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Stony Brook University Hospital Interview
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31 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 31

In the healthcare services industry there are many emotions in a day. Have your emotions ever been in the way of your productivity?

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Stony Brook University Hospital Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    In the healthcare services industry there are many emotions in a day. Have your emotions ever been in the way of your productivity?

      The interviewer wants to know if you consider yourself to be an emotionally driven person. Talk to the interviewer about your emotions and if they have ever affected your productivity at work.

      Keep in mind - almost everyone is an emotional creature to some degree, but there are other ways that you can describe yourself that have a more positive connotation. If you are passionate, you could choose to refer to yourself as:

      - Expressive
      - Communicative
      - Open
      - Unreserved
      - Warm Hearted

      Ryan's Answer

      "Everyone is emotional to a certain degree, and I would consider myself kind-hearted and open. A career in healthcare can be emotional at times; however, I choose to focus on the positives. For instance - if we are close to losing a patient, I will focus on the positive memories rather than the illness. This mindset has consistently allowed me to continue with a productive shift no matter the emotions that come my way. "

      Ryan's Answer

      "This is a great question. I think the right answer is, 'of course, but not for long'! We've all had those tough cases. A child dies, a patient yells at you, or you have to give someone a cancer diagnosis. Its professional to take a few minutes after an encounter like that and let those emotions come and go. I cope with these emotions by telling myself that it's not my story, its the patient's story. I think it's okay to be moved by someone else's experience, but I don't need to make it mine."

  2. 2.

    Tell me about your healthcare related education and training.

      Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your formal post-secondary education as well as any on the job training. Talk about your most positive take-away's from your post-secondary experience and be sure to tie in how that experience will help you succeed in this position.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have a nursing degree as well as additional on the job training within clinical research. I feel that my nursing education opened up many potential industry-related avenues for me. I graduated top of my class and completed a valuable internship with 'XYZ Health Services'. All of these experiences have helped prepare me for success in this role with Stony Brook University Hospital."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I did my undergraduate in chemistry and medical school at St. George's University. I loved surgery, so my electives were in general surgery, trauma epidemiology, and orthopedics. I'm happy to be moving on to more responsibility as a resident. I have had some amazing mentors, and I found that I could perform with some different teaching styles."

  3. 3.

    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

      "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

      "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."

  4. 4.

    Stony Brook University Hospital 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

      "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

      "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."

  5. 5.

    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

      "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

      "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."

  6. 6.

    Why do you think you will be successful in this role with Stony Brook University Hospital?

      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 Stony Brook University Hospital. 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

      "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

      "I believe my success with Stony Brook University Hospital 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."

  7. 7.

    If you could expand your knowledge and expertise in any healthcare service area, which would you choose?

      There are many facets of health care. If you could choose any area of healthcare to specialize in, which would you choose? Be sure to tie your answer into some aspects of what Stony Brook University Hospital does.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I could choose any area of healthcare services to be a subject matter expert in, I would choose geriatric care. I do feel that this particular focus is not as popular as some, and become an expert in it would allow me to snowball in my career."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have a variety of interests within healthcare service, so that is a tough question for me! I suppose if I had to narrow it to just one area of expertise, I would say palliative care and the necessary family care that comes with it."

  8. 8.

    Have you ever had to collaborate with a patient regarding their care? If so, why was it important to do so?

      Stony Brook University Hospital believes strongly in patient and family centered care and part of this belief stems from the need for staff to collaborate with patients on their care. To start your answer, explain why you believe involving a patient and/or the patient's family in the care of the patient is important. Be sure to point out that patients who are engaged have proven to show better outcomes and experiences in their care. If you have a good example of a time your involved a patient in their care, be sure to elaborate on it. If you don't have direct experience doing this, just be sure to describe how it make a positive impact on patients and how you would go about involving them in their care.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having some involvement currently in post-hospitalization telemedicine care, patient involvement in their care is key so I have a strong sense of their home life and measures that need to be put in place. A couple of months ago, a patient was being discharged after double knee replacement surgery. In the days prior to discharge, I had two meetings with him to discuss mobility around his house and therapy he would be doing on his own. I asked if he had stairs in the house he needed to climb or any other mobility challenges. Based on this, he and I set forth a great rehab plan on his home life. Had I just set a plan for him, chances would have been high that the patient would need to be hospitalized again or be seen in our emergency room."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In the Family Medicine setting, patient involvement is critical in the search of excellent outcomes. As you can see from my resume, I have a lot of training in working with patients on diet and exercise to promote positive changes in things like blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol levels and general weight loss. With these patients, their involvement is key for them to buy-in to the process and see positive changes. Last year, I had a morbidly obese young patient had extremely high blood pressure and cholesterol. Knowing that he need both diet and exercise changes, getting to know him and his hobbies was important in starting an exercise routine. He told me his passions in life were animals and shopping. To get him started on an exercise routine, I mentioned volunteering walking dogs at the local Humane Association and he bought into that immediately. After connecting him with the director, he was soon walking dogs for an hour a day, five days a week. In only three months, we were seeing very positive weight loss with the exercise and new diet paired together."

