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.
"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."
"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."
"In my current role working for a large private business, I get the wonderful opportunity to work with and train a Health Education intern each year. Working with the interns provides me the chance to pass along the necessary skills to succeed in this field and I receive many showings of gratitude from the program director at the local university. One particular student was very bright and I could tell had almost all of the skills to succeed in this career, but the one area they were lacking in was confidence in the field. I first started with a 1:1 talk to help her understand that she had all the skills needed to be confident. Next, I entrusted her to lead a project on her own for the remainder of her time with us. In watching her succeed in the project, I wrote her a great letter of recommendation and was delighted when she was hired at a local healthcare organization. We still see each other at business events on a regular basis and have become great friends."
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.
"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."
"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."
"For me personally, my own health starts with routine physicals on a yearly basis and I stress to my students how important this is. I am a healthy eater that adheres to a vegan diet, though I never will push this choice on others. Outside of work, I am an avid outdoors enthusiast that enjoys hiking, biking, snowshoeing and kayaking on a regular basis to keep me in great shape."
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.
"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."
"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."
"In my current position, I started in the role as a department of one person as a Health Educator that reported directly to our hospital's vice president of operations. As we worked together over time, our relationship grew and we developed a great rapport in developing new projects that helped many people in our community. Three years ago, the decision was made for me to report to our clinical director to give me a more direct path to our patient side of our operation. At first, I was sad to be parting ways with my boss of many years. But knowing that working closer with clinical staff and supporting their patient's needs was a top priority made this an easy step to change with ease. Besides, I was still working closely with my former boss and just not reporting directly to him anymore."
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
"I have experience through my career speaking to large crowds and small groups of folks and I love the opportunity to do so each time. Perhaps more intriguing about my experiences are the diverse groups that I've had a chance to work with. During my career, I've spoken at large school assemblies with over 500 high school aged kids. I've done campus presentations working with groups ranging between 5 to 100 students at a time. In the business world, I've presented to company boards with CEO's and leaders and have also done community lectures in front of hundreds of people."
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.
"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."
"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."
"During my time as a Health Educator with a large healthcare system, we were finding that we weren't getting much support from our upper levels of administration on some programs that we thought were necessary. Knowing that a lot of major research and statistics were pointing to mental health as one of our regions number one health concerns, we asked our CEO, CFO and Administrative Council if we could present the statistics and our plan to them for providing education on mental health awareness. It was not common for our department to do this. After being welcomed and scheduled, our presentation really opened their eyes to the needs for our plan and we were able to implement it with the blessing of our top leaders."
A successful career as a Health Educator requires the ability to manage multiple projects and tasks at one time. Your interviewer will be looking for you to talk about the resources and strategies that you use to keep yourself organized and on task for these projects that you will be juggling at one time. If you use technology like an electronic calendar, talk about how it helps you in staying organized. If you are a list maker, talk about how that helps you. As long as you have a strategy for staying on top of things, there really are no wrong answers here as long as your interviewer understands that you take necessary measures to stay organized.
"In my current job, I am managing many things at any given point in time. I am following up with metrics on past presentations and projects, planning for upcoming seminars and I am always researching and scoping out future projects. To keep myself on track, I utilize both my phone and my laptop to keep myself on track with my Outlook calendar with the tasks function. Being away from my office frequently, I use a software called Evernote that enables me to type or speak notes into a program that shares the notes across my devices. These tools are essential for me to stay on track while multitasking multiple things."
"Coming into my first job as a Health Educator, you'll quickly find that I am a very organized and detail oriented person and these skills make multi-tasking a breeze. I am a note taker and keep a running list of projects with due dates. Based on my notes, I am able to effectively prioritize deadlines to ensure that things are completed on time. I utilized a system like this in college where I was balancing a large credit load, family life and a part time job."
"Throughout my career, I have found myself relying on technology more and more to help myself stay organized in my job as a Health Educator. My smart phone is my lifeblood, where I utilize my calendar for meetings, deadlines and setting aside work time for specific projects. I find that if I physically schedule time on my calendar to work on particular projects, nothing gets left behind and deadlines are never missed."
Depending on the organization that a Health Educator works for, the small scale goals and target audience can differ. But in the end, the goal of the health education field is to help empower people to make healthy life choices that benefit themselves and the greater good of the community. In your answer here, talk to your interviewer from both a macro, large scale perspective as well as from a micro, focused perspective that is focused on the organization you are interviewing for. Your research into the organization and their target audience will go a long way in your answer to this question.
