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Health Educator Interview

29 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated August 6th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Health    

Question 1 of 29

Tell me about a health related event you have hosted. What was the goal of the event and did you consider it a success?

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Tell me about a health related event you have hosted. What was the goal of the event and did you consider it a success?

When answering this question, refer to one of your biggest accomplishments and why it was a success. Feel free to name drop someone that could verify the success of this event. Tell the interviewer about the event you led at an elementary school about healthy eating habits or a workshop for adults on how to better control their diabetes. Tell the interviewer your steps from developing a checklist, determining the budget, securing the location, plan the publicity and reflect after the event has ended to see where you can improve next time.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I led an event at our local elementary school about healthy eating habits. My goal was to encourage better choices at the lunch hour. The kids participated in the workshop and had a blast. My work in coordinating with the school administration and lunch staff went a long way to making the entire event a success among the students."

Heather's Answer #2

"This past summer, while I was a senior in college in my program, I had a booth at our local city picnic. I brought information about healthy living and healthy choices that were engaging to a general audience. While working in the booth, I engaged people in conversation and I consider it a success because I had a lot of traffic past my booth as well as questions."


How do you keep yourself a model citizen when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and overall health?

They say 'practice what you preach.' How do you lead by example in a positive and healthy way? Do you bike, do yoga, not smoke and do your best to eat healthy everyday? Tell the interviewer why you take care of yourself and that you believe that portraying a positive self image will help your clients know that you believe in what you teach so much that you practice it yourself. Be open and honest with your interviewer on this question and talk about any specific ways that you stay healthy.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"For me personally, I stay physically fit by playing in a men's hockey league and running 5k events a few times a year. I am a healthy eater, but still feel it is okay to indulge some cheater foods from time to time. Fitness in my life has important from a very young age."

Heather's Answer #2

"As a Health Educator, I know that I will be look up to in regard to personal health habits. Growing up as an athlete and competitor, it is engrained in me to treat my body as a temple. Recently, I took up yoga and now am leading a class every Saturday."


What type of communicator are you?

As a Health Educator, it is important to know which type of communicator you are. Do you consider yourself analytical, intuitive, functional or personal? Tell the interviewer that you are able to change your communication style based on your audience and their way of learning. The important thing to relay is that you are an effective communicator. Tell your interview that you welcome the back and forth dialogue with your clients.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I'm the type of communicator that encourages open communication. I like to show my clients and coworkers that I'm approachable, knowledgeable and want to help others. I do this by asking a lot of questions of my students and reflectively listening to what they are saying."

Heather's Answer #2

"I am a direct communicator. I find that it is best to be brief and direct especially when presenting instruction or directions to clients. This leaves little room for miscommunication. With my colleagues, I also take this same approach while being open to new thoughts and ideas."


In what ways can you improve your skills as a health educator?

No matter how experienced you are or how many great examples you have of how you have worked to develop and improve your skills in the past, you will need to prove it by demonstrating an open and flexible attitude. Share with the interviewer about a skill you have that you would like to improve upon. Is it your public speaking skills or your empathy towards your clients? The only wrong way to answer this question is to not support it with a way that you are working on improving the skills.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Having worked in the field for close to five years, I have been solely focused on the education of the youth population. Knowing that I'd be looking to step outside of this box now, I've been reading and working with others in our field that focus on adult learners to help prepare me for this moment. If hired, you'll find that I'm adaptable and can take the skills that I've learned in working with children and apply them to working with the adult population that I'll work with here."

Heather's Answer #2

"Stepping into this career field out of college, I know that managing a multiple projects and deadlines will be a part of this job and I've been working on my project management skills be taking an elective project management course during my senior year alongside my internship. During this course, I learned great techniques to managing several projects at one time that I'll be able to utilize from day one on the job."


Are you able to work independently with little oversight?

A career as a Health Educator requires the ability to work independently and the ability to make critical decisions on your own. On an organizational chart, health education departments are more often than not just one person who reports to a manger/director/administrator that doesn't have detailed background in health education. Because of this, your interviewer will be looking for you to give examples of your ability to work freely on your own with no one watching over your shoulder. Talk about decisions you've made on your own and how you thrive in this type of environment while still being able to seek support when needed.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current position with a large urban health system, I am the lone person in my department and I report directly to an administrator that oversees many departments. Other than our weekly bi-weekly meetings to touch base, I have a lot of freedom in my work and the direction that I take our health education. I love the autonomy in my role and I really am a self starting individual. My colleagues that I work closely with know that I have an open door and open mind for thoughts, ideas and suggestions on new directions that I can take with my work."

