Top 25 Respiratory Therapists Interview Questions
1. Tell me about your education.
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Respiratory Therapists
December 17th, 2014

Respiratory therapists?also known as respiratory care practitioners?evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Practicing under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. They consult with physicians and other healthcare staff to help develop and modify patient care plans. Therapists also provide complex therapy requiring considerable independent judgment, such as caring for patients on life support in intensive-care units of hospitals.
bls.gov/oco/ocos321.htm
Respiratory Therapists Interview Questions
2 of 33
Why should we hire you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I was a full time care taker for my mother who had Alzheimer's, I know how exhausting it can be & I have patience. I am a cheerful person & will be dependable.
 
2.
I am a great fit for this hospital. I am hard working and am excited for the fast pace environment that I will experience here.
 
3.
I think I would be a great addition to this company. I work well with others and I am a fast learner.
 
4.
I am a people person. I love helping and working with people.
 
5.
Although I dont know any of the other applicants, I can tell you that I'am an extremely caring hard working person i'am someone that is responsible and punctual and always striving to do my best.
 
Question
3 of 33
What do you know about our healthcare facility?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Care about patients, and workers.
 
2.
You are a acute care hospital and code stroke certified.
 
3.
You have been around since 1930 and have a service area 16 counties wide. I like the fact that this hospital has been recognized by the AHA for your rapid service and successful outcomes to heart attack patients. I was also excited to learn that this is the only hospital in texas that is offering bronchial thermoplasty.
 
4.
I have been a patient here before and was very impressed with the facility, staff and treatments. I love that the respiratory dept has many avenues.
 
5.
I know the CEO is Kelly Adams, it has been providing care since 2006. It is a full service hospital with 25 inpatient suites. The facility has a 24 hr lab that can provide quick results. Radiology services such as MRIs, CT scans, Xrays, and mammograms. Provides cardiopulmonary tests such as PFTs, EKGs, cardiac stress tests and more. It as recently gained 2 new physicians and the Respiratory director has been known to be rural RT of the year.
 
Question
4 of 33
Tell me about a character trait that makes you a good candidate for this job?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am a good team maker hard working , organizer, easy going , punctual dependable, play well with each other , good sense of humor.
 
2.
I am great under stress. I thrive to learn and grow within the company.
 
3.
Punctuality and patience. Dedication to work knowledgable.
 
4.
I am a dedicated and reliable individual who is highly self-motivated and goal orientated. My approach to health care is very focus on patient centered care. I believe that the patient should play a large roll in the health care they receive and that communication should be open. My character is very honest and welcoming, I feel my patients portray me in this way also. I feel they feel comfortable talking to me and being in my care.
 
5.
I love working and helping people.
 
Question
5 of 33
What was the best thing you learned during your clinical training with patients?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The best thing I learned from patients is to listen to what they are telling you.
 
2.
The best thing I learned is that to properly care for people begins with listening to them and what thier story is.
 
3.
I learned to never stop giving the best customer service that I possibly can. Even when the patient is not in a great mood. They may not show it but you could always touch their lives by giving them that special attention.
 
4.
I loved patient contact. I have learned to be sympathetic to patients even when they are being hateful or less than nice. I have seen a lot from the clinical side and no one knows what someone has ebeen through. Take your time and do not be in a rush.
 
5.
Yes. Life is vital so I need to give the proper medication for the patient.
 
Question
6 of 33
If you could spend more time studying one particular respiratory illness, what would it be?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Cardiac anomalies and their effect on the respiratory system and oxygenation.
 
2.
With my clinical experience thus far I have a lot more exposure to adults versus the neonatal population. For me I would spend more time on how to mechanically ventilate cyanotic and acyanotic heat defects, since I was unable to receive exposure to this during my clinical rotations, thus far.
 
3.
Copd, the key to smoking cessation.
 
4.
Asthma, so much is still unknown and I would like to be part of the team that gets more answers.
 
5.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome.
 
