Hey readers! Last week I had an interview for one of my level II fieldwork placements. Prior to the interview, prepared some questions to ask the site coordinator and completed any documents that they needed from me. This interview also served as a “meet and greet” to make sure that I am a good fit for the placement and to get me acquainted with the site. This blog post can be helpful for you if you also have a level II fieldwork interview or if you have OT school interviews coming up. Here are a few things that I did ahead of time to prepare for my interview that you may find helpful:
Schedule During Your Break
The fieldwork department at my school recommended that we schedule fieldwork interviews during our winter break, which I thought was really great advice. I reached out to my fieldwork site prior to the holidays, and I was able to schedule my interview for the first week of the new year. This was helpful for me because I was able to focus all of my attention on the interview rather than preparing for it in the midst of a busy semester. I felt refreshed, prepared, and confident going into my interview.
This goes without saying, but always dress professionally for fieldwork interviews. You want to put your best foot forward any time that you are representing your school and yourself as a future occupational therapist. Even if your site allows you to dress down or wear scrubs when you are actually at fieldwork, it is best to wear professional attire for the interview. For example, wearing dress pants, a blouse, a blazer, and flats is a safe choice. This is what I wore to my fieldwork interview.
Write Down Key Questions
It is common for your interviewer to ask you if you have any questions about the placement or the site, so it is helpful to write down any questions that you have ahead of time. This will help you remember any questions you have and prevent you from drawing a blank during the interview. Some questions that I had for my site were:
- What school(s) will I primarily be at?
- Are there any evaluations, interventions, or readings that I should review beforehand to prepare for fieldwork?
- What is the dress code?
- What/how much should I know about IEPs prior to fieldwork?
- Are there any school holidays or professional development days in which I should not expect to be at fieldwork? Does the OT go in on any of those days?
Update Curriculum Vitae
The curriculum vitae, otherwise known as CV, is essentially an extended resume that has all of you academic, extracurricular, and professional experience written in detail. Be sure to update this prior to your interview and print a copy to give to your interviewer.
Print Required Documents
Documents and items that I printed or had on hand during my interview included:
- Professional folder or portfolio to hold all of your documents
- Notebook with questions written down
- Updated curriculum vitae
- School district’s academic calendar (if applicable)
- Completed CORI form (if applicable)
- Proof of fingerprint completion (if applicable)
Write a Thank You Note
After your interview, be sure to send a professional thank you note or email to your interviewer. Thank them for their time and reflect on your excitement or eagerness to learn from them at their site. Writing a thank you note shows your appreciation and continues to build your professional relationship with your fieldwork educator.
How It Went
I think that my interview went really well. I received a tour of the site and learned more about the OT process in that setting. I also learned what will be expected of me and how I will progress from shadowing for the first 1-2 weeks to being responsible for a full caseload by the end of the 12 weeks. I was also told that the OT who I will be working with uses the ABA frame of reference, so I am really excited to learn more about that and put it into practice. Overall, I am super happy with this placement and I can’t wait to start! I am excited to finally get out of the classroom and start really putting my knowledge to the test and learning from a professional OT.
Thanks for reading! Good luck on any OT school or fieldwork interviews that you have coming up.