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.
"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?"
"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."
This is NOT a trick question. There are no wrong answers. The interviewer genuinely wants to know not only what interests you, but what does not. Are you pretty flexible in your ability to work in most environments? If there is an area that would not be your personal choice to be assigned, now is the time to state that. 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.
"The diversity of the Mount Sinai Hospital is one thing that attracted me to your facility. I can be productive in most work environments, especially if teamwork is encouraged. However, I must admit, if I had to choose my least likely preference, it would be pediatrics. I love children, but prefer to work with adults."
"I have to admit, I haven't yet experienced a specialty area that I couldn't find my niche in. I love being a healthcare provider and feel like I can be flexible where I am needed. 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."
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
The interviewer wants to know if you are easily overwhelmed when 'out of your element,' so to speak. Moving from a smaller facility to one as large as the Mount Sinai Hospital could be overwhelming, even to a seasoned employee. The interviewer is not asking that you not be overwhelmed, but is rather looking to see if you are willing to accept the challenge of transition. Speaking confidently about your willingness to learn will be a positive way to answer this question.
"Change can be a bit trying for everyone involved. Personally, I am excited about the opportunity to work in a larger facility such as The Mount Sinai Hospital. I feel like in a facility this size and with so many specialty areas, there will always be room for growth."
"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."
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 The Mount Sinai Hospital. Discuss the reasons why you will 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.
"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."
"I believe my success with The Mount Sinai 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."
Stress can often be a regular part of the day to day work experience. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).
"The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the schedule is running behind due to lack of hustle on mine or my teams part. I like to be on time with my schedule to ensure that our patients and clients are assisted properly."
"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."
Are you willing to earn your way up if the interviewer does not want to offer you top compensation? Discuss with the interviewer what you would expect for compensation if offered this position.
"I would be happy to earn my way to the top compensation level if required. I do assure you that, despite my being shy of experience by a couple of years, I am a top performer and you would not be disappointed in my performance."
"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 The Mount Sinai Hospital in hopes to be considered for the median salary for the role."
In today's society, LGBT issues are at the forefront of many heated discussions. As a healthcare provider, one cannot discriminate against a client's sexual orientation or preference. Are you accustomed to working with individuals in the LGBT community? Assure the interviewer that you feel it is important to treat all patients and co-workers with the same respect and care despite their sexual orientation. If you have ever worked directly with co-workers or patients who are part of the LGBT community, give a positive example to the interviewer.
"I believe that it is important for people to express their individuality, and being part of the LGBT community is part of that expression. I feel that showing mutual respect to another person's choices is a way to build morale among team members and to build trust with our patients."
Current research today supports a holistic approach to healing. Integrating Eastern and Western medicine to meet a patient's specific needs is something that The Mount Sinai Hospital has implemented into its daily practices. Share with the interviewer your thoughts and experiences, if any, with the treatment therapies of different cultures. Have you ever used acupuncture or done yoga? Was it something your own doctor advised and what was your result from this kind of treatment?
"I feel the integration of Eastern and Western medical practices is an exciting combination of treatment options that could benefit people in different ways. My primary doctor actually referred me to an acupuncturist when I had continuing back pain. Traditional pain medication masked the source of the pain. After a few sessions with acupuncture, my pain substantially subsided. I was pleased when I first learned that The Mount Sinai Hospital's Integrative Pain Management Practice included these options."
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.
"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."
"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."
Assure the interviewer that you are dedicated to a lucrative career in the healthcare services industry. The hiring manager would like to know that this position fits into your long-term plan and that, if hired, you would stay with The Mount Sinai Hospital as long as possible.
"My entire career has been dedicated to the healthcare services field. I find it incredibly rewarding and interesting because I get to help others and every day brings new challenges! One of the reasons I applied for this role with The Mount Sinai Hospital is because I can see a long-term fit here. I plan to work in the healthcare segment for my entire career."
"I know this career can take a toll on personal life, and I understand that while it can be more-or-less sustainable, it's more than just a job for me. So far, I have dedicated my entire adult life to this career. I have shadowed numerous professionals and have worked multiple clinics. I know this is the right career for me."
"This career is not just something I want to do 8-5 to get by; it's something I want to BE. I want to be someone who dedicates themselves to a craft. I chose healthcare because the learning opportunities are endless. It's constantly evolving. I find the human body is fascinating, and I think that society is only healthy when it cares for its wounded."
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
"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. "
"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."
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. Stating that you appreciate the role of a preceptor and that having the opportunity to give back to those who are learning is something you look forward to shows the interviewer that you understand the role the staff plays as educators in this type of setting.
"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 The Mount Sinai Hospital. Further, I look forward to sharing my experience with those who are entering the healthcare industry. I feel like it is my turn to give back some of what has been given to me."
"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."
Assure the interviewer that you would treat everyone at The Mount Sinai Hospital with great respect and a positive attitude. Discuss the ways that you would build strong and healthy relationships if hired.
"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 The Mount Sinai Hospital."
"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 "
"I am happy to hear that The Mount Sinai Hospital values long-term relationships. This fact is a bonus for me, and it's one of the reasons I chose to work in the medical field. I like working in an industry where genuine care is valued. Healthcare is not a place for gimmicks because health is precious and irreplaceable. In the past, I've had a lot of success by focusing on building a reputation for consistency and followup. What you describe is a good fit for me, these skills are valued by reputable vendors, and I'd like to represent a company that wants to create long-term sustainable partnerships."
