The Ultimate Interview Guide: 10 Interview Preparation Tips – H.I.M. Professionals Edition
As you are taking the next step in your journey as a Health Information Management Professional, that consists of nabbing the perfect job interview. One thing you want to do before you start your interview is research and study the company you are applying to work at. Employers always ask one or maybe two questions about your knowledge of their company. Do yourself a solid and impress them with what you do know.
To make sure that you are prepared for your interview, I’ve cooked up 10 tips as a Health Information Management Professional that can increase your chances of having an A+ interview virtually and in person.
Tips for In-Person and Virtual Interviews
Test Your Source
Make sure your source of technology is working without any glitches. Nothing can be worse than gliding through your interview and then you hit a snag. You want to always make sure you have the best connection possible. To make that happen, always run a test before you get started to make sure everything is working and there will be no interruptions.
First impressions leave lasting impressions. With that being said, make sure that your usernames or email addresses reflect your growth as an individual. Some people out there have more than one email address that they strictly only use for professional atmospheres. Also, make sure that you are not using numerical characters that can replace simple vowels to reduce confusion for the employer, recruiter, or hiring manager that may reach out. Remain professional at all times and don’t be afraid to smile and make eye contact with the interviewer. Engaging with the employer shows them your interpersonal skills and that what they are saying to you is connecting and vice versa.
Finally, keep your thoughts and answer cohesively. Don’t go off on a tangent about something that has nothing to do with what is going on in the conversation or try not to dig too deep into details that are not relevant for the specific topic. Make sure that you are addressing the interviewer by the name that they introduced themselves with. You don’t want to get too comfortable with them, even if you are both getting along and they like you.
Dress for the Job You Desire
Although you are interviewing virtually, you can still put your best foot forward when it comes to your appearance. This will show the employer that you are serious about the position and that you care. Try not to be too flashy or blingy, simplicity is key. Women, wear light makeup and have your hair either in a sleek ponytail or nice curls. For the men, you want to make sure that your hair is neatly cut, along with any facial hair and your suit is pressed and neat. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you have to dress like it. This goes for virtual interviews as well as in-person.
Background and Distractions
Sometimes interviewers or employers ask that you take pictures or sit in front of a background that is very simple so that their focus remains on you and not all the “noise” you have going on behind you. It’s best to use backgrounds that are plain and non-distracting. Make sure that your space is neat and clean. If possible, set up in an office space or even the living room where it is typically quiet and you are able to focus and do your best during your virtual interview.
You also want to make sure that there are no distractions like phones, the television or anything that will take your attention away from the interview. I know most of us may have small children, but if you do and you’re able to place them down for a nap prior to the video call, do that. If you have an older child in the home that can distract any younger sibling, have them go into a separate room and fix them up with all the things that will keep them occupied during the next 20-30 minutes. Planning for every distraction is impossible, but you want to make sure that you are as prepared as you can be.
Plan to arrive for your interview at least 30 minutes early. This allows you to account for traffic, finding parking, getting to the proper interview location, and also to calm any pre-interview jitters. Be confident and consistent with any answers you give to the questions being asked. You can discuss your qualifications and keep them specific to the job that you are applying for. If you need to, get clarity on any question that you may not understand, and in your response, then tie it back to your knowledge and skills. Make sure you are listening at all times so that nobody is repeating themselves during the interview. If you can, try not to fidget while waiting for the next question to be asked. Count to 10 in your head and just breathe. Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS!
Just as sure as there are things you should definitely do during your interview, there are
some things that you may want to avoid. Make sure that you are being respectful at all times. Do not interrupt the interviewer. That is rude and is definitely frowned upon. I know sometimes it can be exciting because you are so eager to answer what is being asked, but you want to make sure that you give them time to finish their questions before you begin to speak. That is just etiquette 101.
Next, if you are asked a question pertaining to your previous employer, don’t throw them under the bus even though they may deserve it. Talking bad about your previous or even current employer says more about you than it does about them. Instead, discuss the positives of your job. Employers know that there will always be opportunities for improvement within any company, but your mission is not to degrade your previous employer, your mission is to captivate your potential new employer.
Avoid lying at any cost. Lying will not put you in the best position with any new company that you are wanting to work for. If they ask you a direct question, answer it with honesty. That will set you apart and will show that you have integrity and you can be trusted to always do the right thing.
Questions You Can Ask
What are the growth opportunities? What do those phases look like?
How do you see the growth of this position in the next few years?
Will there be any additional training for the position?
Why is the position available?
Questions the Employer May Ask
Are you able to bring any creativity to the role?
What was your last position like?
Did you face any challenges in your last role? How did you overcome them?
What are your career goals?
Closing the Interview
Hooray!!! Your interview was a success. Give yourself a huge pat on the back. Now if you feel that you have left a great impression on the potential employer, you can express that to them about taking the next step. You can say something to the effect of, “Everything I know about the company, the position, and the duties align with my specific skill set and goals.”
Now I know that it can get pretty tricky after the initial interview. Sometimes you may be called back to do a round two and I’ve even seen round three interviews. It can take an employer anywhere from one day, up to a few weeks to get back to the interview candidates. Most employers will tell you how the interviewing process will go and that includes how they will follow up with you. Nonetheless, always send a follow up thank you for the interview email at least one business day afterwards.
**To learn more in-depth details about interviewing tips, read up on these articles:
Health Information Management Tips for Interviewing Candidates
What To Do Before, During and After an Interview
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