It’s that time of year when school-based SLPs are on the hunt for the perfect job. After you apply, waiting for that call or email requesting an interview can be nerve-wracking, but I think prepping for that big interview can be even more stressful. It’s hard to know what kind of questions to expect. You also need to have some questions ready to ask them, too. I’ve compiled a list of interview questions to help you be confident and prepared for your interview!
Level One: 10 Basic Interview Questions
- What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell us a little about your experience. What do you see as your clinical strengths/weaknesses?
- Give an example of how you handled one of your most challenging professional experiences.
- What testing instruments and assessments have you used in the past? Which ones are your favorites?
- What has been your experience with RTI?
- How do you approach treatment for articulation/phonology/language delay/disorder?
- How would you accommodate/address different kinds of goals within one group?
- How do you communicate with parents about students’ goals and progress?
- Tell us about a time you collaborated with other professionals in the school.
- Tell us about your student teaching experience and any relevant coursework you took in grad school.
Level Two — 20 More Advanced Interview Questions
- How do you remain current in the field (workshops/trainings/articles/professional development)?
- What do you do when you have a bilingual student come up for evaluation?
- What are your sources for choosing specific vocabulary to work on?
- Tell us about one of your most challenging cases and how you handled it.
- What do you think is the most important thing an SLP does at school?
- How would you describe your organizational skills?
- What qualities do you like in a supervisor?
- How would you handle it if a parent challenges you at an IEP meeting or requests more minutes?
- Have you ever been out of compliance (missed testing or IEP timelines)?
- Why is this job right for you? Why did you leave your previous job?
- How important is knowing the school curriculum to a speech pathologist?
- How comfortable are you providing therapy inside the classroom?
- What has been your experience with AAC?
- If you have a problem at work, will you look for help to fix it?
- What do you do when you have a tough student that is not making progress?
- How do you build rapport with students?
- Have you incorporated Common Core standards in your IEPs?
- How do you qualify/make a student eligible for speech therapy?
- Tell us about your favorite student during your years as an SLP.
- What do you like the most about school-age kids?
Additionally, expect the interviewers to share case studies with you, either verbally or written, about students with specific communication disorders and what you would do with them. Also, you might be videotaped! I was videotaped during an interview so that it could be shown to multiple principals. That wasn’t stressful at all! (I’m being facetious — it was terrible)
If you are bilingual, your language speaking skills will be assessed orally and/or on a writing test. I was always ready to speak in Spanish during any interview I participated in.
10 Questions for You to Ask Potential Employers:
- How many students are on the typical caseload?
- Will I be case managing my speech-only students (sending out meeting notices and finalizing paperwork)?
- Which computer program for IEPs does the district use?
- Do you anticipate splitting me between more than one building?
- Will I have a private office or room for therapy supplies and assessment materials?
- Is there a mentoring program for first and second year personnel in the district?
- Is there a materials budget?
- How many SLPs are in the district?
- I prefer this type of student/population — is an opening available working with them?
- When will I hear about a second interview or when you have made your decision?
Take the opportunity when you are asking questions to share anything that you didn’t say about your work experience that wasn’t touched on during their questioning. For example, if you had an awesome example about a previous client, you can share it with your interviewers.
Phew! Now you can go into that interview feeling great. Don’t forget to smile and be yourself. I believe in you! Good luck!