"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making healthy life choices are things that many people take for granted and don't pay much attention to. Bad habits and poor life choices become a hard things to break the habit from and Health Educators play a vital role in this education process to make the community as a whole a better place health wise for everyone. In my current role working with a nonprofit organization, I am mainly focused on diabetes prevention in our region of the state. In my years in this role, I loved the challenge of focusing my time and effort in learning about and teaching about the illness. I feel that this past focus will help greatly in your focusing on oebsity. There is a great need for public education in this area and I look forward to the challenge of this role."
"Health education is so important to the general public as a whole because access to research into healthcare issues is not sought after among the general public. We play an integral role in assessing the needs of a population, analyzing data and putting that research into use by providing educational programs to better the overall health of the community. This role with your organization is very exciting to me as it will help provide education to college students who are often naive to the health risks that they face on campus."
"I have always been a firm believer that our jobs play a vital role in bettering the overall health of the people that we work with and educate on a regular basis. While it is hard to acknowledge, many people overlook their health and the choices that they make that effect it. I have taken my role as an educator very personally during my career to help people better understand how the choices that they make play a big impact on their overall health."
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.
"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."
"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."
"During my career, I've worked in healthcare and for a public university and in both roles I was able to have full autonomy in my work. In my current role with the college, I love the fact that I have creative freedom to work with the overall health of the campus and create new initiatives and programs each year. I work under one of the Assistant Dean's on the campus and we have a very open relationship where we can bounce ideas off of each other, make a quick plan and then I run with it from there. I have been very successful to this point in my career because of my ability to work independently."
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.
"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."
"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."
"In my current position, I have worked on many grant proposals that have been a huge asset to our organization. I have conducted research into available grants with the government and private organizations and walked through all of the steps of a proposal process. My foresight into our field and research on local trends have been vital to many of our successful grant applications. When I lead the way in these applications, I lead a team effort and involve input from others who have a stake in the potential funds as well."
Give the interviewer a step-by-step approach to how you help each individual client or patient set goals. Give an example to make it more concrete. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you take each person individually based on many factors in their personal life. It doesn't hurt to talk about goal setting in a group setting as well. "I had a client who was struggling with an eating disorder. We set small goals to help her take better control over it. We looked at the bigger picture of her life and found opportunities where she could take control, like her job and her living situation. We worked with a Psychologist for an added support system. By learning a little bit about her and her personal life, I was able to help her set attainable and meaningful goals on her road to recovery."
"I had a client who was struggling with an eating disorder. We set small goals to help her take better control over it. We looked at the bigger picture of her life and found opportunities where she could take control, like her job and her living situation. We worked with a Psychologist for an added support system. By learning a little bit about her and her personal life, I was able to help her set attainable and meaningful goals on her road to recovery."
"Goal setting is important in any process to change habits and ways of life. As a new Health Educator, my first step to helping a client would be to assess their entire living situation by talking to them about their family, job, hobbies and other important things to them. Once I got to know them, I'd get a great sense for what motivates and drives them on a daily basis. With this knowledge, I would work with the client and empower them to be a part of the goal setting process by talking about my end goal for them and have them come up with creative and fun ways for them to get there in a step-by-step fashion. For an end goal to work, the client needs to be 100% committed to the process and giving them choices in it helps immensely."
"Recently, I worked with a young lady that was struggling with alcohol dependency after she was released from a rehab center. To help keep her motivated in her battle to beat the addiction, I started by working closely with her rehab team to find out all that I could about her. Then, in our initial meeting, I took the time to learn about the woman and her family. Knowing that chemical dependency is best beat with internal motivation, we based her goals of staying sober off of her children and helping her be a better mother to them. In the months that I've been working with her, she has stayed clean and has become a better mother in her own words. In group settings, I have to keep goal setting at a much higher and generic level because I don't often get to know the internal motivations of each individual. In these settings, I like to talk about the fact that people need to find their own motivation and show them how to do this by breaking all of their motivations down to pain and pleasure. In the end, personal motivation comes down to replacing pain with pleasure."
