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Speech Pathology Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
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Question 1 of 28
Describe to me your best therapy session?
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How to Answer
The interview wants to hear that you enjoy your job. Now is the time to get excited about sharing your passion! What is your favorite memory from a therapy session? This will make a great answer for this question. Briefly, give an overview of the session, and explain why the session was so great!
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1.
Describe to me your best therapy session?
The interview wants to hear that you enjoy your job. Now is the time to get excited about sharing your passion! What is your favorite memory from a therapy session? This will make a great answer for this question. Briefly, give an overview of the session, and explain why the session was so great!

Ryan's Answer #1
"I had the opportunity to be involved with a patient in the hospital who had become increasingly frustrated every day at their lack of progression, although they clearly were trying. This was a frustrating point for the SLP, myself, as well as the patient. I watched the patience and empathy of the SLP in his care and time that he took with the patient, and watched the patient relax with this care and considerable time spent with him. It did take some time, but over days and then weeks, we all saw immeasurable progression in his speech and this made all of the time spent worth it."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my work experience in my Master's degree program, I was fortunate to be able to work in an elementary school setting. While there, I worked with a young girl that was struggling with her speech skills and these struggles were creating a lot of stress for her in the classroom. In one brief meeting with her, I could tell she was a bright student. I explained to her, in terms she would understand, the steps we would take to work on her speech and she began crying tears of joy and hugged me. Her seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for her struggles with her speech really made my day and our sessions from there on our went wonderfully!"
2.
Can you have a patient that has an aphasia and apraxia, and if so, which one would you address first? And how?
Yes, you can have a patient with both! As a Speech Pathologist, you know that Aphasia and Apraxia are two major neuropsychological syndromes that, in most cases, are caused by injuries in the left cerebral hemisphere. Patients with aphasia experience difficulty in expressing nonverbal ideas and thoughts as words and grammatically correct sentences. Apraxia is characterized by loss of the ability to carry out learned purposeful movements despite having the physical ability to do so. Tell the interviewer your experience working with both types of patients and the treatment that you provided.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a Therapist, I would address Aphasia first. Aphasia, being the inability to understand grammatical sentences and reading or writing words or sentences, working on this would at the same time work on the patients Apraxia. While working on understanding sentences, we would be able to focus on the desired speech sound of each word."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my internship, I was fortunate enough to get to work with a stroke patient that was experiencing both aphasia and apraxia. My lead therapist utilized new research to conduct a combined treatment for both conditions and it worked wonderfully with the patient. The CAAST treatment was new to my lead and watching her handle a new therapy method was invaluable to my training."
3.
Speech therapy can cost your patient a lot of money, do you worry about the cost for the patient when doing your job?
This is always, and should be a concern, but not a dictator of how you deliver patient care. There is cost associated with any treatment or service, and while in medicine especially this can many times be extraordinary, this is not a motivator or reason not to treat a patient as you were trained to do.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a therapist, I not only treat the patient but work alongside the family. I'll help them research their healthcare plan to ensure that treatment is covered or help them file the appropriate paperwork to get reimbursed."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Knowing that the behind the scenes issues in healthcare change on a regular basis when it comes to government intervention, a good healthcare worker must keep up to speed on the changes for their patients. With that said, my job is to first provide the best care possible to my patients. If a patient or family member ever had a question or a concern with their insurance coverage and my services, I would try to help out as best as I could or refer them to someone in billing to talk further."
4.
Why are you the best candidate for us?
We recommend talking to your coworkers and family to ask them what your one unique thing is. You may be surprised at the consistency in their responses, and it will give you great insight into how to answer this question. Perhaps you'll mention that your prior experience in working with multiple patient populations of children, elderly, and special needs groups have allowed you the breadth of experience necessary to be an effective SLP. You may mention that you are frequently praised for your ability to be an articulate and effective communicator, or you may discuss how you have a knack for empathizing with patients.

Ryan's Answer #1
"My 10 years of experience working within the school system as a Speech Pathologist makes me the best candidate for this position. I have a strong passion helping kids at the middle school level, when children are often at the most trying times of their young lives."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If you hire me for this position, you'll quickly find that I'm a patient focused therapist that will strive to meet all of the needs of my patients in an efficient and effective manner. I came into this field because of my desire to help people in need and my motivation each and every day will come from them."
5.
What are your research interests?
Every speech pathologist has different interests, so feel free to share what you truly are interested in. Your employer will likely turn around and ensure you are able to pursue these interests at some point in your career, so now is the time to be candid! Whatever your desire is, now is the time to share it. It is good to know if the organization you are interviewing with conducts research in the field.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I'm interested in working with special needs children in the educationaI setting. I'd like to be part of tracking children undergoing active speech therapy and their overall educational progression."
Ryan's Answer #2
"A definite goal of mine is to pursue research into alternative communication methods. I believe that research is the key driver into advancements in any medical field and I have a strong passion for it moving forward as an SLP."
6.
What kind of help do you need to do your best work?
As a Speech Pathologist, you may be an independent learner as well as someone that thrives in a team environment. Be sure to tell the interviewer that you always try to solve problems on your own first, but having a mentor to assist you when necessary keeps you feeling successful and striving to achieve more. Wrap it up by mentioning that you pride yourself on your ability to remain dedicated throughout hard situations that you choose to devote your time to.

