Breezing through hospital job interview skills is more about preparation and readiness than it is about luck. It requires diligent planning along with the ability to be comfortable in the hospital job interview. You’ll need to be at ease and confident in discussing why you want the hospital job and why you are the best candidate for the role.
In fact, interviewing is a skill, one that can be practiced, and one in which your ability to interact with the interviewer and to articulate your thoughts are just as important as the qualifications listed on your resume.
Here is a list of interview techniques that will help you get the hospital job:
Hospital Job Interview Skills Preparation
Preparing and planning for an interview is always noticed. Your interviewer will see that you have prepped properly, and your answers (and your self-confidence) will evoke the confidence and seriousness you want to be a part of their hospital. You should dedicate at least an hour to your preparation before the hospital job interview.
Here’s a sample formula outlining a 60-minute preparation exercise:
- 5 minutes re-reading and reviewing the hospital job description, focusing on the essential requirements and responsibilities. You’ll want to tailor your background and past experiences to the most important aspects of the job.
- 5 minutes re-reading your resume and cover letter to review how you’ve introduced yourself originally.
- 15 minutes researching potential hospital job interview questions specific to the position and the industry.
- 20 minutes practicing answers to these questions and recalling specific examples from your work background, such as major accomplishments, challenges, or milestones that will serve as histories to strengthen your responses.
- 15 minutes researching the hospital or health institution, looking into their history, mission and values, and recent projects.
Undeniably, practice makes perfect. Mock hospital interviews are a wonderful technique to get you feeling more comfortable and polished. In addition to practicing these above steps, ask a friend or family member to pose as an interviewer so you can get used to answering hospital job interview questions in real time.
Always Be on Time
Punctuality is noticed. There are very few excuses that will forgive a late arrival. Do whatever it takes to arrive to the hospital 10-15 minutes in advance of your interview time. Plan your outfit and pack your lunch or bag the evening before, set more than one alarm, leave extra early to accommodate weather or traffic, then take a deep breath and smile before walking into the interview.
Think Before You Speak
Interviewers expect a brief pause while you formulate an answer to a question. A well-thought-out interview answer is always better than a rushed one. It’s completely acceptable to take several seconds to think before you speak.
Also – avoid “ums” and “uhs” when interviewing. Practice this in your mock interviews and be aware! Repeating the interviewers’ questions back to them, or asking them to repeat the questions is acceptable. If you get stumped by a question, you can always respond with “What a great question. I’ve never been asked this before; let me just take a few seconds to think about this.”
Speak Clearly and Calmly
Remember to slow down and talk plainly. Speaking too fast will come across as being nervous. You want to convey as much information as possible, however talking too fast or rambling can make you look flustered or anxious. Make a conscious effort to slow down and speak calmly and clearly.
Although you can and should promote yourself, your experience, and your accomplishments, make sure you don’t come across as self-important. Show that you have the emotional intelligence to work on a team and get along with management, staff, and clients. Focus on balancing a sense of confidence, and when you discuss your achievements, be sure to give credit where credit is due to co-workers in your background.
Good listening skills and the ability to stay focused while the interviewer is talking is very important. Anyone can nod and smile, but actually listening is vital. Interviews are challenging because you do need to be listening to your interviewer’s question while mentally preparing your answer. Listening well in the first place, you’ll ensure that you understand the point of the question, and as a result, your answer will show you can think on the spot and respond accordingly.
Express Optimism with Words and Body Language
Organizations want candidates with great attitudes! No matter how difficult your current situation, don’t complain about your current or former employer or any other hospital or health organization that you’ve been associated with. Be natural, expressing reasonable perspectives through a lens of optimism. For example, if you have to talk about a challenging situation, you should include a mention of how you may have helped solve it, and what you learned that made you a better health sector employee. Remember that body language matters as much as words. Walk in with a smile on your face, offer a firm handshake, and sit up tall at the table, leaning slightly forward to engage in the conversation.
First impressions and first interviews are crucial. Think of an interview as a professional first date. Express earnest interest in the role and in the organization, and passion for the work you do. Keep in the back of your mind that you are a valuable asset as a health organization employee. You are both there to determine if the relationship is a good fit.
The Interview Process as a Whole
You will introduce yourself, recap your experiences and background, and promote your professional strengths. Be comfortable talking about both your strengths and weaknesses, as everyone has both. Emphasize your best qualities and best skills, and put a positive spin on areas needing improvement. You should definitely have questions of your own to ask the employer. Even if most of your questions have been answered, come up with one or two before the end, such as “would you like a list of references” or “what does a typical day look like for the department”.
Always, always know the importance of saying “thank you!” As soon as your interview concludes, thank your interviewers for their time and for the opportunity to learn more about the organization and position. Let them know that you are definitely interested in the position and that you are looking forward to hearing about the next steps. When you get home, follow up with a thank-you email.
Finally: 3 Simple Steps to Successfully Use Hospital Job Interview Skills
- PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Take time to review the job and practice your responses to the most frequently asked interview questions.
- PREPARE IN ADVANCE: Get ready ahead of time, and plan where you need to be.
- FOLLOW-UP: Always follow-up after a job interview with an email or note thanking the interviewer for their time.