Sweaty palms, butterflies fluttering inside your stomach, fingernails bitten to shreds – all symptoms of your nervous anticipation. The culprit? Your upcoming job interview.
The worst thing you could do during your interview is to heed the following advice: “Just be yourself.” Cringe. While this little nugget of wisdom works for first dates and social settings, a job interview requires you to be your best professional self.
A recruiter or hiring manager’s primary goal is to assess whether or not you’d be the best fit for the position – asking themselves questions like:
- Is this person qualified for the job?
- Will they add value or make things worse?
- Can I trust this person in the role?
- Will they make me look good or bad?
- Are they likable?
To be clear, when we say “likable,” we’re referring to qualities like being cooperative, solutions-oriented and friendly, not “is this my new best friend?”
And yes, some of these questions are mostly or entirely subjective and open to implicit/explicit biases. But until bias is eliminated or AI-enabled robots are the hiring manager, then it comes with the territory.
So, employers want to know why you’re the purple unicorn they’ve been searching for, and won’t shy away from asking you why they should hire you. Your answer should detail how your skills, personality and experience align with the needs of the specific role you’re gunning for, as well as how you’ll benefit the future growth trajectory of the business.
This is your opportunity to put your strengths on display. Here’s how to impress an employer during your next interview.
Find the Sweet Spot
An essential piece of the equation lies in adequately communicating the harmony between what a hiring manager is looking for and what your personal career goals are. While you’ll want to demonstrate why you’re a fit culturally and experience-wise, don’t forget to talk about your vision for the future of your career and what you’re looking for in a potential role.
This requires that you’ve done your homework on the organization and the specific department or division you may work for as well as the hiring manager if that person may be your future boss.
Then you need to be ready with smart, gently probing questions to learn what their real needs are. It’s best if you ask open-ended questions to ensure you are getting the real deal.
Once you have at least part of the picture, then you can highlight your relevant accomplishments using concrete, meaningful examples that match what they need.
And then transition into why this position excites you – i.e. you’ll be able to broaden your skillset, do meaningful work or take the next step in your career.
Anecdotes are a great way to argue your case by “showing” rather than simply “telling.” While anyone can claim they have strong communication skills, not everyone can use storytelling to paint a picture. For instance, discuss a specific challenge in which you’ve applied your skills and experience that improved patient care outcomes, save/made money, and burnished the organization’s reputation.
Travel a New Path
Since the goal is to highlight what makes you unique compared to other viable jobseekers – who likely possess similar qualifications – you should stress how invested you are in building a future with the employer.
This will require a deep understanding of the healthcare organization’s challenges – all of which can be acquired by performing a bit of research online. When you dive into a conversation around your knowledge of the company, it’ll show the hiring manager that you can take the initiative to go beyond what’s expected of you. Additionally, talking about the company’s history and how you see yourself contributing to its future growth shows you’re a forward-thinking problem solver.
Speak to Their Pain Points
It’s likely that your position is open because the company is trying to solve or overcome a particular challenge they’re facing. Build your response around how you can address these obstacles in the immediate as well as long term. Your answer should communicate to the hiring manager that you are envisioning yourself in the role, can work collaboratively with others and you’re already brainstorming ways to improve processes or increase company revenue.
At the end of the day, ask yourself why you’re interviewing for the job. Is it to satisfy emotional needs and be “liked?” Or, is it to discover whether the position is a good fit and ultimately land the position? Bringing your best professional self to the table is an essential part of setting yourself up for a successful interview.
Seeking a more satisfying, rewarding career in healthcare? Contact us today to discover what opportunities we have for you.