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IWK Health Centre Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published December 27th, 2018 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Wellness     Healthcare Services    
Question 1 of 31
It is often said that a career in healthcare is a 'thankless job'. How can we keep you motivated and engaged, even on the days when you feel your work goes unnoticed?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know how they could continue to motivate you - even on the hardest of days. Do you need to have verbal recognition? Are you motivated solely by the success of your team? Talk to the interviewer about how you have stayed motivated in the past.
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Answer Examples
1.
It is often said that a career in healthcare is a 'thankless job'. How can we keep you motivated and engaged, even on the days when you feel your work goes unnoticed?
The interviewer would like to know how they could continue to motivate you - even on the hardest of days. Do you need to have verbal recognition? Are you motivated solely by the success of your team? Talk to the interviewer about how you have stayed motivated in the past.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am an easily motivated individual, and it does not take much to keep me engaged. I am fully aware that healthcare-related positions can seem thankless. Honestly, the best thanks that I can get is a pat on the back now and then. The majority of my motivation comes from simply helping people."
Ryan's Answer #2
"My chosen career was helping people at exactly the point they were least capable of censoring themselves or giving back. So, I stopped needing thanks from my patients. It's not like I don't need positive reinforcement. Everyone does. But I made a point to find it in other places instead of expecting it from my patients. Nowadays I make an effort to expressly thank the people I work with when they do a good job. I focus on being grateful to be allowed to see private, raw, emotional parts of peoples lives. And I make work-related goals I can achieve for satisfaction."
2.
Why do you think you will be successful in this role with IWK Health Centre?
Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you to meet and exceed expectations with IWK Health Centre. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I know I will be successful in this role because I have been working in this industry for five years with great training and mentorship. I have a solid understanding of X, Y, and Z (skills listed in the job description). Also, I have all of my updated certifications as outlined in your job description. I am well-prepared for this next step in my career."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I believe my success with IWK Health Centre will come from having all of the hard skills that you are looking for, whether learned in school or gained through work experience. I know all the key players in this region and stay informed of best practices."
3.
At IWK Health Centre we take pride in our great relationships with clients, vendors, coworkers, and patients. Do you consider yourself to be a strong relationship builder?
Assure the interviewer that you would treat everyone at IWK Health Centre with great respect and a positive attitude. Discuss the ways that you would build strong and healthy relationships if hired.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have often been complimented on my relationship building skills. I like to get to know people and ask them questions about themselves. Most people love to talk about themselves, and I find it's a great and simple way to start building rapport with others. I consider myself to be a strong relationship builder and take pride in my 'people skills'. Rest assured, I would be a great ambassador of positive relationships for IWK Health Centre."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Some ways to build strong relationships in the workplace:

- Have strong follow-up
- Offer sincere conversation
- Get to know people on a personal level
- Be trustworthy
- Avoid gossip
- Offer mutual respect
- Be mindful of your actions
- Compliment others
- Be positive
- Be a strong listener"
4.
Being open and honest with patients and their family is a value that we hold very high at IWK Health Centre. Talk about a time where being honest in your job was difficult. How did you overcome this difficulty?
Working in the healthcare field can provide some difficult times where being open and honest with patients is extremely difficult, but necessary. Think of a time where your honesty was difficult for your personally and talk about the steps you had to take to overcome this difficulty. In your answer, be sure to keep the needs of the patient in focus while putting your own personal feelings and beliefs aside for the betterment of someone else. Your interviewer will be looking for you to take an unselfish approach in your honesty.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having a septic patient recently under my care in the ICU setting, I knew that costs of lab tests would be sky high for a patient and their family that was under a very high deductible health plan. In hearing the families concern right away about the cost of a hospital stay, I knew that they had to be informed about potential cost of daily lab tests during the stay. I sat the spouse and children down in a consultation meeting to talk about the needed diagnostic tests for sepsis. I explained the medical necessity of the hospital stay and the lab tests to help treat the condition moving forward. I also talked about costs of the tests. By being up front and honest right away, the family was very appreciative as they wouldn't be face with the shock of billing once the patient was healed and discharged."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my time as a midwife, I've had to deliver the horrible new of a stillborn baby twice and it has been extremely difficult both times. The last time, a mother that was around 23 weeks came in with blurred vision and extremely swollen hands and feet. Knowing these were telltale signs of a stillborn baby, we went into testing right away. The scared mother was very frantic and I took a calm approach with her while running the necessary tests. Once my team knew that a heartbeat no longer existed, I approached the patient one on one in a very empathetic and compassionate manner. In these situations, I don't sugarcoat anything and just let them know the bad news up front. Watching an expecting mother break down and cry is never easy, but I know my approach helps put them at ease. When they are ready to talk about options moving forward with the baby, I wait until the time is right for them but also stress some urgency in the situation."
