means your message needs to be very clear and remember, sarcasm doesn’t come across on the phone very well, especially with someone you don’t know
- Without facial expressions being visible, the tone and enthusiasm of your voice will be extra important.
- Remember to smile when you talk, it can make a difference in how the interviewer hears you.
- If you have an accent it may be difficult for an interviewer to understand you over the phone, so be sure to speak slower and enunciate
- Because they can’t see you, your personality may not be as easily conveyed to an interviewer
- You have the same disadvantages of not seeing the interviewer and their body language and non-verbal cues so listen closely and make sure you fully understand all the interview questions
- You may be distracted by what is going on around you, but this can be avoided by blocking out your schedule so that you are able to do the interview in privacy with no one else around
- You have less time to make a good impression, so you will need to make sure to take advantage of every opportunity you have
Phone interview tips for Travel PTs
Before the interview
- Create your Physical Therapist sales pitch – a 60 second version and a longer 5 point version of why you would be great for the job
- Make sure to schedule the interview for a time when you are able to talk and make sure you are in a quiet place with no distractions when you take the call
- If for someone reason you have to miss the call, make sure that your voicemail sounds professional, if you love your clever one with the theme song from Full House you can always change it back later
- Have a copy of your resume close by to help you talk about your experience, just make it sure it is easy to scan so you don’t get lost in it
- Dress up for the interview even though you are on the phone, it will make you feel more prepared and confident
- Practice ahead of time by recording yourself answering typical interview questions
- Have researched the position beforehand so you can easily explain how your skills match the job
- Prepare a few questions that you can ask about the position ahead of time. Asking questions shows you are truly interested in the position.
- Have examples of: times you succeeded at work, times you faced challenges and overcame them and examples of times when communication and teamwork helped you in your work
- Have a brief introduction about yourself and your experience memorized
During the interview
- Remember that your tone is one of the main things the interviewer is going to have to go on, so it is equally as important as what you actually say
- Speak with enthusiasm and confidence to keep the interviewer interested in you
- Stand up during the interview it will help you project your voice and it also helps with your confidence
- Be sure to listen closely so you fully understand each question – if you have to, ask them to repeat it
- Make certain that you actually fully answer each question
- Stay away from yes/no answers since they can be conversation flow stoppers. Always try to have a reason and/or examples to expand on your answers
- Don’t forget to mention that you are interested in the position and ask for the job
- Thank them for the chance to interview
After the interview
- Let your recruiter know that you just interviewed so they can follow-up on your behalf
- Write down any questions you forgot to ask so your recruiter can follow up for you
- Ask your recruiter for any feedback from the interviewer that could help you in future interviews
Phone interviews can make some people nervous, but they are nothing to be afraid of. Just make sure to take them seriously and prepare yourself and you should have no trouble getting a traveling PT job and moving onto step 18 of the Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide, which is “Accepting the Travel PT Job”.