Question
7 of 33
What do you like least about being a respiratory therapist?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
None. Been a respiratory therapy you can able to save lifes.
 
2.
As a respiratory therapist you have to be able to work night shifts and there may be long exhausting days in the OR.
 
3.
Not being able to treat non compliant patients.
 
4.
My least favorite aspect of respiratory therapy is when I loose a patient, seeing the upset families bothers me, however I deal with it and move on to my next patient.
 
5.
Seening a patient who is having a hard time breathing.
 
Question
8 of 33
Does providing emergency care to a patient suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock make you nervous?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have practiced simulations for cpr. These simulations should , make it easier to treat people with these conditions. That being said I don't want to make a mistake under pressure.
 
2.
Yes, I think it is normal to be nervous.
 
3.
In a way on some level it makes me nervous, it makes my adrenalin kick in, however I feel that it is exciting to be hands on involved in situations like these. I would say I feel an adrenalin rush of excitement, more so then nervousness.
 
4.
It has in my schooling but I have learned the only way to get through the nerves is to jump in and participate by learning through hands on experience.
 
5.
Honestly, yes the thought of this scenario makes me nervous, however, I tend to work best under pressure.
 
Question
9 of 33
Walk me through how you interview a patient.
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Introduce myself while washing my hands, check their name & dob, ask them what happened why they are here. While they explain I will watch how they physically look & then I will check vitals.
 
2.
How was your day , how do you feel what kind the job you used to do ,
 
3.
Introduce yourself. State patient name. Ask chief complaints. Ask symptoms open ended questions repeat evrything.
 
4.
First you look at their chart before you enter the room. You introduce yourself with name, occupation, and duty, check the wrist band. Ask questions about family and social history. Occupational history. I would then ask about allergies and prior hospitalizations. Ask if they are feeling any pain. The position of which they are feeling short of breath. Ask about their smoking habits. Ask if they have travelled anywhere.
 
5.
Tell me about how it all started.
 
Question
10 of 33
What was the most difficult part of schooling?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Accommodating family and class.
 
2.
The most difficult part was being afraid to ask questions, fearing that the question was stupid, self explanatory and fearing that you will be looked at as unprepared.
 
3.
Clinical I would have to say. I say this because of the long hours and shift work on top of the school work that we also have. I prefer shift work versus monday-friday 8-5 jobs, however having exams, essays, test and presentations on top of shift work can be challenging. My time management skills definitely developed during this time.
 
4.
The most difficult part of schooling was trying to keep up and prepare for multiple exams in one week.
 
5.
I guess the drive. I really loved going to school and learning. This was very interesting to me and I am glad this is the profession I became a part of.
 
Question
11 of 33
Are you comfortable conducting a patient interview?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have practiced conducting interviews with a few patients. So with more practice I will become more comfortable in obtaining patient history.
 
2.
Yes, I feel most comfortable sitting down with a patient and trying to make it as informal as appropriate. I feel that patient respond best when in this atmosphere.
 
3.
Yes I am, I would really comfortable.
 
4.
Yes, I am very comfortable interviewing patients. My previous career as a teacher taught me a lot about public speaking, interacting with audience and engaging them into discussion.
 
5.
Yes absolutely. I want to know all about the patient and how I can best help them to achieve their goals of care.
 
Question
12 of 33
What is your greatest strength?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I love to learn and I love to be involved in a team environment.
 
2.
Get my job done well, , be a good team work , get to work on time ,
 
3.
Strengths are : 8 years of experience, fast learner, critical thinker,
 
4.
I am a very caring and understanding person, a person that has respiratory issues is usually scared. Teaching the patient how to live a full and successful life.
 
5.
My greatest strength is my determinant to continuously improve.
 
Question
13 of 33
If you could not be a respiratory therapist, what career would you choose?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Perfusionist. I am interested in learning more about this profession. However I prefer the diversity of Respiratory therapy and the fast atmosphere.
 
