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      Common Healthcare Interview Questions: Preparing for Success


      It’s normal to be nervous before an interview. Almost everyone is. But with the right preparation, you can quiet your fears and set yourself up for success … And the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) wants to help you do that.

      We’ve compiled a list of common healthcare interview questions and paired them with tips and example responses. As you read through the questions, consider how you’d respond based on your personal experience. Consider writing down your answers and rehearsing in front of someone you trust—or even in front of a mirror. It may feel awkward, but chances are, it’ll pay off come interview time.

      Tell Me About Yourself.

      Tip: This is a great opportunity to offer an overview of your education and professional experience, but don’t stop there. Add something outside of work, for instance, a hobby or volunteer position you’re passionate about. This will help you stand out and show that you’re a well-rounded individual.

      Example Response: I’ve always loved helping people. I think that’s what led me to become a volunteer lifeguard at my local community center. I recently completed my training at (Name of School)—where I also obtained (name of credential) certification through (name of accredited certification agency). I don’t know if I’ll have time to keep lifeguarding once I begin a new position, but I’m excited to continue helping people in my career.

      Why Are You Interested In Working Here?

      Tip: Research the organization before your interview and explain what about it made you want to apply.

      Example Response: I think there’s always room to grow and improve, which is what drew me to your (hospital/clinic/etc). When I read about your unique (service/technology), I was impressed by your organization’s commitment to innovate and was excited to be part of that.

      What’s Your Biggest Strength?

      Tip: Choose a strength that aligns with their ideal candidate. You should be able to determine this from the job description.

      Example Response: I believe it’s so important that patients feel heard and know their unique symptoms and concerns are being considered. I pride myself on being a good listener and communicator, which allows me to understand specific needs, share that with the rest of my team, and earn a patient’s trust.

      What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

      Tip: If there’s anywhere to hold back, it’s here. Be honest. But there’s no need to be hard on yourself.

      Example Response: Sometimes I struggle dealing with confrontation. I think it’s important to keep the peace so that we as healthcare professionals can perform to the best of our ability and so patients feel safe. Yet, I realize in some cases, patients and even colleagues need to hear something uncomfortable. I’m working hard to get better at tackling those kinds of situations head-on.

      Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?

      Tip: Whatever the reason is, do not use this as a chance to talk negatively about your previous employer. Keep it positive by shifting to the opportunity ahead.

      Example Response: I really valued my time at (previous employer) but it was time to explore opportunities that would allow me to further advance my skills.

      How Do You Stay Up to Date With Healthcare Advancements?

      Tip: If you have an NHA certification, you can discuss your continuing education! One of the best benefits of being certified by an accredited agency is that it makes you a more qualified candidate. Plus, NHA certification holders have access to our library of continuing education content to stay up to date.

      Example Response: I take continuing education courses from NHA annually, and I make sure to stay current on industry articles and studies. I believe there’s always more to learn—especially in healthcare—and I enjoy hearing about the latest advances and how I can potentially apply them in my work.

      What Are Your Career Goals?

      Tip: There’s no need to go too in-depth here. Focus on the near future and how your potential employer fits in with your goals.

      Example Response: First and foremost, I’m focused on finding a job as a medical assistant—ideally, somewhere like this that’s dedicated to innovation. Ultimately, I want to be part of a team where I can learn and grow to provide the best care and eventually, to become like a mentor to those around me so I can help them do the same.

      What Do You Most Look Forward to About This Position?

      Tip: There are probably a lot of things you could say here, but try to be specific, and try to incorporate the organization you’re interviewing with.

      Example Response: I really enjoy working with (specific patient population). I’m excited about the possibility of serving that group of patients every day since your (hospital/clinic/etc.) specializes in providing care to them.

      Can You Tell Me About a Difficult Past Experience and How You Handled It?

      Tip: A brief overview with a positive spin at the end is perfect.

      Example Response: During an internship, a patient who had gone years without a medical exam refused to have his vitals taken. Rather than insisting it had to be done, I took time to talk with the patient and understand his past, including why it had been so long since he’d visited the doctor. The longer we talked, the more he loosened up—and the more he realized I wasn’t judging him. Instead, I let him know that he was doing a good thing by coming in that day. Before long, we were carrying on with the exam as normal.

      Nailing your healthcare job interview is all about preparation and presentation. By understanding these common healthcare interview questions and tailoring your responses, you’ll be able to showcase your qualifications and passion for the field.

      Good luck with your interview, and remember, your journey in healthcare is just beginning. With the right mindset and preparation, you’re well on your way to making a significant impact in the lives of those you serve.

      Have additional questions? You are welcome to use our easy-to-use, searchable Help Center for professional resources.

      Topics: Job Search Tips, allied health careers, career path, continuing education