Research shows that students who have access to interview strategies and mock interviews perform better in real-life job hiring. Attention must be given to resume writing and overall professionalism to have a positive impact on clinical and job success. The purpose of this presentation is to emphasize the importance of clinical sites taking advantage of this student learning opportunity to capitalize on improving student placement and clinical instructor (CI) matching to ensure successful internships for all stakeholders.
This collaborative model between the academic institution, the student, and the clinical site begins with the preparatory training between the academic instruction and the student. Academic institutions must provide preparation including instruction on resume writing and interview skills. Academic institutions should provide mock interviews with affiliated local clinical sites. These interviews provide “real life” scenarios and allow for non-punitive feedback to help develop students’ interpersonal skills.
Clinical sites will benefit from performing interviews for student placements. By reviewing resumes, sites gain the opportunity to take a first look in evaluating student experience and preparedness. After reviewing the resume, sites then conduct interviews, either phone or face-to-face. Ultimately, this process places an extra step to ensuring student success. Should a student interview be unsuccessful, this process allows the site to give feedback to the student and school to allow for further preparation and better student-site matching.
Students also benefit from this process by receiving additional exposure to real-life experience which may aide them in mastering the job interview process. Although the interview process is not a 100% guarantee for student success, it does prepare the student, academic institution and clinical site for the upcoming clinical affiliations.
Although the process of conducting clinical site interviews prior to student placement may be timely, it has been beneficial to all stakeholders at our large academic medical center. It allows better matching of a student to a CI, opportunity for feedback to the student, and preparation for real-job interviews. Since implementing the interview process over 8 years ago, our site has had a 100% success rate for all internships.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education
PT educators are continually striving to produce the best students as measured by successful completion of the program, passing of the licensure exam, and ultimately, job placement. The process of interview preparation and experience is a tool that is underutilized. By preparing the students for the ultimate final outcome of job interviews by using resume writing, mock-interviews, and pre-clinical placement interviews, schools provide the students with yet another tool in their toolbox for PT excellence.
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