Company Culture: 9 Interview Questions to Ask That Will Tell You Everything
By Vicky Rinehart, President, InSync Healthcare Recruiters
From Print - Summer 2022
For anyone considering a career change in healthcare right now, the landscape is your oyster. Candidates are exploring all kinds of opportunities with new hospitals, healthcare organizations, and private practices. But it’s still critically important to remain diligent
and thorough in your approach. Company culture matters, and you don’t want to trade one growth-stifling environment for another.
For those physicians and healthcare professionals also in hiring and onboarding roles, it’s downright hard to find, attract, and hire top healthcare talent these days.
What today’s healthcare hiring managers can do is increase preparedness. Medical and healthcare professionals who are considering a career change will be expecting more from their employers. And while you might have your roster of interview questions ready to pose to interviewing candidates, you should also be prepared to field a new line of inquiries from them.
One area that applicants are keen to ask about is company culture. As a physician looking for new healthcare job opportunities, be prepared to ask certain interview questions that can help you get a better perspective of the working environment and company culture. Here’s a checklist of questions to help you get ready for your next big interview. If you are the hiring manager for your organization, you should be prepared to field these questions about the workplace environment within your healthcare facility or office.
This line of questioning is positioned as advice to applicants to help them explore the company culture and workplace environment of the healthcare facility for which they’re interviewing. It describes what applicants should be asking, along with why they should ask, and what kind of responses they should look for from the hiring manager.
1. Can you describe your company culture in five words or less?
Don’t be afraid to be direct or to come right out and ask. How the hiring manager responds will be telling in confirming either way. If there is hesitation or the response seems rehearsed, keep digging. However, if the response is favorable or even enthusiastic with examples, it’s a good sign the company culture and workplace environment are positive.
2. Does the organization recognize individual achievements?
Asking an interview question like this, even if it doesn’t apply to the particular role you’re applying for, will tell you how the organization prioritizes individual growth. If there aren’t initiatives in place that support great achievements or acknowledge performance, it might not
be the supportive environment you have in mind.
3. Does your healthcare organization contribute to any philanthropy efforts?
This is the question that should initiate a response about corporate responsibility. Any healthcare organization that engages in charitable good works, local community involvement, and philanthropy, does make an effort to preserve a positive brand image and company positioning. Smaller practices won’t have the big budgets for huge initiatives. But even the small healthcare organizations can support local efforts in small ways and will if it’s a priority.
4. Are there opportunities for advanced education and training?
Even if you’re at the top of your game, with every required certification, distinction, and specialty training, this is a must-ask question. A healthy company culture will usually have ongoing training efforts and advanced education opportunities for staff across a variety of roles. The company that promotes individual betterment will also be staff-focused.
5. What would others in this role say their work-life balance is like?
This is another interview question that seems fairly straightforward. But many healthcare professionals are hesitant to ask about it openly. Gauge the response, much like you did for the original question about company culture. Answers for a positive environment might include employee support efforts, like gym memberships, mental health days, or an on-site psychologist, depending on the field of expertise in the organization.
6. How frequent are companywide meetings held?
Staff meetings are known to have a negative stigma, especially when they’re too frequent and unproductive. But a sign of a well-connected corporate body to the healthcare professionals on the front lines are regular meetings. Companywide meetings are necessary for efficient communication. But they’re also great arenas to raise concerns and challenges that the front line might need help solving.
7. What is the best part of working here?
This line of interview questions will prompt a more personal response, hopefully. Get the hiring manager to open up with you about what they enjoy most about working for the organization. If the response is “great vending machines,” you know there’s likely a problem with the overall workplace environment.
8. Are you proud to be affiliated with this organization?
Use that last question to pivot and transition into this one. It’s skewed, again, for a more personal response from the hiring manager or team. But it will help you distinguish between canned responses about culture from authentic sentiments. You can also use this topic to springboard into your requirement of working with a healthcare organization you can be proud to represent, solidifying your candidacy.
9. If you could change something, what would it be?
Get specific when you ask this question regarding the role for which you’re applying, the department, and the healthcare organization as a whole. If the responses are about improving schedules, more time off, or restrictive policies, it might be a “red flag” that the company culture isn’t as conducive as you’d prefer it to be. Additionally, if the hiring manager doesn’t have anything to offer, it could also mean
there’s hesitancy to be transparent about the topic.
Remember, during your interviewing process, keep the conversation flowing naturally and don’t feel obligated to force these or any answers. But do your best to incorporate responses that will help candidates better gauge the overall worklife balance and company culture within your organization.
And when you need help exploring your healthcare recruiting opportunities, let InSync Healthcare Recruiters be your guide to navigating
this dynamic healthcare hiring landscape!