When interviewing for a health care specialist position, you want to make a good impression. Employers look for trustworthy healthcare specialists to properly care for patients. Practicing your interview skills can help ensure a hiring manager is aware of your knowledge, patience, and desire to help others.
In this article, we list some of the most common healthcare specialist interview questions with example answers to help you get ready.
Healthcare interview questions
Here is a list of interview questions and answers you can adapt to your personal experience.
1. How do you see the future of health care?
Employers are looking for innovative thinkers who want to improve processes within their field. Creative thinkers can see connections between different roles and specialties to provide an innovative approach to treating illness. With the introduction of new technologies, the health care industry is changing quickly and requires professionals who can adapt.
Highlight some work experience that helped you or your organization stay up-to-date with trends. Then, give your opinion on what you expect to happen in the healthcare industry.
Example: “When I was working at General Hospital, I had the opportunity to participate in the development of a new online portal. I learned a lot about new behaviors and expectations in the healthcare industry. With the evolution of technology and wearable medical devices, I think healthcare providers will be including more and more connectivity apps in their patient care management. This process allows patients to have more access to their provider to strengthen the patient-provider relationship.”
2. How do you stay informed on current healthcare advancements?
Continuing education is one way to stay current on advancements in health care. If you haven’t yet taken any courses, consider registering before your interview. You can also explain how you read articles and reviews in the scientific press. Provide specific journal names or websites. If you are not familiar with continuing education, you can always express your intention to inform yourself in the future.
Example: “I believe that in the health care field, education never really ends. It is part of our job to stay current with new developments in our field. Therefore, I subscribe to several scientific newsletters like Kaiser Health and NIH News in Health, and I take continuing education courses at a local community college.”
3. Tell me about yourself and how you realized you wanted to be a health care provider.
By asking this, the interviewer wants to know if you are genuinely interested in helping others. Being a health care provider demands dedication and passion, which you likely gained because of personal life experiences. Explain your educational background and work experience, but also include a personal life experience or a passion that fits with the health care position.
Example: “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to help people. I remember putting bandages on my little brother when he would fall and feeling a strong sense of responsibility for his care. It was not hard to pick a direction for college; I knew I wanted to take care of people. I graduated from Bay Shelf University last summer with honors, and I am excited to start my career.”
4. What kind of care does an elderly client need?
With this kind of question, the employer tries to determine if you can provide appropriate care to different types of patients. Emphasize your understanding of elderly patients’ requirements and their desire to remain independent.
Example: “Elderly patients value their independence, and I like to help them achieve it by providing the best occupational therapy. I also think it is essential to talk with them and provide good company during my shift because they are often lonely. I take the time needed to listen to all of my patients, especially the older ones because they usually have the best stories.”
5. Why did you choose to work in the healthcare sector?
With this question, your future employer wants to know your motivations and verify your dedication to the role. Your answer should show your desire to improve people’s lives. Share a personal anecdote. Being a health care specialist is not only about mastering clinical skills; it is also about being human and compassionate.
Example: “When I was a teenager, one of my cousins got sick. The family went to see three doctors before they received the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. He got better and since then, I have wanted to work in health care. I want to be able to diagnose illnesses correctly and devise appropriate treatments. I am fulfilled in my role as caregiver and dedicated to giving my best to my patients.”
6. Have you already been faced with a patient who did not disclose important information? How did you manage the situation, and what was the outcome?
The interviewer wants to verify your ability to analyze a situation and make a decision considering the patient’s needs. In your answer, show your self-discipline and ability to find solutions.
Example: “I once treated a patient in urgent care for what seemed to be stomach ache. Her husband accompanied her, and I noticed she always looked at him before answering my questions. I understood she was not feeling comfortable. Since her honest input was crucial to my diagnosis, I asked permission to continue the exam privately. Once she was alone, she told me everything I needed to confirm what the problem was and offer proper care.”
7. Imagine you have to give bad news to a patient concerning their health. How would you manage the situation?
Your interviewer wants to check your interpersonal skills and compassion for others. Show that you know the steps to announce bad news.
Example: “First, I would gather all clinical information to make sure I was the most appropriate person to provide this information and ensure that I was ready to answer their questions. If family members are in the room, I would introduce myself to everyone and verify if the patient prefers to receive the results in private or if their relatives can stay. I would start by saying that I need to share some important information that impacts your health. I would explain the situation plainly and without complicated words, making sure that the patient and family understand. I know it is important to allow the patients and their loved ones to process the information, so I would provide emotional support before repeating the key facts and writing them down for the patient and family to review later. I would then explain what they can expect shortly and ensure there are no more questions before I leave the room.”
8. Tell me about your experience with a patient who required a lot of your time. How did you care for this patient and still provide other patients with adequate care?
Your answer to this question will reveal your time management and organizational skills. Stay positive when you describe the situation and avoid negative comments on difficult patients. It is a tough interview question as it also seeks to understand your personality. To answer this question, focus on your ability to prioritize tasks.
“I had a memorable experience with a patient who required a significant amount of my time. They had undergone a complex surgery and faced postoperative complications, requiring prolonged hospitalization. This patient’s care demanded constant monitoring, medication administration, wound care, and emotional support.
To manage this patient’s needs without compromising care for others, I employed several strategies. I reviewed each patient’s needs and prioritized them based on urgency. Tasks that could be handed off were reassigned to another team member. I dedicated focused attention during specific periods, multitasking when I was able and collaborated with the rest of my team. Maintaining transparent communication with the patient and family and ensuring my well-being were all essential components in providing exceptional care to this patient while still meeting other patients’ needs. These efforts helped strike a balance and ensure that all patients received appropriate care.”
Now that you know what to expect in your healthcare specialist interview, you can write your answers and include your personal experiences. Consider practicing in front of the mirror or with a friend to develop your confidence.
I hope you find this article helpful.