Are you a speech language pathologist seeking new career opportunities? The good news is that there are plenty of them out there (as you can see on our list of available SLP assignments). However, there’s also a lot of competition for these jobs! As always, we’re here to help: Give yourself a better chance of landing your SLP dream job with our guide to common speech pathology interview questions, and how to answer them.
Common Speech Pathology Interview Questions: The Basics
So, what can you expect to be asked at your next speech language pathologist job interview? Every employer has their own priorities, of course, and every facility its own unique needs. The speech pathology interview questions you’re likely to be asked will vary depending on the situation. Even so, there are some common questions that almost always come up.
Making sure you’re ready for these questions, and can answer them with a minimum of hesitation, will be appreciated by your potential employer. Even better, it’ll boost your confidence while making an important first impression. You don’t want to get rattled by an easy but also tricky question like, “What’s your greatest weakness?”
For instance, you’ll almost certainly be asked to describe a situation where you overcame a challenge, and you should be ready with an example. These basic questions may seem easy — it’s easy to rattle off an off-the-cuff answer to queries like, “why do you think this job is right for you?” or “describe your last position.” But instead of just reciting some basic facts, take each question as an opportunity to describe your strengths or range of experience — but do so as briefly as possible.
You should also expect to be describe when you’ve demonstrated a specific skill, or what you’re doing toward professional improvement. If you’re particularly proud of something you’ve accomplished — an internship, or your performance in a particular facility, for instance — work on presenting that info in connection with a general discussion of your strengths or weaknesses.
Having a good answer is important, but you also don’t want to be too rehearsed or seem like you’re reciting a memorized answer. Be ready to talk about your strengths and weaknesses at a basic level without being specifically asked — but be careful not to sound too self-serving, too!
Common Speech Pathology Interview Questions: Advanced Placement
Beyond the basics, you should be ready for more job-specific speech pathology interview questions, too. As Sarah at Speech Is Beautiful puts it in her rundown of SLP interview questions, these are likely to include questions about testing instruments and assessments you’ve used (and which you prefer), your experience with AAC or RTI and your approach to treatment for specific conditions like phonology or language delay.
You’ll also be asked to describe aspects of working with parents or guardians, and any experience or educational credits you have specific to teaching. Be prepared for tough questions about whether you’ve ever missed IEP testing or timelines, and be ready to explain any blemishes on your CV. The better prepared you are to talk about your sources or knowledge of Common Core standards, the better the impression you’ll make.
You might also practice steering more general questions to discussions of your particular strengths and areas of interests specific to speech language pathology. For instance, if you’re particularly interested in supervisory positions, you can take the opportunity to highlight your previous skills in that area as responses to questions like “What made you decide to become an SLP?” and “What are your long-term career goals?”
Common Speech Pathology Interview Questions: Extra Credit
Before the interview closes, you’ll almost definitely be asked to present questions of your own. First and foremost, use this chance to get any info about the job that you don’t already have. Beyond that, though, this is also an opportunity to discuss skills or accomplishments that may not have come up yet, like your record of professional collaboration or ability to cope with multilingual situations. If you’re bilingual, make sure to bring it up before the interview ends, if you haven’t already.
If you’re active in the speech language pathology community and actively pursue professional development opportunities like workshops and seminars, this is also good info to share. It shows a level of dedication that employers love to hear. And don’t miss the chance to respond to “why do you think this job is right for you?” with a great elevator pitch highlighting your skills and experience.
Find Your Next SLP Job With CareerStaff
At CareerStaff, we know how important it is to find opportunities that align with your professional goals and personal preferences. We also know that landing those jobs takes work — and we’re here to help, with a helpful therapy career transition guide and as well as speech language assignments across the U.S. (you can view all of our current opportunities here).
If you’re seeking a new speech therapist career, we’ve got openings across the United States, in settings as varied as schools, rehab centers, SNFs, home health providers and outpatient care facilities. We invite you to browse all available speech language pathology jobs here, or join our roster of healthcare professionals to get insider access to upcoming opportunities.