OTM: Tips for Answering Situational-Based Interview Questions

By: Jeff Johnson   |   May 30, 2017


Tell us about a time when you went BLANK? Have you ever been asked a question like this in an interview and felt just a little bit like a deer in the headlights? It’s easy to answer interview questions with broad and general comments, but when you’re asked to specifically recount a situation in which you demonstrated a desired skill or trait, it can become much harder. We find, when working with healthcare candidates, that if they are able to answer these types of questions effectively in an interview, it can make all the difference in their ability to land the job. Here are our top tips for answering situational-based interview questions:

1. Explain the Situation Fully – Be prepared for these types of questions and give your interviewer context so they truly understand the situation. What role were you in? What was the environment like? What was the challenge that you were up against? Give them the information in a complete, yet succinct manner to set the stage appropriately.

2. Describe the Action that You Took – So often it’s easy to talk about the action taken in a situation with words like “we”, but a situational interview question is where you want to shine the spotlight on what you did. What action did you take that resulted in positive change for the situation? Be specific.

3. Explain the Results of Your Action – This is often missed by even seasoned professionals, but is so important when answering a situational-based interview question. What were the tangible results of the action that you took in the situation? For example: did the patient get better faster? How much faster than usual? What was their outlook? What long-term benefits have they now experienced? When you’re able to link action with results, it can be a winning combination.

For more tips on answering situational interview questions better and help getting connected to top healthcare employers interested in hiring you, get started here.