You have received an interview call from a company.
What should be your first step?
Whether it is your first interview or a couple down your career, a healthcare job interview can be a challenging experience. There might be a question you wouldn’t have an answer to or one that seemed not-so-complex after a little while. However, the case may be, a second’s lack in delivering a coherent response and a candidate’s confidence can reduce to nothing. Furthermore, some candidates appear to interview unprepared in their attire or packed resources, creating a negative first impression.
Appearing for a healthcare job interview requires rigorous preparation, including research, anticipation, and rehearsal, and we are here to guide you through it. Let’s find out how you can prepare for a healthcare job interview to ace it!
1. Research the Company
When you are invited for a healthcare job interview by a healthcare organization, the preliminary approach should be to research it. Candidates who do so impress the interviewer by responding intelligently to their questions regarding the company’s product, services, or competitors. Furthermore, it also helps them gain insight into the organization’s work culture and determine if it aligns with their values and work style.
Let us elaborate.
The healthcare industry features various organizations, industries, and facilities. From a hospital, clinics, pharmacies, hospices, or palliative homes to assisted living facilities – each workplace has its characteristic work environment and culture.
Healthcare professionals, both clinical and non-clinical, have different job descriptions in diverse healthcare organizations. It depends on the specific needs and priorities of each organization. For example, a nurse assigned to a hospital’s emergency department has different job duties than one in a long-term care facility.
Moreover, non-clinical professionals such as healthcare administrators, IT professionals, and healthcare finance professionals also have different duties depending on the organization’s size, services, and organizational structure.
Hence, as a healthcare professional, understanding what the organization offers will help you understand your job requirements once hired.
2. Modify your Resume
Now that you have sufficient knowledge about the organization you have applied for, it is time to tweak your resume.
As we discussed, a healthcare professional performs different operations in different healthcare organizations. Hence, modifying your resume based on the position and job requirements is crucial. The approach amplifies your chances of shining on the top of the resume stack.
Here’s another bonus tip: use the words used in the job descriptions and let the recruiters realize that you are the candidate they are looking for.
3. Predict Questions Based on Resume
You know your resume better than anyone. Hence for your resume to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, brace yourself for questions that may arise from your previous experiences. For instance, a significant gap in the resume can be a concerning matter for recruiters. Hence, in such cases, be prepared for detailed discussion and provide honest, relevant responses.
4. Do Your Homework
After preparing yourself with predictable questions from your resume, it is now time to think outside the box.
A study provides a guide to answering some tricky questions candidates face during a healthcare job interview for consultant posts. It suggests maintaining an extensive list of interview questions by reading the medical press, asking others who have been to an interview, and even approaching the panel to inquire about tricky questions.
In addition, you can also rehearse answering some frequently asked interview questions, such as:
- Tell us about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What made you interested in working here?
- Why did you leave your last position?
- Do you perform well under pressure? If yes, please provide an instance.
For instance, if you are applying for a medical assistant position, you should look for medical assistant interview questions beforehand. Find the required skills needed to be a medical assistant, and highlight and relate them with your resume for a detailed response.
Such questions create a personality draft for the interviewer as they assess your managerial traits, confidence, and experience. According to Mark Cheetham, healthcare candidates can increase their chances of landing a career by responding ideally to appreciative inquiries.
If you are wondering how to respond to these questions, try framing your answer with the STARR (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Reflection) acronym.
Furthermore, another study reveals that a common practice in a healthcare job interview requires candidates to discuss an abstract, usually from challenging journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine or The Lancet. Hence, regularly analyzing these journals will prevent you from being caught off guard on the interview day.
5. Plan an Outfit for a Healthcare Job Interview
You might not know it, but picking an appropriate interview attire is a crucial prerequisite when appearing for one. Dressing appropriately for a job interview manifests a positive first impression. It depicts that you take the position and professional code of conduct seriously. Moreover, the approach reflects professionalism and conveys that you will meet the workplace’s ethics and expectations as a prospective future employee.
