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Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Interview
Questions

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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Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre 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 #1

      "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 #2

      "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.

    Sunnybrook's vision is to invent the future of healthcare. What does this statement mean to you in your role?

      Inventing the future of healthcare is a very open statement that is left open to interpretation and your interviewer will be looking to hear what this vision means to you personally and the potential role you play with the organization. Be creative with your interpretation of the phrase invent the future. This could mean striving to find cures for diseases, discovering new innovations in technology or finding any other way to change the future of your field. Make sure to give your interviewer the feeling that you believe in innovation achieved through challenging the status quo when it comes to healthcare.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As an Occupational Therapist, it is very easy to succumb to doing things the same old way and get stuck in routines when in the real world, every patient and every situation we encounter is unique and treatments should be unique as well. If hired, you'll quickly find that I am the therapist that thrives on thinking outside of the box and finding new and unique ways of treating my patients. In helping conduct research in the field, my greatest passion in the field is sleep deprivation and I'd love to continue research participation in this area."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "During my career as a nurse, I am confident in saying that no industry changes as much as the healthcare field. In ten years working as a nurse in primary care, there have been so many great innovations that have changed patient care for the better and I look forward to seeing and being a part of this changing for years to come."

  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 #1

      "I am an easily motivated individual, and it does not take much to keep me engaged. I am fully aware that healthcare-related positions can seem thankless. Honestly, the best thanks that I can get is a pat on the back now and then. The majority of my motivation comes from simply helping people."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My chosen career was helping people at exactly the point they were least capable of censoring themselves or giving back. So, I stopped needing thanks from my patients. It's not like I don't need positive reinforcement. Everyone does. But I made a point to find it in other places instead of expecting it from my patients. Nowadays I make an effort to expressly thank the people I work with when they do a good job. I focus on being grateful to be allowed to see private, raw, emotional parts of peoples lives. And I make work-related goals I can achieve for satisfaction."

  4. 4.

    Tell me about yourself.

      Take a few minutes to tell the interviewer a few things about yourself. You can begin with your recent education, family life, volunteer work, or talk about your travels. Bring up anything that is interesting and highlights your ability to be a responsible, reliable, and bright individual.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "A bit about me - I love to travel, read, and conduct research. I am a recent grad from Columbia University and have spent the past 12 months traveling the world. It was the best experience that I could have given myself as I was able to learn so much from seeing how the rest of the world lives. I returned to the US just last month and had been actively looking for work the past couple of weeks. I am looking forward to getting into the routine of a career again."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am an avid marathon runner and have traveled to 10 countries in the last eight years to compete in a variety of races. I am a competitive individual and enjoy keeping fit. Being newer to my career in healthcare services, my biggest goal as of late has to take as many related courses and workshops as possible. I am eager to get a great start on my career."

  5. 5.

    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."

  6. 6.

    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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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."

  7. 7.

    If Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre 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 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. I plan to make a positive impact very quickly."

      Ryan'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."

  8. 8.

    We are firm believers that healthcare excellence can be achieved through strengthening the engagement of our patients. What does this mean to you in your job?

      Today, organizations are coming up with unique and creative ways to involve patients in their healthcare choices and direction and Sunnybrook has made this a part of their excellence value in patient care. Let your interviewer know that you are a firm believer that a patient that is involved and engaged in their own care have better results because of their buy-in into the process. If you have experience working with unique engagement tools like social media, telehealth tools or patient satisfaction surveys, talk about how these have bettered patient care by involving patients in their own care. If you haven't worked directly with these things, at least talk about their importance in today's healthcare landscape.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As a scheduler in the primary care setting, we saw a significant decrease in our patient no-show rate when we implemented a system that allowed patients to enroll in text and/or email reminders for their appointments. I've had several patients tell me that the reminders a week and one day prior to appointments helped trigger them to make the appointment. For our scheduling staff, this allowed more time for us to focus on future appointment scheduling and greatly increased the productivity of the providers in our clinic. The simple system was a win-win for all involved."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Honestly, I can't tell you how many patients that I've had compliment and praise the website and mobile app that my current employer revamped last year to help with patient engagement. For patients in our Ortho clinic, I consistently refer them to our department website for educational resources following surgeries and procedures for exercises and rehab programs they can do in their own home. Many patients have thanked me for this resource as opposed to the old handouts we would give in the clinic that would most often get lost or thrown away after one week. Many patients have also complimented our online patient portal where they can make appointments, see lab results and imaging results and update their personal record with ease. All of these enhancements have allowed me to focus more on 1:1 care in our clinic."

  9. 9.

