Prep for the Speech Pathology School Interview

If you have experienced a job interview you have a pretty good notion of what to expect when you interview for admission to a speech-language pathology (SLP) school. On the other hand, if you are new to the interviewing process you might have a bunch of questions about what to expect. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering what to bring to the interview, how to prepare and what some common SLP interview questions are, this guide is for you.

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs

Earn Your SLP Master’s Online From Baylor

Baylor’s SLP master’s program online can be completed full time in 20 months or part time in 25 months. Bachelor’s required. No GRE required.

  • Part-time and full-time options: 20 and 25 months  
  • Industry-leading curriculum in a faith-based environment 
  • Bachelor’s and GRE Required

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Online MSW: Pursue SLP Certification and Study FT/PT

Speech@Emerson enables you to earn an MS online and pursue SLP certification in as few as 20 mos. Learn the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Study FT or PT.

  • Prepares you to pursue certification as an SLP generalist 
  • In-person clinical placements at faculty-approved partner sites  
  • As few as 20 months to complete

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Want to Become an SLP? Earn an MS Online at NYU

NYU Steinhardt’s online master of science program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders prepares aspiring speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive professional education.  

  •  Prepares students to pursue SLP licensure 
  • Accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation 
  • As few as six terms to complete 
  • Full-time and part-time plans of study

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This page is only to be used as an informational guide. It is always best to contact the university or a licensed speech pathologist for academic and professional advice.

So You’re Thinking About Speech Pathology School

You’ve earned your undergraduate degree and now you’re ready to move on to a speech pathology master’s program. While acceptance to a bachelor’s program might seem fairly easy, acceptance at the graduate level could be a more intensive process. A speech pathology graduate school interview is an important element of getting into speech pathology school. Those in charge of selecting the right candidates for a speech-language pathology school look for certain qualities, skills and potential you bring to the program. Before you begin your interview prep, know that each institution’s interview process is unique and questions will vary.

What to Bring to Your Speech-Language Pathology School Interview

There are only a few items that might be needed during your SLP school interview.

Notebook and pen

Come prepared with a notebook and pen to take notes during the interview. You might be asked to jot down information during the interview process.

Updated professional portfolio

Depending on program requirements, your portfolio should include multiple copies of your resume or CV, relevant papers and school documents, and presentations. Bringing an updated professional portfolio with your best work is a great way to make a strong first impression.

A positive attitude

Have a positive attitude going into your speech pathology graduate school interview. Smile, ask thoughtful questions, and be excited about and grateful for the opportunity to pursue a master’s in speech pathology. 

How to Prepare for a Speech Pathology School Interview

Below are some tips, collected from various SLP blogs, to help you prepare for your speech pathology graduate school interview.

Start early

Give yourself enough time to adequately prepare for the interview. For example, consider preparing a week in advance so you only have to review the day before the interview. Starting early also gives you time to update your professional portfolio and resume.

Do your research

Knowing about the speech pathology program is essential. Research the program and school thoroughly before your interview. How many credits are required? Is the program accredited? What are the clinical requirements? What elective courses are offered? If you can’t find the answer to one of these questions, you can ask during your interview.

Practice

Practice might not make perfect, but it will make you feel more confident going into your interview. Practice interviewing with someone whether a family member, friend or staff member at your school’s career center. 

Dress for the occasion

Select a professional outfit for your interview, and skip the heavy perfume or cologne. Make sure your outfit is also comfortable, since you may be sitting awhile. 

Arrive early

After you’ve confirmed your appointment and any directions/guidelines you must follow, arrive about 15 minutes early. Make sure you turn your phone off or on silent before going into your interview.

Relax

Finally, relax. Take a deep breath in and exhale. You’ve worked hard to prepare for this interview, and guess what? You got this.

Common SLP Graduate School Interview Questions and Answers

Preparing for your speech pathology graduate school interview means being ready for a variety of questions, both general and specific to SLP. Below are some common questions to review.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When answering this question, look to either SLP related skills, habits, or personality traits. Be honest with yourself and your interviewer. State your strengths first and follow each up with a specific example, such as:

“One of my strengths is time management. I have taken several undergraduate courses in an online format, while working a part-time job at a local child care center. I made sure to meet all of my obligations in a timely manner, whether it be at school or work.”

“Another strength I have is my personal experience with the articulation disorder Rhotacism as a child. I was teased because I was unable to pronounce Rs properly, but, thankfully, I was able to overcome Rhotacism with the help of my parents and doctor. I have empathy and compassion for anyone who suffers with a speech or hearing impairment and want to do everything I can to help them lead the best life possible.” 

