Are you at risk of turning people OFF during your telephone interview process?

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Marama Montgomery
Medical Jobs

Many companies in all industries make the mistake of pre-empting why a person wants to change jobs, making assumptions based on the fact that they applied for the role you have advertised.
Shockingly some inexperienced interviewers are intimidated and hardly ask anything about the potential candidate’s life or outside of work interest and they tend to focus purely on skills instead of talking to the person with a holistic view.

With Australia being so vast and the skills required being so specialised, it can be the norm for the majority of interviews in the medical and healthcare industry to be conducted over the telephone or video conference, oftentimes with the potential candidate being in one state and the actual position/job in another.

In a skills shortage market, these non face to face interviews can put you as the employer at a disadvantage. A telephone interview coupled with the resistance from medical professionals to openly talk about the non clinical side of both their professional and personal lives can certainly be a challenge.

Like in a face to face interview you need to have clear objectives on what information you are seeking and realise the importance of maintaining control of the questioning to dig beyond the clinical skills and knowledge, especially if your potential candidate is relocating.

Try not to make the mistake of rushing through the conversation, make sure you qualify their answers as well as your own to their questions. This way, you will both have a clear understanding of the job on offer, the environment in which they will work, the team culture, the demographic of your patients, the skills needed for the role and ultimately if this person will slot nicely into your organisation and for them how your organisation will enhance their career.

By asking the right questions you will uncover various aspects of their personality like – aspirations, reasons for change, motivators to relocate if applicable, how they prefer to be managed, their ideal role, how they perform at work, their priorities, their professional and personal goals, their special interests in regards to medicine etc.
These are all answers you need to know to get an overall picture of what your potential candidate is seeking and if they are the right fit for your business.

The easiest way to find out if they will perform well in your role and are the right person for the job is to use questions based on the premise that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour – and that’s why they are so often asked by employers when assessing candidates during a job interview. These are known as Behavioural Interview Questions.

These types of competency-based interview questions typically begin with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when…” The key to successfully asking behavioural interview questions is to not only understand what skills and expertise your candidate brings to a role, but most importantly, being able to back up their claims with real examples from their previous experience. You want to know the context of the situation, the action taken and the result or outcome.

On your list of questions should be things like – Their ability to problem solve, how they have previously demonstrated using their initiative, how they are able to adapt their communication style to different patient demographics, can they describe a time when they overcame a challenging situation? One of the most important questions if they are moving from a large to smaller organisation or vice versa is – can they tell you about a time when they had to demonstrate adaptability?

Besides all the clinical and behavioural questions, demonstrating that you have a genuine interest in your candidate as a person is paramount. If they are considering relocating talk to them about any concerns their family may have regarding the move. What schools are in the area? What does the location offer in terms of locality to activities that interest them and their family?

Listen carefully to what really motivates them. Money is not the only motivator, but maybe working at a clinic or hospital which is closer to home is a motivator or being offered flexibility of hours or perhaps various training opportunities would make a candidate think whether a job change would be worthwhile.

Interviewing someone can feel a little uncomfortable if it is not something that you would do on a daily basis so try to relax, be well prepared, have a plan relative to the outcome you seek, don’t rush and just have a conversation about their life not just their clinical skills.
Best of luck in your search.

Recruitment Strategy

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