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Monday, May 5, 2014

16 tips to help you get hired as a respiratory therapist

I keep getting emails from respiratory therapy students on how to get a job as a respiratory therapist.  Or they might be something like, "What questions should I expect to be asked?"

My answer is usually something like this: When I was being interviewed most of the questions centered on the theme: will this person fit into our team? Does he have the right personality fit? Does he have potential? Is he teachable?

In other words, how to get a job as an RT is no different than for any other profession.  Here are some other tips:
  1. Put in your application
  2. Don't wait to be called.  Wait about a week and then call them.
  3. Be courteous on the phone and in person
  4. Be especially courteous to the secretary
  5. Dress nice.  You do not need to wear a suit and tie, although nice pants and a dress shirt would be nice. A general rule is to dress about one level above what you would wear to work.  If you're applying for an executive position, then you'll want to wear a suit and tie. But since you'll just be wearing scrubs, you don't have to go to that level.  In fact, you might not fit in if you did dress that well. 
  6. Be courteous, especially to secretaries.  The reason here is because I've heard of secretaries getting people hired.
  7. Speak good English
  8. Don't wear a bunch of piercings on your face.
  9. Don't wear too much makeup or perfume
  10. Be a good listener
  11. Know the company that wants to hire you
  12. Be on time, which means be about 10 minutes early
  13. Know the name of the interviewer.  You can learn this by checking out the hospital's website, or by calling and asking.
  14. Bring a copy of your resume, even if you already sent it
  15. Practice your answers to basic questions, such as:
    1. What are your strengths?
    2. What are your weaknesses?
    3. Why do you want to work here?
    4. Where do you expect to be in five years? 
    5. What do you do in your free time?
    6. Tell me about yourself?
  16. Ask questions.  This shows you are not all knowing, and are willing to listen and learn. 
  17. Be honest.  Don't make yourself out to be what you are not.  If you're personality fits the milieu of the hospital, you will make it to the top of the hire list.  If your personality doesn't fit, there will be other jobs. 
Bottom line: Any hiring person will know that you have no experience, and that there will be a lot for you to learn.  So, this means that your two best selling points are how you present yourself, and that you are capable of being molded into the type of respiratory therapist the institution requires. 

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