How to Prepare For a Healthcare Interview
Nicola Hawkinson DNP, RNFA, RN
The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared. Understand that interviewing is a skill; preparation and practice enhance the quality of that skill. Preparation can make the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected.
There is no one “best” way to prepare for an interview. Rather, there are specific and important strategies to enhance one’s chances for interview success. Every interview is a learning experience, so learning that takes place during the preparation and actual interview process is useful for future interviews.
Initial preparation requires recent assessment of skills, interests, values, and accomplishments; a re-assessment and updating of one’s resume; and research on the targeted company/organization and position. Preparation also includes actual practice of typical and targeted interview questions. Final preparation includes details of dress and appearance, knowledge of the location of the interview, what to expect, and protocols for follow-up.
During the recruitment and hiring process there are a lot of protocols that should be followed. Hiring qualified candidates starts by creating the proper pool of applicants; only put the best resumes into your database. Knowing the difference between a good resume and a bad resume is sometimes harder than you may think.
Technology is a huge part of daily life as well as job hunting techniques. Candidates are now able to search for example resumes online and use other services to create resumes. We are no longer immune to false advertising on resumes. Yes, everyone wants their resume to stand out and look good, but your resume won’t be the one meeting deadlines and fulfilling job responsibilities; that’s up to you.
Some of the biggest red flags on resumes are: lapses in employment and short time at jobs. When a candidate has not worked in five to ten years that should be concerning. Why? Because healthcare changes all the time and if an employee is not up-to-date with the current changes it can be detrimental to business. Some candidates have reasons for why they have been out of the working world for so long, and if the reason is legitimate, schedule an interview and see if they can overcome their lack of job experience in the recent years. Only do this in cases where the candidate had the right experience before leaving the field, and a good track record of keeping previous jobs. Another red flag is short time spent at jobs. If you see that a candidate has steadily left previous jobs after a year or two than rethink taking them on as an employee. What will happen after a year working with you? Will they leave? You don’t want to have to constantly be worrying that the person you hired is going to pick up and leave.
Once a candidate has been selected for an interview, ask the right questions. If a person cannot give a straight answer about previous job responsibilities, then chances are they have lied about job responsibilities to look better on paper. Some red flags you just can’t confirm without meeting the candidate in person. You may feel like you have wasted your time but at least you are honing your skills for picking up on phony resumes. Paying to red flags will save you a lot of time in the long-run.
If you’re looking to hire an NP or PA the benefits can have a great impact on your practice. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that the U.S. will face a physician shortage of over 90,000 physicians by 2020. Due to this fact NPPs are becoming increasingly important to primary care and overall patient satisfaction.
Patient satisfaction is the most important aspect of your medical practice.
In some cases, Physicians might be concerned that an Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant won’t garner the same respect as an MD, but this has proven not to be the case in many instances. Studies have shown NP/PAs score equally with physicians in terms of patient satisfaction. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that patient satisfaction levels based upon interpersonal care, confidence in the provider and understanding of patient problems ranged between 89 and 96 percent for PAs. Nurse Practioners & Physician Assistants handle many types of office visits that a physician may be too busy to do, including: preventative care services, diagnose conditions, evaluations and therapeutic plans. If NP/PAs take time to establish relationships with their patients, they can build a positive rapport that will increase satisfaction, accessibility, and productivity. Hiring NPs and PAs are not only a financial benefit, due to the decreased salary expenses, but they also ensure that your medical practice will run more efficiently. If your practice is running more smoothly, then patients will be happy with their quality of care making Nurse Practitioners / Physician Assistants an invaluable benefit to your practice.
Physicians may not see the benefits in hiring a medical marketer but good marketing can help double or triple your current business. Of Course you’d want to hire an experienced marketer with a resume to back it up; a marketer’s salary can be high depending on what state your practice is located in. You don’t want to be paying a marketer to do a job they are not equipped to do that’s why a candidate needs ample experience listed on his/her resume.
Medical practices are using more technology than ever before and patients can search for a practice on the internet before making an appointment. A marketer can help advertise for your practice on social media and manage your practice’s website. Also, a medical marketer should be utilized to handle public relations; this means they may be working odd hours and not the typical 9 to 5 work day. Remember that a medical marketer does not need a healthcare degree, but he/she should have a good understanding of your practice and your practice’s specialty. A degree in business/marketing may be more suitable, but someone who has worked with a hospital or medical practice before is a necessity. You do not want a marketer who has zero experience working with some type of medical practice. If you feel like your practice can’t afford a new hire you may want to ask your office manager if they can fulfill some of the marketing tasks, but make sure your office manager is on board with these new responsibilities. You want to see results and if your office manager can’t commit to that then you should talk to a financial consultant and see if you can budget to afford a medical marketer even if it’s just part time.
Take the proper steps to hire a medical marketer and be involved in the hiring process. Medical marketers can really help a practice on so many levels; it’s better to hire someone else to do the marketing than trying to treat patients and keep track of public relations and social media.