Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

As an interviewer, the best way for you to learn if a candidate is right for the job is to ask questions. The interview questions to ask candidates should be designed to determine if they possess the right skills, knowledge and experience to be successful in your organization.

The standard approach to interviewing a candidate is to ask questions that illuminate their strengths, weaknesses and past accomplishments. However, this approach falls short of what is needed to evaluate accurately a candidate in today’s healthcare environment.

As you know, healthcare is undergoing a period of tremendous transformational change. It is no longer enough to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications solely on being successful at today’s job. You must also evaluate the candidate’s ability to deal with the unanticipated challenges of the future. This leadership ability is more elusive and difficult to determine. Rather, a more accurate evaluation of candidates requires a different interviewing approach.

Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

This paper provides a guide for developing a healthcare specific line of inquiry into a candidate’s leadership abilities. The first part of this paper addresses some of the leadership skills essential for success during this period of transformational change. These include: Solving Complex Problems, Managing Change and Decision Making Skills.

The second part of this paper, “Questions Behind the Interview Question,” provides a second set of questions, each followed by a discussion of how to evaluate candidate responses.

Finally, the third part of this paper, “More Questions to Ask,” provides a list of additional questions to consider asking each candidate.

The final section of this paper, “The Wrap-Up,” addresses how well the candidate summarizes the interview. It also explains how you might determine the candidate’s thoughts about the interview, the position, you, your team and your organization.

This paper is a starting point for developing a list of specific interview questions to ask candidates. These questions should address opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for your organization and the position you wish to fill.

(This is the second in a three part series, “Interview Tips for Healthcare Employers” available for download from the Silver Oak Search Consultants website.)

Emerging Challenges

The questions in this section of are related to the many challenges resulting from transformational change in healthcare.

Develop a list of detailed questions that are specific to your organization regarding these changes. Then, for each question, discuss with your Interview Team the acceptable responses you would like to hear from the candidate.

As you evaluate candidate responses, remember that some candidates are very outgoing and engage with others very quickly and easily. Other candidates are more low key when first met, but frequently warm up after a second or third conversation. In reality, these “aloof” candidates might just be shy.

Is the candidate ready to address transformational change in your organization? Here are some questions to consider asking.

This a short excerpt from the 15 page paper Questions to Ask Candidates.

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