In speech-language pathology, you can expect many interview questions from hiring managers and potential employers. From general questions about your educational background to behavioral questions that focus on how you’ve handled specific situations, it’s essential to understand what questions you’re likely to encounter and how you can best answer them. This list of common speech-language pathologist interview questions includes the most frequently asked questions and offers tips on responding engagingly and professionally.
1. Why Are You Applying For This Position?
I am passionate about working with children who have had long-term exposure to abuse and neglect. Children are in so much pain and need someone to show them they matter. I want to be that person for those kids. It’s not enough for me to work with them; I want them to know their importance.
I’m applying for this position because I am excited about the opportunity for personal and professional growth. I am looking for a rewarding career where I can help make a difference in the lives of others. I want to use my skills, knowledge, and expertise in communication disorders to provide compassionate care tailored to each patient’s needs. My research has shown me that many opportunities are available within Speech-Language Pathology. I believe this is the right time to enter this growing profession.
2. What Is Your Biggest Accomplishment As a Speech-Language Pathologist?
I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist for ten years. I have worked in public schools, rehabilitation facilities, and private practice. My job is rewarding because I can work with children who are either struggling with communication or who have special needs. My biggest accomplishment as a Speech-Language Pathologist has been working with preschoolers on their language skills to be successful when they enter school.
3. How Would You Describe Yourself In Three Words?
I am passionate, hardworking, and outgoing. I have always been passionate about helping others and finding ways to bring them joy. I am very detail-oriented and work hard until the job is done. I enjoy helping people in any way I can, whether it’s making someone feel better, giving them hope, or simply listening. I am usually a go-getter and try to be prepared for anything that might arise while working with my clients.
4. Describe Your Communication Style.
I prefer a direct communication style, but I also value the balance of being thoughtful and understanding when necessary. I will not always be the one in charge or leading the conversation, but I will always be mindful of how I can best support the flow of discussion with my peers.
5. Tell Me About A Time When You Had A Conflict With A Co-Worker Or Supervisor.
I had a conflict with my supervisor while working at the hospital. We disagreed on handling some of the patients, and I felt he was not considering their or their family’s needs. We disagreed about who should make decisions for these patients, and it got heated sometimes. We both tried to work towards resolving the issue, but we just couldn’t come up with any solutions that made sense for everyone involved. I know he didn’t want me from his team, but I felt my best option was to move on because I wasn’t happy there.
6. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself, What Would It Be?
If I could change one thing about myself, I would want to be more confident. I am not the most outgoing person in the world, which bothers me. It affects my life in ways that make me feel like I am being held back from my full potential. However, I have also learned that this is something that will take time and effort on my part. The best way to grow is to put me out there and push through until it becomes more manageable or tolerable.
7. Have You Ever Dealt With Demanding Clients, Patients, Or Students? If So, How Did You Handle It?
Every SLP will inevitably have to deal with challenging patients or clients at some point in their career. You should always be prepared for the worst, whether they are disruptive, disrespectful, or just plain challenging to communicate with. The best way to handle these types of people is by remaining calm and not making sudden movements. You should also try your best not to make personal judgments about their behavior because it may not be for any reason other than their personality type. I have had experience with complex patients, but my first instinct was always to find a way around them instead of confronting them head-on.
8. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?
I see myself working as a full-time Speech Language Pathologist in five years. I hope that the opportunity presents itself for me to work with children who are on the autism spectrum. If not, I would be content in any setting where I could utilize my skills and expertise to meet the needs of individuals with disorders within my scope of practice. My ultimate goal is to help people live as independently as possible, with the least difficulty or frustration.
9. Do You Have Any Personal Traits That Help Set You Apart From Other Speech-Language Pathologists?
I am not just a Speech Language Pathologist. I’m also a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which means I have experience working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and those with other disabilities. My experiences help me understand different needs and how to integrate various services for the best outcomes.
I have been in the field for over eight years. I’m patient and understanding, which is excellent when working with children at different developmental levels. My focus on the individual and their family, rather than just treating the disorder, sets me apart from other Speech-Language Pathologists.
10. What Qualities Make Someone Successful In This Field?
To be successful in the field of speech-language pathology, you must be compassionate and attentive. You also need to have strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of the English language. In addition, you should like solving puzzles and enjoy problem-solving. Speech-language pathologists are often called upon in times of stress and adversity, so you must have patience with others and yourself.
11. Do You Use Any Technology Tools For Your Work? If So, What Are They?
I use technology tools for my work. I would say that I would be at a loss without them. Technology is used differently for this profession, but it is especially important when working with children and adults with hearing impairments. One tool that has helped me tremendously over the years is the iPhone app called Proloquo2Go. This app allows individuals with limited verbal skills to communicate their thoughts through pictures and symbols on their electronic devices. It can also help people read text aloud using their voice, which can be helpful if they cannot see what they are reading.
I also use other applications such as Dragon Dictation or VoiceType (both by Nuance), which allow someone who cannot type or write well to speak what they want to say into the application. It will then convert your words into text on your computer screen.
12. How Well Do You Deal With Stress?
I’m most productive when I can stay organized and keep a routine. This helps me keep things in perspective and manage my time wisely. When I have a lot of work, I break it up into manageable chunks, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. As long as I set aside a set amount of time for stress relief every day, whether taking a short walk or reading a book, I don’t feel the pressure of work builds up on me.
