Before granting an interview, Lawrence Lee, partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Denver, an employment attorney with clients in the healthcare industry, advises requiring every applicant to complete an application for the record. Carefully review the application and look for any statement that may indicate potential fraudulent history, he says, such as stating that the reason for leaving a job was because their “employer accused me of fabricating my time sheets.”
To identify candidates with the right skill sets, look for someone who makes a genuine attempt to understand your business and connect with you during the interview, Ms. Wheeler advises.
When discussing someone’s work history, look for an established record of success working on projects that weren’t clearly defined. “If someone says she did something, ask follow-up questions to make sure she really did have a hands-on role and find out how she handled the situation,” she says. “You’ll find out a lot by just asking them to tell you stories.”
Dr. Wei likes to ask interviewees to provide examples of situations they have previously faced, the actions they took and the end result. For example, employers could say, “I see you were an executive secretary for Mr. Jones and that you were in charge of planning his business trip itineraries. Can you walk me through the process you used?”
Ms. Taylor asks candidates to comment on how they would deal with difficult scenarios, such as handling an agitated patient or telling a patient that the doctor is delayed. She may ask job seekers applying for administrative support positions, “How would you call Mary Jones from the waiting room? What is your standard greeting when answering the phone?” She’d also present more complex scenarios, such as, “If five lines are ringing and your phone partner went to the restroom, how would you deal with the rush and provide quality service?” She would also ask them to alphabetize a list of patient last names and perform basic math skills. She may ask candidates applying for a medical assistant position to draw up two cubic centimeters of lidocaine and demonstrate aseptic technique.
Ms. Taylor says some key questions should look at basic, everyday requirements. For example, she asks candidates to identify their mode of transportation. “We have two offices, and I may need them to go to another office mid-day,” she says.
Interview Topics to Avoid
Bringing up certain topics can have legal ramifications, so be sure to avoid them during the interview process. These include asking for information concerning the applicant’s age, ethnic background, medical condition, domestic responsibilities, religion, sexual orientation, military status and arrest record.