The new school year is off to a start and I am preparing for ALL of my students, including the graduate intern who I will be supervising this semester. One of the practices I’ve adopted since last year is facilitating a pre-placement interview. The interview sets the tone for the semester, allows both parties to practice their interviewer/interviewee skills and helps the supervisors get a better understanding of what skill-sets and experiences the student is coming in with.
Click here for a PDF version of the interview questions I ask my graduate students or continue reading:
Graduate SLP Student Interview Questions:
- What brought you to speech-language pathology? What are your professional goals for the next five years?
This gives you an idea of what the student is most passionate about. It also reveals if they have already decided what kind of population they would like to work with in the future.
- What communication disorders are you familiar with? Do you have any experience with AAC?
This will help you better understand their previous clinical experiences if any.
- What formal assessment tools have you used to evaluate patients?
Another question to help you better understand the scope of your student’s previous experiences and what you may need to walk them through in your particular placement.
- Are you comfortable working in a group setting? If yes, How do you handle a group therapy setting consisting of children with diverse needs?
Most student clinical experience tends to be individual therapy. This question will reveal if the student has any previous experience with group therapy and will give the clinician an idea of how much training the student might need in this area.
- Describe a challenging case.
This is an opportunity for the student to highlight how they problem-solve.
- What is your training and experience working with children with autism?
You can replace “children with Autism” with whatever population is most prevalent in your work setting.
- How would you respond to a parent who believes speech therapy is not helping their child? How about a parent who wants to increase the frequency of therapy?
The average graduate student will struggle with this question and that’s OK. This is a good baseline question to see how comfortable the student seems to be managing parent concerns. You can ask this again at the end of the semester to measure growth.
- How would you assess non-native English speaking students?
As a bilingual provider (likely supervising bilingual graduate students), it is important to assess how equipped students are to evaluate non-native English speakers as well as students who are culturally diverse. Listen for mention of both standardized and dynamic assessments.
- What are your biggest strengths and your biggest weaknesses?
This is a common interview question that your student should start to practice answering. it will also give you some insight into where the student may need coaching.
- Do you have any questions for me?
Always give students an opportunity to ask questions back.
In addition to these core questions, I ask students about what classes they’ve taken and what their semester schedule looks like in order to coordinate the days and times of their externship hours. I also have students fill out a pre-placement self-evaluation survey (please drop a comment down below if this is something you would be interested in seeing.)
What do you do to orient and train your graduate students? Let’s continue sharing, learning + growing together.