With record-high unemployment, competition for open positions is as fierce as ever. In this environment, job seekers must hone every aspect of their application process. Perfecting your resume is step number one. When that gets noticed, and you move on to a formal interview, you’re one step closer to landing your dream job.
To put your best foot forward, you need to do your research and prepare for the interview in advance. This extra step will help you impress your potential new employers and stand out against the competition. With that in mind, here are five tips you can use to ace your next interview.
Five Critical Interview Tips
It should go without saying that it’s critical to arrive on time and dress professionally for your interview. But there are additional steps you can take to help prove you’re the perfect person for the job.
1. Review Your Social Media Accounts Before the Interview
Checking an applicant’s social media feeds is now standard practice for many human resources departments. So, before you start your job search, it’s best to make your non-professional accounts private, so you can control who sees the content. That doesn’t mean you’ll be protected entirely, however. If there’s something on your accounts a professional employer might find objectionable or offensive, it’s best to delete it.
You should also update your LinkedIn account with a professional headshot, updated job experience and education, and recommendations from a few select colleagues. It’s also essential that the information on your LinkedIn account matches your resume. Hiring managers routinely check LinkedIn as part of the hiring process.
2. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a summation of your qualifications, including why you want the job and what you plan to contribute, that you can deliver in 60 seconds — or the length of an elevator ride. By refining and practicing your elevator pitch before your interview, you can better articulate why you’re perfect for the job throughout the conversation.
3. Focus on Your Results
Employers want to know that you’re qualified for the job. However, you’ll differentiate yourself by demonstrating how you’ll bring value to your new employer. Focus on the results you’ve achieved in previous positions, or during school if you’re a recent graduate. Then consider the tangible benefits you’ll bring to your employer that other people won’t. Bonus points if you can connect your accomplishments to the job requirements the employer listed in their job description.
4. Understand Your State Licensing
Rules for PAs are different from state to state, so it’s vital to demonstrate a clear understanding of your supervision requirements and prescription scope of practice. You should also understand how to bill for your services. You may be interviewing with someone who isn’t familiar with PA rules. If so, bring handouts that you can share that reinforce your expertise.
5. Ask Pertinent Questions
An interview is your opportunity to gauge whether you want to work for a particular organization. During the meeting, there will be an opportunity to ask questions of your interviewer. This is your chance to assess the working environment and how the provider values PAs. Some possible questions you could ask are:
- What is your view of the role of a PA? What is your view on delegation and supervision?
- How do you approach patient care?
- Are there opportunities for advancement in this organization?
By putting all these suggestions together, you’ll present yourself as a qualified and competent candidate and wow your interviewer. Hopefully, your next amazing job offer will soon follow.
A Note About Virtual Interviews
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are using virtual interviews at some point during the hiring process. While you should treat virtual interviews with the same seriousness and preparation as in-person interviews, they do require some additional considerations.
- Understand the Technology: It’s essential to understand the video conference platform before you begin your interview. Typically, employers will send a link with information on the technology you’ll use in advance. When you receive that info, make sure you practice with the platform. You don’t want to have trouble connecting before the interview or accidentally mute yourself during a crucial moment. So download the software in advance and try making a few practice calls with friends or family until you’re comfortable.
- Check for Connection and Audio Issues: You’ll see the best results from a video interview if your interviewer can clearly see and hear you. Spotty or unstable connections — especially over WiFi — can make communication difficult, which is terrible in an interview setting. Before your interview, test your connection in different parts of your home to pick your ideal location. Also, if you’re using headphones during your meeting, make sure they connect property so that you’re easily understood.
- Watch Your Background: Once you’ve found the ideal connection spot for your interview, choose your exact position carefully. Find a private place where you won’t be interrupted and make sure there’s nothing distracting behind you that will steal your interviewer’s attention. A few platforms offer virtual backgrounds you can use if this is a concern.
- Use a Professional Profile Name: If you use a personal account to connect with an interviewer, make sure your user name is professional. The best option is to set it to your first and last name. You can typically adjust your username in the settings.
Now You’re Ready for Anything
By using these tips, you’ll be ready to ace your next in-person or virtual interview. If you need help finding open PA positions, Physician Assistant Solutions can help. We’re a premier physician assistant recruiter that matches world-class PAs and NPs with top employers around the country. You can start your job search by browsing our listings of open positions on our website. We can also help you polish your resume and connect directly with hiring managers. Create an account today to get started.