11 interview questions for a physical therapist

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interview questions for a physical therapist

You’ve landed an interview for what you hope is your dream job as a physical therapist. Now what? No matter where you are in your career, you may find the questions below as a way to be ready for or brush up on your interview questions. Included with the questions are tips for answering them to help you highlight your assets and help you impress your future employer.

  • “Why did you become a physical therapist?” — Employers want to know why you chose physical therapy as your career field. Did you or someone you know have a great experience with treatment and that’s where you drew inspiration? Or do you have a desire to help others feel and move better? Many physical therapists enjoy their job thanks to the changes in pace every day. They also get to move around and be active while helping their patients in their recovery. 
  • “How do you stay on top of the latest technology and treatments?” — Physical therapy is a constantly evolving field as new, evidence-based therapies and treatments become available. Part of your job is to stay up to date to ensure that your patients will have access to the most effective treatments and therapies. Do you belong to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and other professional associations? Do you go to conferences and read the latest research? Share how you stay active and engaged in this ever-changing industry.
  • “Are you interested in specific areas of physical therapy?” — APTA offers 10 physical therapy specialties through its Specialist Certification program. Even if you aren’t certified in a specialty, you may have a passion for working with a certain patient population like athletes, children or seniors. Be honest about your interests and skills.
  • “What’s the best experience you’ve had working with a patient?” — This is your time to shine! Highlight a particularly difficult case to show how you have overcome challenges to reach a great outcome. Use this opportunity to show how you can be determined, compassionate and understanding. Include how it helped you connect with your patient.
  • “How do you create patient treatment plans?” — This is your time to showcase your fundamental experiences and skills you use to help you evaluate your patients and determine the most effective treatment plan. Share how you approach each patient as an individual. Talk about the importance of short-term and achievable goals, how treatment plans should be fluid, and how you react to your patients’ changing needs.
  • “How do you encourage your patients to follow their treatment plans?” — Not every patient is cooperative. Answering this question can help you show employers your interpersonal skills and how you work to motivate and encourage even your most reluctant patients.
  • “How do you assess your patients’ progress? How do you measure success?” — Attention to detail is crucial in physical therapy, especially when tracking a patient’s progress. Share the ways you record patient growth and any programs you may prefer to use. Mention you are open to change if your preferred program isn’t used by your potential employer. 
  • “How do you cope with stress on the job?” — How you manage conflicts on the job can set you apart from other applicants. Share some strategies for how you manage stress at work and in your everyday life. A potential employer will want to know you can handle any kind of stressor you may encounter. 
  • “How do you handle working with a team?” — Teamwork is essential when you are working with patients. Make sure you highlight your ability to communicate with your colleagues and how collaboration can help benefit your patients the most.
  • “What are your long-term career goals in physical therapy?” — It’s important to make it clear what you are looking for in this position. Are you looking for a position to make your career? Is this position a stepping stone? Make sure you clearly communicate the expectations of employment so no one is disappointed down the road.
  • “What makes you a good fit for our team?” — This is the pinnacle of questions when interviewing for a position. After you secure your interview, make sure you take the time to learn about the practice. You applied for this job for a reason; this is your opportunity to share how your training, skills and values line up with the practice’s culture. 


Excel Rehab & Sports is searching for caring, effective and committed team members for our PT partnership. Are you ready to be one of them?

Caring. Effective. Committed. These may not be words that come to mind when you think about physical therapy partnerships, but as a partner of Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, Excel Rehab & Sports is here to change that. 

Our committed team has  worked with Alliance PTP to build a highly effective nationwide partner network. This network includes unique PT practices like ours that are staffed by caring physical therapists who are ready to provide patients with effective, personalized care for their needs. We’re also committed to helping our team members get high-quality mentorship opportunities, improve their skills and create a true work-life balance.

Still not sure if becoming an Excel Rehab & Sports team member is the right move for you? Learn more about the professional development we can offer thanks to our Alliance PTP partnership or take a look at our current career openings.