Ryan's Answer #1
"To do my best work I thrive in a positive and empowering enviornment. Working with positive people motivates me to do my best work."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As a new SLP, my main goal is to work with a group where I can work closely with a group of Speech Pathologists. While I am confident in my abilities exiting my Master's program, I would like the ability to learn from other experienced pathologists and have the ability to bounce thoughts and ideas off of them if needed. This position with your group sounds to be a great opportunity for me to be able to do this."
7.
Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
As a Speech Pathologist, you will work with other medical professionals as well as one on one with your patient. Express to the interviewer that you work well in either environment. You may mention that you are an independent learner, but you significantly enjoy working as part of a care team while working one-on-one with patients.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I work well in either setting but believe a team approach, specifically in healthcare settings, provides the most comprehensive care for the patient in every aspect. No single provider can address all of the complex needs of many hospitalized patients."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In all reality, I thrive in both environments. As an individual, I know that this position will require me to be alone in the field at times and I have the ability to make sound decisions on my own with little direction needed. As part of a larger team, you'll find that I am a person that contributes great ideas and takes direction from others well. I love being in a team environment because we all can learn from our experiences as a larger team to help our patients for the better."
8.
What assessment tools have you used to assist in evaluating patients?
Speech Language Pathologists have a wide range off assessment tools available to them to help determine where a patient stands. The interviewer is looking to see which tools you familiarity working with and what your preferences are. Be open and honest with your interviewer while also stressing your ability to learn new assessments that could potentially help you as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my time working with school aged children, I have direct experience using many available assessments with children. Some regular tools that I have utilized are the Montgomery Assessment of Vocabulary Acquisition, the Functional Communication Profile and the Emerging Literacy Language Assessment. I know that there are many other great assessments available to those in my field and I
have a very open mind to try new assessments as well."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my clinical fellowship, I had the great opportunity to work in a hospital setting where I experience both adult and adolescent patients vs. just children in a school setting. This enabled me to experience a wide-array of assessment tools like a swallowing evaluation and aphasia assessments for stroke patients. My classroom setting through my Master's program had only prepared me with hands-on experience for more of the standard speech language assessment more geared toward

"
9.
Talk to me about the controversies surrounding non-speech oral exercises?
As a Speech Pathologist, you may choose to perform non-speech and speech oral exercises to treat your patients. Blowing, tongue push-ups, pucker-smile, tongue wags, big smile, tongue-to-nose-to-chin, cheek puffing, blowing kisses, and tongue curling are a few non-speech oral exercises. Tell the interviewer your preference and a success story.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I feel that this has become less of a controversy over the past few years, and feel that doing non-speech oral exercises have shown to be an effective means of treatment with obvious benefits to the patient or student."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my training program for my Master's degree, my faculty were firm believers in these types of exercises and I was able to witness their effectiveness first-hand with students. Making sounds requires movements and people that are struggling with their speech often need practice and exercise with these movements. Similar to a football player stretching their legs before practice or a game, the non-speech exercise help patients when it comes to their speech therapy."
10.
What are your experiences using oral motor approach to improve speech clarity?
As a Speech Pathologist you may use oral-motor therapy to develop awareness, strength, coordination and mobility of the oral muscles. Tell the interviewer that you use this therapy when working with patients that you are treating with feeding therapy. Tell the interviewer that it helps you determine why a child is having difficulty in a particular area and helps you create an oral-motor-feeding plan individualized for the child.

Ryan's Answer #1
"A case in which I would use oral-motor therapy to help speech clarity is when saliva is collecting in the mouth and causing slushy-speech. However, it may not be a speech disorder. If I determine that the root cause of this is a swallowing disorder I will consult with a pediatrician to form a disciplinary team."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my schooling, I was fortunate to be able to learn and work with strengthening exercises for all of the sounds in human speech. Whether it would be using horn blowing exercise to work on lip movement or using the Cheerio trick to work the tongue, these exercises can be effective when working with children on their speech clarity."
11.
Describe the special education referral process.
As a Speech Pathologist, you may provide services in a school, private practice or a large medical facility. If you have experience providing services to children on an IEP, explain the process and role you hold within the school system. If you haven't had the opportunity to provide services to children, that is OK! Explain your current role, how you easily adapt to your surroundings and working within a school would be an easy transition.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I haven't had the opportunity to work within the school system yet but this has been an area of interest for me. I look forward to learning more about my role in the school system and providing care to children needing my services."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my work experience as part of my Master's program, I was fortunate enough to work in a local elementary where I was exposed to a few IEP planning processes. Working with my supervising Speech Pathologist, I was able to be an integral part of the team of educators that created the plan for each student and put it into action. I learned that the SLP needs to give vital information about the student to be able to put a full IEP into place and then work off of that plan moving forward."
12.
Why did you decide to become a Speech and Language Pathologist?
What is it that makes you wake up each morning and get excited about going to work? Perhaps it is the patients. Perhaps you really love seeing people succeed. Maybe you saw a speech and language pathologist as a child and it inspired you to become one. Share your true passion with the interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I decided Speech Pathology was the right career for me when I was able to see the difference it makes in people's lives. It requires empathy, patience, and clinical acumen, and I possess all of these characteristics."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my high school years, I was very driven to pursue a career in healthcare. Through a shadowing program in my high school, I spent time shadowing a nurse, a physical therapist and a social worker. The most influential of the shadowings that I did was with our school Speech Pathologist. In her words, she was "able to improve the lives of the kids that she worked with on a daily basis" and the career was very fulfilling to her. I really liked being in the school setting with her and decided to pursue this as a career."
13.
Would your friends or family say that you have patience?
Absolutely! Your career choice requires patience, and the interviewer wants to hear that you have the patience required to continually support patients including those whose progression may be quite slow. Think of a time when your family or friends commended you on your patience, and tell the interviewer what they told you. It will surely impress!

