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Kaiser Permanente Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Updated January 26th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
Kaiser Permanente has a diverse workforce. Talk about a time that you worked with a diverse team and what role did you play on that team?
View Answers
How to Answer
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.
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Top 25 Kaiser Permanente Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Kaiser Permanente has a diverse workforce. Talk about a time that you worked with a diverse team and what role did you play on that team?
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 at the University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers me unique learning opportunities. I have a full understanding that different cultures and beliefs can bring a team to its full potential because no stones are left unturned when new ideas are being thought of."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am so glad you pointed out your need for diversity at Kaiser Permanente. 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."
Anonymous Answer
"Where I work, we have a diverse team; we all work together by translating to patients, helping them understand when they have questions, and splitting the job to get it done on time."
Rachelle's Answer
This sounds like a very collaborative workplace. Good example!
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2.
Kaiser Permanente 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 Kaiser Permanente does not want to offer you top compensation right away? Discuss with the interviewer what you would expect for compensation if offered this position. With most large organizations operating compensation under a pay scale, talk about your willingness to start at the bottom of the pay scale and working your way up if you truly can agree to that. Bringing up points of being compensated in relation to experience is important because it shows the interviewer that you understand the basic principles of compensation philosophy.

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
"When I applied for this position, I fully understood that I didn't meet the experience requirements for this position. But being confident in my abilities as a newer worker in our field, I am very comfortable starting at the entry level of pay for this position and working my way up with experience. You'll quickly find that I am capable to perform this job with the highest of abilities despite not having the required five years of experience."
3.
Have you ever made a critical mistake while on the job? How did you handle the situation?
At Kaiser Permanente, integrity is held in the highest regard. While we are all human and make mistakes, the key to this question is how you handle the aftermath of a mistake to make things right. Your interviewer will be looking for you to own up to your mistake and do what it takes to correct it. Use a specific example and describe how you handled the situation and any lessons that you learned moving forward to prevent it from happening again.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Early in my nursing career, I was working a night shift with minimal staffing on our unit. In the early morning hours, I was tending to a patient that was still wide-awake and we ended up conversing for some time. When I went to continue my rounds, another patient had tried to get out of bed to make it to the bathroom and had suffered a fall. The patient, staying because of back surgery, was unable to hit the call button. I called for one of our CNA's to come and help me get the patient to the bathroom and back to his bed. While there was no injury, I was required to report the fall to our safety team and I did so immediately. Looking back, had I not stopped to talk so long with the other patient the fall may have been able to be prevented. Now, I make sure that I find that healthy mix of providing friendly care to my patients while being timely on my rounds."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current role as the lead scheduler, I am responsible for making the schedules for the schedulers in three different departments. Not long ago, I received a call on a Friday morning when I was scheduled to be off work and was told that an employee hadn't reported for their shift. Immediately, I logged on to our email system to find out that the employee in question had requested the day off and I had totally missed their communication to me. In owning up to my mistake, I quickly changed my plans for the day and reported to work to cover the shift. Looking back, I now make time in my calendar every day to review all emails that have come in and take action on any that are required so that nothing gets missed."
Anonymous Answer
"Once I was filling a prescription for 90 days 90 tablets. I didn't notice we have new 90 tablet bottles instead of the 30 tablet bottles, and I filled 3 of 90 tablets bottle instead of 3 of 30 tablets. When the pharmacist noticed I fix my mistake, and from that day, I double-check the quantity in the bottles in case the quantity changes."
Rachelle's Answer
Great work giving your example and then highlighting how you corrected the error. You also made sure to take action so that this did not happen again. These are exactly the steps that an interviewer would be looking for.
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4.
Why do you think you will be successful in this role with Kaiser Permanente?
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 Kaiser Permanente. 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
"Knowing that the main mission of the organization is improving the health of the communities that Kaiser Permanente serves, my forward thinking vision will make me a very successful employee in this role. Never being complacent, my creative thinking and project leadership skills will serve your organization greatly."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Outside of my excellent clinical skills, the biggest attribute that I will bring to the table for Kaiser Permanente is my empathetic approach to treating patients. In a community type setting, my main goal is to build relationships with my patients to keep them coming back to me for their care. I believe that building a strong rapport with patients through trust and compassion is the key to a successful healthcare organization."
Anonymous Answer
"I will be successful in this role because I'm responsible, hardworking, learn fast, multitasker, and I'm reliable. Also, I am organized, bilingual, and I have pharmaceutical knowledge. I work good under stressful situations, and I'm good at resolving patients' problems."
Rachelle's Answer
These are all excellent skills to have, and you sound very talented! Be sure that some of the skills you mention are a match with what Kaiser Permanente is looking for in the job posting or job description.
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Anonymous Answer
"I will be confident and happy to be improving the health of Kaiser patients. My attention to detail leadership skills will help the eye clinic be successful for the patients and employees."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a good start! Be sure to bring as much detail from the job description/role responsibilities as possible. Then, give a higher level of detail on how you will achieve this.
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5.
What is your greatest weakness?
Pick a weakness that is not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness.

Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!

Ryan's Answer #1
"I believe I could improve on some technical skills including Excel and Word. Currently I am at a beginner to intermediate level; however, I would be more comfortable at an advanced level. I have enrolled myself in an evening/weekend workshop for the next six weeks. We will see how stellar my skills are after that course!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I know this will come off as cliche, but it's truthful. My weakness is in not delegating. I know what I want to be done and how I want it done, so it's often easier to do it myself. However, it can inhibit my ability to grow. I cannot take on every step of a project; I need to be able to give the task or a portion of it to another team member or direct report, let go of the control and know it will be taken care of. I've spoken with my current manager about it, and we've developed a system where he can call me out on the behavior since often I'm not aware of it. By bringing awareness to it at the moment, I find my propensity to hold onto control has decreased, so I'm certainly moving in the right direction."
Anonymous Answer
"One of my greatest weakness is being unable to maintain focus for extended periods when engaged in long mental tasks. I have always performed best on tasks that require active verbal or physical interaction. To help challenge this weakness, I have actively made an effort to take breaks even if it is for a few minutes to refocus. Additionally, time management strategies such as to-do lists and prioritizing based on urgency and importance have helped with overall performance."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds as though you've made an excellent effort to overcome this weakness. It's great that you recognize what you need to best focus. Good answer!
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Anonymous Answer
"I think my weakness is that I take too much to do. I tend to help the pharmacist with a resolution, and at the same time, fill, input, and answer the phone. I have been working on it by asking for help; if I'm helping the pharmacist, I ask another tech to fill or input."
Rachelle's Answer
Good answer! It's great that you are working on asking for help from a variety of people when needed.
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6.
In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
Employers want to know that you have a methodical approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I am a great problem solver because I do not allow stress to cloud my judgment and mute my sound decision making. I am a keen observer with a great memory which allows me to recall unique solutions or ideas."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I believe I am a great problem solver because I am sure to gather as many facts as possible. I look at the problem and its potential solutions from multiple angles, and I am not afraid to make a creative decision that might seem off the beaten path. In a recent project in my department, I was tasked with participating on a team that looked at our dispensing of medications and how our processes could be improved. As part of the team, I lead the cause of making sure that we took all factors into account and walked through all solutions that we could imagine. I utilized many resources for research, both inside and outside of our organization, and these resources were crucial in our successs."
Anonymous Answer
"I am a great problem solver because I know that it is a process that requires me to think rationally and not allow my feelings and judgments from looking at the facts. Also, when solving any problem, it is important to be able to identify as many possible solutions as possible in case one of them might not work out. In seeking out possible solutions, I also seek feedback and support from others when needed and also plan on how to cope in case of a solution does not go as planned."
Rachelle's Answer
Your problem-solving approach is fantastic! You offer multiple solutions, look at the issue from all angles, and aren't afraid to ask for help when needed. Well done!
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
Anonymous Answer
"I listen to both sides."
Lauren's Answer
See my suggestion below; expanding your response presents as more professional.
"I am a great problem solver because I can approach an issue and find multiple ways to solve it. Flexibility and seeing dynamic opportunities to solve issues is a strength of mine."
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7.
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. Keep your answer in a positive light and if you discuss a prior negative work environment, talk about how you overcame the situation to thrive.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. In a previous position, the department and my colleagues operated in a very negative and toxic manner that started with our leader. To help myself on a day to day basis, I tried to stay as positive as possible with others and wouldn't be the person to pass along negativity. In fact, if a particular rumor or bad news was being passed along, I would simply squash it and move on."
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."
Anonymous Answer
"I'm flexible to work in any environment. Companies hire a lot of people with a different way of thinking, and that could be a problem for some people. Still, as long you respect each other, do your job with a positive attitude, you can change any environment to a positive one."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds as though you embrace diversity and different opinions, which is great!
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Anonymous Answer
"I dislike when there's work politics. I also dislike when the morale of the lab is low."
Lauren's Answer
Take this as an opportunity to market yourself as a positive employee who can enhance a work environment.
"I dislike working in a negative, low morale environment that is plagued with office politics. I am a very energetic, positive person who would like to contribute to a healthy, collaborative team."
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8.
With the ongoing changes in the healthcare services industry, how do you keep your knowledge current?
Employers expect employees to stay up-to-date on their respective field, and today's technology makes this reasonably easy! List several ways that you receive your industry knowledge and stay on top of trends.

