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Loma Linda University Medical Center Interview
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31 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion
Published October 4th, 2018 | Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
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Question 1 of 31

What made you choose a career in healthcare?

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Interview Questions

1.

What made you choose a career in healthcare?

This is a simple question that will speak volumes to the interviewer. With so many career choices available, the interviewer is curious to know what made you choose this profession. If you experienced something in your past that made you appreciate a healthcare provider, share that experience. This is a perfect opportunity for the interviewer to know you on a personal level.

Darby's Answer #1

"When my son was born, he had to be in the neonatal intensive care unit for the first two weeks of his life. I watched those nurses and doctors attend him with such care and concern, as if he was their baby. Something about their gentleness with him and their compassion toward me and my family made me realize what a difference healthcare providers can make. From that time forward, I began to pursue my career in the healthcare industry and I will never look back!"

Darby's Answer #2

"Believe it or not, I actually began college with plans of getting a business degree and opening my own accounting firm. One day I realized that sitting behind a desk was never going to be enough for me. I wanted to meet people and have an opportunity to affect their lives in a way that only healthcare can. That day I went to my college counselor and told him I wanted to change my degree major and the rest is history!"

2.

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.

Darby'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?"

Darby'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."

3.

Loma Linda University Medical Center employs clinical ethicists who offer consultation services to resolve clinical ethics issues. Are you familiar with the role of a clinical ethicist?

With a rise in recent years of lawsuits regarding malpractice and ethical dilemmas, healthcare facilities have found it to be in their interest to employ clinical ethicists. If you have not worked with one, you probably still have some experience or knowledge of an ethical dilemma that may have occurred during your career. Share your thoughts regarding an ethicist and any experience you may have with trying to resolve an ethical dilemma.

Darby's Answer #1

"I feel it is rather unfortunate that such a position had to have been created. However, as changes occur for the positive, there are also situations that call for wisdom and discretion in order to provide proper care. I worked in a facility prior to my relocation that was in the process of hiring a clinical ethicist. I was pleased to see the effort with which the organization sought to provide assistance to its clients who had concerns or needed help making difficult decisions."

Darby's Answer #2

"I believe a clinical ethicist is a great part of the healthcare team. We all have a job to do, but having a source for our patients to turn to when it is time to make difficult decisions or for staff to seek counsel with can only be beneficial to the overall outcome of any situation."

4.

Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?

The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.

Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time.

Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

Darby's Answer #1

"I think that it is possible to be a great team member, even when disagreeing with the leader. It's all in how you maintain respect for each other despite the difference in opinion."

Darby's Answer #2

"I believe that being a good team member is more about attitude than it is about compatibility. You do not need to agree with everyone 100% of the time, to be effective in your job."

5.

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.

Darby'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."

Darby'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."

6.

Loma Linda University Medical Center is home of the world's first proton unit used for cancer treatments. Are you familiar with proton therapy for cancer patients?

Proton radiation treatment, or proton beam therapy, is the most precise and advanced form of radiation therapy available today. It is a painless, non-invasive treatment that allows patients to maintain their quality of life and quickly resume normal activities. Part of Loma Linda University Medical Center's mission is 'to make man whole, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.' The benefits of proton therapy allowing patients to maintain their quality of life quickly goes hand in hand with the mission of 'making man whole.' Knowing an organization's mission and how some of the treatments available at that facility reflect their mission statement will show the interviewer that you have taken an interest in the facility before asking for a job.

Darby's Answer #1

"I have never worked in a facility where proton therapy is used, but I was very intrigued when I read about Loma Linda UMC having a proton therapy unit. I am always amazed at the advancements that are made in medicine and I am excited about the possibility of working somewhere that embraces new efforts to improve the quality of life for patients."

Darby's Answer #2

"I am not personally familiar with proton therapy, although from what I have read, it seems to be a great step toward improving the quality of life of cancer patients while they are undergoing less invasive treatment. A diagnosis of cancer is difficult enough; anything we can do to offer a treatment option that allows a patient to have a sense of normalcy is a step in the right direction, in my opinion."

7.

Loma Linda University Medical Center offers 121 degree and certificate programs associated with their educational partnerships. If you could expand your knowledge in any area, what would it be?

The interviewer would like to dig deeper into your true areas of interest when it comes to healthcare services. They want to know that your passions align well with what Loma Linda University Medical Center is offering. Talk to the interviewer about the areas of healthcare you would like to focus on most, and then tie that information in with what the position at Loma Linda University Medical Center would be offering you.

Darby's Answer #1

"If I could expand my expertise in any healthcare service area I would choose anything within primary care. This is one of the reasons I have applied with your company. I feel that your focus will be a great fit with my long-term career goals."

Darby's Answer #2

"I'm interested in research. One of the things that attracted me to working with your company is your ongoing community-based research collaborations. I'd be curious to hear if the [clinic/hospital/program] had any needs in this area. Is this something junior staff can be involved in?"