6. Pack the Right Resources
Packing the right resources for a healthcare job interview is another vital strategy. Some resources you may want to consider bringing with you include:
- Extra Copies of Your Resume: Bringing several copies of your resume to a healthcare job interview is beneficial to introduce yourself to the recruiters.
- References: Even if you are not asked for references, bringing a list of professional recommendations to an interview shows you are proactive and prepared.
- Work Portfolio: Maintaining a portfolio is a strategy often looked over by candidates. Most healthcare job interviews require you to bring a portfolio of your experiences, such as patient care plans, research papers, or publications. Hence, preparing and maintaining a portfolio throughout your career is critical in creating an amiable first impression.
Now that you know how to prepare yourself for a healthcare job interview, here’s how you should act during an interview.
Job Interview Secrets Every Healthcare Professional Should Know
Preparing for an interview and appearing for one are two distinct conditions and require a candidate to act specifically. We have curated some job interview secrets every healthcare professional should know to ace their evaluation.
- Make the First Move: It may seem intimidating, but making the first move in an interview can significantly reduce nervousness. Extending your hand first drives a momentum that helps you take in-charge of the interview, and you come across as more confident and enthusiastic. An interview notices your positive body language as well.
- Give Targeted Answers: An interview is an exchange of questions and answers between a potential employer and a job applicant. However, how the candidate answers every question determines their fit in the company. For a candidate to highlight themselves as a perfect fit for an organization, it is significant to provide a relevant answer. Remember how we advised you to prepare and practice for questions beforehand? The strategy helps you present a clear and concise response during an interview. For example, when the employer asks you to tell something about yourself, steer the answer to list your experience that could relate to the job position. Provide a brief timeline of your work experience, skills, and achievements, and the response sums up your healthcare journey.
- Give Credit Where Due: In the healthcare industry, teamwork is the dreamwork! From a non-clinical professional who works with a care team or a non-clinical professional working in a department, collaboration is the key. Hence, interviewers prefer candidates who share the credit where it is due. Therefore, do not “I” yourself out of an interview and share the achievement with your team and department. Remember, the key to winning at an interview is coming across as a candidate the company prefers to work with.
- Articular Clearly: In a healthcare job interview, interviewers usually ask questions based on a candidate’s managerial capabilities in a clinical scenario or acquired skills through their experience. Practicing these questions beforehand will help you provide a clear, concise answer.On the other hand, however, if you are to provide an in-prompt reply, take a minute to speak. Once you have formulated a response, articulate it clearly for the interviewer to understand the answer fully.
Take a Deep Breath!
Healthcare job interviews are daunting, and the recruiter panel knows it too. However, being a part of the healthcare industry requires you to remain confident and calm even in demanding times. Hence, it is equally crucial to maintain your nerves during the interview and come across as a candidate worthy of serving the industry.
Here is a guide for healthcare professionals scheduled to appear for an interview. However, if you are still looking for a career opportunity in the healthcare realm. HealthCareTalentLink (HCTL) is dedicated to you too. In addition to curating tips and insights, the professional platform features an extensive job board to help you find a career prospect.
FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
Common medical assistant interview questions are based on your strengths, weaknesses, experience in the field, and if you have ever handled a difficult situation at work.
One of the standard medical assistant interview questions is based on your experience. However, if you are a beginner in the professional field, you can discuss your skills and performance during your internship.
Such questions require you to reflect on your reasons for pursuing a career. Some of the reasons why you would want to be a nurse are:
- Patient care.
- To work in a team.
- To work in a challenging environment.
- For constant learning.
- For career opportunities.
To answer such questions, you should emphasize your achievements, skills, or personality traits that deem you fit for a role.
We have discussed the STARR technique in the blog you can leverage to answer this question. Here, you can discuss your priorities and preferences and identify some key features of the job you like.