  9. 9.

    At Stony Brook University Hospital, we pride ourselves on being an HRO - a high reliability organization. How do you ensure that your work is error free on a day to day basis?

      Mistakes in healthcare can have serious impacts on an organization's bottom line or, even worse, a patient's health and well-being. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear the effort and measures you put into place to make sure that your work is error free. In your answer, talk about your ability to stay both focused and organized in your work, enabling you to provide great care while minimizing any chance for a mistake with a patient. Personalize your answer to give it a unique touch and talk about your strengths enabling you to work both accurately and precisely.

      Ryan's Answer

      " As a nurse on a busy Med/Surg unit, I think my overall organization and dedication to stick to a schedule enable me to be error free in my work. With my patients, I stick to an hour rounding schedule to ensure I see each patient hourly and communicate with them. I ask the patient questions on their comfort level and pain level every interaction I have with them. I set aside time for patient documentation and preparing for medication pass to avoid any errors on that end of things. Overall organization on all these duties and planning ahead for time help me to ensure that I provide error free care to my patients like they deserve."

      Ryan's Answer

      "As a new phlebotomist, I will work to do my best to provide error free samples and make sure my patients are in the best hands possible. When drawing, I have trained to use sound sterilization techniques and to find the right vein to draw from. For multiple draws, I will follow protocols on correct order of draws and I will always ensure that I follow the steps for proper patient identification and sample labeling post-draw. My training has prepared me well for this role with Stony Brook University Hospital and if hired, you'll find that I will be a reliable phlebotomist for the team here."

  10. 10.

    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?

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Some ways to describe yourself could be:

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

  11. 11.

    At Stony Brook University Hospital, accountability is an integral part of our ICARE philosophy. Talk about a time where you were accountable for your actions after making a mistake on the job. How did you go about owning up to that mistake?

      Being able to take responsibility for your actions is critical to show that you are accountable in your work. Your interviewer knows that your are human and that you make mistakes in your work, so don't hesitate to point a work mistake out to them. What is more important for you answering this question is that you demonstrate that you owned up to your mistake and learned an important lesson from that mistake. In your example, be open and honest with your interviewer regarding the situation and elaborate on those lessons learned and your ability to take responsibility for your mistakes.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During one of my first shifts after taking my job with my current employer, I realized that I had provided a patient with wrong instructions on how to find our dialysis clinic that was located off-site. Immediately, I took every step possible to obtain the patient's contact information to get a hold of him. Luckily, our schedulers had his phone number and I immediately called him. He was very appreciative as he had just left our clinic and had to simply turnaround on the next exit to head the right way. Knowing he had an initial consult there, I called the dialysis center to let them know he'd be a little late. After doing this, I approached my director to let her know what had happened for transparency and to hopefully prevent this again. Because of approaching her, we had nice business cards created with the address for dialysis so we could easily hand to patients."

      Ryan's Answer

      "A couple of years ago, I had misread a work order for an x-ray on a patients chest area. After the patient had left and the radiologist was reading the images, I was contacted by the radiologist and he told me that I neglected to get the needed images from all angles on the upper shoulder blade area. I let my supervisor know right away and we took the appropriate steps to get the patient back immediately. First and foremost, I apologized to the patient for my mistake and he was pretty understanding while being obviously upset that he had to come back for more images. The department gave him a gift card for gas because of my mistake. More importantly, I learned that even during busy times with patients that I need to slow down and carefully read each work order to ensure that I am providing timely and accurate images to our providers. I think about this situation daily on the job to ensure that I take the time needed with each patient to avoid another mistake like this in the future."

  12. 12.

    Talk about a time where you had to approach your leader about handling a difficult situation in the workplace when other colleagues were hesitant to do so. Why was it important that you did this?