5.
How would you rate your ability to work in a noisy and chaotic work environment? Do you have an example of a time you had to do this?
At a healthcare facility like IWK Health Centre that has a strong focus on pediatric care, things can get very hectic with children of all ages, families and other visitors coming to the facility. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are able to stay focused on the details of your job to remain accurate and productive no matter the environment that you work in. If you have a specific example of a work environment like this, talk about the methods and techniques you used to ensure that you stayed focused on your work and avoided distraction.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I have spent a good portion of my working career in a pediatric setting. While things can get loud and crazy at times, I am able to stay focused on my patients and my work by closing doors to help minimize any outside noise. Knowing full well that the clinic can get loud at times, some patients don't understand that so I always try to minimize the situation in their eyes to let them know that I am focused on them in the moment."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would rate my ability to work in a chaotic environment as very well. As you can see, I am coming from one of the busiest delivery units in the Toronto area and I have experience working shifts where we had several mothers in full blown labor at one time. During these times of mass chaos of patients, family and staff, I have a great ability to stay focused on what I need to do in the moment while being able to prioritize and triage care to patients when needed. This experience would suit me well in this role with IWK Health Centre."
6.
IWK Health Centre supports a healthy work/life balance for all employees. How do you balance life and work?
It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I make a strong effort to keep a healthy balance by spending my free time away from my cell phone and having more face-to-face time with my friends and family. I indulge in the things that make me happy, on my time off. By consistently rejuvenating in this way, I can give even more energy when I am at work."
7.
As part of our focus on patient and family centred care, why do you feel it is important that IWK Health Centre focuses on involving patients and families in their healthcare decision making process? How do you go about this in your work?
In the healthcare world, you are the expert in your field and teaching moments for patients and family members come on a daily basis. Beyond the importance of educating those that you work with comes honoring cultural differences of patients and advocating for individuals and families to be a part of the decision making processes in their care. For this question, talk about why it is important for patients and families to be empowered in their healthcare decisions and talk about the approach that you take with patients to help empower them in their care.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Involving patients and their families in decision making processes is extremely important and a delicate balance that I must weigh in on in every situation as a Nurse Practitioner. As the expert on health and disease for my patients, I must be the educator and the provider of resources for my patients. But their involvement is equally important as they know the home life and personal needs of the themselves or their loved one and these needs go a long way in making healthcare decisions. I try to take an educational approach while also welcoming feedback and thoughts from the patient and their family. Through this approach, we can all move forward making sounds decisions for the care of the patient."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As a Psychologist in the healthcare field, I have faced many patients and families where involvement from all was extremely important. With mental health being such an unknown to most people, I do my best to have an open approach in regard to educating my patients and their family members. Whether I am working in an inpatient or outpatient setting, the reality is that a patient is only under my care for so long and then they are back out to their home life in the real world. Knowing this, I try to educate my patients and their loved ones as best as possible to help them make sound care decisions moving forward so all can have a great outcome in the end."
8.
At IWK Health Centre, a strong focus of ours is working with pediatric patients. What do you see as the positives and negatives of working with pediatric patients?
A focus on pediatric patients requires a passion and a skill set that make the specialty certainly unique. Talk about the positive experiences you have working with pediatric patients and how they have impacted your career. If you don't have direct experience working with peds patients, make sure to talk about the skills you have that would make you working hi this role positive. On the back end of this question, be sure to talk about a common misconception about difficulties in working with pediatric patients and describe your ability to overcome that.

Ryan's Answer #1
"First and foremost, I absolutely have loved my experiences working with pediatric patients in the x-ray and CT scan settings. The children are often scared and in an unfamiliar place and I really love working with them through a friendly and loving approach. I've heard many other techs want to shy away from peds patients because of the need to work closely with overbearing and concerned parents. But as a mother myself who has had a child go through some scary health issues, I know where those parents are coming from. I think my calm demeanor and expertise in my field would help put parents and the kids at ease while I am getting the needed images."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Working on a large med/surg unit, we at times would have a pediatric patient on the unit and I really loved providing care for them. They most often were the patients that brought a smile to my face in seeing their smiles and overall positivity in a time where most would be scared or sad. The difficult part about working with younger patients is their overall lack on knowledge in the medical field and to combat this, I made learning a fun thing for them. By doing something as simple as taking a blood pressure reading, I used fun games to explain to the kids what I was doing and that helped put them at ease and engage them in any processes at the same time."
9.
IWK Health Centre was initially looking for someone with 5 years' experience in a similar role. Considering you have just 2 years' experience, would you be willing to accept this position at a lower salary?