It's always a great idea to research the company before your interview. You want to get to know their care philosophy so that your answer can reflect what is important to them. What is the core of your care philosophy? Keep your answer concise yet sincere.
"Every day at work, I remind myself that everyone I come across has their struggles. Every person we care for has a story. I make sure to get to know my patients whenever possible. Everyone has the right to compassionate care."
"I have three philosophies when it comes to my work. One for the clinic, one for me, and one for the patient. First, I work in a system, and I respect that. I follow the rules, I maintain my certifications, and I appreciate the policies and values of whatever site I work. Patient care is a privilege, and I respect the role I have in clinical care and the part other people have. Second, I want to be the best at what I do. Every day I learn something, and that's because I choose to get better. Last, I adapt to the individual. If I'm meeting the requirements of my position, and evolving within my profession, then I am free to adjust to my patient and be the provider they need. Some patients need a lot of attention; some want less, and some need boundaries. I have trained myself to adapt my communication style, so a patient gets what they need."
Working in the healthcare services industry means that you are in contact with vulnerable people, children, pharmaceutical drugs, drug-related equipment, confidential information, and other areas of sensitivity. Assure the interviewer that you are able and willing to pass a complete background check. If you have a criminal record, you must disclose this.
"I have a clean criminal record and am happy to comply with any background check you require of me."
"No problem. I understand that it's part of the job. But I want to be up-front, I have done a full background check before, and there is a possibility you will see a charge for possession of marijuana in the check. It was several years ago, and it's no longer an issue for me because I've made significant changes in my life to pursue this career. But I don't want you to be surprised by the information. I'm happy to answer any questions you have."
The success of the healthcare industry thrives on the accuracy of information, and organization. Talk to the interviewer about the ways that you ensure accuracy and organization in your day to day activities. Perhaps you use a particular app or software. Maybe you are a pen and paper person. Whatever your method, be sure to highlight that you are successful in organizing your day.
"I am a highly detailed person, and I thrive on having a high level of organization in my day. This organization includes my scheduling, paperwork, and more. If I am offered a position with The Mount Sinai Hospital you will never find me to be disorganized! I utilize my Outlook calendar and set alerts for myself for deadlines and important activities. My documentation is strong as well."
"I'm a bit of a nerd. I carry around a notebook and write down important facts if I think there is a chance I will forget them. But this is usually just for transitions. Every clinic I've ever worked in has its way of communicating and recording facts, so I put time and attention into using the system the people around me are using. That way its easier to transition care and the patient has all their info in the same place. My notebook saves me when I'm swamped, but I try to be efficient and put info directly into the [group record/EMR/chart] when I can."
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 The Mount Sinai Hospital 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 The Mount Sinai Hospital would be offering you.
"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."
"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?"
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.
"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."
"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."
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?
"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."
"Some ways to describe yourself could be: - Understanding - Warm Hearted - Empathetic - Responsive - Charitable - Tender Hearted"
Every hiring manager would like to know that their investment of time and training will pay off. Assure the interviewer that you see this position as a long-term fit. How does this role with The Mount Sinai Hospital fit into your longer-term plans?
"In 3-5 years I would like to see my career with The Mount Sinai Hospital include a path towards a leadership role. I am very keen on paving a long-term career in the healthcare services realm and would love the opportunity to do that here."
"One of the attractive points of working for The Mount Sinai Hospital 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."
Problem-solving and dispute resolution are critical skills to possess. Display to the interviewer that you are capable of problem-solving within the workplace. Talk about a time when you were creative, proactive, and displayed the leadership qualities required to resolve a workplace issue.
"In my most recent position we had a consistent problem with employees showing up late for their shifts or calling in sick at the very last moment. Rather than the typical documenting and reprimanding style that management usually takes, I decided to track the results of an accountability reward system. For 180 days, my employees were rewarded for coming to work 10 minutes early. Also, for every month with zero sick days, a bonus was added. In the end, we awarded those with perfect attendance a $600 bonus. The bonus' cost us less money, in the end than the cost of lowered productivity due to absent employees. The program was a success, and upper management chose to keep it implemented for another six months. We will re-assess in December, but it seems to be working very well."
"I was working in a clinic where the primary population was low income. We had a lot of concerns with patients not showing up for appointments when expected. The staff wanted to start double-booking patient time slots. Instead, I got permission to spend a day in a highly-rated clinic serving the same population. Instead of scheduling, they had these 'drop-in mornings' with a common waiting room. I took these methods and incorporated them into our setting. We did that twice a week, and it completely solved our scheduling 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.
"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."
"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."
Personality and character are two things that are closely related. For instance, someone with an honest character or good work ethic will tend to be more open about his or her beliefs as well as personal and professional expectations. The interviewer is looking for ques as to what character you may bring to the table, so to speak. It is important to remember, body language speaks volume and eye contact is a big indicator of your self-esteem, and your self-esteem is reflected outwardly in your personality. Be confident when you answer and make eye contact with the interviewer.
"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I like to give more than I take and pride myself on being part of a team."
"I'm genuinely easy-going, probably from all the international travel I experienced in my 20's. I like to do the right thing, and sometimes I get stressed trying to reach that goal, but I think it's a worthwhile endeavor. I can be funny, but my sense of humor is pretty dry, so people don't always know that about me when they first meet me."
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.
"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."
"I am so glad you pointed out your need for diversity at The Mount Sinai Hospital. 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."
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
"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 have been actively looking for work the past couple of weeks. I am looking forward to getting into the routine of a career again."
"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 been to take as many related courses and workshops as possible. I am eager to get a great start on my career."
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