8 Crucial Questions to Ask a Healthcare Worker During an Interview

When you’re recruiting and hiring healthcare workers, the interview process is critical. It can be tempting to hire quickly, rushing the process, but that can cost your organization a lot down the road. Thankfully, carefully-planned interview questions can help you make the most informed decision and build your dream team.

Here are some of the most influential healthcare job interview questions and why you should ask them.

1. “Why did you choose to work in the healthcare field?”

Why it matters: This question is an opportunity for the candidate to talk about themselves and why the field matters to them.

You can learn about specific experiences or personal qualities that led the interviewee into healthcare, helping you determine if they’re a good fit for the role and your company.

2. “What interests you about this position?”

Why it matters: By asking why the candidate chose to apply for your role, you’ll discover how interested they are and why. For example, some of the best healthcare workers view their careers as more than just a job because they truly want to help others. You can also learn more about the candidate’s past experience and skills that make them a good fit.

3. “What are your career goals?”

Why it matters: Learning a healthcare worker’s goals for their future has two purposes:

    • Determining whether they’re goal-oriented and motivated to advance
    • Knowing about any ambitious long-term goals, especially if your organization offers career advancement benefits

Future goal-related questions are an important part of what to ask a healthcare worker in an interview.

4. “Can you tell me about a time you had a challenging patient or fellow provider? How did you handle the situation?”

Why it matters: Everyone deals with challenging situations at work, and every nurse or other healthcare provider has dealt with a difficult patient. This question will allow the candidate to walk through how they approached a hard situation, their problem-solving skills, what steps they used to make it better, and how they ultimately came to a resolution.

5. “Please describe a time you had to decide something with little information. How did you handle it and choose what was best to do?”

Why it matters: Critical thinking skills are crucial in healthcare. Workers must be able to make decisions quickly in high-pressure situations, and often with limited information.

This question will show how a candidate approaches these types of scenarios. If an interviewee can go into detail and provide specific steps they took, that shows the ability to handle complex issues through informed thinking.

6. “Can you describe when you faced a communication issue with a patient or coworker? How did you resolve the matter?”

Why it matters: This behavioral interview question for healthcare professionals shows how effective a candidate is at communication, which is a huge factor in healthcare. Excellent communication between healthcare workers and with patients is a necessary quality on the job.

7. “Please tell me about a time you treated a patient with different values or beliefs from yours. How did you handle the relationship with that patient?”

Why it matters: Healthcare professionals are regularly in contact with patients very different from them. Asking about how they solved a communication issue will demonstrate the candidate’s level of empathy and compassion for different populations of people.

8. “Can you describe a time you got through a stressful situation at work? How did you respond, and what did you do to manage the stress?”

Why it matters: Nursing can often be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. You might look for answers that go beyond “just getting through it” to see how the interviewee handles the harder days on the job.

 

These are some of the best questions to ask in a healthcare interview. Of course, you should also allow time for the candidate to ask their own questions about your organization and the job. Those questions can also key you into the candidate’s motivations, interests, and experience.

And remember that savvy interview questions are just one part of smart recruitment. At Alabama Media Group, our strategies help employers you find the best prospects who want to work with you and fit with your company culture. Learn more here.