10 Interview Questions to Help You Determine If You Will Love This Job

A quick Google search can net you roughly 100 questions to ask on any job interview, most of which you likely were already planning to ask. After all, what needs to be discussed beyond benefits, hours, and job responsibilities?

When it comes to working in the medical field, however, there are multiple additional factors to consider. Let’s spend some time talking about questions that will help you decide whether this job is one that you’re going to love, or if it will lead to a new job search six months to a year from now.

1. “Why Are You Hiring?”

There’s a big difference between an organization that’s experiencing growth and looking to add a clinician to keep up with its success, and a clinic that’s burned through its last three new hires. It’s certainly possible that after two or three years a clinician may have been looking for a setting change or moved away—there can be many reasons. But knowing why a business is hiring can give insight into the health and trajectory of the business.

2. “What’s Your Training Plan?”

Starting your first day on the job by performing six evaluations and taking over twelve patients can be a jarring experience. While onboarding will vary from organization to organization and there’s no “right answer” for how a company plans to ramp up a new employee, I’m certain you’ll know the wrong answer when you hear it. Likewise, if there’s no plan, that may be a sign of the lack of planning you are likely to experience going forward in other avenues.

3. “What Mentorship Opportunities Will Be Available?”

Organizations that have a specific intentional mentorship program offer an indication that they prioritize and recognize the value of mentorship. Such programs can be scheduled with a curriculum and resources or can be loose and based on questions that the mentee brings to their clinic mentor.

If you desire a connection with a mentor, make sure the person in that role is someone you see yourself connecting with regularly. If you would rather focus on self-study, ask if they offer subscriptions to journals or continuing education content, or perhaps a mix of both suits you best. Regardless of which mentorship style you prefer, for some topics you will need a personal connection to ask questions. Find out who that person will be for you and ensure you will have access to them.

4. “Will I Be Treating My Own Consistent Caseload? Will I Be Treating in a Consistent Location?”

As a provider looking to grow your expertise, constantly seeing different patients and getting bounced around to different locations can limit progress and create frustration for both you and your patients. Learning what you can expect early on will help you determine if the business will provide the clinical experience you’re looking for. Depending on your setting, you may actually want some variety in locations or the opportunity for varied rotations. Matching expectations and desires is key to finding the right role for you.

5. “What’s the Expected Caseload as I Ramp Up? What Will It Be Once I’m Settled In?”

Workload and support are important to overlay with your salary requirements. If one clinic expects you to do twice the visits of another clinic with less support, that $2,000 bump in salary may or may not be worth it. Find out early on what the expectations will be and figure that into discussions about compensation if and when the time comes.

6. “What Documentation Process Will I Use? When Will I Be Expected to Complete Documentation?”

Documentation can make a big difference in how your days go. Using a fluid EMR software that allows you to keep up with documentation throughout the day can minimize stress surrounding one of the least appealing aspects of a job in healthcare. Conversely, plodding through clunky software with the expectation that you will document through lunch or stay late to finish documentation on a regular basis can build mounting aggravation. Again, the $2,000 bump in salary while spending extra time completing documentation is something to weigh when considering if this job is the right fit.

7. “What Unique Treatment Philosophies or Certifications Does the Organization Promote?”

Even if the clinic sees the population of patients you are most passionate about, be sure the overall treatment philosophy also matches your interests and values. If you’re looking to really hone a specific skill set or pursue a specific post-grad certification, ask what kind of support will be offered for this to ensure your ambitions are in line with the clinic’s core values.

8. “Has the Organization Pursued or Implemented Any Innovative Ideas?”

As a professional looking for a place to hone their skills and grow their career, it’s important to assess if your potential new employer makes an effort to stay current with changing industry standards. Is the clinic dynamic and cutting edge while still ensuring practices are evidence-based? Or do they seem to always be implementing the newest Instagram fads? Is the practice using the same techniques and processes it was over 20 years ago?

You may want to be on the absolute leading edge, or you may desire a comfortable balance between what is familiar and what is just coming to the scene. Know your sweet spot and what you’re looking for. Then, make sure the overall clinical personality fits that vision.

9. “What Are the Expectations Around and Opportunities for Growth?”

Whether you want to accelerate your career and move up the chain or settle in and refine your skills for a few years, make sure those expectations are a match with what the organization is equipped to offer. Having options is always a good thing; however, mismatched expectations can lead to frustration for both parties.

10. “Can I Speak To a Few Potential Colleagues?”

Most people are familiar with asking to speak with potential peers of managers during the interview process. The mistake here is that there are others in the business who can speak to how the team functions. These people are the support staff.

Ask these folks what the culture of the clinic is. Do they feel their contributions are valued? Do they eat lunch together? Do they ever have any team building or group functions? How do the various positions interact and work together? Do they feel supported in their role? This will offer a real-world glimpse into what you might expect should you decide to accept an offer.

Asking about the mission and values of the organization may shed light on how care is delivered and how patients are treated. A question such as “Can you share with me an example of when (choose a scenario you’ve faced) occurred and how the organization managed it?” may help you determine if the company has a value system that matches your own.

Of course there may be additional questions that you will find helpful in identifying if the values of the organization are one’s with which you are aligned. Those questions may come to light as you do your research on the organization in advance of your interview. This kind of preparation will also demonstrate your desire to work there.

Keep in mind that you got into, and made it through, your graduate program. Navigating the job interview process is the easy part! The questions you ask—not the salary or benefits offered—will be your best resource in deciding if you will really love this job. With most of us spending 2,000+ hours a year at work, it is essential to make sure you are going to be happy. The things that will lead to you loving your new job are the connections with your work, your teammates, and your patients, and a solid match between the goals of the business and the goals you have for yourself.