As in any other industry, it helps for healthcare professionals to come into a job interview prepared, not playing it off the cuff.

Job interviews are rarely enjoyable. But they don’t have to be anxiety-ridden experience. Preparation is the key. Going in knowing what you will say, how you will look and what you want out of the job can go far in making an interview a success.

Perhaps the best advice is to hire a professional. Going through a recruiter for a healthcare job has many advantages, if you find the right one.  It’s also not a bad idea for healthcare operations themselves to work with recruiters.

That said, we at Samstaff have helped many people prepare for interviews. We’ve gone through a few ourselves. These are some general tips to keep in mind before the big interview day.

Research The Company

It’s best to find out all you can about a company before walking through the door. Plenty of information is available online for most companies. Healthcare has a wide variety of businesses, and each will have its own culture. It’s also helpful to research the individual you will be speaking with. Sources such as LinkedIn and other social media can help you learn useful information.

If you learn something interesting about the company – an award won, a new business initiative – take the time to mention it in the interview. It demonstrates you have real interest in the job.

Get Ready For Questions

This is where a recruiting professional can really help you out. There are certain questions, or some variation of them, you can expect. They include the “why” question (why do you want to work here?) and the “where” question (where do you see your career in five years?). But recruiters, who often know the human resources person conducting the interview personally, can provide real insight into what to expect.

Address Gaps

Go in prepared to address any gaps in your resume, as these will almost always get asked about. Perhaps you took time off to go back to school or for your family. Whatever the case, have an answer that explains the gap in a way that doesn’t leave hiring managers wondering what happened. Don’t let them assume. They may assume the wrong thing.

Dress Well

This may seem a bit too basic, but it’s surprising how many people don’t put their best fashion foot forward when going on a job interview. The old cliché is true: You really don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This isn’t the day to decide what to wear 30 minutes before you go. Plan an outfit that shows you put thought into how you present yourself, and always take the time to look professional.

Have Questions Of Your Own

This also is often overlooked area. Come to the job interview with a few questions about the business, based on your research of the company. This indicates you are serious about the job. Consider asking about work culture, expectations, potential challenges and rewards.

Going to a job interview is not the most fun way to spend an hour or two. But interviews are necessary to move forward with your career. Consider hiring a professional recruiter to guide you through the process. Whether you do or not, keep these tips in mind.