Looking to a hire a new associate? Read this article first | Plastic Surgery Practice September 2014

By Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC I-V

Dr. Jay A. Shorr, April 13, 2013You place a “help wanted” ad or put out feelers through various channels when you need to make a hire. You likely receive dozens of resumes. Many can likely be eliminated off the bat, including those with multiple spelling errors.

If you are lucky, the initial bounty should yield a handful of promising candidates who are available to come in for an interview.

Here are seven questions to help you get to know the person behind the resume:

1. What do you know about my practice?

The right prospect will have done research prior to the interview. They should know about the procedures you perform, as well as some basic biographical and background information about you and your practice.

2. Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?

The answer you are looking for here is plain and simple: growth. Ideally, the employee will say that they are interested in growing with your practice.

3. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.

Here, you are looking for a solid example of a project or problem and the careful steps that the interviewee took to address or rectify the situation. For example, “Surgery was scheduled for the next morning, and we still did not have all of the bloodwork and EKG results back from the lab and cardiologist. Canceling the surgery would have been extremely costly, since we already had the O/R blocked off and the anesthesiologist scheduled, so I called the patient and asked if they could go to the hospital to retake the bloodwork, and then I called a colleague to conduct a medical clearance. I met the patient at the hospital, all of the labs came back OK, the patient was cleared for surgery, and the surgery was performed as scheduled.” This is the sort of on-the-ball employee you want in your practice.

4. Why does this job appeal to you?

Be wary if the employee speaks about benefits and salary versus opportunities for growth. A red flag is an unprompted questions about vacations and personal days during the first interview

5. How do you cope with deadline pressure?

The best answer is an unflinching one. Ideally, you want an employee who can properly manage their time and sees deadlines as arbitrary, and tries to beat—not just meet—them without sacrificing accuracy.

6. What is your greatest weakness?

Here, the interviewee should be able to turn the negative into a positive with their answer, such as, “I have a strong work ethic and tend to be as hard on myself as I am on co-workers to get the job done and done right. That said, I found that using the assistance of fellow employees allows me to work smarter, not harder.”

7. Why should we hire YOU?

This is one of the most important questions to ask on any interview. Allow them to say everything they have to say, then pause before you wrap up the interview to see if they open up further. n

Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC I-V, is the founder and managing partner of The Best Medical Business Solutions, based in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Fla. His column, “The Shorr Thing,” appears in every issue of Plastic Surgery Practice. He can be reached via [email protected]

Get more staffing tips from Jay A. Shorr:

Inside Job: 6 surprisingly simple ways your employees may be stealing from you (and how to protect your practice)

Does Your Staff Pump You Up? 

Got a go-to interview question that never fails? Let PSP know about it for a feature on readers’ tips for hiring new associates. Email us at [email protected].

Original citation for this article: Shorr J. The 7 best interview questions. Plastic Surgery Practice. 2014;(8),20.