17 Physiotherapist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a physiotherapist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Physiotherapists are responsible for helping people who have been injured or are suffering from a chronic illness regain movement and function. They do this by designing individualized treatment plans, administering therapies, and educating patients and their families about how to continue their treatment at home.

If you’re looking for a physiotherapist job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of physiotherapist interview questions and answers.

Are you certified or licensed in the state where you’d like to work?

Employers may ask this question to make sure you’re qualified for the job. If they haven’t specified a certification or license, it’s okay to ask them what requirements are necessary. You can also let them know that you’re in the process of getting certified or licensed and will be able to start working once you receive your credentials.

Example: “I am currently certified as a physical therapist assistant in California. I plan on taking my exam for licensure by next year.”

What are some of the most common injuries or conditions that you treat as a physiotherapist?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your experience and knowledge in the field. It also helps them determine if you have any specialized training or expertise that would be beneficial to their facility. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the most common injuries or conditions you treat as well as how you might approach treating them.

Example: “Some of the most common injuries I see are sprains and strains, which often occur when muscles or tendons are overstretched or torn. In my previous role, I worked with patients who had many different types of strains and sprains, including ankle sprains, knee sprains and shoulder sprains. I always start treatment by performing soft tissue mobilization techniques to reduce swelling and pain. Then, I use ice packs and compression wraps to reduce inflammation. Finally, I perform exercises to strengthen the injured area.”

How would you manage a patient who refuses to follow your recommendations?

This question can help interviewers assess your interpersonal skills and ability to manage challenging situations. In your answer, try to show that you are able to remain calm and respectful while still encouraging the patient to follow your recommendations.

Example: “If a patient refuses to follow my recommendations, I would first make sure they understand why we’re making those decisions. If they continue to refuse, I would encourage them to find another physiotherapist who could better meet their needs. However, I would do this in a way that was kind and respectful so as not to offend or upset the patient.”

What is your process for evaluating a new patient?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your assessment process and how you determine the best course of treatment for each patient. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific example from your previous experience so that the interviewer can better understand what you do during an initial evaluation.

Example: “When I meet with new patients, I first want to get a sense of their overall health by asking them questions about any preexisting conditions or injuries they have experienced in the past. From there, I perform a physical examination to assess their range of motion, muscle strength and endurance and other factors that could impact their recovery. Finally, I complete a series of diagnostic tests to ensure that I am not missing anything before recommending a treatment plan.”

Provide an example of a time when you successfully helped a patient regain mobility after a stroke.

This question can help interviewers understand how you apply your skills to benefit patients. Use examples from your experience that highlight your abilities and the results of your work.

Example: “In my last position, I worked with a patient who had experienced a stroke in their left side. The patient was unable to use their right arm or leg, but they were determined to regain mobility as quickly as possible. We started by working on strengthening the patient’s left side, which helped them recover some mobility. After several weeks of therapy, the patient regained full mobility in their right arm and leg.”

If a patient has a broken leg, what types of exercises would you recommend?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the field and how you can help patients recover from injuries. When answering this question, it’s important to be specific about what exercises you would recommend for that particular injury.

Example: “If a patient has a broken leg, I would first assess their range of motion and flexibility. Then, I would create an exercise plan based on those results. For example, if they have good range of motion but poor flexibility, I might focus more on stretching exercises. If they have poor range of motion and flexibility, then I would likely focus more on strengthening exercises.”

What would you do if a patient complained of severe pain after you performed a certain exercise?

This question can help interviewers understand how you respond to challenges and solve problems. Your answer should show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions, learn from mistakes and find solutions.

Example: “If a patient complained of severe pain after I performed an exercise, I would first ask them what they felt during the exercise. Then, I would review my notes on the session to see if there was anything I missed or any errors I made. If it seems like I did everything correctly but the patient still experienced pain, I would try to figure out why this happened. For example, maybe the patient didn’t do the exercises properly or their condition has worsened since our last session.”

How well do you communicate with other healthcare professionals?

Physiotherapists often work with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses. Employers ask this question to make sure you can communicate effectively with these people. In your answer, explain that you are able to speak with all types of people. Explain that you will always be respectful when speaking with others.

Example: “I am very good at communicating with others. I have a friendly personality and I know how to listen to what others are saying. When working with other healthcare professionals, I will always be respectful and polite. I will also try my best to clearly explain the treatment plan I have for each patient.”

