Interview Preparation – Key points to know before your interview.
Congratulations! You’ve been asked to come in for an interview. Traveling to meet with a potential employer is no vacation, but it doesn’t have to pack on additional stress.
Be prepared for the interview itself. Traveling is stressful enough. You don’t want to have to worry about both traveling and the interview.
Preparation is Key
Showing up to any interview prepared, shows your initiative as well as interest in the job. To prepare for a client interview, research the organization by asking your medical staffing consultant questions about the client’s company.
You should also do your own research of the company by visiting its Web site. If you know people who already work for the organization, ask them about the corporate culture, procedures or other insightful information. Take the time to learn everything you can about the organization and find ways to show how you can relate to the goals of the business.
Also, contact local specialty organizations and healthcare professionals working in the area. You’ll want to know:
1. Reputation of the organization and staff
2. Number of healthcare professionals in your specialty in the community
3. Average salaries in this geography
4. Employee resources
5. Local professional associations and societies
Know where you’re going
Your flight and hotel room will likely be arranged for you, but don’t view your potential employer as your travel guide.
Candidates, even if inexperienced travelers, should not ask lots of questions about how to get from point A to point B. Figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel ahead of time. Call the hotel and ask about transportation options. The hotel might have a shuttle service. Do some research ahead of time, and you shouldn’t have any problems. Your recruiter should also be able to assist you with these questions.
Things to bring
Unless your interview is a weeklong ordeal, forgo checking luggage. That way you don’t have to stress out about the airline losing it. Find out the size limitations for carry-on luggage.
Make a list in advance of everything you need to bring and check it off the night before you go.
Bring a small portfolio and pen to the interview to take notes. Bring extra copies of your resume(at least one for each interviewer), list of references and business cards.
Also, make sure you have an extra outfit in case you spill something or find a stain. Pack anything with spilling potential in a separate bag. You never know what the cabin pressure will do to your shampoo bottle.
Make sure you have some cash on hand for any expenses. Take at least $150, including single dollar bills for tipping.
Be sure to get receipts for any travel-related expenses. You will probably be reimbursed. However, don’t ask about being reimbursed during the interview.
Candidates are always worried about reimbursement, but most candidates with common sense will focus on the interview and not the reimbursement factor.
You’ll get your money back eventually. You don’t want to make it seem like that’s the first thing on your mind.
Get some sleep
Visiting a new city is exciting, but now is not the time to explore the nightlife. If you get the job, you’ll have plenty of time for that.
If you oversleep, you probably won’t get the job. Call the hotel ahead of time and ask for the complimentary turndown service. A comfy bed with a little chocolate on the pillow can go a long way. Get a cup of hot tea (decaf), and get a good night’s rest. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
Set the alarm — and the backup
Do not oversleep. Set the alarm in the room, and bring a battery-operated alarm in case the power goes out. Ask the front desk for a wake-up call. Ask your mom to call you in the morning. Whatever you do, don’t be late. Give yourself enough time to get up, have breakfast and get ready without feeling rushed.
Being too early is not good, although being late for an interview always starts off on a bad footing, regardless of the reason. We recommend approaching the receptionist about five to seven minutes before the scheduled interview.
If regardless of good planning, circumstances occur that make you late for the interview, it is important to call as soon as possible to let the interviewer know that you will be late.
Keep all of these pointers in mind, and you can avoid some potentially stressful situations. Remember to be courteous, professional and conservative. You can’t go wrong keeping these things in mind.
Clarify Your Needs and Preferences
Assess and list your strengths and weaknesses
List your goals and objectives
List your most important personal and professional needs
Decide on areas for trade-off and compromise
Develop desirable/undesirable job profiles
Consider performing a self-analysis such as the Myers-Briggs
personality type indicator
Refer to these lists often as you are interviewing for positions. They will
help you stay focused on what’s most important to you and your family,
and will also assist you in assessing and comparing specific opportunities.
Prepare a List of Questions
Think about questions you’d ask a candidate interviewing for the position and about how you would respond. It’s also a good idea to prepare examples of past experiences that demonstrate your ability to do the job.