Ryan's Answer #1
"Patience is an important characteristic that I have as a Speech Pathologist. I am able to step back from moments of frustration, which I do know will come with this work, and objectively rather than emotionally evaluate how to proceed with a given situation. Through the course of my career, I have experienced many situations that have required this virtue and my ability to set emotion aside and think objectively have been critical."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Yes they would. I have always been a patient person and this trait was handed down to me by my mother, who raised three children on her own. Watching her calm demeanor while she held down a job while raising us gave me all the inspiration I need to handle any situation patiently. My friends and family all know me as a person that has the ability to work with and help people from all walks of life and different backgrounds with ease."
14.
Do you prefer working with children or adults?
For this question, it is important to know the position that you are interviewing for and catering your response to the job you are applying for. If the role focuses on children, say children. Express that you enjoy working with adults if it is focused this way. Talk about why that is the population you like serve and your motivation for that.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I feel that I am able to work well with either; however, I prefer to work with children. This is why I would like to turn the focus of my experience and training toward the educational environment, as I would like the opportunity to consistently and daily be able to work with children. Speech is something that will continue to develop for every child as they grow, and for those that it does not come so easily too, I would like to be a part of the group that changes that. "
Ryan's Answer #2
"Coming into my first job out of school, I am hoping to work with an adult population. My motivation to enter the field goes back to watching my grandmother work with a SLP after she had been diagnosed with ALS. Seeing how her treatment early on after the diagnosis helped her live a much fuller life at the end was very inspirational to me and I hope to be able to bring that joy to other families experiencing the same thing my family once did."
15.
Describe your clinical experience during your internship or residency programs.
Think about the highlights of any clinical experience you had and outline them at a high level. If you were exposed to any unique situations, now is the time to share them! Your unique exposure will set you apart from other candidates and may land you the job!

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my undergraduate training, I worked both in and out of the classroom on volunteer activities that placed me in both educational and hospital settings working with speech pathology teams. I have integrated experience within the hospital setting as part of a medical team involving speech-language pathologists, and I have been able to observe the evaluation and treatment of multiple types of patients."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As I'm interviewing now, I am currently participating in my fellowship in a large hospital. As part of a large team of therapists there, I am being exposed to a wide variety of patients and conditions. I have worked with adults and children experiencing conditions like stroke, TBI, cardiac arrest, chemical dependency and mental health disorders. This experience is providing me with a well-rounded base when I enter my first job as an SLP."
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28 Speech Pathology Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Describe to me your best therapy session?
  2. Can you have a patient that has an aphasia and apraxia, and if so, which one would you address first? And how?
  3. Speech therapy can cost your patient a lot of money, do you worry about the cost for the patient when doing your job?
  4. Why are you the best candidate for us?
  5. What are your research interests?
  6. What kind of help do you need to do your best work?
  7. Do you like to work in teams or are you an individual achiever?
  8. What assessment tools have you used to assist in evaluating patients?
  9. Talk to me about the controversies surrounding non-speech oral exercises?
  10. What are your experiences using oral motor approach to improve speech clarity?
  11. Describe the special education referral process.
  12. Why did you decide to become a Speech and Language Pathologist?
  13. Would your friends or family say that you have patience?
  14. Do you prefer working with children or adults?
  15. Describe your clinical experience during your internship or residency programs.
  16. What experience do you have working with language disorders?
  17. What are your thoughts about inclusion and pull outs as therapy models?
  18. Describe how you currently work or communicate with caregivers?
  19. What speech therapy method do you practice the most?
  20. What are your experiences working with cognitive disabilities?
  21. What are your experiences working with articulation?
  22. Are you okay working the same career for 15 years?
  23. How have you used technology to better help our patients?
  24. What do you know about our clinic/organization?
  25. What experience do you have working with professionals from other disciplines?
  26. How do keep yourself educated and up to date in the field?
  27. Talk about a time you had difficulty working with the parent of a patient or a caregiver of a patient. What made that interaction difficult and how did you overcome it?
  28. What is the importance of the administrative work performed by a Speech Language Pathologist?
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