Tell the interviewer about those daily update emails you receive from professional organizations, conferences you attend, and seminars you have taken.

Lastly, it's a great idea to ask the interviewer what resources they refer to for industry trends. That question can start up a great conversation, and you may learn a thing or two as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Every morning I listen to X Podcast because I find the information to be fresh, and valuable. In addition to this podcast, I also subscribe to a couple of industry blogs. One is ABC, and the other is XYZ. I greatly value the information shared between fellow professionals. What resources do you prefer to stay on top of industry trends and changes?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am an avid fan of google alerts! I will receive an email with the related information any time there is a major headline about the healthcare services industry. In addition to this, I also subscribe to a couple of medical-related journals."
Anonymous Answer
"As a certified pharmacy tech, I have to continue learning. I am registered at powerpack.com, where I get emails with anything new that happens in the medical field. I also learn a different kind of articles and submit my test to renew my certificate. I also receive emails from different pharmacy pages with interesting articles."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds as though you lean on a variety of reputable sources, which the interviewer should be happy to hear. Are there any resources from Kaiser Permanente that you could subscribe to, and then mention in your interview?
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9.
What do the words "Customer Service" mean to you in this healthcare role?
Kaiser Permanente is 100% focused on the service that they provide to their many customers. Your role with the organization could potentially put you in front of patients, vendors or family members of patients and all are considered customers of the organization. Talk about how your role can have an effect on the customers of the organization and how you go about providing excellent service to those customers.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a nurse, my customers are my patients and their family members and I look to be at my best in providing excellent care and compassion to them. My care reflects on the organization as a whole and with the fact that word of mouth travels fast, I want my patients to come back again for their healthcare needs. Furthermore, I consider my coworkers in other departments as part of my customer base because my work can often have an impact on their work. I strive to write complete notes in the EMR and communicate effectively on patient hand-offs to them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having spent my career working in healthcare education with large institutions, my customers are the employees that I train and the educational materials vendors that I work with on a daily basis. To best suit my internal customers in their training, I ensure that I am a subject matter expert in setting I am providing education. During training sessions, I take a methodical and knowledgeable approach with my students and keep an open ear for questions. If I promise any follow-up to my students, I do so in a timely manner. To my external vendor customers, I speak openly and honestly about our organizational needs and partner with them to create innovative and effective training sessions for our employees."
Anonymous Answer
"To me, it means to have a positive attitude to patients, smile and make them feel comfortable, answer any question they have, or resolve any issues they have. Make them think we care about them as if they were our family members so that they will come back."
Rachelle's Answer
Your version of customer service sounds warm, welcoming, and caring. Very nice answer.
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10.
If Kaiser Permanente hired you today, what would you accomplish first?
When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate. If you want to make an impact with your answer, refer to the immediate needs of the company such as increasing budgets, or improving patient care, for instance.

Ryan's Answer #1
"When we were speaking earlier, you mentioned that you were urgently seeking to improve the level of patient care and compassion at this facility. I want to offer my strong skills when it comes to building patient rapport and help to improve the satisfaction of everyone that uses the services of Kaiser Permanente. I plan to make a positive impact very quickly."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Coming onboard to a tight knit group like the Patient Experience team, my first goal would be to get to know each and every person on the team and find out what I can do to make their job easier and more efficient. I know that working as a team is of utmost importance and the team members having a clear understanding of how we can work together would be extremely beneficial."
Anonymous Answer
"I will learn fast all I need to know to better help patients so I can answer their questions and make them feel cared for and improve patient care."
Rachelle's Answer
Learning fast is a wonderful way to serve your customers and help your new team to be a strong as possible. Great answer!
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Anonymous Answer
"I want to accomplish high-quality care for the patients because no matter what, they deserve our compassion."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is nice and heartfelt; however, the interviewer may be looking for a more specific and tangible set of goals such as exceeding expectations in your training, etc.
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