2.
I wld choose radiation therapy in order to help people diagnosed with cancer.
 
3.
That's up in the air right now. I would probably be an insurance agent for the time being.
 
4.
I would have chosen something dealing with helping peopel.
 
5.
At one point I wanted a desk job with something to do with business or economics but I am too active to sit down for 8 hours a day.
 
Question
14 of 33
What types of patients do you have the most difficulty treating?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
ARDS patients, especially with COPD as well. I find these patients are the most difficult to mechanically ventilate.
 
2.
It gives us an accurate indicator of the seriousness of condition and how to act upon it.
 
3.
Sedated patients are harder to treat because it's harder to obtain a history from them.
 
4.
Uncooperative patient, or overly protective family members.
 
5.
I have not come across a situation I could not handle.
 
Question
15 of 33
Can you work overtime, weekends, and holidays?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
With a career in health care, I understand that with that comes shift work and a variety of hours. In a profession like this I believe that you have to do whatever you need to do, and by doing so, that involves a lot of extra time. That is something we sign on for as health professionals.
 
2.
O course, it comes with the territory.
 
3.
I can work overtime on the weekends and holidays because patient care is most important.
 
4.
Yes. As a matter of fact I prefer to work weekends, overtime and occasional holidays.
 
5.
Yes, preferably with notice, but I can be flexible when needed.
 
Question
16 of 33
Where do you see yourself in five years?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Working for same company feeling confident in majority of my choices.
 
2.
I see myself in a hospital helping people with respiratory issues, and explain to them that they can still have a normal life as long as they follow all directions and take of many issues with the patient to allow them to have a successful life.
 
3.
Growing within this organization and becoming an integral part.
 
4.
I see my self working in a hospital, working in pulmonary function testing in order to help diagnose patients with respiratory diseases.
 
5.
A successful respiratory therapist.
 
Question
17 of 33
How do you handle stressful situations?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I assess situation & prioritize to get things done.
 
2.
Be communicating with others.
 
3.
I exercise by going out for a walk. I do some deep breathing and I pray to god.
 
4.
Stay calm and explain the procedures.
 
5.
I feel like stress is a way to stay mentally strong and motivated to try your best and achieve the goal.
 
Question
18 of 33
What motivates you to want to help people?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
It has always been a part of my life, growing up my family has always instilled in me the importance of helping people. Not just physically, but emotionally as well, Whenever something was wrong I was always taught to talk about your feelings or anything that was bothering you. In relation to the physical aspect, my parents own a personal care home, so the fact that I always seen that helping people is a positive thing for both you and the patient, I wanted to be able to do that as well. It is very rewarding.
 
2.
I have always wanted to help people. When I was 22, I watched my friends older brother who is a paramedic successfully resuscitate a drowning kid and from then on I wanted the ability to save a life.
 
3.
I have always wanted to help people, but seeing what different disease proecesses can do to a body made me want to enter into the health profession.
 
4.
I love to teach people about how to better themselves.
 
5.
People would always ask me for help to show them where a place is. I would either walk with them or point them in that direction. They were very appreciative afterwards and tat's why I want to help people.
 
Question
19 of 33
Why is measuring a patient's PH levels important?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Acid base status of blood.
 
2.
Have a ph level that is not in sync can have multiple heart issues as well as respiratory issues.
 
3.
To be able to tell how to treat the patient, if there pH is not 7.35 to 7.45 they could.
 
4.
To check their acid base levels and to see if they are in metabolic acidoses or alkalosis and Respiratory acidosis or alkalosis.
 
5.
It tells us is the patient acidosis or alkalosis.
 
Question
20 of 33
What do you like most about being a respiratory therapist?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I like the fact of saving peoples lives, respiratory issues can cause many other issues, I like the fact of saving someones life.
 
2.
Helping the patients feel better, un Der stand how to use their equipment and they feel reassured once they leave my office.
 
