Acing the Face-to-Face Interview

Getting to a sit-down, face-to-face interview is hard enough. When searching for health care careers, you first must fill out applications, submit resumes, probably even do a pre-interview with a human resources person over the phone, all before even getting a sniff at a face-to-face meeting. So, when you get face-to-face, you obviously want to do well. When you get down to it, doing well in a sit-down interview is like excelling in your favorite sport or any other activity – it takes practice, practice, practice.

Identifying and studying "common interview questions"

Alex Nguyen, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde’s campus in Portland, Ore., said practicing common and behavioral interview questions is extremely important to acing a face-to-face interview. Searching “common interview questions” on a search engine like Google can provide plenty of questions that might be asked during an interview. “Identifying these common interview questions will be key to formulating the desired answers,” Nguyen said. “After a couple practice sessions, it is encouraged to practice with a friend or family member and ask for their feedback. “The behavioral questions are a bit tricky when it comes to answering them. By coming up with a few examples from previous work experiences, these examples can be used to answer these difficult questions by putting the story together with the desired example.”

When interviewing for health care careers, be yourself

Another piece of advice for acing the face-to-face interview, Nguyen said, is to simply be yourself … with the codicil of being confident and friendly at the same time. Interviewers want to meet with candidates and discuss the opportunity to determine whether they are able to work together. “Confidence is very important as well as being very friendly,” Nguyen said. “They will try to find any red flags from responses to interview questions to ensure they are hiring the best candidate for their team.”

Other points to remember when interviewing for health care careers

Karen Blanks, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde’s Kansas City, Mo. campus, has many years of experience in workforce/job development and has a nine-point primer for succeeding in the live interview.
  • Be on time
  • Be dressed for success
  • Have a portfolio with resume, references and copies of certificates and awards
  • Bring a pen with which to take notes
  • Take notes during the interview
  • Practice your 30-second commercial prior to the interview
  • Smile
  • Ask pertinent questions
  • Ask for the position
Finally, Nguyen suggests taking the time to write a thank you note is key to acing the face-to-face interview. “Even though it might not be during the interview, leaving a friendly thank you note (via email message) will be a good way to allow the employer to view the possible last moment of interaction from the candidate as a good memory,” he said.
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