Common Healthcare Interview Questions and Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 4, 2022 | Published June 21, 2021

Updated November 4, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When preparing for an interview, it's beneficial to prepare answers to common questions so you can respond confidently. Interviewers use these questions to evaluate your skill set, experience, and determine whether you're the best candidate for the role. Preparing well-thought-out answers in advance gives you the opportunity to highlight all your best features and impress your interviewer. In this article, we cover common healthcare interview questions and provide sample answers to guide you in preparing your own.

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Healthcare interview questions and answers

Here is a list of healthcare interview questions:

Where do you see the field of healthcare going in the future?

Interviewers ask this question to identify which candidates are most innovative. The healthcare field needs creative professionals to find new ways to treat patients effectively. This question determines whether you're keeping up with the newest trends in healthcare. When answering, be sure to show your research and share an informed opinion.

Example: "In my last role, I worked with the Montreal Children's Hospital. I had the extraordinary opportunity to work on one of their many research projects that focused on stem cell research and learned a lot about new technologies and advancements in the field. I sincerely believe that the future of healthcare is in stem cell research and that it's the key to curing many ailments and conditions."

How do you research the best innovations in the medical field?

This question serves to identify whether you keep up-to-date with innovation in the healthcare field. Answer this by identifying any courses, certifications, or conferences you've been to recently. Also, provide the interviewer with your favourite healthcare journals and websites.

Example: "In whatever job I do, I believe it's important to think of myself as a student. Even when we're done with our degrees, there are always new ways to learn and to help patients. I keep up with recent advancements by attending conferences with other medical professionals throughout the year. I also signed up for NIH News in Health, which presents international medical innovations that I find fascinating."

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Why did you want to become a healthcare practitioner?

An interviewer asks this question to determine what your intentions are in this field. Healthcare practitioners need to be dedicated and passionate. When answering this question, be sure to express both your personal and professional experience and how it contributes to your drive to become a healthcare practitioner.

Example: "My mother was a nurse, so I naturally gravitated toward this field. Ever since the first time I stepped foot in a hospital, I knew I wanted to work in one. I focused on science courses in high school and applied directly to a nursing program at McGill where I got my BSc in nursing. As you can see on my resume, I've volunteered at several hospitals and am ready to take on a full-time role."

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself" (Tips and Example Answers)

What kind of care would you provide to an elderly client?

When an interviewer asks this question, they want to know whether you have the practical skills necessary to customize services to particular patients. In your answer, demonstrate your skills in this area and whether you've had to manage services for elderly clients.

Example: "The most important thing to remember when navigating services for seniors is that they're people who are capable of making decisions about their lives. My priority is to promote their autonomy and to keep them as independent as possible for as long as they want. I'm always patient with them and offer my support where they need it, but don't coddle them. To provide the best care, I'd look at services they can use at home and which services they're open to. Too often, these patients don't have people visiting them, but a big part of their healing involves their overall wellbeing. Sometimes, seniors don't know how to advocate for themselves and I want to be that voice for them when they need it."

Related: What Does Advocating for Patients Mean? (With Tips)

Why do you want to work at this healthcare facility?

When an interviewer asks this question, they want to know what your motivations are for applying for this position. To answer this, describe some of the company's values and how you could fit into them. It's beneficial to research the company first so you can draw on some key points in your answer.

Example: "I think some people are born to fill a particular role, and I was born to work in healthcare. I've always had certain soft skills that have turned me toward helping people. I've always known how to empathize and show compassion in difficult situations. Also, I'm a strong active listener, and can always find the best ways to help those around me. I chose this hospital because compassion and empathy are part of your core values. You care more about helping patients than anything else. I applied for this job because want to work for an employer that truly wants to help people and shares my values."

How have you dealt with situations where your patient didn't disclose information to the medical team?

A recruiter or hiring manager asks this to determine how you manage difficult situations while providing the best patient care possible. When you answer this question, be sure to show how you find the balance between setting boundaries with patients and showing compassion.

Example: "I've had to deal with this once in the past. Last summer, I had a patient who refused to tell us about which medications they were taking. Unfortunately, we found out that they had taken blood thinners before coming into the hospital. Of course, this can be extremely dangerous if we have to perform procedures or prescribe other medications that interfere. At the end of the day, I believe that a patient who withholds information is one who doesn't feel comfortable or who doesn't feel valued.

"When it came time to examine the patient, I asked the doctor if I could speak to them privately first. I took the time to explain the situation with our patient and why it was important for them to disclose information to us. I listened to their concerns and built a trusting relationship where they felt comfortable enough to tell me about their medications so we could help."

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How do you handle communication issues between yourself and a patient?

The interviewer wants to evaluate your interpersonal skills and how you communicate with your patients. There will undoubtedly be times when you have miscommunication with patients, so knowing how to navigate these discussions will be essential.

Example: "Without good communication between myself and a patient, I risk missing out on essential information. That's why I want to make sure to have one or more family members in the room when I first begin introductions. This allows me to hear any concerns that the family has and to gather missing information. Afterwards, I speak privately with my patient. I like to identify any communication problems so we can work together to provide the best healthcare. Most of the time, this involves listening attentively to my patients and their concerns. Sometimes, communication issues come from insecurities, and discussing them with the patient can solve most of these issues.

"I've studied sign language for most of my life and can communicate with patients who are deaf. I'm also flexible and can adapt to different communication styles depending on my patients' needs."

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Have you ever had to set boundaries with a patient?

Answering this question will tell the recruiter about your ability to show authority in the workplace. Those working in the healthcare field want to help their patients as much as possible. However, they also need to learn how to set boundaries and manage their time.

Example: "I've had patients who have demanded more time than I had to give. When I first started working in this field, I was determined to give everything I had to my patients. I soon learned, however, that I can still help my clients while setting boundaries. Whenever I take on a new patient, I discuss my role in their case and how I contribute to their healthcare. There are still times when I go above and beyond my responsibilities because I want to help, but the best way to help my patients is to be healthy and happy."

Related: What Is Patient-Centred Care? (With Elements and Benefits)

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