Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Assure the interviewer that you are capable of maintaining work-related stress healthily.
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
"I handle career-related stress and pressure through keeping active in my own life. I also start each morning with meditation. I try to stay away from TV and snacks and spend more of my time reading."
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."
If you had to sum up your personality, character, and work ethic into just three words - what would they be? This question will help the interviewer to know more about your true character and how you think of yourself.
"I would describe myself as loyal, reliable, and creative. I choose these three because I am dedicated to my patients, always on time for work, and have unique ideas when it comes to athletic therapy."
"Here are some words you can use to describe yourself: - Ambitious - Caring - Coughing - Diligent - Honest - Motivated - Reliable "
"I would describe myself as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me. I care for my patients, encourage them to ask questions surrounding their treatment, and celebrate their progress with them."
The interviewer would like to know what your one-star quality is. If you had to choose one stand out characteristic that makes you the best athletic trainer around - what would it be? Make your answer unique and expressive so that you stand out from the crowd.
"My best asset as an athletic trainer is my athletic background. I can easily relate to the athletes that I train because I truly understand the dedication that they put into their sport. It helps me to motivate them and enables me to encourage them to be the best version of themselves."
"My best asset is my tenacity. I do not let anyone get me down, and I work diligently on passing this way of thinking along to my clients."
"My best asset as an athletic trainer is my high level of education. I have a masters' degree in sports therapy which makes me stand out from most trainers."
With so many opinions surrounding diet and nutrition, the interviewer will want to know that you share similar thoughts when it comes to healthy eating habits. Share with the interviewer your favorite food or nutrition tip.
"My top nutrition recommendation for my patients is to eat a large breakfast and a small dinner, rather than the other way around. This way of eating will boost an athlete's metabolism and give them the proper amount of energy they need to fuel their day."
"I am currently exploring the positive effects that a plant-based diet has on high-performance athletes. It's fascinating research and I believe will be recommending this way of eating to any of my patients who suffer from inflammation and digestive issues."
"From my years of experience as an athletic trainer, I have found that if you too drastically change someone's eating patterns, they will not last on the plan too long. I like to take each of my clients' eating plans and make small tweaks such as increasing their healthy fat intake and decreasing sodium."
The interviewer would like to know what inspired you to become an athletic trainer. Discuss what brought you to this career path and what keeps you in it. Be sure to express your passion for what you do!
"Growing up, I was always very involved in sports. I felt that if I couldn't make it as a professional athlete that I wanted to be the person to help train and rehabilitate those that could. It's gratifying work for me."
"When I initially enrolled in University, I wanted to be a physiotherapy assistant. I decided to continue my education and focused on sports medicine. I find this work fascinating and look forward to carving out a successful career as an athletic trainer."
"I have been an athletic trainer for the past 12 years, working on patients from junior athletes to traveling with professional athletic teams. I will be in this field for the remainder of my career."
The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus c. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
"I am new to my career as an athletic trainer, so I would like to be paid according to my blend of education, and practicum experience, while being offered the opportunity for compensation and career growth."
"I earn a base pay of $60,000 plus medical benefits and free therapy in our clinic. I would like to be compensated similarly for my next position."
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
"Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better."
"Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused despite the challenges that come my way."
As an athletic therapist, you will be required to use a variety of equipment when working with your patients. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of working with a range of popular equipment. This is an excellent time to ask if you don't already know, the type of equipment most used by this particular facility.
"I am most versed in the use of bobath tables, mat tables, and hydrotherapy whirlpools. What types of equipment do you most commonly use in your medical center?"
"While attending my practicum, I used bariatric tables, parallel bars, and mat tables. I am a fast learner and am confident in my ability to learn the type of equipment you use here. Could you fill me in on the types of equipment you use here? "
"Through my years as an athletic trainer, I have had the opportunity to work with nearly all types of equipment ranging from hydrotherapy whirlpools and seers medical tables to yoga mats and pool noodles!"