3.
Being able to breathe for someone.
 
4.
I like having the ability to improve the health of others and to alleviate their symptoms.
 
5.
Saving life of the patient.
 
Question
21 of 33
What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I'm very flexibable so any enviorment.
 
2.
All types. I like to consider myself very adaptable. I can perform under pressure and work well when there are no time challenges.
 
3.
I thrive in an environment where its positive and hardworking as a team.
 
4.
I thrive in a fast paced environment, where everyone works together and teach each other to do better. I thrive off of positive changes and encouragement for communication and commitment to each other and to patients.
 
5.
I thrive in an environment that emphasizes on team work, communication and dedication to the pt.
 
Question
22 of 33
What are you looking for in an employer?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Good communication, expectation, policies & procedues to be upheld.
 
2.
An opportunity where I can use my skill and growth in my career.
 
3.
Someone who tells me things to work on and someone who will give me positive feedback when I do a good job.
 
4.
I am looking for loyalty, commitment, communication and a place where I can grow as a respiratory therapist and as a person. I want to be able to work amazing together as a team and to be treated with respect that is always wanted from anyone.
 
5.
I am looking for a supportive employer. One that will, listen to new ideas, one who is fair and will have the back of its team memebers.
 
Question
23 of 33
How has your education prepared you for this career?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
It over prepared us, felt so confident when we graduated.
 
2.
My science classes have really helped increase my knowledge and prepare me for this career.
 
3.
Hands on clinical rotation experiences within the hospitals. The right education I received about respiratory therapy, understanding the basics of how the body works, diseases we will face to provide care, and the up most knowledge about treatments, cardio pulmonary testing, and equipment that is needed in the respiratory field.
 
4.
Education is absolutely needed to do this career and we need to continue to learn and grow.
 
5.
To be able to treats and care for the sick.
 
Question
24 of 33
Are you a people person?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I love being around people. I enjoy interacting, listening, consoling and just being able to be there for people.
 
2.
I like being around people. I am trying to work on being more engaged with people.
 
3.
I like being around people who also like being around people.
 
4.
Respectful, honest and positive.
 
5.
I really enjoy talking to other people, and love interaction with my patients.
 
Question
25 of 33
Do you work well under pressure?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Most of the time, yes I do, however no one is perfect and there are times where I dont know how to fix a situation and get a little stressed.
 
2.
Yes, I think my previous work in the ED shows that I work well under pressure. I think I actually do some of my best work in a high intensity environment.
 
3.
Yes as a matter of fact I think I work better under pressure than normal situations.
 
4.
Yes, as a matter of fact I ave worked in big hospitals such as trauma, cancer, and severly ill patients.
 
Question
26 of 33
How do you make sure you are using your time effectively?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
As efficient as I can be.
 
2.
I am very efficient with time and how to prioritize in this field.
 
3.
Yes you must beef fiend with time, or else patients will not receive care Ina timely and apprioate fashion.
 
4.
I am, I understand you have to multi-task to get stuff done. I have to do that a lot at my current job.
 
5.
Yes I am very efficient with my time. I was always able to finish my assignment on time.
 
Question
27 of 33
Have you worked with a patient with a condition that was beyond your scope of practice? How did you handle it?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
ALS patient that I did her vent check and she did not want suction. Helped the nurse to move her and then she indicated discomfort. Nurse and I tried to figure it out and finally left the room. I came back with new HME and realised she wanted suction. So all that time she was asking for suction.
 
2.
Elderly man who sounded like he was full of secretions and really needed to be suctioned. I started to suction and the patient was shaking his head and the family intervened and made us stop trying to do this.
 
3.
A patient we recently had was on full, sport 100-% fio2 nitric oxide, , may need Echo and went downtown.
 
4.
The patient had a chronic disease, was on a ventilator and his pressures were not good. We tested his ABG over and over throughout the day and could not change any settings to help with his pressures due to it not being a ventilation problem. He ended up coding and the physician and the team could not revive him. He ended up passing after 30 minutes of trying to save his life.
 
