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Physical Therapist interview questions and answers

This Physical Therapist interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

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Physical Therapist Interview Questions

Once you’ve vetted your candidates for accredited PT certification, proof that they’ve passed their National Physical Therapy Examination, and a license for the state where they intend to practice, you’re ready to start interviews with your candidates.

Most of the following interview questions are open-ended and situational, written to help you understand how experienced your candidates are, and how they navigate stressful and unpredictable environments. Your candidates’ responses will tell you a lot about how they interact with patients, patients’ families and members of their patients’ health care team. You’re looking for someone even-keeled, highly observant and empathetic with unshakable ethics and good situational judgement.

Finally, consider these interview questions a starting point, not a script. If your physical therapists are serving a particular population (seniors, for instance) or working in a particular environment (such as patients’ homes) be sure to address this in the interview. To make the right hire for your team, be as descriptive as you can about the actual working conditions.

Operational and Situational questions


  • What led you to pursue physical therapy as a career?
  • What are your special interests in physical therapy, if any?
  • Describe a typical day at your current/previous job.
  • Talk about your experience with long-term care.
  • What are some of the challenges of working with geriatric patients?
  • How do you handle movement disorders?
  • What would you do if one of your patients suddenly became agitated and aggressive?
  • What would you do if one of your patients started refusing to work with you?
  • How would you handle a patient with (specific post-surgical status)?
  • How would you handle a patient with a diagnosis that was unfamiliar to you?
  • Describe a situation where you felt you delivered excellent patient care.
  • In what ways have you shown sensitivity to potential cultural differences?
  • What would you do if a colleague lied about treating a patient?
  • What would you consider an inappropriate interaction with a patient?
  • Recall a time you worked with a difficult coworker. How would you handle it?
  • What’s stressful about being a physical therapist? How do you cope?

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