Whether you’re a physician, a nurse, an administrator, or a coding specialist, interviewing for a job at a hospital isn’t easy.
The good news for medical and healthcare professionals is that job opportunities in your field are abundant. The bad news is that there are lots of other candidates vying for the same position as you.
If you’re on the search for a new job opportunity, here are nine actionable tips to ace your next hospital job interview and land the job you want.
1. Research the Hospital Before Your Interview
In the days and weeks leading up to your interview, research the hospital. Learn about the community they serve, any special acknowledgements they’ve received, or any groundbreaking techniques or new technology they’re using.
Research your interviewer as well. A simple search on LinkedIn can give you valuable insight into what they do and how important their role is within the hospital.
The more information you know about the hospital, the easier it will be to answer the inevitable question “why do you want to work here”?
2. Arrive Early
Arriving on time isn’t good enough. Aim to arrive at your interview 15 minutes early.
Map out your route ahead of time, scout out the hospital beforehand so that you know where to park, and be sure to leave extra time in case of traffic.
If you’re attending a virtual interview, test your microphone, webcam, and WiFi connection an hour or so before to make sure that all of your equipment is in working order. Log in a few minutes early so that you’re ready to go when the interviewer joins in.
3. Discuss Relevant Experience as Much as Possible
When your interviewer asks questions about your prior experience, highlight the experiences that are most relevant to the current job opportunity.
For example, if the new job is for a leadership role, call attention to prior jobs where you led a team or managed a department. Your interviewer may ask questions about your most recent experience, which may not be as relevant to the job as the experience you gained in previous jobs. Whenever possible, steer the conversation in a direction that’s most favorable to you.
4. Display Confidence
The interview is your opportunity to sell yourself and make it clear that you’re the most competent candidate for the job. To do so you need to display confidence.
Showing confidence means that you trust your own abilities and believe in yourself. So hold your head high, keep your shoulders back, maintain eye contact, and seize every opportunity to highlight your abilities and showcase your competency.
5. Prepare (Some) Answers Ahead of Time
While you don’t want to sound too rehearsed, you can prepare answers to questions that you know the interviewer will ask.
One commonly asked question that comes up in almost every interview is:
Why did you leave your last job?
This is the type of question you can prepare an answer for ahead of time. Just be sure that your reply is thoughtful, honest, and doesn’t criticize your old boss or disparage your former employer.
6. Bring the Necessary Documents
Bring extra copies of your CV as well as reference letters or any other documentation that might help you land the job. For example, if you’re interviewing for a physician position, you may want to bring copies of peer-reviewed articles that you’ve published in medical journals.
Bring a pen and notepad as well. You never know when you may need to jot down a name, a number, or a question to ask. Outside of job interviews, it’s perfectly acceptable to make notes on your phone, but in an interview, your phone should be tucked away.
7. Prepare Questions to Ask in Return
Never attend a job interview without having a list of questions to ask the interviewer in return.
These questions can be about the company, such as a new technology they are using or an award or recognition that the hospital recently received. Questions like these show that you’ve done your homework and researched the hospital in advance.
You can also ask questions related to the job itself, such as what the next step in the interview process is or if the hospital requires employees to sign an employment contract.
If you are asked to sign an employment contract, do not sign it without hiring a lawyer to perform a thorough contract review. This article from Physicians Thrive explains why you should always do a contract review before signing an employment agreement.
8. Show Your Personality
People want to work with people that they like. No matter how clinical the job may be, try to interject some personality into the interview whenever possible.
A friendly smile, a warm greeting, and a sincere thank you are easy ways to remain professional and show that you’re likable.
9. Send a Thank You Note
Sending a thank you note or email at the end of the interview is a formality that you can’t ignore. If you interview with more than one person, send a brief “thank you” email to each one.
No matter what type of position you’re interviewing for, prepare for your interview in advance, remain professional at all times, and display confidence as well as personality. If you can do that, you’ll be one step closer to landing the job you deserve.