Are you looking for a new job in the healthcare and medical industry or worried about an upcoming job interview? We get it. Job interviews can be some of the most stressful aspects of the job hunting process, actually, even your career. So much so that people can avoid going for a better role because they want to avoid the interview process.
There is also the factor of in-person vs phone – which do you do better in? In the healthcare industry, particular in a vast land like Australia, phone interviews are very prevalent, as the doctor or medical professional may still be finishing up a role elsewhere and cannot travel to the new practice unless she knows she has a strong chance of getting the role.
Common as interviews are and however much essential they are to the job process, they are still loathed.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some tips for you to incorporate in your job search and you’ll be commanding your best role in no time!
Do your research
Find out as much as you can about the clinic that you want to join. This may be difficult if you’re looking to move to a small rural or regional practice that doesn’t have a website, but you can ask the recruiter lots of questions. What specialties or particular conditions or diseases does the practice focus on, for e.g. skin cancers, women’s health, mental health, etc.
Align your experience to the areas of practice that are important to the clinic. Recall any particular lessons or cases you have worked with or even learned from a mentor to show that you understand what is required of you in that practice.
The advantage with an in-person interview is that you have the opportunity to build rapport quickly. If you’ve been called into an interview with a practice manager or principal of the clinic, then you’re definitely in the running for the role. This is because, very rarely, do medical practices have the time to conduct multiple interviews with numerous candidates.
This is the ideal situation to put into practice your rapport building skills, such as using active listening skills, being attentive, and using non-verbal communication such as maintaining eye contact and leaning slightly forward to indicate interest.
Don’t be too obvious or you might come off as ingratiating or even creepy.
Be selective with your conversation topics, particularly small talk. Don’t make it too controversial, avoid politics and stick to hobbies, the area and the community.
Your interview might be on your day off but this doesn’t excuse turning up to an interview in shorts and a t-shirt.
The healthcare and medical profession is one with a fairly strict dress code. In hospitals, uniforms and colour coded clothes are used to identify the hierarchy. In smaller practices and clinics, generally, don’t require uniforms for the practitioner, such as doctors, psychologist or physiotherapist, where you’re customer-facing. Nursing and admin support staff, however, will usually where a branded shirt over dark pants or skirt.
The way you dress is important because healthcare is all about the patients you see. You want to set a patient’s mind at ease very quickly, so that you, as a medical practitioner, can get on with the job of diagnosing symptoms and treating the patient, rather than having the patient distrust you because they don’t like the same band as you do.
Dress to your interview as you would when you see patients. This will give the principal and the practice manager confidence in your ability to represent the clinic well.
The hiring process in the healthcare industry, particularly in our increasingly fast-paced world, often includes at least one or two phone interviews.
Phone interviews can be used to narrow down a broader shortlist of applicants or even in lieu of a face-to-face interview if you aren’t in proximity to the employer.
Don’t let the format and lack of vision fool you into thinking you can relax on the call. More than 50% of your message is communicated via the physical body so when you don’t have that, you have to make the other two – words and tone – work much harder in your favour.
If you are going through a person, such as Healthcarelink’s OnDemand Support team, then you have the opportunity to ask them a lot of questions about the practice.
Make a list
Before your phone interview, you should make a list of all of your strengths and your weaknesses, as well as a list of questions that you might be asked during your interview. You should have the answers to these questions written down so that you have an intelligent answer and so that you aren’t taken by surprise.If it’s a complex question that you weren’t expecting, feel free to pause and take a minute to think about your answer., The last thing an employer wants is a brash response; this doesn’t bode well for a practitioner or nurse whose main job is to consider patient’s symptoms and provide diagnosis, care and comfort.
Practise, Practise, Practise
A phone interview is very different to talking with your friend on the phone. You don’t want to take too long between answers, stutter too much, or talk too quickly. Likewise, you don’t want to appear to be too eager or too agitated.
The best way to avoid these impressions is to practise having an interview with a close friend or family member. They can ask you questions, and you can answer them until you feel confident with the way you conduct yourself.
Find a quiet place
When you’re being interviewed over the phone, you should be in a quiet room so there’s nothing to distract you or to disturb the process. If, for example, you have a dog barking in the background, then you might appear to be too busy or too disorganized because you didn’t choose to be in a quiet space before your interview. Of course, you can’t control all factors, but do as much as you can to control external distractions that might take your attention away from the phone call.
If you have an interview coming up, congratulations!
Fear not, at the end of the day, it’s the small things that makes you unique and will make your potential employer want to hire you above everyone else.
Your body language, for example, will tell your interviewer if you’re warm and inviting or stiff and cold. You can do small things, like practise your handshake with someone close to you, so that you genuinely make a connection with the interviewer. At the end of the day, it is this connection that will make the difference.
If you’re having a phone interview, which is typical in the healthcare and medical field, then prepare yourself,where you’ll be and what you will say, questions you will ask. This will keep you in good stead.