The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the need to always lead by example. "All the time!" As a leader, your actions, decisions, and demeanor are always under some form of scrutiny. The most stressful workplace situations often surround change so it's a great idea to talk about a time when your organization went through a major change. Change can be very challenging for some people. Discuss how you accept change with a positive attitude. Perhaps a new software system was being implemented. Maybe your company was being acquired. Perhaps a change occurred in your senior leadership. Talk about how easily your team could have leaned towards negativity by becoming unmotivated, or acting fearful of the change. Highlight that you have genuine excitement surrounding the possibilities that come with change and that this excitement rubs off on your team.
"All the time!"
"Last year our facility merged with another private medical office and there was talk of pending lay-offs. Rather than show my stress, I encouraged my team to try harder than ever. I suggested that we show our corporate office exactly what we could do! We ended up being the number one team in our region which resulted in zero layoffs."
"I believe it's so important to always act as though someone is watching. As a parent, that's something that is literally always a possibility, and in the workplace it's just as important to be on your best behavior at all times."
The interviewer would like to know the extent of your experience when it comes to training and mentoring other medical sonographers. The training that you refer to can be a formal job requirement or perhaps you helped out a new hire at some point in your career. Informal or formal, assure the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a leader.
"Although I do not have formal training and leadership experience, I have spent times helping new hires and more junior sonographers. It feels great to help a team member out, whether I am asked to or it's on my own initiative."
"I have not trained anyone as a sonographer, since I am so new to my career. With that said, I did tutor a couple of my classmates during University, which included medical sonography and technology coursework."
"Through my career as an abdominal sonographer I have likely trained over 50 new medical sonographers. I love helping people to boost their careers so training others is truly one of the favorite parts of my day."
As a medical sonographer, you will be spending your days walking, sitting for long periods of time, bending, and lifting. Assure the interviewer that you are physically capable of handling these tasks. You can keep your answer short and to the point.
"I am physically fit and have had no restrictions when it comes to lifting, standing, or sitting for long periods of time."
"I am in great physical condition and have no concerns regarding the physical requirements associated with a career in sonography."
"In my 7 year career as a sonographer, I have never come across any issues related to the physical components of the role. I am fit and active."
Ethical dilemmas in the workplace may come up from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle these types of dilemmas with professionalism and poise.
"I have never been outright tested when it comes to ethics on the job. If I were to be asked to lie or break a confidentiality agreement, for example, I absolutely would not do that. I am not the type of person to be pushed around on the job. I will always be myself and keep my integrity first."
"I have never been in a situation where my ethics were in question and would not tolerate being put in any sort of ethical dilemma."
"Yes, I have been asked to lie on the job before. In a previous role, our inventory count was off. My co-worker wanted to go home and he suggested that I lie about our count. I refused to lie and we stayed late. I would always choose honesty over lying, any day."
Because medical sonography has a few specialty choices, the interviewer would like to know why you specifically chose to work in the abdominal field. Briefly discuss how you came to this specialty, and what you would choose if you had to take your sonography career in a different direction.
"I love abdominal sonography because I find it to be one of the most complicated areas of sonography out there. If I had to choose another area of expertise, I would choose vascular sonography due to the level of challenge involved."
"That is a tough question, considering I just began my career as an abdominal sonographer! If I had to choose another specialty, I would choose breast sonography. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, it made me realize just how important this line of work really is."
"Through my career I have worked in a variety of areas including abdominal, and breast. If I had to choose another area of expertise I would find cardiac sonography to be incredibly interesting and detailed."
Talking about your greatest accomplishment will give the interviewer a strong idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!
"The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working part time in a related field. This showed me that I am able to dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."
"I am very proud of the way that I handled my time in University. After completing my degree in sonography technology, top of the class, I feel incredibly confident that my career as a sonographer will be successful."
"I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have as a medical sonographer."
Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position we have a leader board and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition in me as well."
"Here are some ways that an employer may try to motivate you. Which ones resonate most with you? - Incentive programs where points are earned - Showing complete trust in your work and performance - Setting smaller, more achievable goals - Helping you to find your greater career purpose - Being a positive example to you - Maintaining an open and transparent workplace - Personalized incentives vs. Team driven incentives - Getting to know you on a personal level - Positive feedback based rewards system - Offering a strong work/life balance by encouraging time off - Letting you know your voice matters - Allowing you to take the lead on projects that excite you - Handing out big picture projects so you feel that you are contributing to the company's future - Public recognition "
"I am motivated by knowing something about my patients and being able to relate to them on a personal level. A personal touch always keeps me motivated."
Workplace relationships are important to nurture. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to earn the trust of your new co-workers, should you be offered the position.
