Resumes and Interviews


  • Cover letter/resume/interviewing/post interview:

Q: I have no medical experience (or I’m a CF), how can I highlight my interest/ skills in my cover letter?

A: When writing your cover letter, include examples of traits and skills that are highly valued in a medical setting such as flexibility, problem solving/ decision-making, teamwork and leadership. Include an example for each skill/trait you mention- ‘My flexibility will allow my future employer to schedule me to fit the demands of the department.’ Additionally, include statements of interest that matches programs/ clinical service areas available at that facility (MBSS, FEES, Neo-natal ICU, dining program, cognitive group treatment, etc) and what you have done to seek out knowledge in that area (joined a special interest group with ASHA, sought out specific CEU opportunities). Lastly, if you are still in graduate school and in a medical practicum setting, be sure to ask your supervisor to review your cover letter and resume, or even share theirs as an example for you.

Q: What should I include in my resume if I have no medical experience?

A: Include professional skills gained during previous employment such as: Any customer service, computer skills, and time management examples.

Include examples of teamwork or leadership experiences such as: Your role within an organization/club and/or team building activities you have participated in.

If you did not obtain practicum experience within a medical placement then you will want to highlight clinical skills and experience that translate across all settings such as evaluation and diagnosing, treatment plan development, caseload management, and team/client/parent conferences, etc.

Q: What types of questions should I expect during the interview process?

A: Be prepared to answer a mix of behavioral and clinical based questions. Behavioral based interview questions are easily found with a quick google search, but here a few examples:

Tell us about a time you have been given constructive feedback about your work performance. Tell us the situation and how you worked toward improving this area.

Tell us about a time when you made a mistake and how you fixed it.

Tell us about a time when you pushed through and made the best out of a negative circumstance or unwanted change.

Clinical questions will be directly related to the population you will most likely treat in a setting (hospital, SNF, outpatient, home health). Below are few example questions:

Adult settings:

Briefly walk us through what you assess for during a bedside swallow evaluation and when you would recommend a MBSS (or FEES).

Tell us about your experience/knowledge with patients who are tracheostomy/ventilator dependent.

Tell us about your experience with patients who have traumatic brain injuries. Give us examples of the range of Rancho Levels you have evaluated/treated. Give an example of a treatment session you planned for a patient with TBI.

What are some tasks/questions you would ask a patient to assess their higher-level cognitive skills?

Walk us through what standardized assessment or informal tasks you use to assess for aphasia.

Tell us about a time you did not recommend treatment after an evaluation. What was the circumstance?

Pediatric settings:

Tell us about your experience treating children using AAC and what types of AAC devices you are familiar with.

Tell us about the pediatric communication disorders have you have worked with in    therapy.

Which disorders do you feel you have the most experience with? What are your strengths in evaluating and treating those disorders?

Tell us about a complex patient you have treated. What was the diagnosis? Which tests did you use?

Give an example of a treatment session that you felt was successful and why. Give an example of a treatment session that did not go according to your plan and what you did to change it to address your goals.


Q: What should I include in my post interview “thank you?”

A: A handwritten card or an email are great ways to follow up and re-cap your skill set and interest in that facility/organization. Be sure to re-emphasize why you match what the employer is seeking through examples mentioned during the interview and within your cover letter/resume.