Questions to Ask During an Interview
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Questions to Ask During an Interview

June 25, 2021

Searching for a job in healthcare is a good move, as medical facilities around the world are struggling to find skilled personnel to fill key positions. As you polish up your resume and put on your game face, start thinking about a few important questions you can ask employers during the interview process. 

Interviews are always nerve wracking. You have no idea what the employer will ask. You only hope you have the right answers. Regardless of how you volley back responses, having questions of your own shows a deep level of care about the position. Asking your own questions shows you’ve put deep thought into working alongside the hiring manager as a part of their team.

The questions should relate to the job itself, the prospective company, and the organization’s future. The answers you receive can help you determine if you are right for the job. At the very least, you will learn more about the position that how it fits into your life than a job advertisement could ever teach you. Here are a few questions you can ask the next time you’re called in for a healthcare job interview.

1. What skills and characteristics are needed to excel at this position?

Asking questions of the employer puts you in the driver’s seat during the interview, if only for a few moments. Instead of putting you on the spot, this is your chance to make the hiring manager struggle to find a good answer. This question shows that you care about being the right fit. But a better way to handle this question is to ask the hiring manager to describe the person who most excels at the position. By describing the star employee, you get to learn which attributes are most coveted by the employer. You also have a role model to emulate for success if you go on to accept the position. 

2. How would you describe the company culture?

Most healthcare settings are formal and professional but some – like private doctor offices – are laid back and casual. You’ll want to know that your personality meshes with coworkers and meshes with what patients expect when they come in for treatment. 

3. How is the company preparing for the future? 

This question can be helpful in determining the level of stability you can expect upon acceptance of the healthcare role. If the hiring manager winces or pauses after asking this question, that might not bode well for the future of the company. On the other hand, if you hear of talk of new technologies, policies, advancements, and building add-ons, those are all indications of a forward-moving organization that might be great to work for.

4. When did an employee or the entire company last fail at something? How was the failure dealt with?

If you ever want to know what not to do in a job, this question can provide you the answer. The hiring manager might not want to name names, but you could at least get an explanation of the policy that was last violated, and disciplinary actions that resulted. You’ll want to know how management deals with problems, and if evidence of wrongdoing is judged fairly. 

When the hiring manager chooses to explain a time when the company failed after asking this question, pay attention to how the problem was resolved. Was there a payroll delay or was management understaffing certain units? All organizations have their own issues. It’s how those companies fix the problems and put policies in place to prevent similar situations from taking place that separate good places to work for from the ones you don’t care to pursue. 

5. What are the biggest challenges facing the department?

This question brings the interview back to the position you’re applying for. To get more specific answers, you might want to ask about the department budget, management, the policies in place, and how discipline is handled. Ask about the other employees that work in that department. How many hours do they typically work? How do they handle sick calls, time off, and vacations? 

If the occupation involves direct patient care, this is the time to ask about how many patients might be under your charge at any given time, and about other responsibilities that fall under the general job description. 

6. What opportunities would someone in my position have for professional development within the company? 

You never know when the company might offer programs like certification and degree program reimbursement or promotional opportunities after you’ve obtained enough on-the-job training. There comes a time after working in a job for an extended period that leads to feelings of stagnation. Asking this question can help you avoid stagnating in your job because you know there’s always a chance to move up to greater opportunity and higher earnings within the same company. 

7. What ways could I contribute to the company’s success in the first 100 days that would justify you hiring me?

Everyone wants to be a star employee when they get hired. Instead of guessing which actions you should take to become the best new hire you can be, get specifics from the hiring manager. The department may be desperate for someone in your position to take charge and manage tasks that have been languishing for too long. By answering this question, the hiring manager will give you a roadmap to excelling at the job, possibility paving the way for future promotion. 

8. How has the department been affected by COVID-19 and what challenges are still in place because of the novel coronavirus pandemic?

The healthcare industry has fought valiantly to contain the spread of COVID-19, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Many healthcare facilities are still struggling with the demand posed by ill patients. By asking this question, you can determine what challenges you are likely to face on account of COVID-19. Ask how things were before the pandemic and after. This variation of the question will let you know how things may be when the pandemic is over, and things settle back down. This question will also let you know what safety protocols are in place because of the pandemic to keep you and your family protected, such as social distancing, mask use, and vaccine mandates.

9. What pain points does management experience daily? 

Coming in as a new employee gives you the opportunity to see the organization in a unique perspective. The hiring manager may want input into how to solve certain problems that occur daily, such as patients not being cared for in a timely manner, scheduling issues, and patient communication obstacles. The answer to this question can help you determine how smoothly the department runs or if you’ll be walking into a chaotic atmosphere full of stress and unease. You’ll learn what to expect when you show up on your first day and how to handle problems when they arise. And if you have input into how the department should be run or how to handle certain conundrums, don’t be afraid to offer your suggestions, which shows drive, initiative, and leadership, which is very attractive to a manager hiring for a healthcare job. 

10. What made you want to start working in healthcare and where do you see yourself five years from now?

Asking this question shows that you are interested in the hiring manager directly. The engagement with the interviewer helps build rapport, which in turn makes you more likeable, and at better odds to get the job.

This question puts you on an even playing field with the executive sitting across from you (or Zooming with you). You’re both healthcare professionals, shooting the breeze, and speaking of your healthcare career ambitions. 

The answer you receive can also give you ideas in how to further your own career. The manager may speak of attaining a master’s degree and working in hospital administration, which can pay upwards of $180,000 per year. Whatever your career goals, hearing about another’s plans may spark ideas you can use to build your own promising future. 

Are You Prepared to Interview for a Healthcare Job?

Now it’s time to start lining up your interviews. Whether you have healthcare certification or you only have ambitions and a dream, partnering with ProLink Healthcare Staffing puts you on the fast-track to securing your dream job. Get help with certification and degrees and start sending out your resume to employers with ease. Apply now using our simple application process.

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