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4 tips for any healthcare job interview

Landing your dream job is all about planning ahead and maintaining the right outlook. 

You only get one shot to make a good first impression. That is especially true of job interviews. You may have the best training in the world, and feel confident in your abilities as a healthcare provider, but you have a very small window to win over a future employer. As such, it's crucial you fully prepare and put your best foot forward. Here are six helpful tips to land your next job interview as a nurse, medical assistant, coder or any healthcare worker: 

"You only get one chance to make a first impression."

1. Prepare your answers
It's easy to get thrown off by the interviewer's questions if you don't know what to expect. However, if you have some idea of what you might be asked, you can rehearse some responses ahead of time.

The most common questions include:

  • Why do you want to work in the healthcare field?
  • What is you greatest weakness? Greatest strength?
  • How do you approach working with other people?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • What do you know about this (company, hospital, office, etc.)?

Just be sure you also construct the proper answers. You don't want something too brief, but you also don't want to talk a person's ear off. Just offer up information that shows you've put thought into the question and are engaged in the interview.

2. Dress the part
Career coach Brenda Ferguson Hodges told Forbes that image matters during an interview, as the employer has to be able to imagine you in the position. Wearing business attire reflects that you're aware of the job's importance and stature; casual attire sends the exact opposite message. Think basic colors - nothing overly bright or flashy - and details matter, so make sure everything is ironed and your shoes aren't scuffed.

3. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Many people think that the interview process is a one-way street: Interviewers ask the questions and expect to be blown away by your answers. Instead, most experts will tell you that it's not just OK to ask questions, it's generally a good idea. For one, it helps you find clarity when you're confused, and that shows self-awareness.

But your questions can go beyond this, and they should involve queries about the organization, managers or executives, responsibilities and anything else you're interested in. This curiosity demonstrates a level of commitment, that you are actively engaged in the job search process. Enthusiastic people get jobs over others.

4. Always stay positive
If there is one thing you should always exude during an interview, it's positivity.  When you're talking about a past job, for instance, it's important to discuss elements like what you learned, friendship or professional bonds you forged, and how you enjoyed your time.

Even if you're asked a question about equipment you've never used or skill you have not been trained, remain positive, and spin this as just another opportunity to learn and grow as a nurse, assistant, etc. If you always look on the bright side of things, that sends a message to the employer that you're someone worth having around.