10 Tips to Prepare for Your Healthcare Executive Interview
You’ve been through an executive interview before. After all, that’s how you made it to your current position. But, maybe you have been at your current employer for a long time and you are feeling a bit nervous about the interviews and meetings that your executive search firm has set up for you. Before you even head to the interview, you have some work to do. Why? The interview process begins before you even step into the office. As a healthcare executive search firm, we understand what it takes to stand out among the competition. Our team has put together a list of 10 tips to prepare for your executive interview. With these tips, you will prevent unexpected hurdles from happening and you’ll make an impression that will increase your chances of landing the perfect executive healthcare position.
10 Tips to Prepare for Your Healthcare Executive Interview
- Clean Up Social Media
As we mentioned above, your interview does not start when you walk into the location. It starts as soon as your resume arrives at the inboxes of your prospective places of work. It is now the norm for companies to inspect your social media profiles to vet you as a candidate. Interviewers these days know that the answers applicants give at interviews are prepared well ahead of time. They will either take a look at your social profiles or hire a company to do the research for them. Don’t think you are in the clear because your social media accounts are set to private. There are companies that specialize in this type of investigation. Let’s outline how to clean up your social media while job hunting:
—LinkedIn: The biggest focus is on LinkedIn because this is the social network for business. Start by updating your profile with your latest positions, accolades, and skills. If you have not yet done so, join and be an active participant in industry LinkedIn groups. Ask former employers and suppliers for recommendations. Endorsements are fine, but recommendations are much more valuable. Besides, LinkedIn also allows you to approve recommendations so you can choose to highlight those you love and ignore those you don’t.
–Clean up questionable posts and pictures: It is fine to have values and ideas. However, you need to consider that your potential employers will be looking at your social media accounts in order to get a feel for how you would fit into their company culture. If your Facebook feed is inundated with political posts and you are applying at a company that wants to avoid this kind of conversation, they may put this into consideration. Then, take the time to clean up any questionable pieces of content from your feed. This includes anything that depicts drinking, drug use, illegal activities, and items that may be overtly sexual in nature. You may also want to clean up any posts that deal with health issues.
–Update Your Profile Images: Change your profile images to images so that they are more business-like, this is especially important for LinkedIn and Twitter which are most used in business. This will send off a message that you are a hirable candidate.
–Clean-up Work Posts: Go through your social media posts and make sure that any posts that relate to current or past employers are not offensive or violate disclosure or privacy. This is especially important in healthcare due to HIPPA regulations. In social media, it is a good idea to separate your professional and private life. You don’t want to have posts out there where you are discussing company information, complaining about co-workers, or discussing projects you are working on. Employers don’t look kindly on candidates who are open to talking about certain work matters online.
2. Plan Your Arrival: Punctuality is key. The last thing you want to do is arrive at an interview late. If your interview is outside your city of residence, make it a point to arrive a day or two earlier. The day before the interview, drive to the location ahead of time at around the same time you are scheduled to appear. This will give you an idea of how long the drive will take. Then, give yourself an extra half hour in case of an accident, roadwork, etc. If you get to your interview a bit too early, just head to a coffee shop and use that time to go over notes before your interview and grab a tiny snack so that your stomach is not grumbling during the meeting.
Pro Tip: Print out a map of the place where you will be interviewing. This way you don’t get lost inside the building while trying to get to your interview.
3. Be Polite: This point cannot be stressed enough. Be courteous to the people you encounter, in and outside of the interview location. That person who you yelled at in the coffee shop parking lot could be the person interviewing you, so it is better to err on the side of being polite.
4. Dress to Impress: First appearances make a difference. It is a safe rule to dress one step above the position. Make sure to have a backup outfit and bring it with you. This way, if something happens (a spilled coffee can happen to us all) you have something to change into.
5. Know Your Stuff: You already know your CV inside and out. You know your numbers, you can easily explain how much you decreased costs, increased productivity, and increased profit at your current position, but you need to do some research and get to know as much as possible about the healthcare organization you are applying to. We’re going to break this one down into various sections.
— The Organization: Spend some time really getting to know the organization. Start on their website at the about page, then head over to their social media accounts. Once you have a basic knowledge of the organization, add a Google alert for the organization so you know in real time what current events are. Reading up on current news will help you to be ready to respond about the hospital metrics that you may be tasked with in the future. Truly understanding the company will help you be ready to answer questions about operational responsibility for, leadership and communications, patient satisfaction, and more. This knowledge will help you structure the interview in your favor.
— The Interview Team: Find out who the principals and interview team are. Check out their blog and social media so you are informed as to what they share publically. This will make it much easier for you to be involved in the conversation and stand out among the competition.
— The Area: To really shine, be ready with information about the area, especially if you are relocating. Showing that you have researched the location of your future employer will send the message that you truly want that job and that you (and your family) have seriously considered the location and making the transition of your home and family to its new life.
6. Be Engaged: Before you walk into your executive interview, put your phone on silent, turn off notifications, and put it away. Be there 100%, show them you are committed and ready for the responsibility.
7. Ask Questions: Asking questions has two effects. First, it can help you learn more about the company. Second, it let the interviewer know that you are really interested in learning more about the company, that you want to acquire knowledge. Asking questions is a powerful technique and allows you a bit more control over the process.
8. Take notes: Notes will help you when you get home and are ready to vet different offers. It is easy to get confused between various interviews, so take those notes to help you clarify your thoughts and make a final decision.
9. Send a Thank You Note: As soon as you leave the interview, write and send a thank you note. Doing this immediately after the interview will make it so that your note feels more personal. When your interviewer receives the note, they will see that you are considerate, follow-up, and go above and beyond other candidates.
10. Work with an Executive Search Firm: Working with an executive search firm will significantly lower the stress and pressure of the executive interview process. It will also increase your chances of not just finding work, but that of finding a future you can grow into. The team at Summit Talent Group takes a hands-on approach to making the right match between you and a health care organization. After getting to know you, your life and career goals; we do the research to match you up with healthcare organizations whose cultures fit your lifestyle. Then we assist you in setting up all the interviews and prep you so that you have all the arsenal to ace the interview.
Our executive search team will go through your competencies, the operational duties, and skills. Then we look for hiring managers who are looking for candidates with these particular aptitudes. We consider other items such as your life goals, those of your spouse, and other personal needs to make sure that when we set up an interview at an organization, it offers you the opportunities to achieve these.
We also assist you with your travel plans to make the process even easier. Once you have narrowed down the organizations that you are most interested in working at, we can help you to weigh options such as relocation assistance, finding the right neighborhood and schools for your family. We even conduct the necessary follow-ups to make sure that nothing is dropped. We are there every step of the way to make sure your chances of finding the match not just for your skills, but for your way of life. Why do the best executive search firms go above and beyond? Because employer and executive satisfaction is the best business card we can ask for.
If you’re curious about how Summit Talent Group can assist you with finding the perfect executive position in health care contact us, we’re here to help you reach your professional goals in healthcare.
As President of Summit Talent Group, Seth uses his 20 years experience in executive search to oversee the boutique executive search firm’s business operations, client relations and the final candidate interview/offer process. Seth’s business acumen, ability to relate to a wide array of talent from diverse backgrounds and his leadership skills stem from his extensive international travel and his experience working in a variety of industries outside of health care. Seth has traveled to more than 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America—including a two-year expatriate assignment in the United Kingdom. He has served in positions of increasing responsibility in human resources, sales, operations, marketing communications and consulting.