It's natural to feel a little nervous about a job interview. Nerves, however, can hurt your performance in an interview if you don't prepare. So NHA turned to the experts for advice on overcoming interview set-backs.
From getting to know the company to following up after an interview here is a guide to interview success from experienced healthcare hiring managers on ways to stand out (the right way) before, during, and after the interview.
Before the Interview
Research, Research, Research!
Before going into the interview, you should know about the company as well as the job you are interviewing for. Most websites have an "About Us" link to learn more about their company. You might find the "About Us" link in the main navigation at the top of the page or at the bottom of the home page. Look for the organization's mission statement and vision. Find out if the practice is known for some special or if they talk about their values as an institution.
Employers want to hire people who are interested in their organization. Being able to talk why you want to work at that specific place helps show that you're invested. Spend some time reading through different sources to fully understand their culture and environment.
If you can, you should try to research a little bit about the people you are going to interview with. Know their role in the healthcare field and a little bit about them. You can find information on the people you will be meeting with on their website or on LinkedIn.
You won't always have the luxury of knowing everyone who will interview you in advance but if your do take the time to find out a little about them. Being able to show that you have an understanding of the company and of the interviewers will be a plus!
Be Prepared and Confident
Confidence is key. Prior to the interview, know how you are going to answer questions and what questions you will have for them. Practice answering questions in front of another person or even in front of a mirror to get you prepared to talk in front of others.
Write down a list of questions that you have so that you will be ready to ask them at the end to fully understand the company and role that you will be playing. These questions will help you determine if this is the right fit for you.
You may also want to check out this post with common interview questions – and how to answer them.
On Interview Day
Demonstrate Your Professional Skills
On the interview day, first impressions are everything and can help lead you to success. By being professional you can make a solid impression. Here are some essential guidelines for professionalism made by real hiring managers:
- Be on time – which means 5 minutes early
- Dress the part – wear clean, wrinkle-free, business casual clothing
- Pay attention to your manners – say "please" and "thank you"
- Bring an extra copy of your resume and your certificate. They may not ask for it but you'll look extra prepared if they do.
- Avoid being on your phone – turn it off or leave it in the car so you don't get caught with it making sounds during your interview
During the interview, stay engaged the whole time. Nodding your head, keeping eye-contact and asking questions are important techniques to follow. Being engaged shows that you have an interest in the practice and want to learn more.
Hiring managers are not only trying to determine that you have the needed skills, but that you have a personality that will fit in with the organization. Having a good conversation is one way your personal skills can be assessed.
Talk About Your NHA Certification
You've developed skills leading up to earning your certification and talking about how you. Describe to your employer what your certification is, your experience in the field, and how it will benefit you in the role you are applying for.
Know the benefits of being #NHACertified:
- You passed an nationally accredited certification exam to earn your certification. All eight NHA exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
- Every two years you must complete Continuing Education (CE) credits to maintain your certification and keep you up-to-date on industry information
- All NHA certification holders must complete a training program or have relevant work experience, which shows employers that you have the knowledge needed to succeed
Being certified is one way you show that you have a passion for the industry, are committed to patient safety, and are willing to work to achieve your career goals.
After the Interview
After the interview, make sure you address every person you interviewed with. Send them a ‘Thank You’ letter or email, thanking them for their time and look forward to hearing back from them. Add some key characteristics you possess and how you would benefit their company in your follow-up note. Real hiring managers said it doesn't hurt to ask for feedback on what you could improve on. Following up will help you stand out from others and keep your name fresh in their minds.
Remember: every interview is an experience – so try to focus on what you learn. There are a lot of factors going into a hiring decision so try not to get discouraged. Now it's time for you to put some of these tips into practice.
Good luck, you got this!