Employment & Professional Networking Job interview for new grad OT

Nov 6, 2011
So I received my certificate and license and an official OT! But my first interview really kicked me down hard. It was at an acute care bedside hospital that was willing to take in new grad and train for a 3 month probation period. I thought would be a perfect job for me since I wanted more learning from a senior therapist before officially being on my own.

I didn't really know what to expect for the interview so I prepared answers for standard interview questions. But they asked me a lot of clinical questions such as- give me a short term goal for a pt with recent CVA, which stroke is the worst stroke?, are you familiar with x,y,z lines at ICU? at which bp should you stop working with a pt? and more. It really caught me off guard and I nervously bombed the interview. (There were more questions that I can't remember now)

Does anyone else have any experience with the acute care setting interview questions? Specifically clinical case scenarios?

Also what other interview questions have you gotten from hospital setting? How did you prepare for the interview?

Thanks in advance!


10+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2007
Physical Therapist
Hey there! This is an old question, but I wanted to address it, in case others are in the same boat. I'm a PT, but my answer is applicable to both PTs and OTs.

The best way to prepare for an acute care interview is to have an acute care OT or PT ask you questions. If you know someone who already works in that setting, they will be a great person with whom you can practice. If you don't know a person like that, here are the type of questions I would ask:

- What are the precautions for a hip replacement?
(I'd want the therapist to ask which approach before answering)
- What are absolute contraindications for exercise?
- Your patient had hip surgery and the PT just left the room after an initial eval and said the patient is ready for you. What do you do?
(please say you'll check the chart for an OT order and check the weight bearing precautions, as well as ask the nurse if the pt is ok to be seen. A verbal from a PT is never enough and vice versa...)
- Plus the ones above...

Honestly, the questions that they asked you above are pretty tough, but I see why they asked them. At the same time, I would have maybe failed that interview and I worked in acute care for 3 years! Which stroke is the worst stroke? You could argue that hemorrhagic is worse, but what about an ischemic that wasn't caught early? And cerebellar strokes are rough. I mean, how do you answer that?? And a short term goal for a patient with a recent CVA? That really depends on how severe the stroke was. I can see why you got flustered. Don't sweat this one. But do some good google searches for "acute care interview questions for OTs" and see what comes up before your next one :)