How to Rock the Interview for Your First Job in Healthcare Administration
Maybe you’re still in school for healthcare administration and looking for a part-time job or internship to help pay tuition. Or perhaps you’ve just finished your program and you’re looking for that initial job out of school. You’ve found a position that looks like a great fit, and you’ve heard back that you have an interview. Now it’s time to make sure you put your best foot forward and really shine when you come face-to-face with your potential new boss.
There’s all sorts of advice out there for how to rock your interview, but almost of all of it revolves around lots of preparation. Ninety percent of the success of your interview will probably happen before you’ve even set foot inside the door. Think about what you will wear, and practice how you want to comport yourself when shaking hands, waiting for the interview in the reception room, and answering questions in the interview itself.
The other important part of preparation is doing your homework on the organization and on yourself. You’ll want to make sure that you have a clear understanding, for instance, of what populations the hospital or institution serves and how your potential new job would fit into their existing system of healthcare delivery and management. And don’t forget to study your resume and reflect on your own experiences so that you can provide a clear picture of who you are and how you can help the institution do its job better.
Even though preparation is the bulk of the job when it comes to successful interviewing, you’ll still need to show your interviewers the day-of that you are qualified, confident, and able to handle the pressure of the situation. Remember that the interview may informally start before you’re sitting across from your potential new boss—be courteous and professional to anyone you meet in the lobby and to the receptionist as you wait to get called in to talk.
Be respectful in letting your interviewers explain themselves and ask questions, but don’t forget that ultimately you are the person of interest. You’ll want to be as communicative as possible without being aggressive so that your potential boss will see you as friendly and interested in their mission. Make sure that you have some questions to ask after they are finished with theirs, so that you can showcase how you understand their care population, strengths, and challenges.
Whew! So you made it through the preparation and the interview itself, now what? Well, pretty much everyone agrees that a thank-you note within a day or two of the interview is a must. It lets employers know that you’re invested in the process, and it will keep you in their memory for longer if they are dealing with a number of candidates.
However, you have to be careful about too much communications after the first meeting. A follow up question or clarifying answer to an interview question might be welcome, whereas constant check-ins probably aren’t. Take a deep breath and keep an open mind about other options while you wait to hear back.
Keeping these three broad steps in mind (with a strong focus on the preparation), you should be more than ready to go out and land your first job in healthcare administration. Good luck!