Some examples of qualities and strengths for an SLP:

  • Clear communication
  • Strong collaboration
  • Honesty, integrity, and compassion
  • Detailed-oriented 
  • Curious and open to new learning opportunities

Take the same approach when stating your weaknesses during a speech pathology graduate school interview; follow up with a specific example. Another tip when discussing a weakness is to mention how you try to improve in the area.

“One weakness is that I’m self-critical. Early in my undergraduate experience, I felt I could have accomplished more. The harder I tried and the more I mastered, the more I raised my expectations. Sometimes this caused negative self-talk, leading to burnout. One solution that has helped me tremendously is to acknowledge my accomplishments, no matter how small.”

“Sometimes I have trouble with spelling. I understand the importance of proper grammar, punctuation and spelling in my reports, so I use Grammarly and spell-check every time I write—whether it’s on my desktop, laptop or smartphone.”

Some examples of weaknesses:

  • Procrastination
  • Lack of confidence
  • Take on too much responsibility
  • Lack of focus
  • Difficulty with an area of expertise

What are your hobbies?

Here’s where you can share the things you love to do when you’re not attending school or studying. Whether it’s reading romance novels, bowling, gardening, cooking or watching old movies, share your love for them. This helps the interviewers get to know you as a person.

What skills do you bring to the program?

To answer the question about what skills you will bring, discuss both hard and soft skills. If you excel at a particular software program, mention it. If your time management abilities stand out, talk about them.

“I pride myself on being punctual, whether it’s to a clinical session or meeting an assignment deadline. I ensure my timeliness with a daily calendar and alarms that I set for plenty of time ahead so I won’t be late.” 

Hard skills include:

  • Computer skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Specific SLP knowledge
  • Writing skills

Soft skills include:

  • Attentive listening 
  • Adaptability
  • Work ethic
  • Openness to feedback

What areas of SLP do you find most interesting?

Consider what about speech-language pathology fascinates you. In what areas are you the most curious and excited to learn more about? Speak about these subjects.

An example response to a question regarding your interest in SLP might be:

“I have worked with children throughout my educational journey and am most interested in child language and language disorders.”

What are your career goals?

Why do you want to become a speech pathologist? Think about what you would like to do with your graduate degree. While your plans can change over time, discuss your plans for completing advanced coursework, obtaining certification and pursuing a speech pathology career

“My career goals are to attain my Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP) and work with children.”

What are your plans if you’re not accepted into our program?

Since there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted into an SLP program, it’s good to have an alternate career plan as a backup. Be prepared to share a bit about your backup plan during your speech pathology graduate school interview. For example, you could respond with an answer like:

“If I’m not accepted into your program, I’ll revisit my undergraduate materials and gain additional hands-on experience with children before I reapply.”

Other Speech Pathology Graduate School Prep Tips

Your speech pathology graduate school interview isn’t the only thing you need to prepare for. An SLP master’s program is demanding, so a bit of prep before you head into your first semester can set you up for greater success. Below are some helpful planning tips for SLP graduate school.

  • Prepare a planner. Whether you use a paper or digital planner, it can help you manage your time during graduate school.
  • Create a file-storing system. Develop a system for organizing your study guides, lecture notes, diagnostic references, treatment materials, etc., either in a binder or hard drive. Digital format allows you access from anywhere. 
  • Prepare yourself mentally. During speech pathology graduate school, you may face challenges and be pushed outside your comfort zone. Working on your ability to handle stress and adapt to new situations can be helpful.
  • Gather materials. Here are a few items you may find helpful during and after your SLP program:
    • Encrypted flash drive for client files and programs (to ensure HIPAA compliance). 
    • Portable voice recorder to record your clinical sessions. If you want to use a voice recorder, get your clients’ consent before recording.
    • Tote bag to carry around your supplies.
    • Clipboard for a firm writing surface when taking notes.
    • Laminator to protect your reference guides and other training materials.

Information last updated October 2020

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs

Earn Your SLP Master’s Online From Baylor

Baylor’s SLP master’s program online can be completed full time in 20 months or part time in 25 months. Bachelor’s required. No GRE required.

  • Part-time and full-time options: 20 and 25 months  
  • Industry-leading curriculum in a faith-based environment 
  • Bachelor’s and GRE Required

info SPONSORED

Online MSW: Pursue SLP Certification and Study FT/PT

Speech@Emerson enables you to earn an MS online and pursue SLP certification in as few as 20 mos. Learn the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Study FT or PT.

  • Prepares you to pursue certification as an SLP generalist 
  • In-person clinical placements at faculty-approved partner sites  
  • As few as 20 months to complete

info SPONSORED

Want to Become an SLP? Earn an MS Online at NYU

NYU Steinhardt’s online master of science program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders prepares aspiring speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive professional education.  

  •  Prepares students to pursue SLP licensure 
  • Accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation 
  • As few as six terms to complete 
  • Full-time and part-time plans of study

info SPONSORED