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Palmetto Health Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Published October 3rd, 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.
Question 1 of 31
Palmetto Health has a diverse workforce. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
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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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31 Palmetto Health Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Palmetto Health has a diverse workforce. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
  2. Here at Palmetto Health, we want to give everyone a fair chance. However, salary is often commensurate with experience. How do you feel about someone with more experience than you having a higher salary but doing the same job?
  3. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
  4. Why do you think you will be successful in this role with Palmetto Health?
  5. Has there ever been a time that you felt singled out for your personal convictions? If so, what did you learn from that experience that allows you to feel empathy towards your patients and/or co-workers?
  6. Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?
  7. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
  8. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?
  9. At Palmetto Health, we offer continuing medical education (CME) programs at each of our Midlands-area campuses. How do you keep your healthcare knowledge current?
  10. Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person?
  11. If Palmetto Health hired you today, what would you accomplish first?
  12. As you know, Palmetto Health, is a teaching institution. Have you ever precepted new employees or students during their clinical rotation?
  13. Being a healthcare provider is rewarding, but can also be very stressful at times. Can you share a situation that was difficult for you and how you worked through it?
  14. If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you be looking for during the interview? Do you feel that you display those qualities yourself?
  15. Palmetto Health supports a healthy work/life balance for all employees. How do you balance life and work?
  16. Palmetto Health offers many opportunities for individuals to find their niche. Do you prefer to work in a team based position or individually?
  17. One of Palmetto Health's specialty areas is bariatric surgery. Are you familiar with any specific needs that bariatric patients have?
  18. In a facility as large as Palmetto Health, you will meet people with different personalities. Tell me about your personality and how you relate to new people.
  19. Palmetto Health's Behavior Care Program offers psychiatric and addiction care to children, adolescents and adults. Do you have any experience working with behavioral health clients?
  20. Palmetto Health seeks to hire those with strong problem solving skills. When were you able to successfully resolve a problem in the workplace?
  21. At Palmetto Health we seek to hire individuals who have ambitions of growing their career. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
  22. Palmetto Health has some positions open in a couple of different shifts. Is there a schedule or shift that may be a better fit for your life at this time?
  23. 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?
  24. Palmetto Health is a teaching hospital with over 26 residency and fellowship programs. If you could expand your expertise in any area, what would it be?
  25. Healthcare service companies require strong organizational skills and attention to detail. How do you ensure that your work is properly organized, and highly accurate?
  26. Volunteers are a vital part of our Palmetto Health Hospice team, offering emotional support to patients, the families, and the hospice staff. Have you ever done any volunteer work?
  27. Palmetto Health believes in education and provides on-site continuing education opportunities and support for external education. Have you considered furthering your education?
  28. At Palmetto Health we take pride in our great relationships with clients, vendors, coworkers, and patients. Do you consider yourself to be a strong relationship builder?
  29. Each year Palmetto Health accommodates more than 220,000 emergency department visits. Is an emergency room position one that you would consider?
  30. Palmetto Health is home of the Midlands region's first da Vinci robotic surgical system. Have you ever heard of the da Vinci surgical system?
  31. At Palmetto Health 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?
Answer Examples
1.
Palmetto Health 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.

Darby'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."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am so glad you pointed out your need for diversity at Palmetto Health. 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."
2.
Here at Palmetto Health, we want to give everyone a fair chance. However, salary is often commensurate with experience. How do you feel about someone with more experience than you having a higher salary but doing the same job?
Most employers do offer higher salary incentives to get more seasoned employees. This is not meant to devalue a person's knowledge or experience, but rather paying for more experience. It is important to note that the interviewer is not saying you will definitely make less than someone with more experience. Many times this question is to see how you respond and how badly you want a position. If an employee is willing to put in the work and earn the pay increase, employers often see them as someone worth investing in. This is a good time to ask what the beginning salary is and discuss options that are negotiable such as benefits and paid time off.

Darby's Answer #1
"I understand that years of experience are often rewarded with higher earning. I feel, given the chance to demonstrate my knowledge and skills, you will find that I am capable of doing the job as well as some of the more experienced employees. Having said that, I will not turn down an offer of employment because of a difference in pay based on my present lack of experience. With that in mind, what benefits are available for someone coming on board with your company with my resume?"
Darby'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 Palmetto Health in hopes to be considered for the median salary for the role."
3.
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."
4.
Why do you think you will be successful in this role with Palmetto Health?
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 Palmetto Health. 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.

Darby'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."
Darby's Answer #2
"I believe my success with Palmetto Health 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."
5.
Has there ever been a time that you felt singled out for your personal convictions? If so, what did you learn from that experience that allows you to feel empathy towards your patients and/or co-workers?
Bullying is unfortunately not exclusive to school-aged children. It is often seen among peers in the workplace. This question presents an opportunity for you to share a personal experience that may have caused you to feel vulnerable, but also gave you the chance to react in a way that is positive. Feeling like your personal beliefs are under scrutiny can be stressful. Your answer, especially if you have experienced this personally, will show the interviewer how you handle stress and how you may be able to diffuse a similar situation in the future.