The interviewer would like to know that you 'walk the walk' when it comes to athletic training and body care. As an athletic trainer, you should believe in your services enough to use them for yourself. Talk to the interviewer about your own personal regimen.
"I have a knee injury from playing hockey as a teenager. Personally, I follow my own regiment of stretching and exercise. I also find that a diet full of antioxidant-rich foods helps to prevent inflammation of the area. I do believe that it's important for my patients to see that I follow my advice as well."
"While taking a course in therapeutic techniques, I decided to create a simple plan for myself to follow. I have been utilizing this plan for the past three months and enjoy it! When I am in my first full-time clinical placement, it is a program I will use for my clients with basic therapeutic needs."
"I hired a colleague of mine to create a personalized plan for me. This plan encompasses nutrition, exercise, and stretching."
The interviewer would like to know how you gauge and athletes readiness to return to the game. As an athletic trainer, you will be responsible for ensuring that your athletes do not return to their sport too soon. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of making a critical call like this.
"When I need to assess an athlete's readiness to return to the game, I will consider a few factors. I want their personal opinion; how close to their original self, do they feel? I also compare their athletic performance from the start of therapy, to present."
"I have been trained in athlete evaluation and understand that there are checklists and procedures that need to be followed before moving an athlete back into their sport."
"I will first ask, how strong is their neuromuscular control and what is their movement like? Lastly, for each sport, I have a series of exercises that I will ask the athlete to perform. All of this needs to be 100% before I can put them back in the game."
Generally speaking, our most challenging area of study during post-secondary will be our least favorite and weakest area of practice. Discuss with the interviewer what your most challenging course was during your time in university/college.
"My most challenging course was on Neuromuscular control. Teaching the body to have conscious control of particular movements is an incredibly detailed concept. After graduating with my Bachelor's Degree, I returned to school to take a couple of related courses just to expand my knowledge in this area."
"I had the most difficult time in head, neck and spine evaluation. Some of the technical language was difficult for me to grasp, so I chose to hire a tutor. I am proud to say that I graduated with a 92% in that particular class."
"That was some time ago for me! I do recall hiring a tutor for Pharmacology in Athletic Training. The range of pharmaceutical drug choice was overwhelming for me at that time. Rest assured, I am now very well versed in this area of my athletic training practice."
Generally speaking, our strongest area of study during post-secondary will be our favorite and strongest area of practice. Discuss with the interviewer what your favorite course was during your time in university/college.
"My favorite subject in university was Human Nutrition. I have always had a strong interest and passion when it comes to the relationship between performance and fuel."
"I loved the majority of my courses, but if I had to choose just one, I would choose clinical exercise science. My professor was passionate and knowledgeable which made the course even more enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed learning to assess physical function from postsurgical rehabilitation."
"My best university course was 'Psychological Aspects of Sports Injury.' I initially entered university in a psychology program and loved the fact that I could combine my interest in sports therapy and psychology."
As an athletic trainer, it's crucial that you can handle looking at and treating all types of injuries. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of professionally handling all types of injuries.
"I have a strong stomach when it comes to a variety of injuries. I have not yet come across an injury that has made me queasy, I understand that as an athletic trainer I may come across some severe injuries, but I am confident that I can handle them professionally."
"I came across a lot of severe injuries while studying sports medicine but none that were so severe that I could not handle it."
"Before working as an athletic trainer, I was an emergency medical technician. This experience exposed me to a lot of severe injuries. I have a strong will and can see the person behind the injury rather than focus on the gruesome state of the body."
ThThe use of steroids and other performance enhancement drugs is still very prominent in professional sports. Assure the interviewer that you would be able to spot steroid use in an athlete.
"There are many signs to look for, but the ones that generally give it away are mood swings, poor skin, and dramatic weight gain. In my current position we do test our athletes about 3 times per year."
"While completing my Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training, one of the modules was on performance-enhancing drugs and the signs of drug abuse. I am very confident in my ability to spot steroid use in an athlete."
