When considering travel therapy jobs, the phone interview with the facility is your opportunity to determine if the travel therapy job will be a good fit for you or not. Typically you’ll be moving fairly far away for the travel therapy job, so you won’t have the opportunity to go to the facility in person before deciding if you want to accept the contract or not, so the phone interview is key. It’s vital to use this interview to your advantage to gain pertinent information about the facility, caseload, staff on site, and more.
Interview with the Facility
After you’ve been submitted for a job by your travel company, the next step is normally a phone interview with the facility (usually the manager or Director of Rehab).
Interviews for travel jobs are a little different than permanent job interviews in our experience. The interviewer typically does not ask you very many traditional interview questions, they just want to get a feel for who you are and make sure you would make a welcome addition to the team. They also generally want to know a little about your past experience and qualifications. Rarely are we asked normal interview questions, apart from “tell me about yourself.” Always be ready for that one in any interview.
But for the most part, as long as you meet the minimum qualifications, and are licensed and ready to go, quite often for travel therapy jobs they just want to know how soon you can be there and start helping them. Therefore, travel therapy phone interviews can often feel quite rushed, so it’s up to you to make sure to be prepared to ask them a lot of questions to ensure it’s a good option for yourself.
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Just as in a permanent job, you need to do a thorough interview of the company to make sure they are a good fit for you. Thirteen weeks (the typical length of most travel therapy contracts) is a relatively short time period, although it can feel very long if the position is wrong for you.
Below is a list of questions we use in interviews that you can use too. Obviously we tailor these to the specific facility, and we always try to research the facility a little bit if possible so we can glean any information that may be readily available online.
- What are the productivity standards?
- How are non-billable tasks accounted for?
- How much time do I have for an evaluation? Treatment?
- What type of training/orientation is provided?
- What is the average caseload? # evals, # treatments
- Ramp up period? What does this look like?
- How many hours per week? Overtime?
- What is the schedule?
- Weekends? Holidays?
- What does the team look like? # therapists, assistants, aides?
- How many of each will I be supervising?
- What is the general patient population? (Ortho, neuro, post op, etc.)
- What is the average length of stay (for inpatient)?
- What is the facility size/number of beds?
- What EMR do you use?
- Will I have my own computer or tablet?
- Is documentation performed at point of service or is time allotted for documentation?
- Will someone be able to train me on the documentation system?
- What is the dress code?
- What is the director/supervisor’s profession?
- Is there any mentorship available?
- What equipment is available at the facility for therapy?
This is hardly an exhaustive list and needs to be tailored to every interview and facility, but we keep this list with us for every interview and it serves us well for keeping our thoughts organized.
After you have the phone interview with the facility, hopefully you have a better idea of whether this travel therapy contract will be a good option for you or not. Sometimes the interviewer will offer you the position right away on the phone call, or sometimes this will be left unknown at the end of the call and they will follow up later with whether they’d like to offer you the position or not.
We generally recommend that if they do offer the job immediately, you say thank you and that you will follow up with your recruiter and let them know ASAP to finalize the details, even if you’re fairly certain you do want the job. This just gives you a little bit of an opportunity to reflect and ensure you have all of your questions answered, and that everything looks good on the contract with the recruiter, before officially accepting.
But, typically travel therapy jobs move very quickly, so you usually need to decide if you’d like to accept the job within 24-48 hours of when you receive the offer. If after the interview you still have lingering questions before you’re ready to accept, you can follow up with your recruiter for further clarification. Sometimes you can also follow up with the person you interviewed with via phone or email to clarify more questions before accepting.
We hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your travel therapy job interview!
Help Getting Started
We go over how the interview process works, the follow-up steps, accepting a contract, and more in detail in our comprehensive travel therapy course “Becoming a Financially Successful Travel Therapist”. Find out more about the course here if you’re interested in taking your knowledge and preparedness to the next level in order to have a seamless and successful travel therapy journey.
If you’re ready to get connected with great travel therapy recruiters who can help you find the best travel therapy job opportunities and have the best overall experience, fill out our recruiter recommendations form here so we can get you connected!
If you have any questions for us, please feel free to send us a message!
Article written by Travis Kemper, PT, DPT – September 2018
Edited and updated by Whitney Eakin, PT, DPT, ATC – April 2023
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