Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if it is for a position that you are particularly passionate about, whether you are just beginning your ultrasound career or are advancing in the medical imaging field. What can you do to improve your chances of landing the job? Here we share important tips as well as sample interview questions.
Keep in mind you were called in for the interview. This means the prospective employer has a hunch you have what it takes—they see the potential in you and feel your skills and experience may be an ideal match. Embrace this and walk inside that interview room confident (but realistic and not arrogant). Before you walk in, poised with a smile on your face, wearing attire that oozes success, take some steps to adequately prepare so you know how to ace the interview.
Before going into the interview, do some basic research on the employer. “Whether you are interviewing in a hospital or a private practice, it is important to find out as much as possible about your prospective employer before you walk in for the interview,” states the The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). For example, if you are interviewing for an ultrasound technician position at a medical center, find out what kind of sonography services the center provides, the range of patients they serve and the make-up of that particular healthcare department. It is also important to research the particular position you are interviewing for. This may involve requesting a detailed job description, reviewing it beforehand and working out how you are qualified for each of the required duties.
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It never hurts to have a dress rehearsal for your upcoming interview. Come up with a series of questions you anticipate being asked and ask a friend, family member or mentor to go through a trial run with you. As you rehearse, try to come up with specific examples and answers that reflect your individuality so that your responses do not appear generic.
Some examples of questions you might anticipate include:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
2. What made you interested in pursuing a career in Ultrasound (or Radiologic Technology or Medical Imaging)?
3. What did you learn from your classroom and clinical experiences during your educational program?
4. Why are you interested in this position?
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to this position?
6. Why are healthcare and helping people important to you?
7. How comfortable are you operating medical imaging equipment and learning to use new equipment?
8. Describe a challenge you faced during your clinical and how did you overcome this?
9. Why did you leave your last position? (if you were employed previously)
10. Describe how you are able to remain organized and detail-oriented in a fast-paced environment?
11. How comfortable are you with medical terminology?
12. Which medical imaging discipline are you most passionate about and experienced in?
13. How would a past employer, clinical supervisor or an instructor describe you?
14. Do you work well as part of a healthcare team?
15. Describe a time where you disagreed with a colleague and how did you resolve this?
16. Do you value continuing education and if so, what areas would you like to further study?
17. How does this position fit into your long term career plans?
18. What makes you different from our other pool of applicants?
19. How important is patient confidentiality?
20. Describe your greatest achievement.
Things to Bring
Before setting out for your interview, there are a few things that you pack to bring with you. The night before, set aside your best interview clothes and pack extra copies of your resume and references, a pen and a notebook (for note taking) and directions to the interview location (so you can ensure you will arrive 15 minutes early).
You should also come with a few questions written down for the employer interviewing you. More times than not, at the end of the interview, you will be asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” If you do not ask any questions, it may appear you are not interested in the position.
Some questions you could ask include:
• What is a typical day like here or how would you describe the work environment? (For example, is it fast-paced, unpredictable, highly scheduled, etc?)
• Can you elaborate on the position’s job duties?
• What kind of on-the-job training do you offer to new employees?
• Are there any opportunities for advancement?
• What types of qualities are you looking for in a person filling this position?
During the Interview
• Be yourself. It is better to come across as a little nervous but genuine, rather than scripted, phony and sounding like everybody else.
• Remember why you want this job and allow that enthusiasm to shine through.
• “Regardless of how you act under pressure, take advantage of the pause…” states ReadyPrepInterview.com. “Pause before providing a response to each interview question asked. Use the time to formulate your answer.” That way you can give an answer that fully represents your distinctive talents and expertise. It also shows your answers are not scripted and you are taking a few moments to answer the questions as genuinely as possible.