It’s time to take your education and experience as an allied health professional and head out on the open road! If you’re ready to try traveling, there are a few things you should know before your first travel allied health interview. From answering the number 1 question to practicing your pitch, by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be prepped to land your first travel contract.1. Prep for the “About You” Question
By now, “Tell us about yourself,” is a pretty common question during interviews for any profession. It’s not only a quick icebreaker after the initial greeting, but it’s also a way to help you ease into the interview with confidence. By preparing a response ahead of time, you set yourself up for success. As Lily Zhang, writer for the career counseling site The Muse recommends, you should start with a simple formula of present, past, and future:
- “Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment.
- Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for.
- Future: Segue into what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in this gig (and a great fit for it, too).”
While some resources may suggest you shy away from personal details, we recommend keeping the “professional to personal ratio” at about 80% to 20%. Spend 80% of your time focusing on your work experience and how you will impact the team and facility with whom you are interviewing. Spend the other 20% of the time touching upon any personal goals or accomplishments. Show you’re the perfect fit and connect with your interviewer on a more personal level.
If you’re someone with minimal work experience in the field, and no experience as a travel allied health professional, it’s essential to highlight your soft skills. According to Indeed, “Soft skills include any skills that can be classified as a personality trait or habit. Interpersonal skills and communication skills are more specific categories of soft skills that many employers look for in job candidates.” Soft skills are transferable and fit into any career, grow with you, and are essential for patient-facing professionals like travel therapists and nurses. Some soft skills that travel therapy clients look for are adaptability, communication, and problem-solving.
Travel PT positions are different from permanent PT positions, and travel OT contracts vary from long-term OT jobs, and so on. Before you get into your first travel therapy contract interview, see how well you fit with the travel therapy lifestyle. Do you have adventure in your blood? Have you been building your bucket list of state parks to visit since elementary school? How many signs you are a travel therapist can you check off? Now it’s time to take that adventurous spirit and direct it towards the facility with whom you’re interviewing. What are their big goals and dreams? How can you help them move forward? What kind of culture are they cultivating, and how do you fit in?
Phone calls and virtual, face-to-face meetings with Skype are the primary ways our clients’ hiring managers conduct interviews for our travelers. You must become well-versed in these interview styles! Set up mock interviews with your recruiter or your friends. Skype call your best friend and become more comfortable with the virtual interview environment. Try on the clothing you plan to wear and make sure it looks professional on the screen. Once you’ve got a handle on that, pick out some big moments from your work history to highlight and practice talking about them. Talk to yourself in the mirror, talk to your friends on the phone. The idea isn’t to have a script to recite, but to become comfortable enough with the information that you can recall these moments and chat about them with ease.
Last, but certainly not least, enthusiasm can go a long way during an interview, especially when that interview is over the phone.
- Smile while you speak. It works! If you smile while you talk, your tone of voice changes and interviewers can hear this over the phone.
- Show enthusiasm by recalling aspects of the clinic, hospital, or position that first got you interested in that particular contract. What stands out about them?
- Why are you excited to move to this geographical locale for the next 13 weeks? Cite some experiences you’re looking forward to in the area to show you’ve not only done your research, but also reveal your enthusiasm, too.
- Be prepared to ask questions and dig into what interests you about this role.
Whether you’re taking a peek at options available or ready to make big moves in the next few weeks, the team at CoreMedical Group is here to support you. So brush up on your soft skills, jump on a phone call with a healthcare recruiter, and let’s hear all about you!