How to prepare for a band 5 physiotherapy interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Band 5 physiotherapy is the band for a newly qualified physiotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you have applied for the role and the trust invited you for an interview, it means you wrote an excellent curriculum vitae and personal statement. Now, it's time to learn how to prepare for the interview to increase your chances of getting the job. In this article, we explain how to prepare for a band 5 physiotherapy interview and interview questions they might ask.

Related: How To Become a Physiotherapist

How to prepare for a band 5 physiotherapy interview

Preparing for the band 5 physiotherapy interview takes a lot of research and recalling previous experiences from placements. The following are preparations to make before the interview day:

1. Talk to your lecturers

Identify a lecturer in your university department that has experience interviewing candidates. They might have tips for you on how to prepare for the interview. Remember that your lecturers desire that you get your first job as it helps the university's image.

2. Talk to the students

If you know other students already working in the trust, you applied to, enquire from them. Ask them how they prepared for their interviews if there's anything new happening in trust. You can contact the students through any means available, whether through phone calls or social media.

3. Check the trust's website

Chances are you've done this before applying for physiotherapy jobs. But it's still essential to recheck the website as they might have new information that might help answer interview questions. Also, check the news tab, research articles and journals so that you can know about what's going on in the hospital.

4. Check public reports

A CQU (Care Quality Commission) releases reports on hospitals after they've paid visits to them and checked their facilities. Sometimes, they might revisit to see if the hospitals have rectified the issues identified in the previous visit. You can read reports about the trust that's interviewing you and find out more about how they manage the hospital, the pros, challenges and how they are working to rectify the challenges.

5. Identify the trust's specialisation

Most trusts have an area of specialisation. It may be in trauma, respiratory physiotherapy, neurological physiotherapy, orthopaedics, musculoskeletal outpatients, and others. Knowing what they specialise in can give you a lot to talk about during the interview by aligning your interest with their speciality.

6. Learn the trust's mission and values

Find out their mission and values and learn them. Then align your experience, whether during your previous works or placements, to fit the values. Look for instances where you have applied the values while working with patients. During the interviews, the trust might ask you about their values and how you meet them.

7. Prepare for the interview questions

You might come across interview questions on the internet. It is impossible to prepare for every one of them, plus trusts ask different questions. What you can do is remember your experiences during your placements and prepare examples that align with the trust's values. Come up with examples that show how you communicated with your patients, colleagues and medical team in resolving issues, how you advocated for your patients, how you prioritised workload and other essential examples.

Related: How long do interviews last? (FAQ and tips to prepare)

Preparations on the interview day

The following are things you can do on the interview day to improve your chances of success:

Dress properly

Give yourself the best start in the interview by dressing appropriately. Let your dressing reflect how much the job means to you, and you're ready to put in the effort to get it. Check your interview invitation to see if there is a dress code. If none, try as much to look professional.

Related: How to give leadership experience examples

Smile

Be friendly and smile to everyone you meet in the work environment since you have no idea of the identity of the panellists. Smiling helps you make the right first impression. It also helps in reducing anxiety.

Answer what you can

You've applied and gotten an invite for a Band 5 physiotherapist interview, which is like an entry level role. The interviewers consider you to be in your learning stage, so don't expect you to answer all their questions. However, when asked questions you don't know the answers to, let them know and add something like, "But I can check with a senior physiotherapist working on the shift with me."

Related: How to impress in an interview: a step-by-step guide

Band of Physiotherapy interview questions and answers

Preparing for the band 5 physiotherapy interview involves learning the possible interview questions and preparing a suitable answer. Below are some of the questions to expect and some suggestions on answering them:

Occupational interview questions

In this interview, the interviewer might ask questions about MSK (musculoskeletal), respiratory and neurology. Below are samples of interview questions that test your knowledge in the role you applied:

Example question 1

Question: 'Arrange these patients in order of importance: a new mobility referral, a respiratory patient, a discharge patient, a day 1 post-op laparotomy and a patient known to you who needs increasing assistance to mobilise?'

Answer:

  1. Respiratory patient

  2. Discharge patient

  3. Day 1 post laparotomy

  4. A patient who is known to you and needs increasing assistance to mobilise

  5. New mobility referral

The above is how you prioritise the patients. When answering this interview question, first write down the patients on a piece of paper so that you can easily arrange them without forgetting any of them. Explain why you prioritised the patients in that way. Also, while describing, use physiotherapy jargon so that the interviewer know that you understand the topic.

For example, while explaining why you picked the respiratory patient as the first case, let them know that respiratory patients might deteriorate if not attended to immediately, resulting in further health issues like septicaemia or pneumonia. Using words like septicaemia and pneumonia shows the interviewer that you understand health issues respiratory patients are vulnerable to.

Related: Interview question: 'How do you prioritise your work?'

Example question 2

Question: 'What do you do if a patient falls during treatment?'

Answer: 'I stay with the patient to examine if any serious injury has occurred while calling for help to take them for proper examination.'

You can give a summary of the steps you may take in case such happens. Other occupational interview questions include:

  • Explain the difference between Hemi and Total hip replacement?

  • What are the treatment goals?

  • Explain how you perform an objective assessment of the lumbar spine

  • How do you diagnose anterior knee pain?

  • What are red flags

  • Name the red flags for the cervical spine

Related: Interview question: 'Do you have any questions?'

Behavioural interview questions

Aside from occupational questions, the interviewer might want to understand your personality and how you work with different people in the workplace. They ask the following questions:

Example question 1

Question: 'How do you manage your time?'

Answer: 'I track my activities ensuring I set milestones for every task assigned to me. For example, when I receive an assignment, I determine how long it may take to complete it and then allocate the required hours. If it takes hours, I ensure I focus on finishing it before handling any other task. If it takes days, I set daily milestones to ensure I'm only concentrating on the task within the time I set.

Setting milestones and sticking to them helps me manage my time, keeps me on track with important tasks, and helps me reduce stress as I avoid getting overbooked since I'm aware of my duties and how I've divided my time to complete them.'

Detail a step-by-step process on how you manage your time while at work.

Related: Interview question: 'How do you work under pressure?'

Example question 2

Question: 'Give me an example of when you had a conflict with a patient'

Answer: 'One time during clinical placement, a patient became frustrated due to the delay in attending to her. She began abusing me verbally, but I remained professional as required by my role and understood her plight. I listened patiently to her grievances, and in a calm voice, I apologised profusely for the delay, stating my reasons. I guess it softened her mind as she stopped shouting, and we began discussing her health problems to find a solution.'

When answering this question, let your interviewers know that you remembered the trust's values throughout the situation, which included patient satisfaction.

Example question 3

Question: 'What unique skills do you have?'

Answer: 'I can communicate effectively by asking relevant questions to get an insight into the patient's condition. I can also engage in fun activities during the treatment process to keep the client engaged and inclusive. I can also be proactive in a team by noticing the group's goal and providing suggestions for improvements. I am in charge of the health safety enlightenment team in my current job.'

As a physiotherapist, your communication skills are essential to succeed in the role. So, start with your communication skills before mentioning other skills. Other behavioural interview questions:

  • Explain a situation where you showed initiative.

  • Explain when you had a conflict with a colleague at work and how you resolved it.

  • Give me an example of when you played a leadership role in your department and how colleagues responded to it.


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