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Helping candidates stress less about interviews


recruiter and physician under an umbrella at a table Posted by Alexandra Cappetta
recruiter and physician under an umbrella at a table

Interviews can be nerve-racking for job-seeking providers no matter how prepared, qualified or experienced they are in their field - or with interviews. There’s a chance you might even get pre-interview jitters from time to time as the one representing your hiring health system.

Regardless, it’s important to remember you and those you’re interviewing have a shared goal: finding the right fit.

If you can help candidates feel prepared going into your interviews and comfortable during them, you’ll likely feel those things too - and be more likely to establish and maintain a promising connection. 

Use these tips to minimize candidates’ interview stress as you recruit:

Conducting anxiety-free interviews for your provider candidates

BEFORE INTERVIEWS: Get interview ready as the employer

You may be familiar with how jobseekers are preparing for interviews with you, but there are some ways you can ensure a smooth meeting with a little proactivity on your end.

As you get ready to conduct a successful interview:

  • Plan to show candidates you’ve also done research about them and be sure to brush up on their details before you meet to avoid awkward mix-ups that will send the wrong message.
  • Have a copy of the candidate’s resume available for quick reference (bonus points for your interviewee if they bring one for you!)
  • Rehearse your brief elevator pitch about the organization, the position and your team so you carry authority as you unpack details of the job for interviewees.
  • Know what you want to learn about the candidate before the meeting so you know what questions to ask.

LEADING UP TO INTERVIEWS: Help eliminate candidates’ last-minute stressors

When candidates have some idea of what they can expect during their time with you, they’ll be able to avoid needless stress and have the chance to show you their best self.

Several days before your candidate interviews:

  • Discuss which travel costs your organization will cover well in advance if it will be necessary for certain candidates to meet with you.
  • Provide clear directions to the health system and the specific meeting location within the facility a day or two before the interview so they can avoid the anxiety of rushing around the campus to find you.
  • Give instructions for where to park, and how to validate the parking if they’ll be reimbursed.
  • Send Zoom or online meeting links a day or two before virtual interviews so candidates aren’t anxiously awaiting your message on the day of your meeting.
  • Tell candidates you’ll call them if it’s a phone screening, so they know whether to reach out first on interview day.
  • Share a brief itinerary before the interview so candidates can have some idea of how long the meeting might last, and prepare them to meet other health system staff.


DURING INTERVIEWS: Establish a welcoming environment

Your demeanor as the interviewer can set the tone for how a candidate engages with you. The more open, inquisitive, interested and relaxed you are, the more they will be, too.

When you meet with candidates on interview day:

  • Call it a conversation rather than an interview to make candidates feel more relaxed about discussing their experience and eligibility for the job.
  • Confirm you’ve effectively addressed what candidates ask by following your response or explanation with, "Did that answer your question?"
  • Be honest if you don’t know the answer to certain questions candidates ask; they’ll appreciate your humility and recognize your attentiveness when you follow up with a response later.
  • Address topics candidates might be hesitant to mention first, such as compensation or the job’s benefits, to develop a sense of openness and trust with prospects.
  • Understand which topics to avoid during your initial conversations, such as their age, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Remind candidates they’re interviewing you, too, and this is also their chance to determine if it could be a good mutual fit.


Remember to go into your candidate encounters with a sense of compassion and understanding that job interviews are stressful - even for health care providers.

However, by being proactive, communicating clearly and creating the best possible settings for your meetings, you can make sure interview anxiety doesn’t compromise connections with those who have the potential to be among your organization’s brightest hires.


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