Job interviews for healthcare workers

Preparing for an interview

Preparing for an interview means taking time to consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position as well as employer. To accomplish this, you must perform research on the company you applied to and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit.

When prepping for an interview you should always-

  • Analyse the job description;
  • Consider your qualifications and why you are applying;
  • Perform research on the company and the role you are interviewing for;
  • Consider answers to common questions;
  • Practice your speaking voice and body language;
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer;
  • Sell yourself with your good qualities;

When going for an interview-

When going for an interview, research and preparation is essential. It is better to think about how you can present yourself. Such as talking about your motivations and goals, especially if you are applying for a role in a driven field, you must stand out from the crowd both professionally and personally.

You should also point out topics you specialise in, mention relevant placements, and show your intense interest in the desired field. This gives more detail to the employer in what you have and have not done before as well as allowing them to know your previous employment.

Gather information about the hospital

When going to an interview, several people can be involved in the decision making. This means that you will meet numerous individuals that will get a say in whether you would be a good fit for the company or not.

Find out information about the workplace setting

What is the department’s focus? What research areas do they focus on? What does the career of a healthcare professional look like? What do they research? What is the focus of the senior professionals? Having knowledge on the workplace you are interviewing for will allow you to know more on what you are applying for as well as how good the place is and what they do.

Practice body language and speaking voice

It is said that your body language can say more about you than the words you speak out loud.  Body language is particularly important because you have such a short time to make a positive impression at an interview. You are more than likely going to feel nervous in a job interview, and nerves can lead to fidgeting and postures that send the wrong signals to your interviewer. In an interview you should radiate the feeling of being open and approachable. It is important to connect with your interviewer and come across as open, honest and comfortable. Closed-off or guarded body language can make it appear as if you are frightened or have something to hide.

At the start of the interview politely greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. Looking them in the eye for a moment conveys directness without implying aggressiveness. Adopt an open posture when sitting down to be interviewed. It is best not to cross your arms or put your chin in your hand. Folding your hands in front of you is fine as long as you keep your arms loose and not appear too stiff. Make sure you are attentive and keep paying attention. You want to show you are excited about this position and enjoying the flow of the interview conversation.

Finally, when it comes to your speaking voice, bad speech habits can reflect poorly on your performance, therefore it is important to examine your speech patterns. Recording yourself as you practice your responses to some expected interview questions can be a valuable tool to improve your pitch, tone, intonation, inflection and speaking volume.

Typical questions that are asked in healthcare job interviews

If you have made it to the interview, your documents and grades have persuaded the interviewer. The job interview should help you decide whether the company is a suitable employer for you or not. Below you will find a few typical questions asked in job interview:

No 1: Why did you choose to work in the healthcare sector?

Your potential employer wants to know your motivations to verify your dedication to the role. Your answer should show your desire to improve people’s lives. Being a health care specialist is not only about mastering clinical skills it is also about being human and compassionate. Make sure to explain your educational background and work experience, but also include a personal life experience or a passion that fits with the health care position.

No 2: How do you see the future of health care?

Employers are looking for innovative thinkers who want to improve progress within their field. With the introduction of new technologies, the health care industry is changing quickly and requires professionals who can adapt.

No 3: [For Nurses and Doctors] Why did you decide to study medicine?

This is where your motivation gets tested to validate your dedication to the role. What in this career line do you want to do? Do you primarily want to help people? Do advance research? Or even train the next generation? You may have a personal experience or a long family tradition to continue.

No 4: Why did you choose to apply to us?

Here your interviewer wants to know why you are interested in a job at that particular healthcare setting. Do they have a good reputation? Are there personal or family reasons for your application? Etc.

No 5: How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?

When asked this question do not repeat what’s already on your CV or cover letter. Add to the information you wrote and support your strengths with examples. When it comes to talking about your weaknesses, either list the ones that are not relevant to the job you are applying to, or focus on weaknesses that you are already working on. For example, maybe English is not your first language, and you sometimes make grammatical mistakes, however, you’re constantly working on improving your language skills. This is not a weakness that puts you at a disadvantage because you are actively working on it.

No 6: Imagine you have to give bad news to a patient concerning their health. How would you manage the situation?

This is where the interviewer wants to check your compassion for others. Showing that you know the steps to announce bad news as well as keeping a level head. In this line of work, you must be able to be caring and empathetic to patients to understand the situation they are in.

No 7: Why did you choose this speciality to be your field of work?

Your interviewer is interested in your decision to specialise in a particular field. What fascinates you about your chosen speciality? What is behind your choice? Why is this and no other specialisation an option for you?

No 8: Do you have any questions for us?

This is your chance to find out more about the work situation yourself. It is best to start with the questions that underline your high level of motivation. As well as finding out what that role can do for you. Make sure you enter the interview with a few questions to ask at the end as this implies that you want to know more because you are highly interested.

It is highly valuable to spend time preparing for an interview. In addition to researching about the establishment in advance, you should be clear about your motivations and reasons of wanting the job. Think about why you want to choose a specific speciality and what attracts you to that hospital in question. Talking to employees on-site is imperative because you will know what to expect and can decide whether or not you want to work there if you are accepted. Make sure you stay polite and keep up good manners and body language this all contributes to your energy and stature.


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