What’s New in Interviews for Locums and Direct-Hire Positions?
The interview is an integral step in any job search, no matter if you are a resident or fellow looking for your first post-training job, an established clinician interested in making a career move, or a provider practicing locum tenens full time. Conversations between facility representative and candidate serve as a “get to know you” exchange.
Not that long ago, healthcare organizations were still conducting the traditional interview format, especially for direct-hire positions. After CV review and initial contact, an administrator or hiring manager would invite the clinician to a series of meetings at the hospital, clinic, or private practice setting. However, the last few years disrupted that approach. Now, many facilities have adopted a hybrid strategy. Larry Misquez, Senior Director for All Star Healthcare Solutions’ Direct Hire Division, explains how there are notable and nuanced differences to know about the modern interview.
Get Comfortable on Camera
Previously, it was the rare exception for hospitals, clinics, or private practice groups to conduct interviews over a video call. Nowadays, the format has become a virtual standard for step one. Facilities use video calls for the initial interview, which supports a face-to-face conversation without the time commitment of flying candidates to the location. (For advice on how to set yourself up for success with video calls, read our blog, “Preparing for Virtual Physician Job Interviews.”)
However, providers looking for staff positions should prepare to receive both video and in-person interview requests.
“While facilities still are conducting video interviews, now we are seeing onsite, face-to-face interviews taking place again as direct-hire candidates progress in the process,” says Misquez. “Most interviews for locum tenens jobs are still done over the phone.”
Casual, But Not Too Casual
The implementation of video interviews also has ushered in a slightly altered set of expectations. Of course, employers anticipate candidates will display a high level of professionalism, however, the virtual setting allows for a slightly less formal approach.
“We see more of a relaxed attitude via video interviews. Some people may prefer to dress up for them, but it is much more business casual,” says Misquez. “When doctors go for site visits, they are expected to dress in business attire. After all, they’re meeting with executives as well as potential colleagues.”
To present yourself in the best light for locum tenens phone interviews, find a quiet, private location. If you have to take the call in a busy setting, like on shift, minimize background noises as much as possible. Check your device for settings that block or mute ambient noises.
Know Your Audience
It’s still commonplace for direct-hire candidates to sit for multiple interviews with a search committee and other personnel within the organization. Before you click the video link, dial in for a call, or arrive on site, your All Star consultant will brief you on the individuals with whom you’ll be speaking.
“If you are going to speak with the CEO, then chances are we’ve spoken with the CEO. We constantly work on developing ongoing, genuine relationships with clients so we can prepare you on what to expect. Knowing that in advance can help calm nerves,” says Misquez.
While the interview format may change, the questions probably will ring familiar. Administrators and hiring managers will likely inquire about your education, background, and procedure skillset. Here is a sampling of other frequently asked interview questions from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):
- What do you think you can contribute to this program?
- What problems will our specialty face in the next 5–10 years?
- Describe a particularly satisfying or meaningful experience during your medical training. Why was it meaningful?
“Also, some questions for direct-hire positions may focus on why providers want to relocate to a specific area,” says Misquez.
“Interviews for locum tenens opportunities typically are an abbreviated version. Facilities want to draw a picture of how your skills and experience will benefit their patients as well as how you will support their organizational culture,” adds Robert Jones, Divisional Vice President of Sales for our Locums Division.
In both situations, do your due diligence. Research the hospital, clinic, or practice — check out biographies for key personnel, research grants obtained, as well as recent news or journal articles regarding the staff or facility. Additionally, use the interview as an avenue to collect facts you require to make an informed decision.
“There are so many things to know that are specific to a hospital and the job, including locum tenens. Hospitals expect and want candidates to ask questions,” advises Jones.
To see a sampling of possible questions, go to our blog, “Questions to Ask When It’s Your Turn to Interview Facilities.”
The All Star Healthcare Solutions Advantage
With every interaction, All Star Healthcare Solutions delivers our signature “Red Carpet” Service, where going above and beyond is our standard, not an extra. Your consultant will want to know about your professional and personal goals and how they can be accomplished through a new job or locum tenens opportunities. Simultaneously, All Star consultants will gather as many details from facilities as possible so you have a strong foundation on which to judge an opportunity. The advantage of developing authentic relationships with our providers is that All Star is by your side throughout the entire process, ready to assist.
Start searching for your next job or locum tenens assignment by contacting All Star Healthcare Solutions today! Call us at 800-928-0229, or contact us online.