Are you preparing for a big interview for your next locum tenens, permanent placement, or locum to perm position at a healthcare facility? Here is a brief guide to preparing for a healthcare job interview.
Research the hospital or practice.
It’s always a good idea to do your research on the hospital or practice beforehand. A good place to start is the organization’s website and social media pages. Be able to answer questions such as:
- What does this hospital or practice value?
- What are this organization’s goals?
- What do people who work here say about it?
In addition to visiting the organization’s website, it’s a good idea to talk with people who are already working for the organization—particularly those are are working in a position that is similar to the one you are applying for.
Assess your skills and abilities.
As you prepare for your interview, now is the time to assess your skills and abilities as a healthcare professional. Ask yourself:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my achievements and accomplishments?
- How do my education and experience relate to the position?
- What skills do I have that might complement this position?
- What type of environment do I thrive best in? (Structured? Unstructured? Team-oriented? Individual?)
It’s a good idea to write down your answers to these key questions. Not only are you likely to be asked these questions in your interview, but they are also things that you’ll want to highlight in your interview. So even if you aren’t asked one of these questions directly, it’s a good idea to have answers prepared so that you can discuss them when answering a related question.
Prepare for likely interview questions.
Beyond assessing your skills and abilities as a healthcare professional, there are several other interview questions you should prepare for. Here are some of the most common:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you go into medicine?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How do you perform under pressure?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
- What sets you apart from other candidates?
- What would you bring to this hospital/practice?
- What makes you a good fit for this position?
Prepare brief responses of a few sentences to each of these questions. In addition, you should be able to tie your answers to specific work experiences. If you are asked about how you perform under pressure, for example, you might include in your answer a particular work experience that highlights your ability to thrive under pressure. Write down several work experiences that you feel can be used to highlight your various assets and be prepared to relate them in your interview.
Prepare your own questions.
Coming to an interview with your own questions shows that you are engaged and eager to work with the organization. So, be sure to write down a list of questions beforehand, and be prepared to ask them when the appropriate time comes. Here are some questions you may consider asking:
- What is the orientation and training process like?
- What is a day at this hospital/practice like in this position?
- What are physician expectations in this setting (in terms of hours, availability, patient load, etc.)?
- Will I have nonpatient responsibilities? If so, what are they?
- What type of nursing support is available?
- What is the experience level of other physicians in this practice?
- What is the risk experience at this hospital/practice, and what kind of support is given to a physician in a risk situation?
- What growth opportunities are available?
These are just a few of the questions you might have at your healthcare job interview. The most important thing is to take an inventory of what your questions about the position and organization are beforehand. You should also be sure to ask any questions that come up as a result of something your employer says during the interview; doing so will show that you were engaged and are truly interested in the position.