Lucky you! If you are fortunate to be asked to interview at a prospective employer, are you prepared? The healthcare IT job market for CIOs and IT leaders is highly competitive. Along with your job experience, your executive presence, manners and style will be judged. Let me go over some typical interview scenarios and helpful tips to help you be at your best.
Before you interview, invest a lot of time in doing online research on the health system or company. Read annual reports, company websites, Google their leaders, check out GuideStar for non-profits and the salaries of their executives. If this is going to be a relocation, be sure to look at neighborhoods and schools in the area. Your research will pay off and impress your interviewer and show your interest in the organization.
Practice, practice and practice is the key to a smooth interview. Go over your reasons for transitions in your jobs, why you are interested in their job, and all your key accomplishments as an IT leader. Reread the position description, write down all the reasons why you feel you are a fit for the position and how you match their needs.
Types of interviews
- Phone interviews may be a first step, especially with executive recruiters. Expect to be on the phone for an hour or more. Employers sometimes use phone interviews to screen candidates. This is rare at the executive level, but it is a possibility with the cost of air travel. Your phone etiquette and personality will be judged, and your ability to answer questions with ease and confidence will be important. Be sure to listen and articulate clear, concise answers.
- Video interviews are becoming more common. Web services such as Skype, ooVoo, Telepresence are being used by individuals and organizations at an increasing rate. Evaluate your home office for lighting, good camera quality and sound. Have a good light on your face from a lamp or window. Keep the bookcase behind you clean and be careful of distractions like barking dogs. Do a “screen test” prior to your appointment.
- In-person interviews are the ultimate goal. The on-site interview can involve one-on-one interviews, group interviews and even a meal interview. The first impression is vital and happens in the first few seconds. Exude confidence and style, make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and smile. Bring extra copies of your resume. Bring a list of your own questions to ask to show your interest in the position. Avoid any negative discussion around current or prior employers. Show your enthusiasm and personality, but don’t go overboard with overselling or talking too much.
Thank them for their time, ask when and how you can expect to hear back from them. Follow up with a short letter or e-mail, thanking them for their time. After an in-person interview, it is extremely important to send individual e-mail thank you notes instead a group thank you. The hand-written note has been proven to be an excellent way to be remembered. Ask for a date when you should follow-up. Good luck!