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Effective interviewing can make all the difference in a candidate’s experience. After all, interviews are usually your first chance to make a face-to-face impression. According to LinkedIn, 83% of talent surveyed stated that a negative interview experience could undo a previously positive impression of a company. On the other hand, 87% said that a positive interview can turn a negative or unsure outlook about a company into a positive one. 

Effective interviewing provides the candidate with a positive experience while also giving you ample opportunity to better understand a potential future team member. Here are seven must-have strategies for effective interviewing. 

1. Streamline Your Scheduling 

According to a survey conducted by Cronofy, 43% of candidates have removed themselves from a recruitment process due to delays in interview scheduling. You may not intend to keep applicants waiting, but it can take a lot of labor to respond to each candidate. 

To manage your scheduling, use an ATS that can automate it. When you automate your interview scheduling process, you keep candidates in your hiring funnel—and make an overall good impression. Having a clunky scheduling experience can affect a candidate’s perception of the company even before the actual interview. Not to mention, the faster you move through the candidate process, the more you improve your speed-to-hire

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2. Choose the Right Interviewers

A big part of effective interviewing is choosing the right interviewer. Not everyone in your hiring team may enjoy or be suited to the interview process. Give interviewing duties to someone who’s comfortable meeting new people regularly. Invite direct managers into an interview process to help create a more cohesive team. 

Finally, choose your interviewers based on experience. Someone qualified to interview doctors might not be able to fully discuss the challenges that CNAs face (and vice versa). Candidates will be able to tell if their interviewer isn’t fully engaged in the interview. 

3. Choose the Framework for Your Interview in Advance

It can be tempting to use the same format for every interview. However, changing the type of interview you use based on the position you’re hiring for (and even the needs of a specific candidate) could help you feel more confident in your hiring decisions. Here are some of the most common interview types to keep in your toolbox. 

Traditional Interview

A traditional interview is probably what pops in your mind when you hear the word “interview.” The interviewer comes with pre-prepared questions, which the candidate then answers. There’s time for the candidate to ask questions, too. 

Panel Interview

In a panel interview, multiple interviewers have a conversation with a single candidate. This type of interview can include complicated logistics since you have to find the right time for all panel participants, but it can be worth it. This is a great choice for roles that involve close collaboration with multiple departments. For example, a new head of healthcare administration could benefit from a panel interview, but it might be a lot of manpower to invest for an entry-level candidate. 

Group Interview

Here, multiple candidates are interviewed at once. This can be a good way to measure soft skills, especially if interviewees are asked to interact with one another. You can see how a potential candidate interacts with both peers and interviewers. It can also help you save time. Be careful, though – it’s important to make sure that all your candidates have a voice during a group interview. You don’t want to make new hires feel like they’re just a number. 

Video and Phone Interviews

According to a recent poll conducted by Indeed, 82% of survey respondents stated that they turned to virtual interviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, 93% of those employers expect to continue using virtual methods in the future. Phone and video interviews are a great way to connect with candidates remotely and can move much more quickly than in-person interviews. They’re also great options if you’re hiring out of state.

Practical Interview

In a practical interview candidates perform certain tasks in front of the interviewer. Obviously candidates should not be interacting with patients before their official hire date, but there are other ways to conduct practical interviews. Have candidates demonstrate their comfort with certain tools, or even ask them to speak to you as if you were a patient to gauge what practical skills they have and how they would interact with patients. 

Unstructured Interview

This is a more open-ended style of interview, conducted like a conversation. In an unstructured interview, there are no predetermined questions. Some managers find this organic interview style makes it easier to gauge cultural fit. However, this style of interview may not be suited to every interviewer or role, and it depends greatly on the interviewer’s confidence in steering the conversation where it needs to go. 

4. Assess Soft Skills

Soft skills, such as time management, teamwork, and empathy, are important to assess. During an interview, it can be hard to fully understand how a potential employee will conduct themselves around patients or their new team. This means that interviewers need to get creative to assess soft skills. Asking scenario-based questions can help, as can open-ended questions that allow candidates to express themselves more freely, outside of the realm of concrete qualifications. 

5. Choose the Right Questions 

An interview is only as effective as the questions asked. Classic interview questions like “what’s your greatest strength?” and “where do you see yourself in five years?” are always helpful in a pinch. But you may find that industry-specific and culture-specific questions are a better way to understand your candidate. 

Not sure which questions to ask? Here are some common questions for healthcare candidates that could help you get started. 

Healthcare Interview Question Bank

  • How do you prioritize and manage your caseload?
  • How would you describe your ideal workplace culture? 
  • What are some of the things you do to make patients feel comfortable? 
  • How would you deal with patients who were becoming upset and aggressive? 
  • How and why did you come to the healthcare field? 
  • What are some of your career goals? 

6. Talk About Company Culture

Effective interviewing doesn’t end at asking questions. The interview is also the time for you to introduce candidates to your company culture

Not only do you get an understanding of your candidate’s skills, plans, and qualifications, but your candidate should also get a better idea of your company’s values. Do you have social events? A mission statement you’d like to share? A philosophy of patient care? Boundaries that you want to make sure candidates understand? Take this time to introduce your candidate to what makes your company unique, and to let interviewees express their thoughts on what they might add to your healthcare environment. Remember, the best interviews flow two ways. 

7. Follow Up Quickly

Just as delayed interview scheduling can cause candidates to disengage, failure to follow up can destroy candidates’ goodwill and ruin your otherwise effective interviewing process. 

Candidates appreciate quick responses. According to Human Capital Institute, 60% of candidates don’t hear back from a potential employer after an interview. Even if you can’t give your candidate good news, it’s better to build a reputation as a responsive employer. 

If you do decide to move forward with your candidate, scheduling them for another interview (or extending the job offer) quickly can keep you from losing your ideal candidates to your competitors. A quick follow up will solidify the impression you made in the interview, and can improve your overall speed-to-hire.

Better Hiring With Apploi 

When you schedule interviews quickly and efficiently, you can make sure that you don’t miss out on your ideal candidates. Bring your hiring communication to the next level with Apploi’s automated workflows. 

​​Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.

Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.