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7 Things You Can Do Today to Become a “Master Interviewee”

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Are you really going to rock your future employer’s world on the job? Prove it by treating the interview you just snagged just like one (or two) of your most brilliant days at work.

Need some insights? Try incorporating some (or all) of the seven concepts below into your game before, during, and after the big day:

Before the interview:

Caught on tape

Do a mock interview with a friend and record it so you can look back and better analyze your performance, like an elite athlete trying to reach the pinnacle of his or her game. During playback, note what answers made you want to hire you and which ones elicited a cringe or two out of you or anyone else watching your performance. Do (and record) the mock interview again, and reassess, adjusting and finessing your performance accordingly.

The Starbucks Factor

If at all possible, offer to buy a coffee and sit down to talk with a relevant employee of the hospital, clinic, or other medical company you’re about to go into an interview with. If approached naturally enough, this can be incredibly easy and incredibly helpful (you not only want to familiarize yourself with the duties described in the posted job description…You also want to get the know the expectations that aren’t officially chronicled.

Make a mental wiki of your “greatest hits”

Always see yourself as the right person for the job. Take some time to frame and re-frame you’re a-list responses to common questions for each specific job you get an interview for. Use specific examples from past accomplishments. This will help you prove to yourself and the interviewer[s] that you’ve got the hard skills, flexibility, and innovation for the position.

Become the most pleasant person you know

Employers want to hire people they will enjoy working with – This can’t be emphasized enough, as this truth is possibly the most overlooked factor in the preparation for any job interview.

While you can’t turn yourself into a bona fide social genius overnight (if you’re not already), you can look at the best parts of yourself and make sure those parts shine through in the responses you craft to questions during any interview.

Remember those friends you’ve been putting off so you can just get out from under that pile of work? Set a date and spend some time on a fun night out on the town. Go camping with a loved one. Volunteer.

While this all sounds like feel-good make-work time, these types of very human interactions can give you the peace, insight, and clarity you need to become a more grounded, better-managed, more enjoyable employee. When this happens, you’ll begin to see it in front of interviewing committees and (hopefully, after that) in the workplace.

In the interview

The customer is always right

Don’t try to “educate” the interviewing panel to the point where you’ve lost them or set up an adversarial climate in the meeting. Suggest new ways of seeing and doing things, to be sure, but make sure your “maverick” ideas don’t make your interviewees worry they’ll need to manage your ego from day-one.

Open-ended answers

Nothing is worse than an interview that starts off great but goes nowhere. To avoid this, always answer questions and comments with responses that inspire more conversation…and interest.

For examples of closed ended answers and how to turn them into open-ended ones, check out:

Accessing your success story Wiki

Having a pool of specific success stories to tailor and use for specific questions avoids losing ground to the dreaded “form letter” response (Q: How are your interpersonal skills? A: I have excellent interpersonal skills) which a good interviewer will see through in 10 seconds.

You’ll also be setting yourself up for success by setting up the interviewer[s] to envision you in the job, pegging you as “the person to beat” as they consider the other candidates.

After the interview

Make your follow-up “Thank you” memorable

A colleague who was interviewing for a motion graphic designer (logos, credits, etc…) job at a major U.S. television network once sent their interviewing committee a video after the interview that said “Thank you for the opportunity. It was great meeting you.” in a modified (his take on it) version of the network’s current in-house promo graphic treatment, complete with swirling translucent pillars and bold text that flew at the viewer like an exciting movie trailer. (If you can believe it, said person got the job.)

You may not be able to be so creative after an interview for a job in the medical field, but the above example illustrates just how many extra miles successful candidates can – and should – be willing to go a master interviewee looking to seal the deal.

More resources:

Possible questions (and insights on good answers) for a variety of medical job interviews:

More medical Job-clinching tips for interviewees

A good basic job interview prep guide

Some more honest truths about what really matters in a job interview

More from our blogs:

Skill-Builder Tool Belt: How to Land That Perfect Medical Job

Infographic: Medical Job Interview Questions and What they Really Mean

Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!