Ryan's Answer #2

"As I enter my first job in the field out of college, I am ready to hit the ground running on my own as a Health Educator. While direction will always be appreciated from my manager, you'll quickly find that I am a motivated employee that has the ability to work and create new ideas on my own. During my college years, I worked evening shifts in our campus book store where I progressed to a shift leader within six months. In this position, I was not working directly with my manager and I was able to make critical decisions on my own while being trusted to do so. This experience will benefit me greatly coming into this position."


What are some challenges that you see health educators facing in the near future in this field?

As a Health Educator, there are many problems in the health and well-being of individuals that are projected for the future in the field. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have great foresight into the future outlook in the field and that you truly show concern here. There are no right or wrong answers to this question as long as you can elaborate on your answer and speak with some knowledge.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Having worked in the field for the past six years with a prominent healthcare organization, the projected healthcare provider shortages are an awfully scary proposition when looking at the outlook for chronic disease and other conditions. Knowing that physicians could be in high demand for patients, I think our job as Health Educators will be super important moving forward when tackling prevention tactics."

Ryan's Answer #2

"The biggest issue that I see in our field moving forward is the need for mental health education among the entire population of people in our country. Having been overlooked for so many years, mental health is at a crossroads in the healthcare world and I am very motivated to help bring this issue to the forefront of people. The term mental health often brings about a very negative stigma and I hope to get rid of that stigma by educating people on the issues that people are facing on a daily basis and how to help those in need."


How do you measure progress with your clients?

Progress doesn't look the same for every client. It's your job to help them move forward in their lives by looking at the past, patterns and ways of thinking that are keeping them from living a full life. They may never reach their full potential through the time you are counseling them, but you have the opportunity to show them what they are capable of. Give an example of how you understand that progress is relative to each client.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Progress is the client meeting their short term goals during our treatment together. Our job can be tough at times because in a lot of instances, we don't get closure with our students outside of our setting to see the progress that they've made. I most often rely on feedback from them long after we have had our meetings and I love when these people follow up with me later down the road to thank me for the skills and information I provided them to help make a positive change in their lives."

Ryan's Answer #2

"In this setting where I will be providing education on living with chronic illness in the hospital and clinical setting, any progress that is measured will have to be immediate and on a pretty subjective scale. Knowing that each patient will have a different background, personal needs, education level and cultural bias, I will rely on picking up on learning cues to assess the effectiveness of what I am teaching them. Before I would complete any session with a patient, I would ask them to speak to me on what they learned and why it was important to them."


Talk about a time where you had to deal with a big change within your workplace? How did you handle that situation and what did you learn from it?

In any career, employees need to have the ability to adapt to changes within their workplace that fall outside of their control. In no field is this more evident than in the healthcare and public health sectors. Changing laws, organizational buyouts and evolving techniques in healthcare are just a few of the reasons that the workplace can change rapidly for a Health Educator. On this question, your interviewer will be looking for you to remain flexible when things change on the job and for you to a be a leader among your peers in accepting the change. Talk about a time where you were open to changes and talk about how it made your day to day life on the job different while being able to adapt quickly and effectively to the change.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"A couple of years ago, the organization that I was working for went through a merger with a much larger organization. During the change, our daily lives were rocked in changes in leadership structure, new policies and new job descriptions. Keeping my eye on the end of the tunnel rather than on the bricks in the path that lay ahead of me, I knew that the new organization was going to be full of resources and people to help me do my job better. Many of my colleagues were scare for the change and their jobs, but I tried to remain positive and to remind them to keep their end goals in mind. While adapting to small policy changes and reporting structures was difficult at times, in the end my job ended up even better."

Ryan's Answer #2

"During my college years, I worked as a waiter for four years to support myself through school without taking out loans. Working at a busy restaurant in a small college town, our staff turned over almost twice a year as the semesters changed and summers came and went. This revolving door of cooks, dishwasher, wait staff and bartenders kept me on my toes in working with new personalities. I'm a firm believer that a person has to love what they do for a job and I did this by getting to know my coworkers with each new round of employees that joined us. The number of friendships that I developed during my time there goes a long ways to show that I was able to adapt and relate to many different personalities and cultures."


Talk about a time where you had to think outside the box to solve a problem on the job? What resources did you use to help?

