So you’ve landed an interview for a role that will take your career to the next level.  While you’re preparing for your healthcare job interview, don’t forget to think about questions you might like to ask the recruiter or hiring manager.

Job interviews are a way for practice managers or recruiters to learn more about a potential employee’s experience and skills and how they might fit in to the existing team.

These days, interviews are a two-way street – take the opportunity to ask questions to determine if this role and this practice is the right fit for you.

By asking the right questions you can help determine if the organisation is a good fit for your career progression, values and work/life balance needs.

The interview can also be your opportunity to learn if the role is going to be problematic – for example, billing expectations may be challenging, but there may be unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved in the role.

Not having questions prepared to ask in the interview can make you look as though you are either unprepared, or unenthusiastic and uninterested about the practice you’ve applied to, even though that’s probably far from your intention.

The healthcare and medical job market is competitive, so it pays to have some thoughtful questions ready to ask to make you stand out.

Prepare at least two questions that show you have an interest in the role and that you’ve read up on the practice and the community it is within.  Use the Practice Profile on the HealthcareLink site. While you’re doing your research, make a note of anything you’d like to know more about.

Here are some questions to ask you can expand on to suit the organisation you’re interviewing with:

  1. What sort of training and mentoring opportunities are available?
  2. Can you tell me about the practice’s culture?
  3. If you were to hire me, what would a typical day look like?
  4. Can you tell me how you envision this role progressing?
  5. How do you evaluate success?
  6. What do you see as the future of the practice?
  7. What are the biggest challenges working here?
  8. Is this a new position? If not, why did the previous person leave?
  9. What do you like best about working for this practice?

Sometimes you might find that the questions you hoped to ask were already covered off during the interview.  This is why it pays to have some extra questions up your sleeve, just in case.

As well as avoiding questions about things that have already been raised during the interview, try not to ask questions that can easily be answered by searching on Google. You don’t want to appear as though you haven’t done your homework!

The same goes for asking questions about things that were spelled out on the position description, the region’s Location Insights report, the HealthcareLink Practice Profile, or on the practice’s own website.  Of course you can ask the employer to elaborate on anything that doesn’t seem clear.

Common job interview advice would recommend against entering a salary negotiation at the interview stage, but it’s not uncommon for salary or billings rates to be a key point in general practice or primary healthcare job description. It is, however, not a good idea to bring it up too early on. If it’s already been mentioned in the job post, it’s likely the point will come up as part of the natural course of discussion. When the hiring manager or practice manager brings the subject up you should absolutely tell them what your salary or billings rate expectations are.

Similarly, asking about how you are faring compared to other candidates is a potentially risky question to ask during the interview and you shouldn’t ask for feedback on your job interview until the selection process is complete.

Go to your interview prepared – about your experience and skills… And keep in mind that you are interviewing the practice as much as they are interviewing you!

If you’re ready to make that change and are actively looking for a new job in a general practice, primary health practice, apply to check your eligibility for the On-Demand Program.