Top 10 Healthcare Job Interview Tips

The stakes are high in any job interview, but in a healthcare job interview, the questions can be especially tough.

First of all – Congratulations!! After all your hard work; you’ve got the healthcare job interview! If you are feeling stressed, worried or anxious; don’t worry, everyone feels the same!

A healthcare job Interview can be a very stressful time BUT preparation is the key in order to sound polished and professional – read on for some of our top interview tips.

An interview should be a conversation, a time for you to show your potential employer why they should hire you.

Because healthcare is such an “in demand” field in Ireland, there is quite a lot of competition. If you want to beat your competition, you need to learn how to answer some of the most common healthcare job interview questions.

Common Generic Healthcare Job Interview Questions:

  • Why Do You Want the Job? Why did you choose to work in the healthcare profession?
    This is very specific to the role you choose in healthcare where the employer basically wants to know your motivations; which is often best portrayed using an anecdote.
  • How Do You Handle Stressful Situations? How do you perform under pressure?
    This as an opportunity to show how you can stay calm and logical when faced with a stressful situation – use STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) examples of your previous experience within healthcare.
  • What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
    Don’t put yourself down – try to rephrase this question in order to sound like a strength.
  • Why Should We Hire You?
    Often, candidate do not want to be boastful however we would advise linking in the company values and mission statement & how you would be a good fit.Additionally, provide at least 3 examples of your strengths or achievements within your previous roles.
  • What previous experience or skills have you gained that will help you work in this specific healthcare field?
    Link in any previous experience within the healthcare industry; personally or professionally. Back up what you say with examples.
  • Are you comfortable around people with serious illnesses or death?
    Similarly to the “why did you choose to work in healthcare” question – this is often best portrayed using an anecdote.
  • What valuable impact do you hope to make in the field? What are the specific accomplishments in your career?
    Align your answer around the job specification and any information the interviewer provides around the goals for the person within this role.

What would we advise you to do – Top Tips for a healthcare job interview:

  1. Learn about the company – this is key, know the company inside out, check out their website, tap into any industry contacts you have and find out the company values to ensure they align with yours.
  2. Interview Preparation – Part of your preparation must involve looking for specific questions related to the career or role you are applying for within the healthcare field.For example, doctors would have different interview questions than nurses, but there could be a cross over with nurse questions and healthcare assistant questions. Make sure you cover everything.
  3. Arrive before time – don’t be sitting in traffic anxious that you are going to be late, have your research done for how long it is going to take you to get there and add on some time in case of traffic or road works, we all know that roadworks are everywhere these days

If it’s a skype or telephone interview – ensure all technology is ready and working, do you have enough coverage and battery, are you in a quiet secluded area?

Overseas Nurse applying for roles in Ireland – The Skype Interview

  1. Dress for the occasion – As with any interview, your first impression a healthcare job interview is important. Dress professionally, make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes are ironed and that your accessories are low key.
  2. Stay on topic & clarify questions if needed – Listen carefully to the interviewer’s words and answer the question as specifically as you can relating your background, experience and skills to the position requirements.

Focus on accomplishments appropriate to the role – don’t go off topic & if the question is vague, ask the interviewer to clarify the question.

Practice, practice, practice – practice your answers, get a friend or family member to ask you some questions, ask them to be honest in their feedback and work on their feedback

  1. Try to remain calm – Because healthcare is so important, employers in a healthcare job interview want to be sure they’re getting the best of the best, so they could potentially throw some curveballs to see how you handle a pressurised situation.

Take deep breaths before you go into your interview, slow down your speech, pause if necessary to compose yourself, confidently answer the question posed to you as best you can.

  1. Body language & eye contact – a lot of interviews nowadays are an interview panel – thus remember to look at the person that is asking you the question. Avoid slouching, no chewing gum, avoid touching your face/hair. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
  2. Communicate slowly and clearly – its very easy to speak quickly when you are nervous, but you want the interviewer to understand and hear your answers, speak clearly – no mumbling
  3. Ask questions – Within your healthcare job interview, have questions prepared to ask the employer which align with your career plan; such as:
    1. What training programs are available to the person in this position?
    2. What are your goals for the person within this role?
    3. Are there currently any obstacles for the person in this position that must be overcome in order to succeed?
    4. Are there opportunities within your company for growth or progression within the next 12 months – 2 years?
  4. Closing the interview – Always express your appreciation for the interviewers time. If you feel like the interview may not have gone your way; a good closing question to ask the interviewer is:“Thank you for providing me with additional information about the role and the company; I feel I have the qualities and values that align with what you are looking for. Based on our discussion today – is there anything you would like me to expand on or do you have any concerns that I wouldn’t be a good fit for this position?”

This gives the interviewer the opportunity to be honest with you and also provides you with an opportunity to squash any doubt in their mind that you are the perfect candidate for this role.

Now you are ready to attend your interview so best of luck in securing your dream role!

Don’t forget that everyone gets interview nerves before an interview, so remember that this is normal.

If you are unsuccessful don’t worry, learn from the interview you have had and use it to prepare better for your next one, there will be other opportunities in the future.

For 12 common nurse interview questions – please click here.

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Article Written By:
Deirdre Treanor | Permanent Nurse Recruiter

DD: +353 42 936 8395    | Tel: +353 (0) 42 93 52723