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How to Conduct a Great Medical or Health Practice Job Interview

Recruiting great people is critical to any medical or health practice’s success. Conducting an effective job interview enables you to determine if someone has the right skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the job successfully, as well as uncover if their attitude, motivations and values fit with the your practice’s culture. "There's actually a lot of preparation that goes into a good professional interview," says Janis Whitaker, the author of Interviewing by Example. "Most people can't wing it off of the top of their heads." So follow these tips to ensure your next job interview is conducted successfully.

Preparing for the Interview:

  • Preparation is crucial for meaningful job interviews.

  • Read through the candidate’s CV thoroughly before the candidate arrives, noting down any questions that will help you draw out more information about their personal qualities and professional skills.

  • Write a list of interview questions that reflect the job tasks and skills, knowledge and abilities listed in the position description.

  • Think about how you will describe your practice, and the position, in an accurate and positive way but without being misleading.

  • Identify a space to hold the interview; ensuring it is comfortable, private and as free of distractions as possible.

  • Provide the candidate’s CV & the Interview Guide to any colleagues that will attend the interview.

Conducting the Interview:

  • Begin the interview by introducing yourself and any other attendees.

  • Explain the format of the interview, and offer a brief overview of your practice, including what your practice does, your size and culture.

  • Provide an accurate description of the role on offer, including upcoming changes to the practice and possible career progression opportunities.

  • When conducting the interview, listen carefully to the responses and take notes for future reference. Be aware of attempts to evade questions, and probe deeper if required or ask the question again if you didn’t get an answer.

  • Pay careful attention to the candidate’s personal style, attitude and values, as this will help you to form a balanced opinion of their suitability in comparison to the culture of your practice.

Concluding the Interview:

  • Ask the candidate if they have any questions about the role or practice. This is a good way to test if they have thought through the position and listened during the interview process.

  • Thank the candidate for their time, and tell them when they will find out the decision.

  • Summarise your notes as soon as the applicant leaves. This ensures your impression of the candidate fresh in your mind and can be used to make a decision after you have met with other candidates.

Tips for Success:

  • Do your homework. Study the candidate's CV/resume before the interview.

  • Be nice. Use nonverbal gestures like smiling, leaning forward, and nodding your head to make the candidate feel comfortable. The more comfortable they are, the more positive rapport you can build, and the more successful the interview will be for everyone involved.

  • Take notes. After several interviews, it's easy to get candidates' skills, knowledge and experiences mixed up. Make sure you write notes while interviewing.

  • Use the whole interview to evaluate the candidate. Don’t make a hasty judgment based on the first few answers. Candidates are often nervous and can take a few questions to relax. Give them time. That is what the interview is for.

  • Don't talk too much: Talk about the position and the practice, but the candidate should do most of the talking.

  • Don’t mislead the candidate: It’s one thing to talk positively about your practice. It’s another to say things that aren’t true in the hope that they’ll agree to work for you. If the candidate is hired based on inaccurate information about the practice, they’ll feel disappointed once they realise this and their trust in the practise will be damaged.

For more advice on how to conduct great job interviews, contact The Fiddes Group.


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