As a Health Educator, providing effective education to a group or population often requires some fresh thoughts or ideas. Thinking outside the box in this field can also relate to problem solving and quick thinking. For this question, think of a specific situation that you've encountered where you've had to think outside the box and do something nontraditional that will impress your interviewer. Be specific in your answer and talk about the problem you faced, how you came to your decision and what the outcome was.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"On a recent project I was working on, I was tasked by my organization to coordinate, plan and implement a county wide initiative on birth control among the young population in the area. Knowing that teen pregnancy was a recurring issue, I wanted to make this to make an impact on young people. In planning to do presentations at three local high schools, I looked into the funding for a guest speaker that could talk about how pregnancy as a teenager had effected her life. After receiving the funding, I put feelers out around our organization and ended up finding a great speaker to come with me to the presentations. I was told by two of the school administrators that our program had a great impact just because of the experiences that the speaker talked about."

Ryan's Answer #2

"During my internship for my college degree, I had the awesome opportunity to work for a non-profit organization that focused on drug and alcohol abuse prevention in a large metro area. During the three months that I was with the program, I was tasked with a project where I was compiling metrics on the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in the city. To best compile some of the metrics, I asked my supervisor if I could hit the streets to poll the public on their use of drugs and alcohol. Rather than mailing surveys, which are most often thrown out, I found that I received truthful and honest responses from people when I spoke with them directly. At the end of my time there, the staff were very surprised with the number of people I spoke with and the data that I was able to gather to be put to use in future programs with the organization."


Tell me about a successful program you taught. What made it successful and why was it different?

As a Health Educator, you assess individual and community needs for health education.
You plan health education strategies, interventions, and programs. Tell the interviewer about a recent program you taught and why you felt it was successful. Were you able to start a program and 1 year later it was still running successfully? Did you increase attendance and knowledge of your students? This is your chance to show success as a Health Educator so make sure to shine!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"A recent event that I coordinated was a cooking class. We had 12 participants and all had a great time. Everyone laughed, helped each other out and learned the importance of eating fresh and eating healthy. I knew it was a successful class because the class that followed had a waiting list of 10 people that were all referred to the class by others that had attended. In the planning stages, I wanted to make the class both educational and fun at the same time."

Heather's Answer #2

"During my internship, I got to work with a non-profit organization that worked with teenagers that were struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. During my three months there, I was tasked with preparing a new presentation on the harmful effects of methamphetamine on both people and entire families with the audience being middle school students between sixth and eight grades. As my finale, I had the chance to put on a one hour assembly in front of the student body and staff. Following the presentation, I was thanked by the principal and administrator for such a powerful program"


How do you typically assess the learning needs of your students?

As a Health Educator, you use formal and informal techniques to assess the learning needs and styles of your students. Tell the interviewer about a successful way you were able to reach your students. Were you recognized by your supervisor for a job well done?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"One of my most common and easiest ways that I assess the learning needs of my students is by pausing every few minutes to see whether students are following along with the lesson. It not only identifies gaps in comprehension, but helps break up lectures into more digestible bites. Asking for participation among the group is also a technique that I use to keep them engaged and continuously learning."

Heather's Answer #2

"During my internship, I was fortunate to be able to work with a private employer where I worked with groups of people that really needed and desired our programs and learning opportunities. We used assessments and surveys to gauge the general needs of the employee population and developed programs around the needs. Then, during training sessions, we utilized a classroom style training that engaged the learners in activities and role-playing activity. By ensuring their participation, we saw greater results and satisfaction in the classes."

Anonymous Answer

"Through participation, students’ engagement and discussions."

Rachelle's Answer

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What are your career goals in this field?

The interviewer is asking this question to align expectations for the role with your long-term expectations. The interviewer is also checking to see if you have realistic goals and to gauge your level of ambition. It is important for you to research the job prior to your interview to ensure that your personal professional goals are in-line with the job and organization that you are interviewing with. Be open and honest with your interviewer on this question and express how important these goals are to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In the near future, I am focused on coming up to speed quickly in my new role. My longer range goal is to become a subject matter expert in this particular field. After working for years in a more general role with a large hospital system, I became most passionate about diabetes prevention. Your organization would allow me the opportunity to focus on my passion where I would become the person that others seek out for the answers to their most difficult problems."

Heather's Answer #2

"My long-range career objective is to publish a book. I would love to tell the world about my involvement to put an end to childhood obesity and this organization will put me right on the forefront of working with the youth in our region. I think that my story growing up to get to the point where I am at today will resonate with a lot of people."


Do you have any experience in grant writing?

