Contract Interview Tips – Non-School Setting – Short Version
You have been offered an interview as a therapist or therapy assistant with one of PediaStaff’s contract clients! — Congratulations!
Although a contract job is not a “commitment for life,” the employer conducting the phone or face to face interview will be looking for a strong indication that you are committed to the position you are being considered for and that you are truly interested in their district. Many interviews for contract jobs are done strictly by telephone, and as such are often perceived by the candidates as less important as an interview that takes place face to face. In fact, the opposite is actually true. A telephone interview may be your only chance to make your best impression. It is much more difficult to get the “real you” across by phone, so you need to make the most of every minute by preparing ahead of time.
The following summary will help you prepare for this interview and improve your chances of landing a great job with one of our clients. A more comprehensive, multi-page version of this summary is available on our website or from your PediaStaff recruiter.
BEFORE SETTING UP ANY INTERVIEWS:
The very first thing you should do before an interview is to make sure your ‘public image’ is professional and appropriate. Ask yourself, “If I was an employer, would I be impressed with this individual?” Items to consider include:
- Make sure that your voice mail message is simple, easy to understand, and identifies you by name.
- Ensure that your Facebook page, Twitter profile, etc. are professional and clean. Review all posts and delete those that “you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.” More and more employers are looking at social media pages to determine whether a potential employee has the personal character they are looking for. Double check your privacy settings to make sure that nothing compromising or embarrassing is visible to the public. Better yet, remove anything that would be embarrassing and/or compromising.
- Your email address should also be professional. An email address that is based primarily on your last name, first name is ideal. Many job search candidates create a separate email address just for their job search. Gmail is free and easy!
- Let common sense prevail. While “fun loving” public images, nicknames and messages are great when you are in school, you can be sure that employers are not looking for that in a candidate.
BEFORE A SPECIFIC INTERVIEW:
Research the employer in advance – Learn specific details about the organization, the department, and specifics about the job.
FOR THE PHONE INTERVIEW:
- Schedule a time where you can give the interviewer your undivided attention;
- Keep the interview “clinical” and focused on the job duties. Other, more general questions can be answered by your recruiter or through your research.
- Don’t talk about money. Again, your PediaStaff recruiter has that information for you.
- Let the interviewer ask his or her questions first to ensure that the interviewer covers all that they want to learn about you. If there is time, feel free to ask job related questions.
FOR FACE TO FACE INTERVIEWS:
- Getting there: Have good directions and allow plenty of time to get there.
- Dress conservatively and make sure hair is tidy. Avoid bright colors and heavy makeup.
- Be exceptionally courteous to everyone you meet, especially administrative assistants.
- Review your accomplishments and skills before the big day. Writing them down can help you remember, as can going over them with a friend.
- Be prepared to answer open ended questions like “Tell me about yourself.” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” (A more detailed list of possible questions is part of the longer interview document available from PediaStaff)
- Batch your questions for the end but definitely have some planned ahead of time. Focus questions on job related issues.
- Avoid questions relating to days off, vacation or schedule until the job is offered.
- End the interview on a positive note. Let the employer know if you are interested. Thank the interviewer for their time and ask when and what the next steps are.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
- Contact your PediaStaff recruiter with an overview of the interview
- Write a follow up/thank you email to anyone you met with during the interview. List three reasons why you are qualified for the position and three reasons that you want the job.
PediaStaff is Hiring!All Jobs
PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.