    What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

      Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? Have you experienced a position where the atmosphere wasn't conducive to your productivity? Be sure to know the type of situation offered in this position prior, to the interview. If you aren't completely clear on the workplace environment or culture, kindly ask the interviewer to expand on the work environment for you.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the mentality is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I prefer to focus on the positive, so if it's okay, I would like to share with you what my ideal work environment looks like. My ideal environment is organized, collaborative, positive, energetic, and encouraging. I love working with like-minded people who set challenging goals for themselves. I thrive when I work for supervisors who encourage curiosity and creativity in problem-solving."

  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 #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."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Some ways to describe yourself could be:

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

  11. 11.

    Have you ever been involved in ordering medical supplies, maintaining inventory, or other types of health care related administrative duties?

      The interviewer would like to know if you understand what it takes to keep on top of ordering medical supplies and inventory. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of foreseeing needs, and making the appropriate action. Highlight your ability to be responsible when it comes to related administrative tasks.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have experience in ordering medical supplies and maintaining inventory. I fully understand that there is an art to being properly organized when it comes to the availability of supplies. For medical ordering and inventory, I have used a variety of software and programs such as ABC and XYZ."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Yes. I used to do this in my former position. I was responsible for maintaining supplies on the general surgery ward for five years. It was great at working behind the scenes with the result being efficiency for others."

  12. 12.

    At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre we take pride in our great relationships with clients, vendors, coworkers, and patients. Do you consider yourself to be a strong relationship builder?

      Assure the interviewer that you would treat everyone at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with great respect and a positive attitude. Discuss the ways that you would build strong and healthy relationships if hired.

      Ryan's Answer #1

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

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Some ways to build strong relationships in the workplace:

      - Have strong follow-up
      - Offer sincere conversation
      - Get to know people on a personal level
      - Be trustworthy
      - Avoid gossip
      - Offer mutual respect
      - Be mindful of your actions
      - Compliment others
      - Be positive
      - Be a strong listener"

      View answer examples for this question >

  13. 13.

    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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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."

  14. 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.

      Ryan'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."

      Ryan'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. 15.

    What importance do you think medical research has played into your field? Have you conducted research or worked with clinical researchers in the past?

      Through its affiliation with the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook is a pioneer in medical research in Canada and the Sunnybrook Research Institute may conduct research in the department you would work for. While having direct experience working in research or with researchers isn't required, an open mind to research advancing the medical field is. Talk to your interviewer about any research experience you have and give your answer a personal touch by talking about pioneering medical research that has benefited you or a loved one.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "While I haven't worked directly with researchers in the radiology field, I have witnessed some great advancements in the field during my career that have changed patient care and diagnosis forever. In perusing your website prior to the interview, I was absolutely amazed at the research that Dr. Sadeghi-Naini is conducting on the MRI's use in customizing treatment of metastatic brain tumors. Working with MRI and CT imaging, these are hopefully already powerful tools that can be used in greater realms and his research made me very excited. Are there members of your team that are working with this project?"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Working as a Nurse Practitioner in the primary care setting, there has been significant research in many realms that have better how I treat and prescribe for patients. Just recently, I took another look at how I manage my diabetic patients in regard to the exercise treatments that I talk to them about. This seems to be a pretty polarizing topic, but much of the recent research indicates that hard exercise should only be suggested to individuals that can physically handle the workouts in relation to joint health and cardiovascular health. I now look at many factors for an individual before I just automatically recommend a strict workout regiment. This is just one example of research benefiting my patients and I'd be very excited to learn about areas where Sunnybrook is contributing to primary care research."

  16. 16.

    Sunnybrook has been awarded Canada's greenest employer award in the past and we continue to innovate and find ways to reduce waste and our impact on the environment. What is a green initiative that you've been a part of in the workplace?

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  17. 17.

    What importance do volunteers play in the clinic and hospital setting? Have you had the opportunity to work with volunteers in your career?

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  18. 18.

    Why do you think you will be successful in this role with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre?

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  19. 19.

    What is your greatest weakness?

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  20. 20.

    Have you had any formal training in emergency preparedness in your past jobs? How did the training relate to your job and why was this training important?

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  21. 21.

    Talk about a time that you rewarded or recognized a fellow colleague for their efforts on the job. Why did you do this and why was it important to do so?

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  22. 22.

    Here at Sunnybrook, we firmly believe in educating and training our employees to help them grow both personally and professionally. Do you have any professional growth areas you would like to pursue in the future?

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    How would you describe your personality?

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  25. 25.

    Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre 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.

    How do you stay engaged in your job, your department and your company? Why do you feel that employee engagement is important?

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  27. 27.

    In your role, how do you take accountability for the work you perform? What does accountability mean to your patients/customers?

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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 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 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.

    Here at Sunnybrook, we value collaboration in partnering with others to achieve our goals. Talk about a collaborative effort that you were a part of and what part you played. Why was this collaboration necessary?

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  31. 31.

    Here at Sunnybrook, we help train future physician, nurses and healthcare leaders for long lasting careers in their field. In what capacity have you worked with students in an academic training capacity?

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