Health system CIO opportunities are showing up everywhere. Have you moved forward in a search process and been asked to interview with a prospective employer? Do you need guidance for this important career step? Here are some pointers to help you set your best foot forward in a job interview at a new health system.
There are several different methods that health systems use to interview CIO candidates. You may be involved with one or more of these methods:
- Phone interview (can take a hour or longer)
- In-person interview (one-on-one, group, meal interview)
- Video conference interview (desktop or video center location)
Each of these methods will have different approaches. With a phone interview, speak clearly, slowly and with confidence and enthusiasm. With an in-person interview, arrive early, use a firm handshake, smile, have eye contact, listen more, and talk less. With a video call, look at webcam instead of the screen, have good lighting, keep surroundings neutral behind you, and avoid distracting elements.
Questions you may be asked
Most HR professionals and hiring managers will ask STAR behavioral-based questions:
- Situation or Task you faced
- Action you took –what was done and how was it done
- Result of your actions
Some other specific examples may include
- Tell me about your work background and qualifications for this position.
- Describe your leadership style, and management experience.
- What sort of business planning process have you led?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment?
- How do you get along with your boss?
- Give an example of a time when you dealt with a difficult client, customer and how you handled the situation.
- Tell me about a direct report who became successful as a result of your coaching.
- How do you handle pressure, stress?
- Why did you leave your last job?
Let’s review the best way to answer these questions. Recall your experiences, and write them down with as much specific detail you can remember. Vary your stories, use experiences at multiple employers, and be concise. Reread the job description, because the employer will want a match to their needs, not to your desired job. Rehearse your answers and be honest.
How to prepare
The best way to prepare for an interview is to research the company and executives, practice your answers, and be yourself. Remember to sound enthusiastic but not to oversell. Listen well and keep your answers to less than two minutes. It is a great honor to be asked to interview, view it as an achievement and a life lesson, ask for feedback and be sure to send out individual thank you notes to those you met.