Darby's Answer #1
"I think we all have felt singled out at one time or another. For me, religious issues have been where I have experienced the most trying situations. My religion practices a strict dress code and there were times, especially as a teenager, that I felt some of my practices were the reason I was excluded from activities. However, I believe that differences are what make the world a more interesting place. If I can't participate in something because of a particular practice that I observe, I simply find other things to occupy my time."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am sure that at one time or another we all have felt like we were singled out for something. For me, I always try to consider the source of contention and what the person is going through who may be lashing out and I try to spin a positive on the situation. At the end of the day, if I can make someone's day better, that's what I want to do. To accomplish that, I have adopted the philosophy of not wearing my feelings on my shoulder."
6.
Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?
The interviewer wants to know how you would rate your problem-solving skills. Of course, you want to give yourself a strong rating; however, it's essential that you remain realistic. Everyone has room to learn and improve! Be sure to justify your score as well.

Darby's Answer #1
"I rate my problem-solving skills as an 8/10. I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as efficient as I would like to be but all in all, I do feel that my problem-solving skills are above average. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my fast reflexes when a problem arises, and they would also say that I remain calm under pressure."
Darby's Answer #2
"I would say I get a solid 8.3 on a scale of 10. Seems weird to give myself something like a .3, but I think of it as an 83%, which is a B- teetering on a solid B. It's a solid grade, with definite room for improvement, since I'm certainly not perfect. The reason for the B-/B grade would be that I'm quick to take action and figure out the solution as I go, but sometimes I could benefit from taking a moment to pause and reflect or gather other contributors before taking action. That said, I believe I generally get the best outcome possible when faced with a challenge."
7.
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.

Darby'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."
Darby'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."
8.
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."
9.
At Palmetto Health, we offer continuing medical education (CME) programs at each of our Midlands-area campuses. How do you keep your healthcare 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."
10.
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.

Darby'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."
Darby'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."
11.
If Palmetto Health 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 Palmetto Health. 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."
12.
As you know, Palmetto Health, is a teaching institution. Have you ever precepted new employees or students during their clinical rotation?
There are many different aspects of healthcare. In a facility such as Palmetto Health, teaching the students of today to become the caregivers of tomorrow is a daily routine. If you have been a preceptor for students in clinicals, share that experience with the interviewer. If you have not, you could share an example of when you were in school and learned from someone in a clinical setting.

Darby's Answer #1
"Knowing that Palmetto Health is a teaching facility is one of the things that attracted me to it. I have never worked as a direct preceptor for clinical students, but have always wanted to have a chance to share some of my knowledge and skills with people who share the same caregiving passion as I have."
Darby's Answer #2
"Having the opportunity to precept is one of things I love about working in teaching facilities. At one time, I considered going back to school to achieve my Master's degree in nursing so I could teach. My family and I made some changes and I decided that going back to school was not in the best interest of our family as a whole. The thought of being able to precept students again will be a great opportunity for me!"
13.
Being a healthcare provider is rewarding, but can also be very stressful at times. Can you share a situation that was difficult for you and how you worked through it?
The interviewer recognizes that, while being a healthcare provider has its benefits, it can often be trying at times. This question gives you the chance to show how your vulnerability meets your strengths. Having balance between the two is a sought-after characteristic of healthcare providers. Being willing to open up to the interviewer about a situation that was emotional for you and how you were able to cope will show him what can be expected of you when you are faced with a difficult situation in the future.

Darby's Answer #1
"I agree that being a healthcare provider has its stressful situations. One case that I will never forget occurred when I worked pediatrics. We had a four year old child that was admitted due to having seizures. After further testing, it was discovered that the child had a brain tumor. The tumor was very advanced and she lost her life because of it. That time was very emotional for everyone on the care team. Fortunately, we had a good team leader who gave us an opportunity to talk with her and one another about the overwhelming grief that we felt. I have found that talking through emotions is a great way to work through any unresolved grief."
Darby's Answer #2
"To be completely transparent, I probably bring myself the most stress because of my innate desire to be the best. I strive for perfection too often, which causes undue stress on myself. I manage this by focusing my energy on productive activities that are good for my career."
14.
If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you be looking for during the interview? Do you feel that you display those qualities yourself?
There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

Darby's Answer #1
"I believe that honesty is important no matter what job title a person holds. I have found that being honest with people creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Those qualities, I feel, are essential when building rapport with patients and co-workers."
Darby's Answer #2
"If I were the person responsible for hiring new employees, I would have to say that sincerity is something I would definitely look for. Anyone can feel strongly about something temporarily, but when one is really sincere about something, that quality is one that does not wain in time. I want to work with people who are sincere and have a true desire to serve others."
15.
Palmetto Health 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.

Darby'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."
Darby'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."
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