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of my co-workers is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
"Here are some ways that you can build trust with your coworkers: - Show common courtesy. Say hello, hold the elevator door, bring coffees now and then - Be respectful in your communication, avoid over cc'ing unnecessarily in emails - Avoid being a distraction, and respect the use of their time - Respect their personal space and the line between work life and personal life - Always ask if they have time before diving into a conversation - Try to find the answer to your questions before running to ask a manager or co-worker - Connect with them on LinkedIn but avoid more person social media platforms - Treat everyone the same, regardless of their job title - Do not complain about your job to your coworkers - Reach out to new employees and make them feel comfortable - Own up to your mistakes and fix them - Be timely with your followups and meet your deadlines "
"Trust is something you earn over time with people. I will lead by example and be transparent in my communications. Trust happens when people deliver on doing what they say they will do. I take the approach of under promising and over delivering to accelerate the trust process. With strong trust, teams can accomplish great things together."
The interviewer would like to know if you consider yourself a patient individual. Impatience can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in coworkers so it is really important that you are able to showcase your ability to remain patient and professional in workplace situations. Patience is certainly a virtue, but can be difficult to maintain when it seems that situations continue to push your buttons. Show the interviewer that you posses the ability to keep your cool in challenging situations.
"I do consider myself a patient person. I would rate myself an 8 /10 for patience because I certainly have room to grow but I do have a very long fuse. If I need a boost of patience in a challenging situation I will take a step away, count to 10 and then return to the situation. I recently read a book, 'The Power of Patience' by M.J. Ryan which also gave me some great new methods for coping under stress."
"In one of my recent University courses, I was working with a group that could not quite get along. This tested my patience because it prevented us from staying on track and focusing on the goals of the project. I went above and beyond in helping the group get along by scheduling lunch meets so that we could work while getting to know each other on a more personal level."
"I feel I'm a patient person but, like everyone, I have my limits. When I feel those limits being pushed, I will take a step away to regain composure. From there, I can approach the situation with a level head. If that isn't an option, I literally will take a sip of water and a few deep yoga breaths."
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle an environment that offers diversity.
"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 a great learning opportunity."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross functional teams regularly. There has been a lot of diversity during my time in University, and my practicum as well. I fully embrace diversity."
"I would say that pretty much every organization and facility I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."
Being in the medical field, you need to be able to clearly communicate in all ways. In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I do not lean one way or another when it comes to verbal or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I would choose written communication as one can always look back on written communication for reference."
"I am comfortable with both, so it would depend on the message, I suppose. Big news needs to be communicated verbally, and followed up in written form, but quick messages or simple changes can be communicated effectively through email without the hassle of breaking away from work for a call or meeting."
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations. If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
"I am available for full time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
"If overtime is required in this role, I am happy to accommodate whenever I can. Being new to my career as a sonographer, I understand that I will not receive first pick of shifts and that is okay with me."
"With a career in the medical field, I anticipate working over 40 hours. With that said, that obviously comes with some limits as I do value healthy work-life balance."
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower that I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
"Although my career is a bit new yet, I am very happy with the progress so far. I am proud of my accomplishments and look forward to growing even further with your facility."
"Overall, I am satisfied with my career progression. Everyone, including me, hits roadblocks or setbacks, but I have been able to push through them and stay on track."
Employers expect employees to stay up-to-date on their respective field, and today's technology makes this fairly 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, seminars you have taken, and professional organizations you are a part of. 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 in order to stay on top of industry trends and changes?"
"I plan to keep my knowledge current by reading medical related journals, and articles surrounding medical sonography. I am always interested in learning about new resources. Do you have any specific resources to recommend?"
"I am a member of several professional associations related to medical sonography. I also follow medical industry influencers on LinkedIn. I find these resources to be incredibly helpful."
Being in the medical field, you understand that workloads will fluctuate depending on factors out of your control. Talk to the interviewer about how you adapt to these changes. Assure them that you are able to roll with the inevitable changes!
"I fully understand that my workload will increase from time to time and I readily accept that. Personally, I prefer it when times are busy. It helps my days to go by quickly and I feel like I've made a difference for more people. For those reasons, I definitely do not mind an increase in my workload."
"While attending University, we had one professor who would often assign further reading or writing assignments at the last minute. Often times I thought I was ahead of the game and then, that would change in an instant. It was challenging but did teach me better time management and increased my ability to handle large workloads without becoming overwhelmed."
"In my current position, my workload changes depending on the team and their needs. I am able to adapt to those needs quickly and effectively. Just last week I had 2 team members who were sick and my workload increased significantly. I worked overtime and met my deadlines."
Before your interview, make sure you have a start date in mind for the new employer. Whether you need to give two weeks to your previous position, or are unemployed and can start right away, be prepared with an affirmative answer. If you are currently working, you should always show professionalism by offering 2 weeks' notice to your current employer. No hiring manager is ever impressed when they hear "I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!" Show that you are professional and reliable in all situations.
"I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!"
"I am looking to start my new career immediately. I could start as soon as you need me."
"I would need to give my employer 2 weeks' notice. Due to my length of employment, it is possible that I may need to work an additional week, if they were to request it of me to aid in the transition of my replacement."
Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient's body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.