5.
I had pt xyz, who refused their breathing tx - even though I insisted. About 15 minutes later the nurse called me into the room and the pt was in respiratory distress and I then administered the tx. IF only they would have let me give them a tx, I could have been able to treat them as well as they needed to be.
 
Question
28 of 33
Why did you decide to work in this field?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I would love to work in this field becase I love people and serving, being able to treat people with respect and help them overcome their health problem.
 
2.
It's interesting, ever changing, maneuver remaining static.
 
3.
I want to help others who cannot help themselves. I have been told throughout my life that I am a healer and care for people whether they are family, friends or complete strangers. I finally found something in my life that I am great at and that is to heal people in need.
 
4.
I love to help people, and I have always wanted a job in healthcare. I like face paced environments and doing multiple tasks at once.
 
5.
I've worked in this field for years.
 
Question
29 of 33
How would your former employer describe you?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
They would stay I am a good worker, they truest end me put me in charge a lot, donee dangle, metal player.
 
2.
Dedicated, passionate, and a hard worker who finishes everything I start. I work through challenges that come about and prioritize my tasks at hand or that come up in a timely manner. I learn quick and get things done on the deadlines.
 
3.
Optimistic, Excellent bedside/customer service, Team player.
 
4.
Dedicated, dependable, hard working, caring,
 
5.
I am hard-working, oriented, ready to offer a helping hand, indefatigable, fast-learner and can communicate effectively.
 
Question
30 of 33
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I think my greatest weakness before startingb school would be being whitest butnobviosuly eith this field I have given out of my shell talking to nursing doctors all in response tonterstingbthebpstimet.
 
2.
My greatest weakness is being my own worst critic and being too hard on myself when I dont know the answer or what to do the 1st time. I am working on how to be patient with myself and understand that no one is perfect and everyone learns something new everyday.
 
3.
Feeling panicKY if directions arenot clear, I need to ask more questions. I have definitely improved on this.
 
4.
My lack of experience. I am currently prn and attempting to gain full time employment to remedy this.
 
5.
Working in all the different aspects of my career, I'm trying to work in many different areas.
 
Question
31 of 33
How do gain the respect of your teammates when start a new job?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I think the best thing to gain trust is help them out when they need it, call the, to see if there is anything you can do. Arrive at code blues Rapids and do anything you can do to help out.
 
2.
To be myself, honest and return the respect that I expect in return. I have always had the ability to get along with all kinds of people.
 
3.
I am very easy to work with and and kind and respectful to people who may not know me, by working my hardest with the job title I am assigned to I should have no problem getting my teammates respect.
 
4.
By listening, being willing to learn, asking questions, taking constructive criticism, being willing to help others.
 
5.
By showing how hard I work.
 
Question
32 of 33
Tell me about the conditions you are most familiar with treating.
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have the most experience with adult and older adult patients.
 
2.
Right now, I have had experience in Adults, Premes, and children through clinical rotations. Its equal.
 
3.
I have a lot of experience with COPD, critical care/vent & drug overdose patients. I Would like to change this though, and broaden my experience.
 
4.
I have the most experience with adults. They are people that I have had the most interaction with.
 
5.
Asthmatics and copd patients.
 
Question
33 of 33
How would you handle a situation that could cause you to miss work?
 
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I feel it is never acceptable to be absent. But I know there are some instances that are unavoidable and so with proper reason and verification those are acceptable.
 
2.
14 days just in case you get sick or incase of other family matters.
 
3.
As many days as you request off or have off. Set aside appropriate sick days as well.
 
4.
Hopefully none, but life happens and I have children and they get sick from time to time, and as long as nothing tragic happens, I guess 8-10
 
5.
The amount of days the facility that I work at allow.
 
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