6 questions to prepare for your PT school interview

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Athletic woman using resistance band and fitness ball while exercising with physical therapist at health club.

It’s exciting when you’re scheduled for an interview with a PT school because it’s one of the first steps in your journey to becoming a physical therapist. But it’s also important that you’re an active participant in the interview process by asking questions, not just answering them.

When you’re preparing for a school interview, you’re probably trying to determine what questions they are most likely to ask so that you can prepare potential answers. There are also questions that you should prepare yourself to ask during a PT school interview. That’s what we’re here to discuss.

We’ll talk about what a PT school interview does and questions that you should prepare to ask as a prospective student.

PT school interview: What’s the goal?

If you’re applying to a PT school, that means that you’re hoping to be accepted into a college or university’s graduate program for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. While you’ve likely already earned a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you may not have been required to complete an interview for previous education milestones. 

The goal of a PT school interview is for your prospective program faculty to learn about who you are as a person, student and future physical therapist. Your answers will help your interviewer, a faculty member or admission representative, determine how well you fit into their program and how they can help you achieve your goals as a physical therapist. 

6 questions you should prepare to ask during your PT school interview

A PT school interview gives you the opportunity to ask questions about a prospective school so that you know what to expect if you’re accepted and how their structure will work with your goals as well as your time restraints, non-school obligations and current skill set.

Here are six questions that you should ask during your PT school interview:

  • “What are the observation hour requirements?”Observation hours are standard for every DPT program, but they can vary from school to school. It’s important that you know their expectations so that you can understand their graduation requirements. Schools can require a range from 25 to 50 hours. Some are OK with all hours being completed in one setting, while others hours require two different settings.
  • “What is the student-to-faculty ratio?” — It’s important that you receive the individual attention and support that you require from the school faculty. If the class size is too big, it’s difficult to develop mentee relationships with those who are teaching you. 
  • “Do you provide academic support?” — It’s no secret that graduate programs can be challenging, and everyone learns differently. If you’re struggling with a particular section or concept, it’s important that you find the additional resources you need to succeed, such as academic support or tutoring through the school.
  • “Do you offer research opportunities through the program?” — Research is an essential component to any health care program. You should be able to dive into the physical therapy concepts that interest you so that you can home in on what you hope to accomplish after you graduate. During your PT school interview, you can ask about research opportunities, such as projects.
  • “How does the school help me transition to my career after graduation?” — You don’t want a PT school that doesn’t provide you with support after you walk at graduation. Be sure to ask about what pre- and post-grad resources they provide to help you get the connections and opportunities you need to succeed in your career.
  • “What do you think a student needs to be successful in your program?” — Self-awareness is essential when you’re continuing education. You should know what strengths you have that will help you succeed, as well as your weaknesses. By asking about what a student needs to do well in the prospective school’s DPT program, you can determine if you have the right skills needed to thrive there, not just survive.

Excel Rehab & Sports can help after your PT school interview

When you ask the right questions at your PT school interview, you’re increasing your chances of getting accepted into the right program for your particular needs and goals. After you’re accepted, we’re here to help you get to the finish line. 

We offer clinical rotation and part-time aide positions at Excel Rehab & Sports to get you the experience and confidence you need to be the best PT you can be.

Call us to learn about our student resources and how we can help you in PT school.