Respiratory Therapist Interview Questions [Updated 2022]

People go into a job interview expecting to answer questions, not ask them. But according to RT managers, asking a few well-thought-out questions can really boost your chances of landing the job, because asking questions shows you are fully engaged in the process and have done your homework regarding the facility and what it has to offer.

“I would never want a candidate to feel like they are the ones on the ‘hot seat’ and that they can’t ask us for the things they are looking for in a good fit or a good position,” Wynn said. “We want employees to stay long term, so it is in our best interest to allow questions that will give them a feel for the culture of the organization and department. We can’t always assume that just because they applied and accepted the interview that they are sold on us.”

As the long-time director of respiratory care and pulmonary function at 446-bed UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, Jeffrey Davis, BS, RRT, has hired a lot of RTs in his career, and he always appreciates it when a candidate walks into the interview with two or three questions for him.

“It shows an interest on their part that goes beyond just finding that job and making an income,” he said. He suggests candidates prepare their questions beforehand and make it obvious that they are referring to those notes when asking them. He also advises candidates to be cognizant of the manager’s time when asking their questions.

Asking questions during an interview may seem a little daunting, especially for RTs seeking their first job right out of school. But as these managers suggest, speaking up can actually make you a stronger candidate. So next time you head out to an interview, take a few questions along and show the hiring manager you’ve given the position some serious thought beyond just a paycheck. The Latest Interviewing Advice Articles

Interview Questions for Respiratory Therapists:
  • How do you assess a patient’s condition and develop individualized therapies? …
  • Describe your most challenging experience with a patient. …
  • How do you motivate discouraged or uncooperative patients? …
  • What are some of the most useful therapies for patients with emphysema?

Top 20 Respiratory Therapist Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

How would you handle a case in which a patient or family member disagreed with your assessment?


In dealing with seriously ill patients, a respiratory therapist may face instances of conflict with patients and families over treatment approaches. This question helps you determine whether the respiratory therapist would be able to handle these situations independently, and you’ll learn about their attitude, values and treatment philosophies. You’ll be able to uncover whether the candidate handles conflict with appropriate resolution tactics and maintains professionalism and respect. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to resolve conflicts independently and respectfully
  • Willingness to listen to patient’s concerns
  • Knowledge of appropriate conflict resolution strategies
  • “I’d listen carefully to the patient’s/family’s concerns and address them directly. I’d propose several solutions and provide as much information and time as possible.”


    What is the most challenging respiratory condition you have treated, and what treatment approaches did you use?


    This question helps you assess the candidate’s general knowledge and level of expertise. You’ll learn whether they have dealt with complex cases, and you’ll be able to get a sense of whether they would be suited to the particular type of work that your respiratory therapy team performs. You’ll discover whether the applicant communicates effectively and clearly and how they might communicate with patients and team members. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of experience with cases your team commonly treats
  • High level of knowledge of treatment approaches
  • Ability to communicate clearly and efficiently
  • “I have treated several cases of Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERV). I tailored treatment according to the severity of the virus and performed frequent monitoring.”


    18. Can You Mention an Infection Control Protocol That Respiratory Therapists Should Practice Before Seeing Any Patient?

    The interviewer wants to know if you will put the patient at risk or protect his/ her interest. You must take enough precaution not to infect or reinfect the patient, thereby worsening his/ her situation.

    Tip #1: Mention a known sterilization protocol. ‘

    Tip #2: Show that you know what you are talking about.

    Sample Answer

    I consider Healthcare Infection Control Advisory Committee Protocol one of the best sterilizing protocols for both apparatus and equipment. However, a respiratory therapist can also use personal sanitization protocol before seeing a patient.

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