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Do You Prepare for an Interview?

June 15, 2008
by Tim Tolan
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Or... do you just go in a "wing it'? Most candidates our clients interview are very well prepared and that’s a good thing. Some candidates, unfortunately, are not prepared at all... C'mon people!

We live in the information age and many of you reading this article are in charge of IT or Informatics in your own shops. Why would you even consider not taking advantage of the enormous amount of data readily available simply by "clicking on your browser" and doing a little research prior to your interview?

Humor me...Let's start with the organization you will be interviewing with.

Who is the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO? Where did they work before becoming joining this organization? There is NO SUCH THING as six degrees of separation in healthcare IT. It's probably two or three in most cases. You probably know someone that knows someone that can tell you a lot of information about the person you will be interviewing with. The markets we serve and very closely connected. Do your homework

What technology do they have installed? Has the organization won any major industry awards? Are they attending an upcoming trade show (many of the attendee lists for major trade shows are posted on the Web for all attendees to view)? Who do they compete with in their local market? What is their Mission Statement? What's their long term strategy? It's probably on their website along with many of the other data points noted above. If it's a vendor you are interviewing with and they are publically traded - read the latest 10-K or 10-Q. Do your homework well in advance or arriving in their parking lot for the big interview.

By all means, go to the interview well prepared. Have 5-10 engaging questions prepared to show the hiring manager that you have done your homework.

It really shows if you are prepared and unfortunately, it works the other way as well.



Agreed. Some recruiters skip all of the research work, qualifying and preparing candidates. Instead, they choose to simply log-on to — make a few calls so they can "sling a few resumes" at their clients' in a race to collect a fee without regard to the quality of the work they perform. Make sure the search firm you has been around for a while, belongs to healthcare trade associations and associated with a search industry association that has strong standards and ethics. Also ask for 3-4 (recent) references and call the references yourself. Ask them how they will source for candidates.
If they push back on any of your requests — don't walk — RUN from that search firm!

Another point here is the use of recruiters. If you are using one, make sure they are earning their fees! I recently had to "fire" a recruiter because he was not sending qualified candidates, was not preparing the candidates for the organization they were interviewing with, and did not inform the candidate about all the specifics of the agreement (relocation, travel expenses, job expectations). All very basic stuff, but you would be surprised how many resumes I get that the recruiter just takes out the candidates address and phone number, but does not review for typos.
Typical recruiter fees range from 20-25% of the candidates annual salary. So candidates should know up front what they are getting for that fee (paid for by the employer) and employers should demand quality resumes and prepared candidates. Watch out for recruiters that act more like used car salesmen.