Assessing soft skills: 4 questions to ask in a phone interview

Published On: Dec 10, 2018
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These questions will help medical recruiters screen candidates prior to an in-person interview:


1. How do you deal with difficult coworkers?


The ability to work well with a team is a vital skill for any healthcare worker. When screening candidates over the phone, this question can help you determine how an individual will react in team-based scenarios.

Candidates that avoid conflict by ignoring interpersonal disagreements may not be prepared to tackle medical challenges in a team setting. However, candidates who respond with their strategies for communicating with their team members show that they are willing to compromise when necessary.


2. What would you do if you disagree with a team member's assessment of a patient?


The decisions made by medical workers directly impact patient lives. When two professionals disagree about a diagnosis, treatment plan or other aspect of patient care, they need to find a way to determine the best course of action.

This question prompts candidates to talk about their interpersonal conflict resolution skills in the light of their medical knowledge. Doctors often have a 'gut feeling' about patient conditions, but that isn't enough to make a diagnosis. If a physician disagrees with a coworker, he or she needs to be able to articulate why they disagree, then present a plan for testing a hypothesis. Recruiters should listen for concrete examples within candidate responses.

Assessing soft skills over the phone will improve the quality of candidates you invite to in-person interviews.Assessing soft skills over the phone will improve the quality of candidates you invite to in-person interviews.




3. How have you adapted to unfamiliar situations in the past?


To determine which candidates are most likely to grow within a position, recruiters can look to their past behaviors. Specifically, this question can help you to gain a better understanding of how candidates react to unexpected challenges.

When candidates encountered perplexing challenges in the past, did they consult with another professional? Did they conduct research or perform additional assessments? Look for specific examples from each candidate's background. The ability to grow professionally often hinges on an individual's ability to problem solve creatively as well as the humility to ask for help when necessary.


4. What do you wish to get out of this job?


In addition to technical skills and knowledge, you should also assess candidates for cultural fit. Candidates who fit well into the existing organizational culture are more likely to experience job satisfaction and less likely to leave the position within the first year of employment.

By asking candidates about what they personally want to get from the job, you'll gain a clearer picture of how they will fit in with existing teams. Likewise, if candidates are only interested in money, you'll be able to disqualify them early and focus on individuals who are interested in patient care.

Having trouble identifying talented medical professionals to screen? Post your next job on myHealthTalent.com today. These important questions will help medical recruiters screen candidates prior to an in-person interview.