healthcare job interview

Non-Obvious Healthcare Job Interview Tips


Landing a  job can be a lot of work (especially without the help of a recruiting agency). Once you reach the healthcare job interview stage, it’s important to do everything you can to avoid starting the process over again. Every little thing counts! Taking advantage of human psychology, for example, can have a substantial impact on how you’re perceived by hiring managers. Small, subtle actions can make a big difference when it comes to being picked for the job. Yes, you need to smile, dress well and show up on time. However, here are a few non-obvious tips and tricks to help you get inside the head of the interviewer and score your next role!


Use Power Words in your Healthcare Job Interview


You want to tell the interviewer about yourself, but more importantly, you want to tell the interviewer about how valuable you are going to be to their healthcare facility. Leading the conversation with power words will leave a lasting impression. It’s not enough to tell them about the responsibilities you had at your last position. Chances are they’ll already know this information from your resume. Instead, you want to communicate the characteristics you possess and how they’ve helped you succeed in the past. Then, explain how you’ll apply them to the role you’re interviewing for.


Some common words that hiring managers like to hear are ‘responsibility’, ‘initiative’ and ‘results’; all are demonstrative of a hard-working employee. Healthcare-specific power words might include ‘nurture’, ‘discovery’ and ‘improvement’. However, these may vary among facilities. Your power words illustrate how the interviewer will remember you moving forward, so choose them wisely.


Do some research on the healthcare facility you are interviewing with, then pin point the key words that they frequently use. Strategically include these words in your answers to instill an idea that you’re the perfect fit for the job.  


“Your power words are the ideas that the interviewer will likely associate with you moving forward, so choose them wisely.”


This may sound straightforward, but naturally working power words into your conversation can be tricky. Interviewers are privy to over-rehearsed and ‘canned’ answers. A good way to loosen up is to not only practice your answers but say them out loud in front of a mirror. This will help to eliminate nervousness – and hopefully some of those pesky ums and likes.


healthcare job interview


Mirror Speech Patterns to Land the Job


Another way to connect with your interviewer is to mirror their speech patterns. Everyone is either a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, or some combination of the three. For visual learners, seeing the material helps them process and remember it. Auditory learners need to hear what they’re trying to understand. Kinesthetic learners prefer to physically engage with the subject matter.


Sometimes, if you listen carefully, your interviewers preferred learning style will be revealed in their speech. For example, visual people will use phrases like ‘As you can see…’ and ‘let me show you…’, whereas auditory people might say ‘It sounds like…’. Try to pick up on these cues early in the interview then do your best to reflect this type of speech back to them. Doing this will help the interviewer connect with what you’re saying.


Body Language is Key


Psychologically speaking, people tend to trust others that are close reflections of themselves. The interviewer decides whether or not you’ll advance to the next stage of the hiring process, so you want to connect with them in any (reasonable) way possible. Similar to mirroring their speech patterns, try to mirror their body language as well. If possible, try to remain at the same height as your interviewer. Stand when they stand, sit when they sit, and don’t slouch if they have a straight back. This will put them at ease and make for a more comfortable conversation.


If they seem passive and nervous, try to avoid acting overly-confident and aggressive. This will throw them off and it will be difficult to establish a rapport. If they make any noticeable body movements such as crossing their legs, take note and mirror the same movement. Don’t blatantly copy them, as it may become obvious what you’re doing. Instead, opt for the same action about 60 seconds after your interviewer.


“People tend to trust others that are close reflections of themselves.”


Be aware of their body language, but also be aware of your own. The way you act in your interview will give the hiring manager an inclination into how you may behave in the role. They want to know whether you’ll get along with coworkers and patients, so present yourself as confident, yet approachable. Simple things like sitting up straight, giving a firm handshake and not twiddling with your fingers while speaking can go a long way. Maintain eye contact, and don’t forget to smile!


Healthcare job interview


Wear Certain Clothes to a Healthcare Job Interview


Interviews are all about first impressions, giving your potential new employer a glimpse of what working with you will be like. While everyone knows it’s important to dress the part, there are certain tweaks that should be considered for each role. Dress professionally but also in a way that reflects the company’s aesthetic – it shows that you understand the nature of the facility and are capable of presenting yourself in that way. It may seem like the outfit isn’t as important as what you say, but don’t leave your clothing selection to the last minute. Pick out your outfit the night before so you don’t wind up in a situation where you have nothing adequate to wear.


Try to include one stand-out piece like a colorful tie or statement jewellery. Not only does this show off your personality, but interviewers are more likely to remember you this way. Also, be sure to dress comfortable. You want to feel good during the interview, and not be distracted by ill-fitting attire.


Color Matters


In the same way that colors play a crucial part in advertising and marketing, the colors you wear to an interview will send a specific message as well. Think of it like marketing yourself to your potential employer! Most people tend to gravitate towards safer, neutral colors like blue or black, because they are flattering and conservative. At the same time, they communicate a higher level of professionalism. Black conveys a message of leadership, and blue gives off a feeling of trust and confidence. Grey is for the logical and analytical thinkers, and red demonstrates power. Bright, bold colours like purple, orange, yellow and green are top choices for creative types, though some argue that they may be too loud for a professional setting.


“In the same way that colors play a crucial part in advertising and marketing, the colors you wear to an interview will send a specific message to your interviewer.”


The psychology of color theory is very powerful. A color exists for nearly any message you want to convey to your potential employer. Whether aware of it or not, they will associate a certain feeling with you depending on the visuals that you give them.


Consider the specific role you are interviewing for and dress accordingly. If you are applying for a nursing job, perhaps team-player blue is an article color you should consider. What are qualities of a good nurse? List them, then choose your words and clothes accordingly. If interviewing for a healthcare management or administrative role, you may want to wear white to show that you’re are organized or black to display authority.


What are some other psychological tips and tricks you have under your belt for an interview? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or email us directly at

Tags: healthcare job interview, healthcare jobs, healthcare staffing, hospital interview, job interview, jobs in healthcare, medical jobs, now hiring, nurse interview, physicians assistant interview, recruiting agency

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