Are you willing to earn your way up if the interviewer does not want to offer you top compensation? Discuss with the interviewer what you would expect for compensation if offered this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would be happy to earn my way to the top compensation level if required. I do assure you that, despite my being shy of experience by a couple of years, I am a top performer and you would not be disappointed in my performance."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I understand I do not quite meet the qualifications of experience you are looking for and am willing to be compensated in adjustment to that fact. However, I do look forward to proving my worth to IWK Health Centre in hopes to be considered for the median salary for the role."
10.
What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of situation offered in this position prior, to the interview. If you aren't completely clear on the workplace environment or culture, kindly ask the interviewer to expand on the work environment for you.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I prefer to focus on the positive, so if it's okay, I would like to share with you what my ideal work environment looks like. My ideal environment is organized, collaborative, positive, energetic, and encouraging. I love working with like-minded people who set challenging goals for themselves. I thrive when I work for supervisors who encourage curiosity and creativity in problem-solving."
11.
Why is IWK's mission in the Maritime region in Canada important to you?
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island make up the Maritime region in the very eastern part of Canada. The region is very rich in culture and history and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are entrenched in the culture and history of the region because they know that life outside of work is equally important in retaining you as an employee. Whether you grew up in the region and have worked their your whole life or you will be looking to relocate, it is important that you let your interviewer know that you will be able to thrive in the region while serving the mission of IWK Health Centre at the same time.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I was born and raised in the more rural area of Arichat, but knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare at a young age. Having only left the region to train in midwifery, I am excited about the prospect of coming back to Nova Scotia to help the residents here. Our richly diverse population here in the province is where my heart lies and you'll quickly find that if I'm hired, I will be here for the remainder of my career."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having worked for a majority of my career around Montreal, I think my fluency in French and English will greatly help with the patient population here at IWK Health Centre. Personally, I am very attached to the outdoor recreation available in the region here and would love to spend my evenings and weekends fishing on the river. I think my skills as a Nurse Practitioner would bode well for IWK as an organization and the region would be great for me and my family to thrive in."
12.
IWK Health Centre has a diverse workforce. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity. Even better, give an example of being able to embrace diversity in the workplace.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers me unique learning opportunities."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am so glad you pointed out your need for diversity at IWK Health Centre. I greatly value diversity. I grew up in a fairly homogeneous town in Montana. When I hit my 20's, it was so important to me to learn about other cultures. I worked with community volunteer organizations in Peru, inner-city Chicago, and Russia."
13.
HIWK ealth Centre has one of Canada's strongest focuses in healthcare research. What do you know about our research programs?
While it is very important for you to research IWK Health Centre and the research that they are involved in, it is equally important for you to tie research to your potential role with the organization and to give your personal fields toward research in the medical field. IWK has research projects in the fields of autism, vaccines, pediatric pain and family health, among other areas. Be sure to let your interviewer know that research in healthcare has led to many great advancements in the field and that you'd be proud to work for an organization that puts funds and resources into further research.

Ryan's Answer
"To start, I was simply amazed when I read about all of the research efforts that are underway at IWK. Having a niece and a nephew that are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, my siblings are often left with questions unanswered and I am a firm believer in the research that is being done here at IWK. I know through my research on the organization that you also have some great projects happening in gastrointestinal research for children with IBD and genetics research. I would love to be a part of an organization that values this type of research and would love to do my part as an RN in the pediatric field."
14.
Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?
Show the interviewer that you work well with most personalities even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please.

Think about that one person at work who is seen as hard to please. Perhaps there is someone at work who tries to intimidate others. Talk to the interviewer about what made this person challenging and what their relationship was with you. Avoid speaking poorly of anyone and be sure to end your response on a positive note.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I once worked at a small medical facility where the primary physician was very demanding. When he would walk into the facility, employees would quietly announce that he was in the building, so that everyone could be prepared for his arrival. This physician had great intentions; however, his people skills were a little rough. I could see that he meant well, and I recognized that he wanted to do a lot of good things. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with the understanding that he didn't mean things as harshly as he might say them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my previous position, I did have a coworker who didn't pull their weight. This unmotivated coworker created more work for the rest of the team by being slow and unresponsive. Our team started to complete most of the tasks when it came to group projects. It didn't take much time before our department head noticed this particular individual was slacking. I feel like, in most instances, the underachievers will weed themselves out over time, and it's rarely worth making a fuss over."
15.
Talk about a time you worked hand in hand with a coworker to help them get better in their job. Why was this important to both you and the coworker you aided?
