In a previous blog post I discussed getting my PTA license and preparing for job interviews with AskAManager.org. (Excellent site!)
I talked about the "Magic Question" to always ask on an interview: "Thinking back to people who have been
in this position previously, what differentiated the ones who were good
from the ones who were really great?"
So here's my story about how I got a job.
I had set up Indeed.com to email me of any new relevant job postings local to me. I got an email on Friday about a SNF (skilled nursing facility) near me hiring. I applied Saturday night at 9:05pm. I included a resume and cover letter I was very proud of. At 9:27pm I had a reply from the COO of the company asking to schedule a phone interview. I couldn't believe the fast response but I set up the phone interview for the next day, Sunday afternoon. He called and described the job and told me the Rehab Director would text/call me to schedule an in-person interview. She texted shortly after and scheduled my interview for the next afternoon.
I was very nervous because of how horrible my interview in January had gone. The night before I typed of 4 pages worth of answers to possible questions she might ask me. It was an unseasonably warm day (70 degrees) so I couldn't wear my awesome blazer.
I walked in the building and noticed it didn't smell and was a very bright, pleasant place. The Rehab Director talked a little bit about the job and then asked me if I had any questions. I was a little taken aback because usually the interviewee's questions are for the end. I had written down 4 questions to ask her, so I decided to go ahead with them. My questions were to get a sense of the atmosphere of the facility, how they set me up to be successful, and the rehab director's management style. I was impressed with her answers and thought it would be a great place for my first job. When I asked her the magic question (see above), her response was "Questions. Someone who asks questions." Which was an answer I liked because I'm an inquisitive person. She told me I was the first person to come to an interview with a list of questions. She said most people were too nervous. But an interview should be a two-way street. You're judging their fit for you as much as they are judging your fit for them. I liked their plans to help me ease into the new job after graduation. I liked the PT I'd be working with at the beginning.
The Rehab Director asked me two questions, neither of which were on my typed up answers: Tell me about your contact with PTs at clinicals. How do you feel about going for you first job after graduation?
I asked when the rehab director would be making a decision about the job. She told me there were 2 interviews the next day and a decision would be made in 2 days.
I ran a few errands after the interview and as I was pulling into my neighborhood about 45 minutes later I got a call. The COO had said he wanted to touch base with my after the interview and I recognized his number. He said he heard the interview went well and I told him I thought it did, too. He said the rehab director had just called him, told him how impressed she was with me and they wanted to offer me the position. I couldn't believe it. I accepted, negotiated pay (you should always negotiate! The worst they can say is no.) and celebrated that evening with dinner with my parents!
Always ask questions in an interview. I asked some challenging questions that required thought and gave me an idea of who the Rehab Director was. I liked what she had to say, so when I accepted the job, I knew I'd be working with/for good people.
Now actually starting the job is the really hard part. I'm very nervous, but that's another blog post!