Congratulations! You got the interview. This accomplishment means you’re a viable candidate for the position you are seeking. However, you’re still far from getting an offer. It’s time to hone your sales skills and you prepare to sell an invaluable product…yourself! Here are five areas to focus on before your interview appointment.
1. Research the hiring company
You will see that each of these five tips focus on preparation. One of the most important is to learn about the company you’re about to speak to. Nothing better shows a hiring manager that you are detail oriented and diligent.
Read through the company’s website, and while you’re doing so make notes of areas you’d like to bring up during your interview conversation. Depending on the site content, you should be able to find product offerings that relate to your skills, and you may even find clients of the company with whom you’re familiar. This exercise also gives you an opportunity to learn about the company’s culture.
It’s important to look at the news and blog sections, as this is where you’ll find the most recent updated material. Google the company to get more objective information. You can impress your interviewer with a congratulations on a recent award or a question about the success of a new product launch.
2. Have questions ready
At the end of your interview, it’s almost certain that you will be asked, “do you have any questions for me?” The worst response you can give to this question is NO, even when is followed by an explanation, such as “No, I think I have all the information I need,” or “No, you covered everything.” Have two or three questions prepared that relate to the position, the company, or even the hiring manager and his or her responsibilities. Avoid questions about salary and benefits; especially on the first interview and never with anyone except for the human resources manager.
Here are a few examples of good questions you can have prepared:
• Is this a new position or am I replacing an employee? (this lets you know if a person left the company or was promoted)
• What kind of the training / on-boarding process do you provide?
• What EMR system (or other technology) do you use?
3. Prepare answers for common questions asked of applicants
You have some great questions ready, now it’s time for the even tougher part. You will inevitably be asked some, if not all, of these questions. Have your responses ready.
• What made you choose a career in healthcare? Or more specifically, why did you choose [your specific healthcare profession]?
• Why did you leave your last position?
• Why do you feel you’re a good fit for this job? Or, why should we select you over the other candidates?
Job websites provide a full list of potential “trick questions” hiring managers ask.
4. Quantify your experiences or studies
When you are asked about your achievements, put them in terms that will show direct benefits for the hiring company. For example:
Instead of “I set up a new inventory tracking system,”
Say “The new inventory tracking system I set up saved hundreds of dollars per month in misplaced supplies.”
Instead of “I passed the program assessment at school to qualify for this position,”
Say “I excelled at program assessment skills that have prepared me to work well as a team member, such as punctual attendance, class participation and project completion, cooperation with faculty.”
Instead of “In my last position I was required to handle the needs of patients,”
Say “I’ve received cards and letters from family members thanking me for my caring attitude towards their loved one.”
5. Follow up with all interviewers
It’s surprising how many applicants don’t follow-up. It’s a great way to set yourself apart.
Send a separate message (email or snail mail) to each person you spoke with. You should send it within 24 hours of your interview. Reiterate important aspects of the job and how you can directly meet their needs. You can also use this opportunity to add in anything important that you feel wasn’t covered during your interview(s). If you discussed any materials you created, you can attach them or mail them with your message.
The effort you put in before going on an interview will increase your chances of landing your dream job. Good luck!