Whether you’re fresh out of school, beginning a career change, or just looking for a new job in healthcare, you need to be prepared to do well at your interviews. You may already know the basics of a good interview, but there are some additional tips that can help you when you interview specifically for a job in healthcare.
Showcase Relevant Experience
Relevant experience doesn’t have to be limited to experience in healthcare itself. Healthcare jobs are highly specialized, and you may not have as much experience in the exact position you’re applying for, but you may still have experience in other areas that may qualify you for a position in healthcare – experience that you can still use during the initial stages of the interview. To be successful in healthcare, you must have good experience with interpersonal communication, for example, so be sure to emphasize the steps you took to acquire this experience, and how you can use this experience in the healthcare position that you are applying for. Maybe you handled difficult customers with grace and patience as a customer service representative, or maybe you found different ways to connect with people as a telemarketer. Attention to detail is another element of previous experience that you can transfer over from many different types of work. Don’t be shy about discussing your past experience in other fields as long as you can connect it directly to the healthcare position that you are interviewing for.
Your interviewer is looking for the best fit for a particular healthcare position. When you showcase your relevant experience, and you discuss your previous skills, be as specific as possible. When discussing a previous internship or a previous job, remember to talk about specific situations where you demonstrated skills that apply to the job in healthcare that you are interviewing for, and how you developed those skills. Did you help implement a new filing system as an intern? Did you discover a recordkeeping error at a retail job? Did your supervisors consistently mention your people skills or your attention to detail? These are great points to bring up, and will help an interviewer determine how well your skills align with the job that you are applying for in healthcare.
Don’t Forget the Basics
While interviewing in the healthcare field has its own challenges, the basic rules of interview etiquette still apply. Professionalism is key. Dress well, make good eye contact, and most of all, be on time. A day or so after the interview, follow up with a well-written “thank you” note and send it to the person who interviewed you. A note like this is not only polite, but it also keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind, especially when they have scheduled interviews with multiple candidates for the same position. In your note, be specific about your interview experience, and include your thoughts about the interviewer and what you learned about the position that you interviewed for. Remember that the note should read like a “thank you” note and not like a cover letter for the interview.
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