Finding and Applying for Jobs in Occupational Therapy

Applying for Jobs

Every employer you apply to will have a different approach to recruitment. You will need to become familiar with this and adapt your application accordingly. Attend any talks given by staff coming into the university to help you apply. Attend Occupational Therapy Fairs and student conferences where you will get specific advice and up to date information on employers' recruitment needs.  There some key websites recommended to get you started.

Preparing for Interview

The following are questions occupational therapy students have been asked in the past:

  • Why are you applying for this job? 
  • Can you tell us about something you feel you have achieved academically or professionally since you have been training?
  • What have you done that you think you could have done better over the last three/four years?
  • What skills do you think you need for this job?
  • What strategies would you use to manage your time effectively?
  • You come into work and someone has taken everything out of the department.  You are allowed three essential things – what would you choose and why?
  • You go to a ward round and you are referred 8 patients that need to be seen that day.  Your supervisor is not in that day; what strategies would you use to prioritise?
  • You are on a home visit and the patient refuses to return to the hospital, what would you do?
  • You observe one of the OT assistants carrying out a transfer that you know is unsafe.  You address this with the assistant but they say they have always done it like that.  What would you do?
  • How would you ensure you maintain your CPD?
  • You are assessing a mental health patient for the first time.  He has a history of anger management issues.  There are just the two of you in the room.  What issues would you need to consider?
  • What current issues in health and social care are you aware of that may influence your practice?
  • At a case conference, the family of a patient are determined that she is going into a home.  You have carried out a home visit and feel that with some rehabilitation and possible home care she could manage.  The MDT is in agreement with your recommendations; how would you approach the family?
  • You have a patient who you feel has some further potential for rehabilitation however needs a high level of care in the meantime.  The social worker has told you that the amount of care she needs is above the allowed threshold and would be recommending residential care.  The patient does not want to go into care – what would you do?
  • You are running a group and one patient is particularly disruptive.  How do you deal with him/her?
  • You are seeing a client who discloses that they are having thoughts about killing someone – what would you do?
  • What is good practice for keeping clinical records?
  • What makes a good supervision session? 

Professional Associations

To keep up to date with the profession and help you prepare for applications and interviews it is recommended that you join professional associations and read professional journals and magazines.  British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) and College of Occupational Therapy (COT) are your professional bodies that offer support, learning resources, careers advice and insurance. You are strongly advised to join as a student member to access their resources and professional development opportunities. 

All Occupational Therapists must also register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Last modified: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 15:01