Just as in job hunting in any other industry, when interviewing for jobs in the healthcare industry you want to make the best first impression you possibly can. The market is extremely competitive, and even when you have a strong resume, skill set, and references, you have every reason to look for ways to set yourself apart in the job interview. A good first approach to preparing for a job interview is to come up with a list of anticipated questions and to determine what your responses to these questions will be beforehand. But beyond this, how can you set yourself apart in the interview? Here are some tips to making a strong first impression at your next healthcare job interview.
Be on time.
Being on time is, of course, one of the easiest ways that you can make a strong first impression from the get-go. Come to your interview at least a few minutes early and be prepared to wait in a designated seating area if necessary.
Dress for the occasion.
A good rule of thumb for healthcare job interviews is to wear business attire. For men, that means a suit, collared shirt, tie, coordinating socks, and dress shoes. Blue, black, and grey are your safest bets for suit color. For women, business means either a pant suit, a dress blouse and slacks, or a blouse paired with a skirt that falls below the knees. Again, neutral colors like black, blue, or grey are your safest bet here. Women’s attire is best worn with a neutral set of heels and nylons if wearing a skirt.
In addition to these guidelines for attire, make sure to pay attention to details. Dry cleaning your attire beforehand is always a good idea. Make sure your hair is combed and that hands and nails are clean.
The person interviewing you may very well be the one to break the ice; if he or she does so first, don’t be afraid to put your hand out for a firm handshake and introduce yourself. But don’t feel like you need to wait for the interviewer to initiate introductions, either. Feel free to be the first to initiate a handshake at the interview, showing the interview that you are confident and happy to be there.
Put your phone away.
Having your phone out will only show the interviewer that you are not fully engaged in the interviewer. Put your phone away—even as you wait for your interview to begin—to show that you are ready, interested, and engaged.
Keep everything organized.
For most interviews, you should arrive with a copy of your CV, references, a pen and paper, and any additional relevant materials. One easy way to make a good impression here is to ensure to you have all of these things on you and that they are well organized.
Be prepared to explain unemployment gaps.
Gaps in employment on your CV do not necessarily mean that you won’t get the job. When you have gaps in your CV, the best way to make a strong first impression here is to be able to explain those gaps truthfully. So, be prepared to explain any gaps in your CV in a truthful (and optimistic) manner. If, for example, there was a period of about six months when you needed time to deal with a personal or family matter, be upfront when asked about this six-month period. Your honesty will show that whatever it is that caused your employment gap is truly something in the past and not an unresolved issue that could inhibit your current employment.