The arrival of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted the healthcare industry – further exacerbating talent shortages and driving healthcare workers into early retirement. As a result, employers are more driven than ever to strengthen their recruitment initiatives, aiming to successfully attract quality workers to their organizations. 

With the stakes higher than ever, hospitals and healthcare facilities need to start asking the right questions in order to weed out and win over the best of the best. And having the best in today’s world means building a skilled team of healthcare workers that are adaptable, forward-thinking and empathetic. After all, your recruitment process is the foundation of a profitable and thriving medical practice. 

To drive business growth, it’s imperative to tighten up your hiring methods – starting with how you interview potential hires. Here are the top 5 must-ask healthcare interview questions to help you dig deeper and uncover workers that are the right fit for the job. 

  1. Why Healthcare and Why Did You Choose This Specialty?

This question is an effective way to gain insight into what motivates the candidate. By asking “why,” you give the individual the opportunity to use storytelling to highlight what they’re passionate about and the reason they ultimately pursued this field. The goal is to empower candidates to weave their work and educational background into the journey that landed them in front of you today. 

  1. Can You Tell Me About a Time You Experienced Failure in Your Career?

Everyone makes mistakes and experiences failure. As Bill Gates said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Uncovering how a potential hire handles failure will provide valuable intel on their problem-solving skills, ability to self-reflect and capacity for turning setbacks into opportunities for personal growth. 

When posing this interview question, ask yourself the following:

  • Is the candidate placing blame on others or taking accountability?
  • Did they avoid issues that arose or tackle them head-on?
  • What did the individual learn from the experience? (The candidate should be able to clearly articulate how the situation fueled both their personal and professional growth).
  • What steps did they take to readjust expectations as obstacles surfaced?
  • Were they able to communicate how they would approach the situation differently in the future?
  1. Have You Ever Successfully Convinced a Manager or Leader Within Your Facility To Implement a Change?  

This question allows you to gauge a healthcare worker’s ability to approach tough conversations and if they possess an independent, forward-thinking mindset. When a candidate has a knack for influencing others, especially with their superiors, it illustrates that they’re capable of embracing change and focusing on the larger mission of the organization. Plus, if a candidate has had a positive impact on workflow or productivity in prior roles, there’s a strong probability they’ll drive improvements within your healthcare organization as well. 

  1. How Do You Handle Stressful Situations? Can You Give Me an Example of a Time You Performed Well Under Pressure?

It’s no secret that physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers are typically exposed to high-stress environments. A candidate’s ability to remain level-headed and calm is pivotal – especially when delivering patient care. A candidate’s emotional intelligence, along with their ability to empathize and be an effective communicator when grappling with a stressful situation is an invaluable quality for a healthcare worker. 

  1. How Do You Handle Difficult Patients?

This question is essential – especially when it comes to maximizing the patient experience and driving retention. Healthcare workers have, and will continue to, face the occasional difficult patient. And with patient reviews playing a large part in the success of a healthcare practice, there is no room for apathetic, impatient or short-tempered staff. Make sure the interviewee provides you with specific examples of situations they encountered and their subsequent outcomes. 

In addition to asking questions that pertain to your healthcare facility’s specific needs, it’s imperative to be mindful of other candidate qualities that could fuel the organization’s long-term success. For example, are they collaborative? Passionate? Innovative? 

As the healthcare sector continues to rapidly evolve, it’s essential to build a team that’s adaptable, brings fresh perspectives to the table and drives company growth. To learn more about how Polaris can help strengthen your recruitment initiatives and supply top-tier healthcare talent, contact us today