      At the heart of this question lies your integrity in your work, something that Stony Brook University values in its ICARE philosophy. For you answer, think of a situation where patient care, safety, quality or another vital factor to the success of your organization was being compromised. Talk about your thought process in regard to why you decided to approach your supervisor or director about the issue and explain why others may have been hesitant to do so. Reiterate that you had the best in mind for patients or your colleagues when you took the issue forward and also speak about any lessons you may have learned from the situation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Last year, when I was covering for a week on our Med/Surg unit, I noticed that the supply room was not meeting fire code in the hospital with boxes stacked up to the ceiling and the sprinkler being blocked as well. Being a part of the safety committee with my organization, I knew these were violations of code. Upon asking one of the nurse in the unit, I gathered that the team stocked the closet as full as possible to avoid running out of supplies during their busy shifts. Knowing this was an issue and a potential Joint Commission finding if a survey were to happen, I spoke to the shift supervisor about the issues and changes were made even prior to my shift early the next week. She was appreciative I brought the issues forward due to the glaring safety concerns."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Out of college in my first job as a Medical Lab Technician, I was immediately warned during my orientation that a senior level tech in our lab could be a bully to other coworkers at times. Not wanting to have any preconceived judgments, I waited until our first shift together to see if this person truly was a bully. During our first evening shift together, the tech was very unwilling to help with any questions that I asked and told my I'd need to address them with our director. She was also very critical of a couple of my samples that I process, even when I knew I was following our protocols. I simply let her know that I would appreciate a kinder tone. When it didn't improve directly with me over the next three shifts, I didn't hesitate to approach my supervisor because I absolutely loved the job and the organization. Others in our department told me they didn't want to pursue it any further because the bullying colleague and our supervisor were friends outside of work. After approaching my supervisor with my feelings, things did get better over the following weeks and months until one day the employee notified the group at a team meeting that she had put her notice in to take a new job outside of the organization."

  13. 13.

    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

      "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

      "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."

  14. 14.

    Stony Brook University Hospital is continually involved in groundbreaking medical research. Have you ever been involved in medical research during your career?

      As a clinical, academic and research institution, Stony Brook University Hospital has provided groundbreaking research in many areas of healthcare, including research on Lyme's disease and creating new drugs to help cure sickness. For this question, don't worry if you have direct experience in working on research projects. If you do, that is great and be sure to elaborate on your experience. If you don't, there is no need to fret. Either way, be sure to talk about the importance of medical research in helping further better patient care and outcomes and show a willingness to participate in whatever way possible for the role you are interviewing for.

      Ryan's Answer

      "While I haven't had a chance to partake in any research projects in my young career as a Nurse Practitioner, I've certainly personally witnessed the effects that research has had on the healthcare field. In upstate New York, I work with some patients that are suffering from Lyme's disease and I was so grateful to see the work that this institution has done to further research with the disease. I would love to be involved in future research in any primary care aspect as my patients would be able to someday reap the benefits of that research."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having worked as a nurse in Oncology for the last ten years, my work life has been in a state of constant change due to advancements in the care for patients diagnosed with cancer. These positive changes have all stemmed from research into the field and I feel very grateful to be able to see the positive impacts that new proton beam therapy and advanced chemotherapy have had on the patients that I work with. Because of great breakthroughs in cancer research, I have personally witnessed patients overcome illnesses that they may not have 10 to 15 years ago and this is a miracle to me each and every time. I'd love to be a part of any research that is happening in the department here at Stony Brook."

  15. 15.

    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.

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer

      "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."

  16. 16.

    Stony Brook University Hospital has a diverse workforce. When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?

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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

    If you came to work for Stony Brook University Hospital, would the transition to the Long Island area be difficult for you?

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  19. 19.

    Rate your problem solving skills from 1-10. How do you justify your rating?

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  20. 20.

    What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

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  21. 21.

    If Stony Brook University Hospital hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

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  22. 22.

    What part of your healthcare career brings you the most stress?

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  23. 23.

    Tell me about yourself.

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  24. 24.

    How would you describe your personality?

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  25. 25.

    Stony Brook University Hospital seeks to hire those with strong problem solving skills. When were you able to successfully resolve a problem in the workplace?

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  26. 26.

    At Stony Brook University Hospital we seek to hire individuals who have ambitions of growing their career. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?

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  27. 27.

    If you could expand your knowledge and expertise in any area of healthcare services, which would you choose?

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  28. 28.

    Healthcare service companies require strong organizational skills and attention to detail. How do you ensure that your work is properly organized, and highly accurate?

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  29. 29.

    In order to work for Stony Brook University Hospital, you must be able to pass a full criminal background check. Do you consent to a full background check?

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  30. 30.

    What is your patient care philosophy?

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  31. 31.

    At Stony Brook University Hospital 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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