Your counseling sessions could last from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Let the interviewer know that you are flexible to work with the client's needs. You may prefer 60 minute sessions because it gives you enough time to review the last meeting and still have time to listen and advise your client. Explain your preference and then ask about expectations. Share how you manage your time in order to set up your clients for success. Your prior work experience and client base may differ from the job that you are interviewing for and that is okay as long as you reiterate why the length of time was necessary with the clients that you were working with prior.
"During my time working with the university, my sessions really varied depending on the topic and whether I was 1:1 with students or in a large or small group settign. In 1:1 settings, my sessions were normally around 30 minutes long due to the busy schedules of college students. If follow ups were needed, I was able to assess that right away with the student and get them on the schedule for both of us right away in person. In group training sessions, I've done 30 minutes presentation to half day trainings with ease."
"During my internship with a private business, my experience is mostly classroom type trainings that normally lasted about an hour to two hours at the most. I am open and able to be very flexible for the needs of this job moving forward and look forward to the challenge of doing 1:1 counseling sessions for the first time a real work environment."
"In my current role that I've held for 12 years, the hospital setting requires me to be very flexible wit heach patient and class that I encounter. The needs of the patient come first and I am willing to do what it takes with each individual or group. Part of my role are brief 20 minute discharge eetings with patients to discuss healthy living choices and part of it is putting on evening three hour classes for weight management. Each session that I operate has a distinct message and the time is based on my messaging."m "Hospital setting - varying but pretty brief with patients in-patient"
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.
"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."
"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."
"I look to measure progress with individual patients that I see on a tangible and objective measures. With the diabetes patients that I counsel, my follow up appointments measure their blood sugar, weight and blood pressure to track their progress the same way a physician would. I use these measurable improvements or declines as motivation for each patient. With others where results aren't possible to record as objectively, the patient and I predetermine measures to monitor their progress and these often rely on the patient to be truthful and honest with their progress."
As a Health Educator, you have people all around you making poor choices in regards to their health. What program are you most passionate about? Which research field have you spent most of your work history in because you know you make a difference? Tell the interviewer about a few ways you know people are making poor choices, how you educate them to change their ways and a few success stories to support your efforts.
"Our local elementary school requested I come down to speak to the kids about healthy eating. Having school aged children myself, I really took this project to heart. I worked with the school over a six month period of time to get healthier food in the school lunch program. Healthy eating habits are formed at a very young age and, unfortunately, many parents today take easy shortcuts to feeding their children and these shortcuts are more often than not an unhealthy choice."
"As it has been for many years, tobacco usage is one of the leading causes of health issues and disease in the United States. My dream in going into health education was to end up working in a university setting and if I were to have the opportunity to work here, tobacco prevention and cessation would be one of my biggest priorities. I watched the habit cause the death of my grandfather and I'm very passionate about prevention." "Nicotine is the biggest addictions that my clients come to me for help. We work together to come up with a plan and kick the habit."
"In my years in this field, I have noticed that poor health choice trends have changed over time due to lifestyle choices. In my current role working with a very diverse population in a varying age range, the common theme that I see today is a lack of exercise and overall fitness among people today due to the advancements in technology. Rather than playing outside, kids are glued to televisions or tablets and adults are really no better. I have developed a program called "Get Offline and Get Outside" that focuses on the wonders of being in nature and the health effects that doing so can provide to people. This program has received many accolades from people that have dedicated more time to staying off their phones and getting outside to see nature."
This question is your chance to tell the interviewer that if you had the resources and endless supply of money, how you would change the world. What program speaks to you personally? Is there a chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or asthma that you feel passionately about that you would love to find a cure to? Give you interviewer some insight into where your true passions fall in this field and if possible, pelate this passion to the job that you are interviewing fro.r
"If the budget wasn't a concern, I would give five cities per state $500k to build a community garden. I think community gardens bring people together, encourage healthy eating, get people outside and help our environment. All of these factors greatly benefit the overall health of people."
"My public health initiative would be to provide plan b birth control within the school systems for middle school, high school and college aged students. I would encourage School Nurses to work with the school psychologists to counsel young women and have the medication available if necessary. I am very passionate about teen pregnancy and it's prevention and I believe a program like this would positively change the lives of many young women, and men, every single day."
"My true passion in this field is in mental health awareness and making this a priority. I am a firm believer that many of the extremely violent acts that we've seen in our country in recent years could have been avoided with awareness from loved ones and friends of those involved. As well, I do a lot of work with suicide awareness and prevention. If funds were unlimited, the initial stages would have to involve research and testing into effective methods of bringing mental health to the public's eye. How this is best done remains to be seen, but I think it needs to be a focus of our profession moving forward."
Think back to your college classes. Which was your favorite? Where you ever an intern supporting a health promotion program? Did you have a professor that mentored you and encouraged you to be where you are today? For this question, your interviewer will be looking to get a little extra insight into what drives you or motivates you in this field by hearing about experiences that you hold close to your heart. There is no wrong answer for this question as long as you speak to it with passion.
"I graduated from the University of Florida the top of my class. My favorite course was during my last year where I was the guest speaker at our local high school. The topic was underage drinking and sexual activity. I was able to incorporate a bit of humor and music to the assembly. I knew it was a success because of the students participation and attentiveness."
"I've always enjoyed my biology lab classes. I like the hands on aspect of labs and loved learning new things. The human body is extremely awe inspiring to me and this field is enabling me to blend my passion for education with this."
"My passion to pursue a career in Health Education was born during my freshman year in college when my interests in education and healthcare blended. Knowing my path to this career would entail pieces of both, I was very surprised how much I liked my statistics courses and how well they prepared me for this career. Having never been the biggest fan of math, analyzing statistical data is an important part of this job and I came to enjoy learning this subject."
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.
"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."
"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."
"In my time working for a private healthcare organization, one of my most successful events that I coordinated was a booth at a heart health conference at a nearby university. In planning for the event and looking to stand out from the rest of the crowd, I decided to theme our booth in the effects of smoking on heart health in hopes that I could impact attendees that were tobacco users to quit. Looking to have some shock effect on people stopping by, I had a running DVD with images of hearts that were impacted by cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks caused by smoking. At the event, I had several people exclaim to me how impactful my booth was."
If the Health Educator position you are applying to is a leadership position, then the obvious answer is yes followed by several convincing reasons why this is so. Tell the interviewer about a time where you were a successful leader and what the outcome was. Even if the position is not a leadership position, Health Educators often need to collaborate with large groups of people when they are leading projects. Your interviewer will be looking for your ability to lead in this fashion as well.
"I'm regularly requested by my supervisor to be the lead on many projects. My most recent lead role I had was forming a diabetes support group for our community. When I took over this project, I grabbed the reins right away and began coordinating information gathering meetings with local physicians and nurses to do some fact finding for the project. With their buy in to the project, it has been going strong now for 6 months."
"As a new graduate, I haven't had the opportunity to lead fellow co-workers but I have had the opportunity to lead groups during my time in school and I also was a shift leader at my job through college. My job through school was with a large retailer working weekend and PM shifts. While there, my manager entrusted me to delegate work duties during my shift and be available to answer questions and problem solve on my shifts. I also coordinated with other department leads when I was working. I think the leadership skills that I gained in this job will translate nicely into this role because they have made me very comfortable and confident in my ability to lead others on projects both large and small."
"In my current role, I work with a great team of employees and interns that I manage and lead. As the leader of the team, I assess our projects and delegate responsibilities based on the strengths of my team members. In wanting to help grow my team's skills, I also ask people to step out of their normal comfort zone from time to time to work on developing new skills and I know that my team appreciates this. As a leader, I also utilize the skills and talents of people outside of my team when we need extra help and resources on large projects."
As a Health Educator, you know that you have to appeal to various types of populations. Some people learn best from researching the information via the internet. You provide only the best sites that give accurate and up to date information. Have you made flyers and pamphlets to hand out to your clients as a quick guide to these sites? It's important to know some great resources that you can get to your students to help themselves outside of your educational setting and your interviewer will be looking to see that you are cognizant of these types of resources.
"My go-to website that I like to share with my clients is the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org. With my current role focusing on heart health among the aging population, this website has a ton of great facts and healthy living ideas for the population that I work with."
"During my internship, I was working with a private employer on health and fitness programs for their staff. One common site that I referred people to was health.com, particularly the fitness section. This website has a wealth of information and ideas for people that are looking to create a healthier lifestyle through fitness and activities."
"In my time working with high school and college aged students on healthy lifestyle choices, the most impactful website that I recommend to them is thetruth.org. This website is focused on the harmful effects of tobacco and does so in a very direct manner. In today's age of kids being so technologically savvy, a website like this is a breath of fresh air and I've had many people thank me for the referral to the site."