"As an athletic trainer, spotting steroid use is an essential skill to have. My educational background has taught me a great deal about steroid use, and I have been able to help numerous athletes make better decisions by seeing the signs and being upfront with them."
An athletic trainer can work in a medical center or with a variety of sports teams. Talk to the interviewer about your experience working with an athletic coach or training team.
"I have worked with a couple of semi-pro sports teams and completed my practicum with our local pro baseball team. I am happy to work with a head coach or senior trainer. There is always something I can learn from working with more senior staff."
"I completed my practicum with the Chicago Dog's, the minor league baseball team. It was an incredible experience for me where I learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration while training a group of athletes."
"Yes, I sure have! My previous position, which I held for five years, was a collaboration between our clinic and the city's professional ballet troupe. Our training program needed to be pre-approved and observed by the team's ballet master."
As an athletic trainer, are you invested in your patients? Talk to the interviewer about how you are willing to go above and beyond for your clients.
"I love to go above the call of duty for my patients because I know that they appreciate the extra care that I give them. One of my favorite things to do is give them my work email address so that they can check in with me anytime they have a question on their rehabilitation program."
"I don't want anyone to leave my clinic feeling confused or left on their own. For this reason, I ensure that my patients have all of their questions answered before they leave. I also encourage them to add me on Twitter so they can engage with me on social media for quick solutions to their common questions."
"I have my style of working which includes follow up calls to my patients, and a personal website where they can find free resources, downloads, and FAQ's related to sports therapy, yoga, stretching, nutrition, and more."
The interviewer is trying to get a feel for your personality and how you interact with others. You may work well without the need for much management or direction, or perhaps you are better driven in a collaborative and team environment. Either way, be honest with the interviewer about your preferences without leaning negatively, either way. As an athletic trainer, being collaborative is essential. Assure the interviewer that you can work well with other trainers without any ego getting in the way.
"I feel that every trainer has their style when it comes to their clients, so it's a great learning opportunity when working with other rehabilitation professionals. It's great to be able to give an athlete or patient a rounded experience so, for that reason, I am happy to collaborate with other trainers."
"Whether I am doing a one-on-one rehab program with a client, or working in a team environment, I always give my best. I enjoy the camaraderie of working in a team, but I can be successful working autonomously as well."
"I have been an athletic trainer for the past seven years. Most of my experience has been in working as an independent trainer, so I would welcome the support of working in a team environment."
The interviewer would like to know the level of injuries you bring experience in treating. Injuries can vary significantly in severity. Assure the interviewer that you can handle whatever comes your way.
"The most severe injury that I have come across in my career so far, happened last year. An athlete that I was training tore his ACL during a game. It's a devastating injury for an athlete. We spent the next nine months rehabilitating him after his surgery."
"The most severe injury I have witnessed was a patient who broke their neck after being bodychecked during a hockey game. It was shocking to see and fascinating at the same time. I was still training so I did not directly treat this patient; however, I followed the treatment plan closely."
"I had an athlete who fractured his leg in 3 different places after being tackled during a football game. The injury was enough to make anyone's stomach flip. His treatment was long and trying, but he did recover very well over the period of many months."
The interviewer would like to know more about your post-secondary experience. How do you feel that your post-secondary experience has shaped you as an athletic trainer? Talk to the interviewer about your post-secondary studies. You can include which courses were your favorite or discuss a professor that positively challenged you.
"My post-secondary education prepared me immensely as an athletic trainer. It taught me all about athletic rehabilitation but also healthcare administration, professional development, and healthcare responsibility."
"I have a Bachelor's in Athletic Training with a special interest in orthopedic injuries and diagnosis. I am thrilled with the potential opportunity of joining your clinic since you specialize in orthopedic injuries. My education will lend itself very well to this role."
"My post-secondary experience has been invaluable to my career growth as an athletic trainer. I first obtained my Bachelor's in Athletic Training and then continued onto my Masters' with a focus on sports medicine. I look forward to putting my expertise to work here at your clinic."
Collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professionals is a crucial part of your role as an athletic trainer. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of professional partnership.
"I have had some great experiences while collaborating with healthcare professionals. In my current medical clinic, our team meets on a monthly basis to discuss possibilities of changes in our program. Everyone is welcome to participate, and we've come up with some great changes."
"During my practicum, I worked with a team of all types of practitioners. This experience was incredible and made me a big fan of collaboration within clinics. What better for the patient than to have multiple specialties under one roof!"
"For the past eight years, I have worked in a multi-function, multi-specialty clinic. It's been an incredible learning experience for me, and I feel that every clinic should operate this way. It's incredibly beneficial for those needing athletic therapy."
As an athletic trainer, are you comfortable creating your client training program? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create your program from scratch.
"I have developed many client training programs in my career and am happy to share some of these with you. My primary focus when developing training programs is on athletic rehabilitation from over-strain with a large focus on restorative yoga and stretching."
"I have not yet created my program; however, this is a goal of mine for the future. I have even attended writing courses so that I can better learn how to structure an athletic program and effectively write it."
"I recently launched an e-program on the benefits of yoga and meditative stretching. I work with each of my clients on incorporating this program into their treatment."
The interviewer would like to know if you have worked with a range of clients who have a disability or unique physical challenge. Talk to the interviewer about any experience you have had working with clients who have limitations and how it has stretched you as an athletic trainer.
"I have spent the past three years volunteering with the Special Olympics in our region as an athletic trainer. It's been an incredible experience for me as the patients I have had the pleasure of working with shaped my entire volunteer experience."
"I have not experienced any work with disabled patients; however, while obtaining my Bachelor's degree, I was educated on therapy techniques for paralysis. I was very interested in this unit and would appreciate some further exposure to patients with physical limitations."
"In my career as an athletic trainer, I have worked with a handful of patients with physical limitations. One was a former diver who suffered a spinal cord injury. I have found that patients with physical limitations tend to be the most head-strong and dedicated when it comes to their therapy plan."
Do you understand the importance of documentation when it comes to client progress? Assure the interviewer that you are great with documentation and that you know the importance of clear, concise report writing.
"A critical part of my role as an athletic trainer is to ensure that my client's needs are properly documented, along with their progress. I am strong with my documentation, and when you call my references, they will attest to that as well."
"My time in university taught me a great deal about clear report writing. I am diligent and understand the importance of clear client records."
"In my nine years as an athletic trainer, I have never had any complaints regarding my documentation and reports. It's imperative, for the good of my clients, that I keep their records straight and continue to keep a scrutinized eye on their progress."
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I do not lean one way or another when it comes to verbal or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I will choose written communication as one can always look back on written communication for reference."
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing with business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
Career options for an athletic trainer are vast. An athletic trainer can work on a multitude of patients ranging from the general public in need of physical rehabilitation to amateur and professional athletes. An athletic trainer can work in a hospital setting, a rehabilitation clinic, a school/university, for a particular sports team, or for the military.
The tasks of an athletic trainer vary greatly and they include tending to minor injuries such as twists and sprains. An athletic trainer will properly fit the athlete to their athletic equipment and ensure that any physician recommended regimes are followed by the individual in their care. If the athletic trainer is working for a sports team, they are required to be present for every game, practice, and training session.
Athletic trainers should be strong and fit as they will be required to assist, and be an example to, their patients and athletes. This includes heavy lifting, supporting another persons weight from time to time and giving exercise demonstrations. This is a physically demanding career.
If an athletic trainer is working for a sports team they may be required to give presentations and training in regards to the dangers of performance enhancing drugs and other forms of drug and alcohol abuse.
An athletic trainer is considered a healthcare professional so a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in a health related field is required for most positions. In addition to a Bachelor's Degree, most states have their own licensing requirements for athletic trainers.