By Heather Koitzsch, RD
A change in your health care career may be driven by a number factors, such as a need for greater pay, new learning or advancement opportunities, or perhaps a change in location or area of care. The search for your next position can take many directions, but there is one step in the process that will occur no matter what direction your job search takes you: the interview.
After researching what's out there for wound care jobs and finding a position that meets your qualifications, interests and requirements, you proceed with the process of application. You've been selected as a candidate for the job and the facility calls you back for an interview, which is great, but it's tomorrow and you don't have much time to prepare. This is your opportunity to show that you have the wound care skills, experience and personality to do the job. Prepare to shine!
- Ask about the logistics of the meeting ahead of time so you know what you are walking into. Find out how long the interview is expected to take and if it will be conducted by the wound care director, human resource professional or if multiple administrators and/or hiring committee members will be involved.
- Carefully research the facility you are applying to. Start by accessing the health system's website to learn more about their mission and values along with what services they provide. I find the news or press release section very helpful because you can quickly learn more about their new initiatives, expansions and much more. For example, Saddleback Memorial's Center for Advanced Wound Healing, in Mission Viejo, California recently published a press release about their Excellence Award in Clinical Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction. Incorporating this knowledge into your interview will show that you took the time to research the facility confirming your interest in the position and company.
- Access the career section of the facility's website to find out if they offer any interviewing advice. Some facilities provide generic information but others provide more details about the process. For example, Greenville Health System in Greenville, South Carolina helps candidates by addressing what they are looking to hear from interviewees by asking them open ended questions. Their interview guidelines state: "We are listening for the specific EAR (the Event that took place, the Action that you took during the event, and the Result of that action) in your answer for each question."
- Go back to the job description and match the skills and requirements to your experience. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. It may help to write down how you will respond to a question related to a weakness.
- Anticipate the interview questions, and prepare your answers ahead of time. Many organizations will use behavioral based questions during interviews to learn more about you. Write down two or three examples of how you successfully handled a challenging situation in your profession, whether that be in working with a client or patient, or other members of the health care team. Be sure to elaborate on the event that took place and how your actions achieved a positive outcome.
- Ask your family members or friends to conduct a mock interview with you so you can practice your responses. One of my favorite questions to ask a candidate is "How would your coworkers and friends describe you?" This question will often result in the candidate telling me about a weakness or strength, such has "I may ask a lot of questions, but that is because I want to learn as much as I can."
- Have your attire ready the night before, get a good night of sleep and arrive at least 10 minutes early for the interview.
Get your game face on and be enthusiastic – you have the professional skills and experience needed for the position you have applied for, and are now well prepared to excel during the interview process!
About the Author
Heather Koitzsch is a registered dietitian and owner of KERH Group LLC, a publisher representative for WoundSource and other leading brands specializing in recruitment advertising.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.