When you apply to a physical therapy (PT) graduate program, you can assume the application process includes an interview stage. In the interview, you’ll share your knowledge and skills and ask questions about the program.
Running through practice questions and answers can help prepare you to answer questions confidently and improve your chances of successful admission into a PT graduate program.
Although this isn’t a complete list of the questions you may encounter in your interview, you’ll likely have similar questions asked. Refer to these interview tips and the PT interview questions below to prepare for your big day.
Table of Contents
- General Questions
- Experience and Knowledge Questions
- Personality Questions
- Ethical and Current Issues Questions
- PT Program-Specific Questions
- Practice Questions and Answers
The following sample questions help interviewers get to know you and your background so they can better understand your passions and why you are interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy.
1. Tell us about yourself.
2. Why are you interested in physical therapy versus other health-related fields?
3. Which patient population would you want to work with?
4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
5. What are your main motivations for pursuing a PT degree?
6. How do you define success in your life?
7. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Experience and Knowledge Questions
You’ll have the opportunity to speak about past experiences and familiarity with physical therapy. Your answers help interviewers evaluate your qualifications and determine if you have the work ethic to handle the program’s demands.
8. Have you taken any physical therapy-related courses?
9. Of those courses, which one was your favorite and why?
10. How did your undergraduate degree prepare you for an advanced PT education?
11. What kind of clinical experience do you have?
12. Tell me about your shadowing or volunteer experiences.
13. What did you learn from your clinical or shadowing experiences?
14. Describe an experience working with a diverse group of people.
15. What do you do when you don’t understand a concept in a class?
16. How familiar are you with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and how do you feel about its mission statement?
17. Have you observed or worked for a physical therapist?
Personality questions allow interviewers to get to know you and your character. These are mostly experience-based questions that ask for real-life examples.
18. What do you believe will be your biggest challenges in graduate school?
19. How do you handle stress?
20. How would you describe your work ethic?
21. Can you provide an example of a time you needed to resolve a conflict?
22. Can you tell us about a big goal that you accomplished?
23. How do you collaborate with others?
24. Can you describe a time when you had to think outside the box?
25. What would make you a great physical therapist?
26. Where do you see yourself in five years?
These questions help interviewers understand your perspective on current ethical issues and conversations in the healthcare field. These are primarily opinion-based, so your answers should reflect your honest beliefs.
27. What would you do if you saw one of your classmates cheating on an exam?
28. If you could improve one thing about the healthcare system, what would it be and why?
29. How do you expect physical therapy to change over the next decade?
30. What path would you pursue if not accepted into a PT graduate program?
31. In your opinion, what is the most critical quality of a physical therapist?
32. How would you handle a situation where your patient isn’t improving?
33. How do you approach delivering challenging or bad news?
PT Program-Specific Questions
These questions will be unique to the PT program you are interviewing for. Conduct research beforehand so you have a good understanding of program offerings.
34. What made you decide to apply to [School]’s physical therapy program?
35. What can you offer to our graduate program and the physical therapy profession?
36. What do you expect to learn while in the program?
Ask Your Questions at the End of the Interview
At the end of the interview, your interviewer will likely encourage you to ask any questions you may have about the program. Have at least two or three questions ready to ask. Here are some example questions to ask PT schools:
1. Are there any extracurricular activities available for students to participate in?
2. Does your program provide academic support services?
3. What do the research opportunities look like within your program?
4. How involved are [School]’s PT alumni?
5. How does the program support students in creating professional connections?
6. How would the program help me transition into my career post-grad?
Practice Questions and Answers
The best way to prepare for your interview is by participating in mock interviews with your friends, family members or coworkers. Here are some interview questions with example answers to give you an idea of what to expect.
1. What Made You Decide To Apply to USAHS’ Physical Therapy Program?
This question will allow you to explain why you’re interested in the program. Highlight specific program offerings that stand out to you.
Answer: When I first learned about USAHS’ DPT program, I was impressed by its exceptional reputation and student outcomes. The hands-on clinical experience opportunities stood out to me, as I believe that real-life application is a part of becoming a successful physical therapist.
What also stood out to me was the class sizes and the individualized opportunities students have to work with faculty. I’d love to be part of a program with a close-knit community where I can make connections that’ll last throughout my professional career.
2. What Kind of Clinical Experience Do You Have?
This question is your opportunity to highlight past clinical experiences and how they shaped your knowledge and skills.
Answer: During my undergraduate program, I had the opportunity to shadow and volunteer at several clinical facilities, including a private practice and rehabilitation center. I observed physical therapists in their roles, engaged with patients and provided assistance during appointments.
3. Why Are You Interested in the Field of Physical Therapy?
Explain why you’re interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy.
Answer: I have been interested in a career that would allow me to work with others and positively impact their lives. I played sports throughout my childhood, which came with some injuries and gave me insight into how PT helps athletes recover from serious injuries.
During undergrad, I became fascinated with the human body, specifically body movement, and the body’s incredible ability to heal itself with the help of physical therapy exercises and practices. The field is evolving, so there’s always something new to learn.
Launch Your PT Career at USAHS
If you’re searching for physical therapy graduate programs, we suggest looking at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS).
USAHS has a renowned Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that prepares students for clinical practice and advanced roles in research and leadership.
For more information on the DPT enrollment process, contact an enrollment advisor.