3 Questions Not to Ask in Interviews

Medically complex health & nursing jobs require good interviewing skills. Asking the wrong questions in an interview may lead to making the wrong decision in your choice of a new staff member for your health team. It can cost your health clinic, hospital section or business in lost time, performance management review process or lack of productivity. As a result many health employers will approach the interview process with some caution.

It is important to take enough time to set aside and carefully review the requirements for health roles, the skills and experience required in the health sector and prepare a good set of interview questions that will help you find the right person, with the right skills and experience for that health job.

Unfortunately many managers are either inexperienced in interviewing or replace good preparation with emotions and gut feel, rather than a structured and disciplined interview process. While people may be hired on knowledge and skills typically they may also be terminated on personality, mental ability and attitude.

The health sector such as health administration, medical and nursing jobs is highly complex and regulated. The key to asking good questions in an interview is to relate a question to the ability of the person to do the job and avoid discrimination when recruiting talent.

Do not ask these three types of questions in interviews in the Health Sector.

(1) Don’t ask vague questions

Avoid asking vague questions that lead to answers based on opinions. Past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour, it is best to ask applicants for examples of past behaviours in similar situations.

(2) Don’t ask a person’s age, marital status

Avoid these sensitive questions as well as asking about family situation and home responsibilities. This may be considered discriminatory and would be breaching anti-discrimination legislation. For example, explain if you require age for non-discriminatory reasons

(3) Don’t use vague language

Avoid vague language that begins with ‘are you’ or ‘do you’. Ask questions that encourage applicants to describe specific events. Questions such as ‘Tell me about a time you solved a problem within your health team?’ On the other hand if you want to encourage asking about achievements, keep the question broad to allow the person to demonstrate relevant abilities or skills used such as ‘Tell me about your greatest achievement’.

In the health industry it is important to prepare for the interview, create a good set of interview questions that relate to the requirements of the job is the key.