Example: “When faced with a similar situation or procedure I did (list actions taken) which resulted in (list positive outcomes).” The interviewer is looking for someone with prerequisite skills. When appropriate, incorporate some of these examples into your answers.
What to Expect
Every organization has its own interviewing style. Your interview with our client organization may be requested and it might be one-on-one, multiple interviews, one right after another or a panel interview. With interviews, it’s natural to feel nervous – especially if it’s your first interview with the organization. Remember to relax, take deep breaths and maintain a friendly and conversational tone. Listen carefully to the interviewer and ask for clarification if needed.
Many candidates stumble on tough interview questions due to lack of preparation. Luckily, your medical staffing consultant will be able to prepare you for interviews at our clients’ organizations by reviewing questions typically asked during an interview for a particular role.
We recommended you anticipate questions you may be asked and practice your answers over and over before your interview. Being well versed in your answers to some of the most common questions will help you feel more comfortable. In addition to common interview questions, prepare for other questions that are job-specific that the interviewer will use to evaluate your skills and competencies.
Common Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to be in this field?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your goals?
- What motivates you?
- Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years from now?
- What did you like/dislike about your last position?
- What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
- What are three positive things your former boss or colleagues would say about you?
- What is your ideal work environment?
- Do you handle conflict well?
- Explain how you overcame a major obstacle.
- Describe a recent problem you encountered with one of your manager’s decisions. How did you handle the situation?
Because most healthcare employers require a thorough criminal background check on every temporary, long-term contract and direct-hire employee. Please be prepared to discuss any convictions or other matters with your medical staffing consultant. Falsifying any part of your application with Medical Resources is grounds for immediate termination.
Make a Lasting Impression
In addition to your responses to interview questions and skills testing, your interviewer is evaluating you based on your professional appearance, mannerisms, body language and conversation and communication style.
Dress the part. When interviewing, your clothes and personal grooming should be impeccable. Dress appropriately for your role, erring on the side of conservative fashion to show professionalism. Keep jewelry, makeup, overpowering fragrances, gum chewing and other distracting items to a minimum. Your medical staffing consultant will be able to give you more insight into the client organization’s dress standards if you should have an interview.
Arrive early. Punctuality is crucial and shows that you take the interview seriously. Plan ample time to get to the interview, anticipating traffic or other unforeseen circumstances. Aim to arrive 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
Be respectful. Treat everyone you encounter with courtesy and respect. You don’t know how much weight they might hold in the hiring decision.
Be graceful. Don’t treat your interview casually. Show your interest in the position by exhibiting a positive attitude, showing a friendly expression, keeping good posture, making good eye contact, avoiding fidgety behavior and by offering a firm handshake. Showing poise, confidence and establishing a rapport with any interviewer sets a good tone for the rest of the interview.
Ask questions. If an interview is scheduled with our client and you have more in-depth questions you would like to ask about the organization face-to-face, that would be the time. Your medical staffing consultant should be able to answer any questions about pay, benefits, etc.
Talk about your achievements and successes. These are not things that are part of your normal day to day responsibilities, but instances where you went above and beyond your normal duties and your patients and or hospital/practice/employer benefitted from the outcome.
It will get them in the mindset that you will be able to do the same thing or similar things for them. This will put you one step ahead of other providers with similar experience because the interviewer can picture or imagine you having those successes with their practice. They will remember that, and you will be the favorite.
Also, if you are meeting with multiple people throughout the day, try discussing those with as many of your interviewers as possible.
These achievements / successes will also establish a pattern of success. It will show them that you are a winner in everything you do, and you will be a winner for them.
Role Play the Interview
Practicing with a friend or colleague will increase your comfort level and help you articulate your responses to questions.
The Interview Close
As the interview ends, you will want to reiterate your interest in the opportunity, verify that you are still a candidate, and briefly discuss the next steps in the selection process. You should exit the interview as you entered, with a firm handshake and an expression of thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
Follow Up Promptly / Thank you
Send a thank-you note. While many candidates omit this important step, sending a thank-you note to our clients after any interview leaves a lasting impression. Send a thank-you note promptly via e-mail or snail mail. Summarize your main selling points and let the interviewer know you’re still interested in the employment opportunity. Be sure to send a letter to each person with whom you interviewed. Again, thank them for their time and interest in you.