In some jobs as a Health Educator, it may be required to seek funding for particular programs and theO ob may required grant writing skills. If you have any sort of experience in grant applications or the process of applying, talk about your specific experience. It is okay if you don't have experience and if that is the case, try and speak about the importance that funding can play in the success of programs and how you have great writing and research skills. A willingness to learn a potential new skill here can also go a long way with your interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current job, we have a specific department that handles the actual grant writing process but I have been involved in a lot of the legwork of successful grants we have received. On a recently awarded grant, my expertise on the community mental health needs and data I had gathered was instrumental for the application being awarded to us. I would look forward to the challenge of being more involved in grant writing because these funds can go to great lengths for a lot of people."

Ryan's Answer #2

"While I'm entering field without direct experience in grant writing, you'll find that I have a lot of the skills required to create effective grant applications as I am familiar with the process. I am highly organized and detail oriented and am able to prioritize multiple deadlines on different projects. I have great project management skills as well on top of my ability to think outside of the box and be creative."


Please share with me an example of how you helped coach or mentor another educator. What improvements did you see in the person's knowledge or skills?

As a Health Educator, you mentor your clients every day. Have you had the opportunity to be a mentor to a peer? Do people regularly seek you out for advice or words of encouragement? Share a story with the interviewer of a recent time you mentored a co-worker. Tell the interviewer why they came to you, what the outcome was and what you both learned throughout the process.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"One of my fellow co-workers has a fear of speaking to large audiences. Knowing that I have first-hand experience and a passion for this, he approached me for help. I was able to help him prepare his presentation and he practiced to me a couple of times to the point where he felt comfortable enough to do the presentation. The thanks that I received from him were all the appreciation in the world that I needed for helping him out."

Heather's Answer #2

"Being new to the field, I haven't directly coached another Health Educator, but I was a trainer at my employers that I had through my college years. As an experienced bartender, the owner of my establishment trusted me to take new employees under my wing and train them how to make drinks, work efficiently and provide the best customer service possible. These skills will transfer well to this career."


Do you have experience public speaking? What size groups are you comfortable speaking in front of?

Most Health Educator jobs require a person to get up in front of groups, both large and small, and give presentations and answer questions. While public speaking has always been a top fear of humans, you need to stress to your interviewer that you are an effective public speaker and love doing so in the process. If you have specific examples of diverse groups you've presented to, use those examples to show your interviewer that you are able to work in front of any group of people.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"While most people are scared to death to get up in front of a group of people and talk, I absolutely love being able to do this. We have such an important, and sometimes underappreciated, job and I take great pride in being able to educate people on important health issues. I am comfortable in both large and small groups and am able to improvise based on my audience with ease."

Ryan's Answer #2

"From a very young age, I have been comfortable performing and speaking in front of large groups. Having participated in both drama and band throughout high school, I have a lot of experience in performing in front of both small and large groups and I think my confidence here will translate nicely into this job. Confidence is key in being able to do this and you'll quickly find that I am confident in my ability to work with large groups of people."

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29 Health Educator Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a health related event you have hosted. What was the goal of the event and did you consider it a success?
  2. How do you keep yourself a model citizen when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and overall health?
  3. What type of communicator are you?
  4. In what ways can you improve your skills as a health educator?
  5. Are you able to work independently with little oversight?
  6. What are some challenges that you see health educators facing in the near future in this field?
  7. How do you measure progress with your clients?
  8. Talk about a time where you had to deal with a big change within your workplace? How did you handle that situation and what did you learn from it?
  9. Talk about a time where you had to think outside the box to solve a problem on the job? What resources did you use to help?
  10. Tell me about a successful program you taught. What made it successful and why was it different?
  11. How do you typically assess the learning needs of your students?
  12. What are your career goals in this field?
  13. Do you have any experience in grant writing?
  14. Please share with me an example of how you helped coach or mentor another educator. What improvements did you see in the person's knowledge or skills?
  15. Do you have experience public speaking? What size groups are you comfortable speaking in front of?
  16. Talk about your strategies on how you stay organized and on track when you are working on multiple projects at the same time.
  17. What role do you feel that a Health Educator plays as part of a larger community health care team?
  18. How do you help clients set goals?
  19. How long do your counseling sessions last?
  20. If you could start any public health initiative, with an unlimited budget, what would it be?
  21. Tell me about your post-secondary education. What was your favorite course and why?
  22. What websites do you like to direct your students towards, in regards to health information?
  23. Are you comfortable giving commands to people and leading a group or a team?
  24. Do you collect data and track results as your health education classes are progressing?
  25. Share an experience when you applied new technology or information in the classroom. How well was it received?
  26. In what ways do you often see people making poor choices in regards to their health?
  27. Share an experience you had in dealing with a challenging student and how you handled the situation.
  28. Are you efficient with your time?
  29. What do you enjoy most about being a health educator?
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