8.

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.

Darby'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."

Darby'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."

9.

At Loma Linda University Medical Center we seek to hire individuals who have ambitions of growing their career. What changes in your personal and/or professional life do you anticipate to occur within the next 3-5 years?

Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Change is good and growth is encouraged. However, because employers invest time and money in training new employees, they prefer that they have a plan to stay for the long-term. Still, if you don't plan on being in the same geographical area five years from now, it's OK to say that now. With companies as large as Mercy Health Systems, there are often opportunities for transfers to other facilities within the same network. Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

Darby's Answer #1

"I recently became engaged. Although we have not set a date yet, we have agreed to wait twelve months before the marriage. My fiance' just passed the Bar exam here and has been offered an opportunity to join an existing law firm. Presently, our plans are to stay where we are and build a career, not just work a job. Also, we do not plan on having children for at least two years after our marriage. We both feel that being able to become established in our careers and save for our future would be the responsible thing to do before starting a family."

Darby's Answer #2

"One of the attractive points of working for Loma Linda University Medical Center is that you care about the growth of your employees. I'm motivated to learn and am looking for a long-term fit. In 3-5 years I'd like to be grounded in the clinic, learn about this site, your patient base and earn certifications that would help the unit advance. Personally, I'd like to get involved in some of the local volunteer organizations. I speak Spanish, and I have an interest in urban outreach so it would be nice to do something formal in that context...health-education or fundraising."

10.

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!

Darby'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!"

Darby'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."

11.

Patient care requires a strong amount of compassion. Do you consider yourself a compassionate person?

To succeed in the healthcare services industry, you should have a solid level of compassion for your patients or customers. Talk to the interviewer about the compassionate qualities that you possess. How would you rate your level of compassion for others?

Darby's Answer #1

"I understand that compassion is one of the top qualities that I need to bring to the workplace, being in the healthcare services profession. I consider myself a very compassionate individual. I am warm hearted, responsive to my patients' needs, and always empathetic."

Darby's Answer #2

"Some ways to describe yourself could be:

- Understanding
- Warm Hearted
- Empathetic
- Responsive
- Charitable
- Tender Hearted"

12.

If Loma Linda University Medical Center 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.

Darby'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 Loma Linda University Medical Center. I plan to make a positive impact very quickly."

Darby's Answer #2

"This question is a delicate one, and you need to show respect for the onboarding process, then give a moderately ambitious project that you could execute. This concept is often called your 'value proposition' in marketing. "Hire me because I'll do X."

But remember this is your campaign promise, if hired, it will likely be your first target to hit and depending on the environment, it could make or break you. The best approach is to give a functional analysis of the employers' needs and your skills."

13.

When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?

Being flexible, and able to handle change is a skill that all employers desire to see. Discuss with the interviewer your ability to approach a problem using new methods. Give a recent example but make sure to spend more time highlighting the resolution rather than the problem.

Darby's Answer #1

"When our facility came under new management last year many new methods and policies came into place. I was able to learn some exciting new approaches to our challenges in patient care and customer management. I quite enjoyed the process."

Darby's Answer #2

"It's funny; they say people in medicine are 'lifelong learners'. But on top of that, we're in this digital revolution, and everyone has to learn new software all the time. I'm finally getting old enough to realize that its difficult to be constantly adapting. I think my 75-year-old aunt telling me how to use my iPhone helped me appreciate that it's all about humility. Not WHO is teaching you, but if you are willing to learn. In the medical context, I just took an updated CPR course, and it went from the 2:15 compressions to continuous compressions and I had to adapt to avoid my past way of thinking."

14.

Do you prefer to work in a team based position or individually?

In which situation are you the happiest and most productive? Talk to the interviewer about your preference when it comes to teamwork or working individually. Be sure to avoid pigeonholing yourself into one particular scenario (IE: I only like to work by myself). You may work well without the need for much management or direction, or perhaps you are better driven in a collaborative and team led environment. Either way, be honest with the interviewer about your preferences without leaning negatively, either way.

Darby's Answer #1

"Whether I am doing an independent project, or working in a team environment, I always give my best. I enjoy the camaraderie of working in a team, but I can be successful working autonomously as well."

Darby's Answer #2

"I have found, in the past, that I work well in an individually driven environment; however, I can certainly be productive in a team-based setting as well."

15.

At Loma Linda UMC, we strive to attract and retain a highly skilled, talented, and diverse workforce. What are your thoughts on diversity in the workplace and can you share a personal experience with diversity in the workplace?

When going to work for a company as large as Mercy Health Systems, diversity among peers and clients should be expected. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

Darby's Answer #1

"The largest diverse group I worked with was probably when I did my clinical rotation at University Medical Center. I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"

Darby's Answer #2

"I think diversity in the healthcare industry is essential. People from all over the world now call our country their home. I believe learning about and showing an appreciation for people from different walks of life only makes us stronger as we build upon the common bond of caring for others."

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