Do you have experience working with patients who are non-verbal?

This question can help interviewers understand how you might handle a situation where your patient is unable to communicate their needs. Your answer should show that you have the skills and experience needed to work with patients who are non-verbal, but also those who can speak.

Example: “I’ve worked with several patients who were non-verbal in the past, and I find it helpful to use visual cues or gestures to determine what they need. For example, if a patient points to their knee when asked where it hurts, I know that’s probably where they’re experiencing pain. It’s important to be attentive to these types of cues so that we can provide the best care for our patients.”

When is the best time to perform range of motion exercises?

This question can help interviewers understand your knowledge of the best practices for treating patients. You can answer this question by explaining when you perform range of motion exercises in your own practice and why these are beneficial to patients.

Example: “I recommend performing range of motion exercises at the beginning of a patient’s treatment plan because it helps them get used to moving their joints through different ranges of motion. This is especially important if they have been experiencing pain or stiffness, as performing range of motion exercises can help alleviate some of that discomfort. I also find that performing range of motion exercises early on allows me to see how my patients respond to certain movements and adjust their treatment accordingly.”

We want to improve our patient satisfaction rates. What is one area that you think we could improve?

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to think critically. It also shows that you are willing to be honest with the interviewer about areas of improvement. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention an area where you have seen improvements in other organizations or companies.

Example: “I noticed that many patients were not aware of their treatment plan after leaving our facility. I created a brochure that explains each stage of recovery for common injuries and how long they should expect to wait before seeing results. This has helped increase patient satisfaction rates by 10%.”

Describe your process for managing stress and staying healthy.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personal habits and values. They want to know that you have a healthy lifestyle, which can help you perform well at work. In your answer, share two or three things you do to manage stress and stay physically active.

Example: “I find it important to maintain a balanced life outside of work. I try to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and I make sure to take time for myself during the day. I also practice yoga twice a week with a group of friends. This helps me relax and focus on my breathing. It’s also nice to be able to connect with others while doing something good for my body.”

What makes you stand out from other physiotherapists?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your personality and how you view yourself as a physiotherapist. It’s important to highlight your strengths, but it can also be helpful to mention any unique skills or experiences that make you an excellent candidate for this role.

Example: “I believe my ability to connect with patients on a personal level makes me stand out from other candidates. I always try to get to know each of my patients so I can understand their goals and challenges. This helps me create individualized treatment plans that help them achieve success in their recovery.”

Which rehabilitation techniques do you enjoy working with the most?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your interests and passions. It also helps them understand what you might be most excited to do in their facility. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention two or three techniques that you enjoy working with and why.

Example: “I really enjoy working with patients who have suffered from strokes. I find it so rewarding when I see my patients make progress and regain some of their motor skills. Another thing I love is helping people recover from knee injuries. Knee injuries are common among athletes, but they’re also something many people experience as they age. I like being able to help people get back on their feet again.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of patient education?

Patient education is an important part of the physiotherapy process. The interviewer may ask this question to see how you approach educating patients about their condition and treatment plan. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of patient education in the healing process. You can also use your answer to highlight any specific skills or experiences you have with patient education.

Example: “I think it’s essential for patients to fully understand their diagnosis, treatment plan and goals. I always make sure my patients know what they need to do to get better and when they can expect results. I find that if a patient understands their condition and knows what to expect during treatment, they are more likely to follow through with their care plan.”

How often should patients perform stretching exercises?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of proper stretching techniques. It also helps them understand how you might instruct patients on performing exercises at home. In your answer, try to highlight your ability to provide clear instructions and ensure that patients are able to perform stretches correctly.

Example: “I recommend that my patients stretch for five minutes every day. I usually have them write down a schedule in their planner so they remember when to do each stretch. Stretching is an important part of recovery because it increases blood flow to the muscles and improves flexibility. If patients don’t stretch regularly, they may not see as much improvement.”

There is a new treatment for spinal injuries that has a high success rate. Would you recommend it to your patients?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your critical thinking skills and how you apply them in your work. Your answer should show that you can make decisions based on evidence, rather than personal preference or opinion.

Example: “I would recommend this treatment only if it was supported by scientific research. I would first look at the study’s methodology and whether it was conducted ethically. If the study had good results, I would then consider my patient’s individual case and discuss with them whether they were willing to try the new treatment.”


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