An occupational therapist exercises with a patient, and older lady, who is learning to walk again, after an injury. They are outside, in a hospital gardenInterviewers try to find out two things while talking to you: First, if you have the theoretical knowledge of occupational therapy. Second, if you have the right attitude to work, and the right personality.

They will choose their questions accordingly, but they will also observe the way you walk, gesticulate, shake hands, and basically conduct yourself in an interview.

Your non-verbal communication is equally (if not more) important as your interview answers. Check our body language article to understand this topic better.


Job, or a mission?

Nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, teacher … these are not merely jobs you can have. They are something more. Anytime you speak about your work, your patients, your daily duties, and things  you try to achieve with your job, speak about them with enthusiasm and love.

Show them that you care, that you do not apply only because you need money to live. Positive attitude and understanding of the meaningful purpose of your job will take you long way in this interview.

Use examples

Job interview for a position of occupational therapist. Two interviewers are talking to a candidate. They look happy with her answersYou will have to answer some behavioral questions in your interview. For example:

Describe a situation when you were under pressure, or behind schedule with your practice. How did you react?

What did you do when a patient was angry, or unhappy about your therapy?

Answer the questions with situations that really happened to you. Show them (on practical examples) that you are aware of everything that can happen in this job, including both good and bad things.


What questions to expect?

  • Why did you choose occupational therapy?
  • What do you think is a main goal of an occupational therapist?
  • Describe an experience with an angry patient.
  • Tell us your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Give an example of a time you had to deal with a confidentiality issue?
  • What do you wish to accomplish in this job?
  • What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job?
  • What is the most challenging thing you’ve ever had to do?
  • If a patient accused you of a bad service, what would you do?
  • Would you mind working overtime?
  • What is your availability?
  • How would describe an ideal colleague?
  • Tell me your most favorite and less favorite therapy.
  • Here is a medical record of a patient. Look at it and suggest how we should proceed with then therapy.
  • Do you have experience with [name of the therapy method]?
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants?


Interview for an occupational therapist job is not extremely difficult. We can call it an average interview, mostly becasue you won’t compete with many other people for the job. Still, you have to demonstrate your readiness for the job, right attitude to work, and your motivation. If you failed to do that, they would not hire you.

Continue your interview preparation with Interview Penguin: