How to Master Healthcare Job Interview Questions

Interviewing for a new position or move up in a company can be scary and nerve-wracking, especially in a competitive industry like healthcare. That’s why preparing for your next interview is essential. For jobseekers to perform their best and more effectively answer trickier questions, they need to take the time to research the company, the position, who the hiring manager is, and the people giving the interview. During the interview, you can also certainly point to your resume, cover letter, and CV to highlight your specific qualifications for the job. It is also important to not compromise your boundaries or sense of self in the interview. The best candidates are honest about their needs and provide genuine answers that outshine ones that are calculated and forced. If you respond in a way that you think they want to hear – you may be hired and dissatisfied as you did not provide your honest response. To help you better prepare here are some common healthcare interview questions, as well as some tips for how best to answer them: 

Basic Healthcare Interview Questions 

No two job interviews are ever the same, especially in the healthcare industry. However, there are a few fundamental questions that you can expect to be asked. Here are 7 common healthcare interview questions and the best way to answer them: 

1. Tell Us About Yourself 

This question is a common first question during any healthcare job interview, so be prepared to go into your meeting with a great answer. The interviewer is trying to get a better understanding of who you are, your experience, and if you would fit comfortably into their organization. When answering this question try to focus on your education, training, certificates, your professional experience, and previous jobs, and your passion for healthcare. Do not be afraid to reference your resume and cover letter. In addition, if you feel comfortableprovide some personal items – just keep clear of controversial areas such as politics.  

2. Why Did you Choose to Work in Healthcare?  

The healthcare industry is all about patient care, heck it’s even in the name “healthCARE”. Usually, when a healthcare professional asks this question, they are looking for an answer that reaffirms that you will have the best interest of a patient in mind. The best answers to this question usually include some sort of emotional story. Don’t be afraid of tugging on the heartstrings of whoever is interviewing you. If you did your homework and know the mission/vision of the company and you share similar values, then highlight this as well.
 

3. Why Are You Interested in This Position?  

This is a fairly common question during any healthcare job interview. Before your interview make sure you take the time to better get to know the people and organization you want to work for. Research the company, practice, or hospital system you are applying to, so you can try to understand and speak to their culture. Get to know their history, their core values, and their mission statement. These can all be great sources of information when figuring out what your interviewers will be looking for in their ideal candidate. Then be sure to weave all this information into your answer and also just be honest about what really made you interested in the job.
 

4. What is Your Greatest Strength? 

Here the employer is trying to gleam what would make you an asset to their team. Be sure to thoroughly examine the job description and see if there are any particular skills they are looking for. Do not ever lie, but you can tailor your answer to your strengths that you think would be useful for the position. Here are usually some amazing strengths to highlight in the field of medicine: 

  • Your bedside manner  patient-centered approach  
  • Quick thinking 
  • Critical decision making 
  • Ability to collaborate in a team environment/team player. 
  • Leadership 
  • If your role does not include direct patient care – how do you see your ability (strength) impacting this in the role. 
     

5. What is Your Biggest Weakness? 

We are all humans with flawsthere’s no use hiding it. The key here is to be honest without being too honest about your flaws. Also, try to avoid cliches like “I care too much”; they will just lead to eye rolls. Instead, focus on what you want to improve professionally this year and then talk about your plan for executing that goal. Think of this question in a slightly different way – what are your opportunities, your areas for improvement. 
 

6. What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals? 

This question is testing how ambitious you are. Most interviewers during a healthcare job interview are also wanting to make sure that you are not going to jump ship and instead stick around for a while. Talk about where you see yourself in 5,10,20 years and what you like to do to improve your professional development. Most interviewers are interested in the here and now – 5 years at max.  Also, be sure to touch on how you think you can grow into more meaningful positions with the place you’re interviewing at.  

 

7. What Do You See as the Future of Healthcare? 

The world of healthcare is constantly changing and evolving. It is important to stay on top of new procedures and technologies so you can ensure patients receive the best possible care. Before your next interview spend some time reading up on what’s new in your specific field. This will give you some useful resources to reference when answering this question. 
 

Healthcare Management Interview Questions 

When you are interviewing for a leadership position, the questions can become even more challenging. They will be looking for reasons to believe that you can lead a team and improve their overall performance. Here are five of the most common healthcare management interview questions:  

 1. What Qualifies You For a Management Position?  

The best way to answer this question is usually to reference your education and experience. If you have earned a Master’s degree, such as a Masters’s in Health Services Administration talk about what you learned during your program. Help the hiring manager to understand how what you learned in a classroom environment is going to improve their performance. Also, do not forget to talk about your earlier professional experiences and what you learned from them. Make sure you have a few notable examples of how you effectively lead a team. If you can provide metrics from the example the great – lead a team that provided input to change our scheduling process to better meet the needs of our patients. 
 

2. Tell Me About a Time You Coached or Mentored Someone 

Great leaders don’t just tell people what to do; they motivate and inspire others. Hiring managers want to know that you will be able to not only work with others but also improve the people you are responsible for. The best answer to this healthcare management interview question is to tell a story about problems someone was experiencing and then illustrate how you helped them to improve. Another example can be if you mentored someone on developing a professional development that then saw them move up in the company. 
 

3. How Would You Ensure The Organization is Up to Date on Safety and Current Medical Practices?  

This is really a two-part question. The first part deals with how you would learn about these updates yourself. Try to talk about industry journals and publications you may read or medical conferences that you think are relevant. The second part of your answer should then deal with the best way to distribute that information to your team.  

 

4. How Would You Handle a Difficult Employee?  

Again, this is another great opportunity to tell a story if you can. Talk about what made the employee difficult and then discuss how you address the situation. 
 

5. How Would You Evaluate Staff Performance?  

For this healthcare interview question begin by talking about what you think makes for a good employee. Think about some performance indicators that you could use for all employees. Next, discuss how you would go about communicating that to an employee and work to fix any areas that need improvement.  A key here is understanding that evaluation should be based on an agreed-upon expectation
 

Performance Based Interview (PBI) Questions 

Performance-based healthcare interview questions (PBI) can sometimes be the toughest part of any interview to tackle. With these questions, the interviewer is trying to gain a better understanding of how you would handle stressful and demanding situations. Here are a few common performance-based healthcare interview questions:   

  1. Can You Tell Me About a Time You Had to Handle Conflict Between Peers? 
  1. Can You Tell Me About a Stressful Situation You’ve Recently Been In?  
  1. Can You Provide an Example of How You’ve Handled a Recent Difficult Decision? 
  1. Tell Me About a Time You’ve Worked with a Difficult Patient. 
  1. Tell Me About a Time You Failed. 

 

Now the best way to answer questions like this is to tell a specific story. Avoid generalizations and focus on a specific situation. Next, give some background information and describe the problem. Next focus on the actions you took to resolve the situation. Lastly, don’t forget to talk about what happened after you took those actions.  

 

What Jobs Can I Get With a Health Services Administration Degree?

Healthcare Administration Degree from UWYO

The healthcare industry is in a perpetual state of flux. The rapidly evolving and constantly growing industry has procured several opportunities and responsibilities for healthcare executives when considering more diverse careers in healthcare. This spans into all healthcare fields such as nursing, pharmacy, TeleHealth, business development in medical practices, hospital leadership, nursing homes, insurance agencies, and federal employers like the Veteran’s Administration. This is where higher education and a tailored degree in Health Services Administration can separate you from the rest of the resumes that land on someone’s desk. 

What is a Health Services Administration Degree?

The curriculum within our MSHSA is specifically tailored to the healthcare leadership sector. Learning the nuances of the business and leadership aspect of healthcare administration will help prepare you to handle the numerous challenges of this continuously growing and progressive industry. This degree is necessary if your goal is to make healthcare administration your career path

How Much Can You Make With a Health Services Administration Career?

A master’s degree in health services administration opens you up for a variety of career options for higher-paying jobs after graduation. Your ultimate salary will depend on an array of factors including your years of experience, your professional training, the type of job you are applying for, the size of the organization, and the number of certificates you have earned, just to name a few. On average, most people who choose a health services administration career path make $77,000 a year. However, some jobs for a master’s in health service administration can offer you an annual salary as high as $200,000 depending on the industry they work in.

What do healthcare administrators do?

If you choose a health services administration career path, you might be responsible for improving efficiency, providing consistent quality care for patients, managing staff, reviewing finances, creating workflows and schedules, and monitoring adherence to laws and regulations for healthcare facilities. Although health services administrators frequently find employment in hospitals and medical centers, there are opportunities in nursing homes, retirement communities, and physician practices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists other facilities where healthcare executives can find employment opportunities, some of which include:

  • Home health agencies
  • TeleHealth Services
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Healthcare associations
  • Consulting firms
  • Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS)
  • Managed care organizations:
    • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
    • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
  • Research institutions and universities
  • The Public Health Department
  • Healthcare Cybersecurity 

What careers are in health services administration?

1. Assistant Manager/Administrator

An experienced administrator may be given the responsibility of overseeing a healthcare facility’s employees, finances, and procedures. This allows health administrators to obtain higher-paying positions and business decisions that affect the entire organization. These roles are available in private corporations, public entities, nonprofits, and even federally ran institutions.

