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5 Questions to Expect During Your Medical Job Interview
You’ve spent the last few weeks researching, filling out, and submitting job applications, and you just received a call back. There’s a video interview scheduled for early next week and you want to make a good first impression.
It’s important to dress professionally and arrive on time, but that’s only a small portion of the necessary pre-interview prep. If you want to stand out from the competition, you’ll want to know how to answer specific questions.
Although there’s no way to predict all of the questions a potential employer will ask, there are a few that commonly come up. By taking the time to study now, you’ll know how to confidently respond, even if you’re feeling stressed out.
1. Why did you decide to pursue a career in healthcare?
You’re almost guaranteed to encounter this question during your next interview. Your answer is critically important because it illustrates your motivation for entering the field in the first place. Instead of taking the time to explain your educational background, tell a story. If it helps, break the question down even further.
Why is health so important to you?
What events in your life led up to this moment?
How have past experiences molded your professional life?
Come up with a way to provide a response that’s brief and succinct, preferably under five minutes.
2. Do you work well under pressure?
Working in healthcare is stressful. That’s especially true if the position you’re applying for is in an emergency room or at an urgent care facility. As a physician, nurse, or someone in healthcare, you need to be able to think clearly and act quickly, even under pressure.
To illustrate your capabilities, describe a career-based situation where you were up against a deadline. Carefully explain the steps you took to make the situation better and then describe the outcome. The person interviewing you wants to make sure you’re able to lead and handle day-to-day stressors.
3. How do you handle disagreements with coworkers?
All healthcare positions require a team effort and disagreements are bound to arise from time-to-time. The goal of this question is to assess how well you’ll handle conflict. To prevent emotions from interfering with your answer, try the STAR method. STAR stands for situation, task, action, result.
Here’s how it works:
Situation: Explain an event, including who was there, and any other necessary details.
Task: Describe the job you were assigned to do.
Action: As simply as possible, explain the steps you took to complete the job.
Result: Explain the positive outcome of your work.
Don’t spend too much time thinking––any work-related conflict will do. Ultimately, you want to illustrate your ability to collaborate with others.
4. Is continuing education important to you?
To thrive in a medical setting, you need to be passionate about learning. Not only is continuing education important to your success, in many instances, but it’s also required by law. Even the most experienced physicians set aside time each week to read medical journals, attend online seminars, and network with others.
If professional development isn’t already part of your weekly routine, now is the perfect time to incorporate it. There’s no way to learn everything, but you can make a focused effort. Subscribe to an industry publication, join a LinkedIn group, or listen to a career-focused podcast.
When answering this question, you might even want to explain how continuing education impacts the way you practice medicine.
5. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen tomorrow, much less five years from now, but this question is bound to come up. Instead of testing your ability to predict the future, a potential employer wants to know if you’re ambitious or not. Are you just applying to the job to receive a paycheck? Or does improving people’s health matter to you?
If you love your career, let the interviewer know. Illustrate the steps you’ve taken since entering the field to constantly learn and improve. Maybe you started in an entry-level position but quickly worked your way up to oversee a department. If you’ve received special certifications that make you particularly qualified for the position, mention those. You want to illustrate that you’re a go-getter and that you’ll continue to be for years to come.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of medical job interview questions. However, we hope it provides you with a basic overview of what to expect. By setting aside some time to study now, you’ll be able to answer the questions confidently, under pressure.
If you haven’t yet landed a job interview, we encourage you to begin submitting applications today. Here at AlliedHealthJobCafe, we have more than 7,200 open positions available!