IWK believes in creating a supportive work environment where collaboration among individuals helps make the whole effort of the organization better. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to step in as a colleague and provide assistance to someone in need on your team. For your answer, talk about a specific time where you went above and beyond your normal call of duty to help a coworker in need. Talk about the collaborative approach you took to educate and help your colleague and explain why this was important to all parties involved.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Last year, a colleague of mine in our labor and delivery unit was having a difficult time bathing newborns and teaching the new parents how to bathe their new child. Knowing how important of a step this was for both the baby and the parents, I took extra time after a shift of ours together to talk through the improvement points for the newer nurse. I approached her with an open mind and stated that I'd love to show her more effective ways to bathe a newborn and how to teach new parents. She was very thankful for me reaching out and said she only wanted to do the best for the patients. With the blessing of our director, she observed me over the next month bathing the babies. At that point, I let her take over with me in the room and she did an awesome job moving forward. I was very happy I took this approach with my colleague because she was able to become so much more effective in her time with the babies and their parents."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Last month, we hired a new social worker that hadn't received a lot of training on our electronic health record system prior to being done with orientation and seeing patients. Working in the same office as her, she commented on how she wasn't properly trained and therefore didn't see the need to be detailed in her documentation of patients. Knowing full well that this could lead to a lot of care issues down the road, I asked her if I could take a few hours the next day to really properly train her on our EHR and our role as social workers in the system. She was very appreciative that I was able to do this when no one else had built this into her training and orientation with the organization. She came the next day with a great learners attitude and is doing great on documentation now."
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31 IWK Health Centre Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. It is often said that a career in healthcare is a 'thankless job'. How can we keep you motivated and engaged, even on the days when you feel your work goes unnoticed?
  2. Why do you think you will be successful in this role with IWK Health Centre?
  3. At IWK Health Centre we take pride in our great relationships with clients, vendors, coworkers, and patients. Do you consider yourself to be a strong relationship builder?
  4. Being open and honest with patients and their family is a value that we hold very high at IWK Health Centre. Talk about a time where being honest in your job was difficult. How did you overcome this difficulty?
  5. How would you rate your ability to work in a noisy and chaotic work environment? Do you have an example of a time you had to do this?
  6. IWK Health Centre supports a healthy work/life balance for all employees. How do you balance life and work?
  7. As part of our focus on patient and family centred care, why do you feel it is important that IWK Health Centre focuses on involving patients and families in their healthcare decision making process? How do you go about this in your work?
  8. At IWK Health Centre, a strong focus of ours is working with pediatric patients. What do you see as the positives and negatives of working with pediatric patients?
  9. IWK Health Centre was initially looking for someone with 5 years' experience in a similar role. Considering you have just 2 years' experience, would you be willing to accept this position at a lower salary?
  10. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  11. Why is IWK's mission in the Maritime region in Canada important to you?
  12. IWK Health Centre has a diverse workforce. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
  13. HIWK ealth Centre has one of Canada's strongest focuses in healthcare research. What do you know about our research programs?
  14. Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?
  15. Talk about a time you worked hand in hand with a coworker to help them get better in their job. Why was this important to both you and the coworker you aided?
  16. IWK Health Centre seeks to hire those with strong problem solving skills. When were you able to successfully resolve a problem in the workplace?
  17. Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?
  18. At IWK Health Centre, we put a lot of effort and resources into ensuring that our staff members are able to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle and work/life balance. How do you ensure you are refreshed outside of work?
  19. With the ongoing changes in the healthcare services industry, how do you keep your knowledge current?
  20. If you could expand your knowledge and expertise in any healthcare service area, which would you choose?
  21. What part of your healthcare career brings you the most stress?
  22. Talk about a time where your positive attitude helped keep a patient calm and focused at a time when it would have been difficult for them. Why do you think that approach was successful?
  23. As part of our core value of excellence, we at IWK Health Centre believe in employees being accountable for their decisions and actions. Talk about a time where you had to be accountable for a mistake in the workplace and how did you own up to it?
  24. When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?
  25. Have you ever been involved in ordering medical supplies, maintaining inventory, or other types of health care related administrative duties?
  26. Healthcare service companies require strong organizational skills and attention to detail. How do you ensure that your work is properly organized, and highly accurate?
  27. Our primary focus here at IWK Health Centre is women and children. What experience do you have working with those patient populations?
  28. What is your patient care philosophy?
  29. Tell me about your healthcare related education and training.
  30. At IWK Health Centre, we believe in building strong relationships with with patients and families as their partners in decision making processes in their care. How do you go about building relationships with those that you care for?
  31. At IWK Health Centre we seek to hire individuals who display a keen interest in the healthcare arena. Would you consider yourself dedicated to a career in healthcare services?
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