Our economy has not been fair to a majority of the US and as it continues its vicious downward spiral, undergrad students are scared to approach the real world without additional education for fear of not landing a job. Students, en mass, are turning to rehab schools as rehab facilities are downsizing. With supply high and demand low, openings are scarce. Here is a guide to nailing your next Speech Language Pathologist Interview.
Do your homework:
Most companies have an online presence. Get on their website and understand their mission, vision, what type of facility it is (Acute Care, Outpatient, Stroke, Peds, Etc...) , major program offerings (Cardio Vascular Center of Excellence, Stroke Center of Excellence, Bariatric, NICU/ PICU, etc..) Additionally, get social. If they have a Facebook, twitter, or Linkedin account they are offering information for the taking, in most cases it will give you an idea of their culture and recent news.
How do you fit in?
After assessing the facility type and program offerings, be prepared to sell yourself on how you will provide immediate value. For example, if you are able to snag an interview in an Acute Care Facility boasting a Stroke Center of Excellence, communicate your neurological background, swallowing assessment skills, dysphagia assessment of the CVA patient, food consistencies during an MBS (Modified Barium Swallow) and bed side evaluation skills. Additionally, in an Outpatient setting, validate your flexibility in treating an adult or pediatric patient, your modalities of choice (VitaStim, NMES, food aversion techniques, post cancer care of the mouth).
Managers look for few determining qualities when the SLP supply is high, specifically independence and leadership. The easiest way to show that you are an independent leader while interviewing, is by taking charge of the interview. Be assertive, verbalize how you will fit in as opposed to sitting back and just being present in the interview.
What is your Value-Add
Now that the homework is completed and you have explained how you fit in based off of your experiences and educational background, it's time to figure out your Value-Add. How will you provide value to the organization, in other words, how will you show them the money?
These organizations are businesses that are looking to not only generate revenue, but also a profit. You have spent years, if not months building your SLP networks comprised of doctors, SLPs, outreach programs, school system administrators, and possibly home health agencies so use these referral sources to provide huge value to a company. Don't be afraid to drop names, as it will further validate your existence and reason for hire.
The interview is one of the last steps, but should be taken seriously. Don't take phone interviews or Gallup polls lightly, as these lead to forward progress. Also, remember that you are going to an interview and need to dress appropriately. Follow these guidelines and nail your next SLP interview. Good Luck!