An interview call for a PA or NP role means that you're one of the top candidates the employer is considering for the open position. While your skills as a Physician Assistant (PA) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP) have certainly made employers take notice, the interview is the opportune moment to shine above the rest. Here are some tips to ace your interview:
When you walk into an in-person PA/NP interview, remember that your objective is two-fold:
Face-to-face interviews are a great way to evaluate your potential employer's work environment and become familiar with members of your prospective team.
The recruiter will most likely send you an interview agenda that includes details such as the date, time, location, interviewers’ names, and positions. Find out how many people will be interviewing you and how long the interview is likely to be.
For advanced practice roles, recruiters typically hold panel interviews with members from various areas of the organization. Take the time out to familiarize yourself with the names and roles in each area of the hospital. LinkedIn can help you get an idea of the organization as it is a goldmine of professional information. Even the company website might feature the details of the leadership and prominent staff members. By researching them on LinkedIn, you can get an idea of their personalities and break the ice easily during your interview.
Take the time to go through the job description thoroughly. Jot down your strengths, weaknesses and areas where your skills and the job profile converge. By writing down such critical pieces of information about your professional journey, you gain clarity about your overall experience and how you can best position yourself during the interview as well.
Learn about the most commonly asked questions in an interview and how you can tackle them in a professional and timely manner. There are different styles of interviews, and some may be harder to crack than the rest. Train yourself on the various behavioral interview methods so that each question is a cakewalk. You’ll want to be specific about the clinical, managerial, and patient challenges that you have handled to answer these questions convincingly. If the recruiters ask specific, situational questions, answer them thoroughly so your potential employer will know that you've put hours of thought into this occupation and that you can be trusted to do your job well.
Ask intelligent questions as this would go on to show your interest in the job and your experience in the medical field. Avoid any questions that can be answered by visiting the company website. Instead, come up with a list of questions about the number of patients you will be assigned, treatment plans, skills that you would learn on the job, and how they might be relevant for your career goals.
At the end of the interview, ensure that you express your appreciation and continued interest. Highlight reasons why you are the ideal physician assistant or nurse practitioner for the position. You can also politely ask how many other candidates are in consideration, and when the employer expects to make the final hiring decision. After you leave, write a thank you note to each interviewer and send it within two days of your meeting. This will help you make a lasting positive impression.
Remember, your focus must be to walk out of an interview with as much confidence—or more—as you had when you walked in. You did what you set out to do.
If you’re on the lookout for nurse practitioner or physician assistant opportunities, you can apply for jobs here.