You’ve made it through the application screening and onto the interview process—good work! But now comes the tough part—having to prove that you are the right candidate for the practice.
While standard interview questions should be expected (and can easily be searched online), interviewers also want to avoid hiring the wrong candidate, which can ultimately cost them time and money they don’t necessarily want to spend.
Because of this, your interviewer will likely ask you questions that are a little more unique in order to gain better insight into your mindset, and to see if you will mesh well with the practice.
To begin, some of the fundamental questions you’ll be asked will likely include:
- “Tell us about yourself.”
- “What did you think of your previous boss?”
- “Why are you interested in leaving your current position?”
- “Who are you as a provider?”
- “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
- “What’s your greatest weakness?”
These sorts of interview questions will be asked initially to help the interviewer get a general idea of who you are. Then come the tough questions, but don’t panic, NP PA Recruiters can help you prepare for those penetrating questions. With just a little awareness of what to expect, and a bit of practice answer them, you’ll have that dream job in no time.
Consider the following tips on how to answer these seven tough questions during your interview:
1.What makes our practice different/the same as your last practice?
This question is actually three-in-one; on one end the interviewer is asking to see how flexible you are to change and how willing you are to learn new habits. When discussing similarities, make sure to refer to your experiences and how those skills will transfer over to this new position. When noting differences, discuss your desire to develop professionally and skill wise. While you might not have the exactly skills mentioned in the job description, your ability to amplify your willingness to learn and grow can be seen as a shine of longevity within the company, which is always a plus.
The third piece of this question is subtly hidden between the differences and similarities. What the interviewer is trying to find out is whether or not you did your homework on the clinic. Failing to have a grasp on what the similarities and variations can make you appear unprepared, or worse, disinterested. Spend some time studying your potential employer.
2.What would your last supervisor say was your greatest strength and weakness?
We’ve all heard what we think are our greatest strengths and weaknesses, but when we’re forced to consider another’s opinion on workmanship, we are more likely to give a genuine answer. When discussing these points, you’ll want to emphasize strengths over weaknesses, as well as provide a little bit of background about why you liked working with your last supervisor. Consider discussing a weakness first, then ending with three or four strengths and expand on those.
You’ll want to avoid answering the question by discussing any animosity or bad experiences between you and your previous supervisor. Also, refrain from overemphasizing the relationship you had with your past boss as it may sound like bragging.
This question can provides insight into your personality and workstyle, be it more autonomous or team player. Remember that personality is just as crucial as technical ability.
3.What is your approach to a new patient?
Potential employers are checking for any apparent knowledge gaps and whether or not you will be thorough in your treatment of patients. Don’t forget to mention the importance of reading through charts before meeting with patients as well as how you plan on developing a rapport with them.
When responding to this interview question, highlight your level of knowledge, your experience handling a variety of cases, any speciality skills you may have, your understanding of coding for treatments, and your comfort with EMR systems. Any trainings and certifications you have obtained can also be brought up at this time.
Ultimately, the intent is to show how much you actually care about your patients. NPs and PAs truly invested in the wellbeing of their patients often see better results because the patients are more willing to tell the truth when discussing their health problems and will often follow instructions better. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to come spend an unpaid day in the office; this approach is used to assess your competencies and fit in the work culture.
4.What aspect of the position would you like to change and why?
This particular question allows you to negotiate job details you might find challenging to accept, but it’s also being asked to see if you willing to accept the non-negotiable pieces as well. Don’t cut your opportunities short by not being flexible to changes in your work ethic or skills. Take this time instead to discuss what you find exciting about the prospect of joining the new practice and how you plan on developing the position into a career.
This question can really allow you clarify your intent in seeking work with the clinic and should showcase your ability to grow with any challenges you might face in your career.
5.What compensation do you anticipate?
Probably the toughest question you’ll face, you’ll want to do research before walking into the interview, and have an idea of what kind of compensation someone with your education and experience will typically make. Consider quoting a range rather than a specific amount as this will present you as being flexible and willing to negotiate.
Don’t forget to mention the level of experience you bring to the table, and remember, compensation doesn’t just deal solely with salary. If there’s the potential for assistance with loan repayment, paid CME training, benefits, vacation, etc., then weigh the pros and cons of a larger salary versus the large compensation package.
6.In what area(s) of your skill set do you see room for growth?
This answer should exemplify your willingness to learn and can also demonstrate how you see the potential employer as an opportunity for growth and mentorship. Regardless of how experienced you are, it is always a good strategy to be humble and recognize room for growth.
7.What’s your work/life balance like?
Naturally, your interviewer is going to seek out someone who is excited to go to work everyday. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any outside interests and hobbies that will allow you to refresh and clear your perspective.
It’s important to know your limits and to be honest with yourself and potential employer to ensure that the position will align with your needs (and theirs). Getting the job and then realizing how much effort and hours you are expected to put in is a disaster just waiting to happen.
Be real. Be honest. And like always, be flexible.
NP PA Recruiters at Every Step
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in search of the ideal employer can rely on NP PA Recruiters to help through the job searching process and to ultimately guide them in finding the perfect match.
We offer a personal consultant to aid you in your search and will even provide you with the resources you need to impress your future employer during an interview. Contact us today at 956-772-1400 or 214-351-3880 to get started on your successful career in the medical industry.
You can also visit our job listings to see what positions are available to you nationwide.