In an ever changing field like health education, a successful Health Educator needs to be on the forefront of changes in data and technology to ensure that their training is effective. On this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are adaptable and open to new ideas and changes and to see that you are creative in finding new ways to get to the minds of those learning from you. Talk about a specific new technology or idea that you utilized in your educational approach and how it made your class a success.
"During my time working for the Department of Transportation, I was tasked with a regional project on motorcycle safety specifically focused on helmet use. In preparation for the forums I would be hosting and the classroom training sessions at motorcycle safety classes, the internet was a great place for resources. There are so many great resources available online and using these were extremely helpful. As well, people now are all connected online and utilizing great safety websites and resources is a snap to be able to refer people to."
"Prezi isn't necessarily new technology but it was new to me before I created a presentation with it last month during my internship. The slide maker is fun, upbeat and I thought kept my audiences attention more so than the presentations I've used in the past."
"As an experienced veteran in the field of health education, the best new method for connecting people to fresh ways of learning is social media. At first, I was very hesitant to utilize any sort of social media because I hadn't grown up with anything of the sort. I vividly remember the first time I recommended it to a group of diabetes patients that I was working with. I started a group on Facebook and invited the patients to join. Outside of our classes, the Facebook group page promoted open conversations and provided a forum for me to post great articles and tips for a healthy living lifestyle. Seeing the great results and hearing the awesome feedback from the group was enough to tell me that social media could be a powerful tool in our arsenal as Health Educators."
As a Health Educator, your job is all about tracking data to see what needs our out in your community. To track your information, do you use a particular type of program? Tell the interviewer how you track your data and the importance of it. How do you go back and refer to your data collected in order to use it for a future class? Collecting data both prior to and following classes is important so be sure to reiterate this to your interviewer.
"Each class I teach, I collect various types of data from the sessions. From compliance to feedback from the students, I utilize the data as constructive feedback to continuously improve my future classes. Depending on the presentation and the student base, I utilize initial surveys and follow up surveys. Most of the time, surveys are one of the most reliable methods to collect data."
"During my schooling, I learned a lot about the importance of collecting data in both the implementation and review of programs. I have a lot of experience in creating and implementing surveys and conducting interviews with people as a means of data collection. During my internship, I had first hand experience working with focus groups on mental health issues. Here, I used a software system called EasyMorph that helped tabulate and analyze data that was captured to help put it to use in our programs."
"To run a successful program or training, I have to have relevant and factual data to base my class off of and I utilize many resources for data collection. Scientific research and studies are a great starting point, but working locally in a particular region, I also utilize surveys and interviews as a means for collecting data to implement programs. Equally as important, I run follow up data on all of my programs in the form of surveys and other data analytic methods as deemed appropriate. To put this in perspective, I created a healthy activities program for a local employer over six years ago and I still conduct follow up survey to the employees that remain with the company to this day. The employer loves seeing the positive results that are still occurring years down the road."
There is always that one student...the one that heckles you, mocks you, insists they've tried it all and you couldn't possibly be the one that will change their ways. How did you find a work around to change this person's mind? Share a brief story about a time you worked with a difficult student. Be sure to close with how you settled the situation and share what the two of you learned from it.
"I had a client that was in a group session for smoking cessation. The client had insisted that no one could help him with his nicotine addiction and that I wasn't going to be any different. I was able to talk to the client one on one and show him that despite his past, we would work through the struggles together. He was appreciative and started opening up more in group. With his new found positive attitude he, I truly believe that he is bound to stop smoking soon."
"It's funny that you ask this question because my internship brought me in front of a very challenging student within my first couple of weeks on the job. My internship was with a large hospital and my supervising Health Educator threw me right into existing classroom sessions with patients. With one particular group, I was presenting on managing life with diabetes and the effects that healthy living can have on the disease. As I started talking about healthy eating habits, I could tell that one younger man in the class had become disengage by rolling his eyes at me. Not wanting to call him out in front of a large group, I approached him following the session and asked him bluntly why he had stopped paying attention during that part of the presentation. Point blankly, he told me that he wouldn't stop eating potato chips, pizza and red meat completely. I explained to him that healthy eating habits aren't started overnight and that I thought his goal for the week should be to eat two completely healthy meals each day with one meal of his usual choice for the other. The following week, he told that he had done this successfully and would be working to get that cheater meal down to every other day for the coming week."
"In my current job, I spend a lot of time talking about a variety of health issues in schools with middle and high school aged kids. Knowing that teenagers have attitudes because of my experience with my own children, I know that teenagers project a rough exterior to try and impress their friends but are often very vulnerable and looking for help on the inside. If I notice this happening in group classroom settings, I take time individually with students to meet one on one as I find it more helpful to the students. This was the case with a recent young man that was in my class on drug abuse. In the classroom setting, he was disruptive and not attentive. Following the class and noticing that he stuck around after the other kids have left, I asked if he wanted to talk with just me and he said yes. Getting him one on one, he opened up that he was scared for his future being that his friends were all abusers of both drugs and alcohol. After talking more, I had him prepared with ammo to both talk to his friends about their choices while being able to say no while still being their friend." "
This question is to test your time management skills and your ability to prioritize. Tell the interviewer how you prioritize your day and get everything completed in a timely fashion. Are you comfortable delegating work? Tell the interviewer about a time you were in charge of a project and were able to delegate work in order to meet a deadline. As a Health Educator, time management is your middle name. Explain how you can juggle your time and still give 100% to your job.
"I am very efficient with my time. I set aside time each morning to evaluate my day and ensure I'm meeting deadlines, responding to urgent needs, and staying on track with meeting goals. With that said, I also reflect daily on the long term goals and projects and carve out time for the planning required on those."
"Knowing that managing multiple projects and deadlines is required in this job, I feel that my college experience has prepared me well for this opportunity. I utilize technology with spreadsheets and calendars to keep me organized when working on multiple things at one time and I begin each work week by updating and making a new to do list. Each evening at the end of the workday, I update my to do list with accomplishments and new tasks to help keep me on track."
"Becoming successful in this job requires great time management and organization skills and I am very proud of mine. Any free time that I have is spent collecting data, tracking success in my clients and putting workshops together for the future. On top of that, I'm never hesitant to seek assistance when needed or a fresh mind may be needed for a project. For a current project that I'm working on with a State Senator, I am utilizing the services of several public health officials in data collection."
This is your chance to display your passion as a Health Educator. Do you enjoy working with a particular group of people best? Is there a topic that you jump at the chance to teach your community about because it personally speaks to you? Tell the interviewer why you continue to educate your community. This job requires passion and your interviewer will be looking for you to display it in your answer here.
"The thing I enjoy most about being a Health Educator is knowing that I'm genuinely helping people become healthier. I've built great relationships with my community and get regular feedback from clients telling me that I've helped them. Knowing that I've helped even one person makes me want to continue doing what I'm doing."
"My journey to becoming a health educator started with my mother being diagnosed with heart disease. After being diagnosed, she still didn't put forth any effort to exercise and become healthier even after many years of us hounding her as her children. Health and well-being is commonly an afterthought for most people and I am on a mission to help bring health issues to the forefront of people's minds in our community and region."
"During my years working in this field, the thing that I appreciate the most about the job is the freedom to create fun and impacting training and education sessions that have a great influence on people. I have a knack for being creative while also having a passion for health and wellness, so this career has been a match made in heaven for me."
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.
"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."
"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."
"In my current role, most of my session are given in a small classroom style setting. This role will be stepping outside what I'm used to with the need to present to large crowds exceeding over 50 people. Knowing that I'd be looking to move on from my current job, I have started giving volunteer presentations on fitness at our local YMCA and several of my sessions have been near 75 people. While it had been a while since speaking with a group this large, I eased back into these pretty easily and look forward to the challenge moving forward in this role."
As a Health Educator you teach people about behaviors that promote wellness, healthy living and even prevent disease. Through collecting data and discussing health concerns with members of specific populations or communities, you develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Your patients include: the general public, at-risk populations, diabetes patients, expectant mothers and heart patients. Preparing presentations, conducting health screenings and patient outreach, and serving as point of contact for patients are just a few of your duties as a Health Educator.
Skills needed to be a successful Health Educator are your communication skills, organization and ability to teach others. Your active listening, judgment and decision making will be an important part of the job. Preparing presentations will become second nature as well as your administrative skills.
To prepare for your interview the interviewer may want to see samples of your work. Bringing a portfolio of your work could be an easy and visual way to show your best work. Discuss presentations you created, workshops you led and groups you've created for your at-risk population.