13. How Would You Describe Your Philosophy On Language Therapy?
As a speech-language pathologist, I believe that the best outcomes are achieved when the client is active and engaged in the therapy process. My philosophy emphasizes the need for an integrative approach to treatment that views language disorders from both a developmental and a psycholinguistic perspective. I feel it is essential for my clients to understand why they have problems with language, how those problems might affect their daily life, and how they can work on their development.
My goal is to help clients improve their language skills and provide them with tools to continue improving themselves. I am committed to providing excellent service while maintaining an environment of respect, honesty, and mutual collaboration with my clients.
14. Tell Me About Your Experience With Bilingualism?
I have experience in bilingualism. I am fluent in English and Spanish, but I can also speak a little bit of French. From my experience with bilingualism, the two languages are different. They are not the same, but they are similar in some ways. One of my biggest challenges was learning vocabulary from one language to another. For example, when you learn a word in English, you know what it means because you grew up speaking English and learned about it at school or on TV. But when I learned a word in Spanish that meant something different than the exact word in English, it was sometimes confusing and difficult to figure out if that was what they meant.
15. Do You Work With Adults As Well? If So, How Often?
Yes, I work with adults on a regular basis. I am required to treat children under the age of 21 for free because my home state’s Medicaid program covers them. Adults over 21 must pay out of pocket or find private insurance coverage.
I typically see adults two times a month for an hour each visit. They may not need to come as often, but there is always the chance that something will happen, and they will need in-between help visits. What I love most about working with adults is that their treatment needs can be unique. They might come in and tell me that their spouse lost his/her job, and now they’re having trouble speaking in public or working at their desk job due to increased anxiety levels from being unemployed. Or it might be more complex, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can be very challenging but rewarding when you can help someone get their life back on track again.
16. How Do You Determine The Type Of Assessment Needed For A Child?
The type of assessment needed for a child will depend on the child’s age and abilities, as well as any difficulties they may be experiencing. The speech-language pathologist will want to know the following to determine what an appropriate assessment would entail:
- What are their language skills?
- Do they have difficulty understanding or being understood?
- Are they having difficulty with expressive language (speaking)?
- Are they having difficulty with receptive language (understanding)?
- Is their speech intelligible and/or without articulation problems?
- What are their nonverbal skills like?
- Did they have any developmental delays in this area?
- Does their family history include hearing loss, stroke, head injury, or genetic syndromes?
- Does the child exhibit behaviors that might indicate apraxia or autism spectrum disorder?
When asking these questions, it’s important to note whether these difficulties are always present, sometimes, or never at all.
17. Are There Any Services Or Techniques That We Haven’t Discussed In Which You Specialize?
- I specialize in the treatment of dysphagia and other neurological disorders.
- I also provide services for adults who have had strokes, brain injuries, or other neurological conditions that affect their speech and language abilities.
- I offer a free introductory phone consultation.
- I am also skilled in working with children as young as 3 and adults who may have had a stroke or suffer from Parkinson’s.
- I have experience in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques, such as PECS, RPMs, and LAMP systems.
- My goal is to help you understand your condition better and develop strategies to improve the quality of your life.
18. Can You Tell Us More About Your Certification/Degrees/Where They Were Obtained?
I obtained a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Minnesota in 1981. I have a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders with an emphasis on voice and language disorders from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am certified as a speech pathologist by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed by Minnesota. I have experience working with children, adults, and seniors in various settings, including private practice.
I also have experience as an educator, having taught undergraduate classes at Iowa State University and graduate-level courses at Wayne State College.
19. How Do You Feel About Team Collaboration Among Slps?
Team collaboration is a must for SLPs. For one, we often work with other healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, and physical therapists to provide the best care for our patients. We also work closely with each other because there are so many different specialties within speech-language pathology.
For example, I might see someone scheduled for an MRI and talk to my colleague specializing in pediatric neurology to ensure they have everything they need before their appointment.
Because of this, we need team collaboration to work more efficiently and because it’s suitable for the patient.
20. Why Should We Hire You Instead Of Someone Else?
I am a recent graduate with a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology with clinical and teaching experience. I enjoy working with children and have a passion for patient advocacy. My goal is to help those who need my services by providing them with the most effective treatment possible. I work well independently and collaboratively and can be relied upon for consistency and reliability.
I want to be an SLP because I know it is my true calling, and I have found this rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling work. Helping people get better is the ultimate goal of an SLP, so it would mean a lot to me if you would consider me for this position!
As you can see, there are many different types of questions that a potential employer might ask during an interview. Try to prepare answers to all of these questions ahead of time so that you are ready for any question. If you do not know the answer, it is okay if you say so; however, try not to make this mistake more than once!
You should also have a thorough knowledge of what your resume says and who you are. Do you never want to get caught off guard by what is your favorite color? Or Do you like ice cream? You should be able to answer confidently with ease and tact.
The most important thing when interviewing for a speech-language pathologist job is to remain calm, composed, and confident. Remember that every interviewer will have their style, and some may give vague responses. The best way to deal with this situation is to wait until they elaborate on their thought process. Be sure to thank them at the end of the interview whether you are offered the position.