If you’re ready to start your career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, you might be wondering how the interview process may be and some questions you’ll face. Read our guide to gauge what to expect in an SLP interview.
What Is A Speech-Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist is an expert in communication who treats a variety of communication and swallowing problems, including literary, social communication, speech sounds, voice, fluency, and feeding.
SLPs work in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, and private practices with patients of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. Their duties include performing assessments, developing treatment plans, motivating patients, and maintaining patient records. They also establish and maintain relationships with patients and their families as well as other SLPs and healthcare workers.
To work as an SLP, you must obtain a master’s degree in speech-language pathology or speech therapy and a license, though licensing requirements vary by state. Other requirements are specific to the role you’re applying for and may include practical experience working with a particular age group or specific disorders.
SLP certifications are also available for speech-language pathologists who want to specialize in a particular area. These include Board Certified Specialist in Child Language (BCS-CL), Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S), Certification of clinical competence in speech-language pathology (CCC-SLP), and Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency (BCS-F).
Preparing For A School SLP Interview
Preparing for a school SLP interview starts with researching the school. Is it a public, private, or charter school? Does the role consist of in-person or virtual learning? What is the school’s mission?
Prepare your own job interview questions to ask the interviewer, like:
- What is the culture in your school?
- Can you describe the workspace for your SLPs?
- What are you looking for in a candidate for this role?
- How do you evaluate your SLPs?
On the day of the interview, dress appropriately and leave yourself plenty of time for travel.
SLP Interview Questions
To further prepare, study these common SLP interview questions and answers:
1. Why did you apply for this position?
Example answer: I’ve worked in many schools before, and I was very impressed by your mission. I’ve always been drawn to the diversity of inner-city schools and am passionate about working with bilingual students and families.
2. Why did you want to be a speech pathologist?
Example answer: I had a lisp in elementary school, and I worked with a speech pathologist who was so much fun and really helped me. I didn’t realize until I got a little older how much he did for me, and I was inspired to pursue it as a career.
3. Have you had any clinical experience in a school setting?
Example answer: Yes, while pursuing my master’s degree, I did a rotation in an inner-city elementary school working with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, so I’m used to working with teachers and consulting with parents to develop IEPs.
4. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Example answer: I haven’t been working in the field very long, so I think my biggest weakness is that I don’t have a lot of experience. But I’m willing to put in the work to learn as much as I can and am not afraid to ask for help when I need it.
5. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
Example answer: Honestly, this is the role I’ve been looking for, and I think, professionally, it will satisfy me for a long time. That said, I am always interested in learning more, so I am hoping to pursue a certification as a Board-Certified Specialist in Child Language in the next few years.
6. How do you feel about collaboration?
Example answer: Collaboration is essential for this role. I know I’m part of a team that is focused on doing what is best for each student, and working with teachers, parents, and other school professionals help me do my job better.
7. What are your language capabilities?
Example answer: I’m fluent in American sign language and Spanish. I’ve also worked with students who spoke Arabic and German before, so I’m comfortable working with translators.
8. How do you integrate technology into your practice?
Example answer: I love integrating tech when working with students, but I think it’s important not to just use it for the sake of using it. I only use apps that have evidence-based practices behind them, and always do the activities cooperatively. I think there are a lot of programs available that are a great compliment to what we do, but no app can replace effective speech therapy.
9. What makes someone an effective SLP?
Example answer: Patience and compassion. I think that being a good SLP means that you care about your students and understand that everyone is working at their own level. Helping students with disabilities can be particularly challenging, and it can get frustrating when it seems like you’re not making progress as fast as you’d hoped. But you must know that you’ll get there, eventually, and continue to work with patience and compassion.
10. Why do you prefer working with school-aged kids?
Example answer: I’m very comfortable working with this age group, and I like working in a school setting because the kids are already used to being here and comfortable in the environment. I find working with children to be so motivating. They’re so inspirational, and seeing their progress makes me proud to do what I do.
Being an SLP is a challenging but rewarding job, especially in a school-based setting. If you’re looking for speech-language pathologist jobs, look at the opportunities Blazer Jobs has to offer.