2. Clinical Research Manager

Due to technological advancement, clinical research continues to thrive and needs those leaders capable of seeing the bigger picture and effectively communicate findings to their community. The complexity of clinical research often requires coordination of researchers, study participants, physicians, and pharmaceutical executives.

3. Healthcare Facility Marketing Managers or PR Specialists

Public relations campaigns and consistent community communication is a fundamental aspect of the healthcare business. Someone within this role has to understand the necessity of building notoriety within the business to business relations, as well as, business to consumer communication. 

4. Nursing Home Administration

To become an administrator in a nursing home, we highly recommend considering our Healthcare Institution Leadership Track or our Healthcare Quality and Improvement Track.

5. Clinical Leader/Manager

A professional that has knowledge relating to a specific clinical area is referred to as a clinical leader or clinical manager. Specific clinical areas include neonatal care and radiology. Once a clinician earns their health administration leadership master’s degree, they may be hired as a clinical leader in their department.

6. Health Information Managers

Health information managers are responsible for maintaining and securing patients’ electronic medical records. These managers may also supervise a team of medical coding employees or work with IT professionals to make sure that all the records are legally compliant, accurate, and easily accessible.

The field of healthcare management emphasizes the need of skilled and experienced individuals who can assist in introducing and managing the many changes that are taking place within the healthcare industry. Within an executive role within healthcare, you can make a valuable contribution to enhance the health of the residents in the communities you serve.

For more information on our online programs, please contact Alyssa at asuderma@uwyo.edu. You can also check out more information about earning your online Master’s degree in Health Services Administration by exploring the rest of our website.

Seven Tips for Finding a Good Healthcare Job During a Recession

Wyoming Graduation 2020

So, you just graduated and were expecting the booming economy to continue on. Now the COVID-19 crisis is here and everything has changed including an economic downturn. With unemployment rising and demand for new jobs trending down, it can be challenging to find a new job. You’ve likely been job hunting for months now but have had little to no luck in finding the opportunity you deserve or were dreaming of while you were writing papers and sitting through lectures. Job hunting may be a bit tough right now, but it’s not impossible! Here are seven strategies centered around how to get a good job in a bad economy: Continue reading

Why pursue a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration?

Why pursue a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration? The University of Wyoming’s MS HSA program will provide individuals the opportunity to establish and strengthen one’s skillset in compliance and regulatory matters, financial management, foundational human resources, institutional leadership and many other facets that are proven to be an integral part of any healthcare organization. Continue reading

3 Factors in Selecting a Master’s Program

What master’s programs will you apply to? Selecting a master’s program entails many factors that you need to consider. It’s not just a matter of determining your field of study – master’s programs in any given discipline may vary widely. Master’s programs differ in academics, but also in training philosophies and emphases. In deciding where to apply, consider your own goals and directions as well as your resources. Consider the following:

Basic Demographics
Once you know your area of study and desired degree, the most basic considerations in selecting a master’s programs to which to apply are location and cost. Considering our program is solely online with two weekends spent in Laramie, you won’t have to pick up your family and move across the country for a few years. You can maintain your current career and home life while doing your studies, in your comfy clothes, online. Apply here!

Program Goals
Not all master’s programs in a given area, like Health Services Administration, for example, are the same. Programs often have different emphases and goals. Study program materials to learn about faculty and program priorities. Are students trained to produce theory or research? Are they trained for careers in academia or the real world? Are students encouraged to apply findings outside of academic contexts? This information is hard to come by and must be inferred by studying faculty interests and activities as well as examining the curriculum and requirements. Check out our FAQ’s here.

Do you find the classes and curriculum interesting?

Faculty
Who are the faculty? What are their areas of expertise? Are they distinguished? Are they all about to retire? Do they publish with students? Can you see yourself working any of them, preferably more than one? Have you connected with them on Linkedin?

There are many things to consider when choosing master’s programs to which to apply. It may seem daunting and overwhelming, but putting in the time to carefully select master’s programs will make it easier later on when you are accepted and must decide where to attend — that decision is much more challenging.

Graduate Spotlight: Dr. Rashid Kazerooni, Botulinum Toxin Type A Overdoses

Dr. Rashid Kazerooni, PharmD, MS, BCPS, is a Medical Science Liaison at Merz North America. Dr. Kazerooni is among the first graduates of the University of Wyoming’s 2016-2018 MSHSA program and we couldn’t more proud of his independent project, Botulinum Toxin Type A Overdoses: Analysis of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System Database, being published. Continue reading