How to Prepare for your PACS Interview or any Interview in General
Preparing for an interview can be daunting – especially in a competitive field like healthcare IT. Just like taking an exam, preparation is key. You want to put your best foot forward. Preparing ahead of time for your interview can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your abilities. When you feel confident, it will come through in your interview. You can present yourself to be the skilled informatics professional that you are.
We’re sharing 10 tips to prepare for an interview in healthcare IT, whether it’s face-to-face or a virtual interview. Landing your dream job starts here.
- Research your Healthcare Company
Every healthcare company is different. Before you head off for your interview, you want to do your research. Deep diving into the company can help you predict what questions you might be asked and give you an edge over the competition. Being able to show your interviewer that you understand the company’s goals and purpose will create a winning first impression.
Look out for any mentions in the press and read up on any reports they may have released. Don’t forget to research the informatics positions within the company to get a feel for the hierarchy and department structure.
- Create a shortlist of popular questions
Some questions get asked at every interview. “Tell us about yourself“, “Why do you want to work for our company?” or the classic “what are your hobbies outside work?”. You want to put yourself in the interview mindset by creating a shortlist of popular questions.
You can find lists of popular interview questions online or speak to friends who also work within the healthcare IT industry. If you have a mentor, it’s a great chance to reach out to ask what questions they would use in an interview.
- Prepare sample answers
Once you have a shortlist of popular questions, start learning sample answers. The trick with this tip is that you don’t want to prepare word-for-word answers. These can come off as artificial and as though you’re reading from a script.
Instead, write bullet points for answers that will prompt you during the interview. Find ways of linking your experience to popular questions – such as times you’ve shown initiative or had to overcome challenges. You’ll feel more prepared walking into your interview and how to connect parts of your CV with relevant questions.
- Choose questions to ask at the end of your interview
Have you ever gotten to the end of an interview and been asked, “do you have any questions for us?”. Most people become frazzled at this stage. They’ve not thought of any questions and ask something generic.
You can stand out from other candidates by coming up with a shortlist of prepared questions. You want them to be as insightful as possible, showing your interest in the position. It may be questions related to informatics or the company in general.
- Decide what to wear
First impressions will make or break your interview. You want to take time to prepare your outfit, whether it’s a virtual or face-to-face interview. Any interview for a healthcare IT position will call for professional business attire.
We have an in-depth article on what to wear for an interview, but here are a few top tips:
- Choose sensible footwear, avoiding open-toe shoes
- Neutral colors are best
- Keep accessories at a minimum
- Be as well-groomed as possible, including your hair
- Ensure your clothes are freshly cleaned and wrinkle-free
It’s a good idea to choose your interview outfit at least a few days ahead. You don’t want to leave it to the last minute in case you need to shop for a new outfit. Take your outfit to the dry cleaners for a professional clean and have it ready the day before your interview.
- Listen as much as you talk
You want to walk into your interview with the right mindset. Some candidates make the mistake of feeling like they have to ‘take up space’ to appear confident. It often leads them to be overly talkative and go off track.
You want to remember to listen as much as you talk to appear engaged throughout your interview. Take on board everything that the interviewer is saying. You want to find opportunities to circle back to the points they’ve made or to expand on them in your answers.
- Review your CV
If you’re looking for a new job, the chances are that you’ve been sending your CV out to dozens of healthcare companies. It’s easy to forget what’s actually on your CV. The night before your interview, sit down and go through your CV. Find ways of linking your experience to the job description and potential questions you’ve shortlisted.
You want to pay attention to previous positions before your current role. It’s easy to forget about specific situations you could reference as examples during your interview. Don’t forget to bring along a few copies of your CV. You can review it before you go in for your interview and have one on hand if the interviewer asks for one.
- Practice your body language
It’s not just your answers that you want to think about before your interview. Your body language is just as important. Think about how you’re going to walk into the room. Be mindful of any habits you have, such as touching your face or fidgeting while you sit.
Practice sitting with a straight posture and try giving your answers directly into a mirror. You can also record yourself to watch back and spot any bad habits you have.
- De-stress before your interview
Going for an interview can be stressful. Take active steps to de-stress before going in for your interview. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee or listen to music to help you relax. Taking the time to relax will make you more comfortable heading into your interview and less likely to panic when answering questions.
- Follow up after your interview
In a competitive field like informatics, it’s the little things that will set you apart. After your interview, follow up with a thank you e-mail. It’s an opportunity to ask any additional questions you missed in your interview and thank the company for the opportunity to interview for the position.
Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you. Your last impression is just as important as your first.
With these tips, you can be confident walking into your interview. Your dream career in healthcare IT is closer than you think.