Job interviews can be a difficult or discouraging experience even for doctors and nurses. Even if their profession often puts them in difficult situations, even the best professionals can feel uncomfortable in a job interview. The idea of having to answer difficult questions about experience and qualifications for the job you want can be challenging.
Our advice is to provide concrete examples as often as you can during the interview. The more context you can provide about how your skills have made a difference, the better you will be able to present the value you will add if you are hired.
One of the most challenging questions you might face in an interview is also one of the most commonly used questions by recruiting staff: “Why should we hire you?” A talk about your qualities as a doctor or nurse might make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to know that this question is a sign that the interview is going well.
When you get to this point, you should answer with caution. You should not fall into the trap of saying that you are better than the other candidates and make it sound like you want to brag. The person you are interviewing with will be looking at your answer to determine if you are the right person for the job, so it would be good to prepare some answers in advance.
To give the best answer, you need to know in advance what the job involves, so it’s important to do your research before you go for an interview.
Structure your answers around your experiences and achievements that best match the employer’s requirements. The right answer is a mix between the responsibilities you will have and your qualities.
Also, it’s best to frame your answer within 2-3 minutes so you won’t bore the recruiter. If they want details, they can ask you later.
To help you prepare as well as possible, we have put together a list of useful tips before the interview.
You never know who the other candidates are looking for the same job and what qualifications they have, but you know yourself best. In the discussion, highlight the key skills, strengths, experience and core professional achievements that make you the right person for the job.
Show the interviewer that you have the right professional and personal skills that make you an asset to the medical team. Depending on the job you want, observe the organisational culture and explain the reasons why you will fit in well.
Try to determine what problems they might be experiencing so far, if they are currently having problems or what new future goals they set for themselves, and consider how your skills and experience can help them along the way. Visit the website and social media pages to see the history of the practice you want to join. That way, you’ll be able to frame an answer using the information you find.
The fact that you have applied for the open position means that you are willing to commit to the task. Being called for an interview means the potential employer has confidence in your abilities. But besides highlighting your skills and experience, also show enthusiasm. This will show a positive attitude towards the job tasks and can make all the difference in a face-to-face interview. But don’t overdo it – smile and be natural.
Always be honest with the potential employer about your skills. Recruiters often ask additional questions to check if what you say is in line with what you wrote in your CV, so any potential lies will be a turn-off.
More and more employers are interested in the behaviour of the doctors they hire, not just their professional skills. If you’ve reached the stage of a face-to-face interview, expect other tough questions such as:
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When answering this question, be sure to be as specific as possible, providing examples that correlate your personal and professional qualities with your effectiveness in the job.
Here are some examples of useful answers:
Why it works: this response focuses on achievements and outcomes. It’s positive, denotes your ability to work as part of a team, and shows concisely what you achieved in your last job.
Why it works: it’s always a good idea to respond in a way that shows that you are motivated by your work, that you became a doctor out of passion, and that you are focused on achieving your goals at the same time.
Why it works: More and more employers are focusing on personal qualities or “soft skills”. If you know you have these skills and your job advertisement highlights communication and diplomacy, don’t hesitate to present them to the employer. By highlighting the qualities that set you apart and the results you achieve in doing so, you will make a good impression on the employer.
Why it works: When you feel that you may not have as much experience as other employees, it’s helpful to provide examples of certain skills that make you a good fit for the job.
Why it works: If you’ve already had an extended discussion about the position and your qualifications, this type of response denotes empathy, reiterating your passion for medicine. You can also ask the interviewer if there is any information about your qualifications that they would like to discuss in more details.
Honesty is important in the job interview, but there are some answers that don’t make a good impression.
For example, don’t respond with a generic “I’m smart, I have the right qualities and I want this job”. If the employer didn’t think you might be the right person, you wouldn’t go for the interview. Besides, such an answer does not differentiate you from other candidates.
At the same time, avoid the subject of money if you haven’t reached the salary negotiation stage. Even though income is a key factor, employers are not looking for candidates who are solely financially motivated, but often want to hire someone who will perform in the long term. The same applies to bonuses. While it may be important to you to have partial rent, transportation or health insurance, you don’t want your employer to think that these are the only reasons you want the job.
Also, avoid personal reasons such as: potential arguments with your current employer, not having a job lately.
In short, don’t answer the interviewer’s question in a negative way. If the only reason you want a job is to get rid of your current one, or because you have no other options, it is unlikely that anyone will want to hire you.
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A successful interview is an interview where you go confident in your own strengths. So you need to prepare in advance. Think about what the employer would like to know and construct your answers in advance. An experienced employer will watch your reactions and will know if you are unsure.
Even though every interview is different, there are questions that always come up, one of them being “Why should we hire you?”. An answer prepared in advance will turn you into a confident person, impress the employer and bring you closer to the job you want. Good luck!
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