Hot and Ready Interview Tips

Raise your hand if you’re someone who likes to be as prepared as possible prior to an interview. You have your flash cards, printed off documents, resources about the hospitals you’ve applied to, and a piece of paper that says something like “smile and be yourself,” because you NEED to crush this.

I got you.

This one is for you. Here’s a few hot tips to make sure you’re as prepared as you can be going into interviews!

Usually, most programs will reach out via email to schedule a time for your phone interview. However, sometimes you’ll get a spontaneous phone call and they’ll want to interview you right then and there. This can be incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking but it’s important to keep your cool.

The best way to easily recall important facts about said hospital is to have a “cheat sheet” for all of your applied hospitals. This way, when those surprise phone calls happen, you’ll be prepared and can easily engage in conversation regarding their program because you won’t be confusing them with somewhere else!

While I do think it’s important to prep for interviews ahead of time, there are some questions that one is not really able to “prep” for with someone else asking the questions. These questions are going to be super specific depending on who calls you for an interview. Because of that, I’ve decided to list them and give a few helpful tips for you to feel as prepared as possible as we head into interview season!

What are your goals for this internship?

As difficult as those goals and objectives are on the common application, I’m challenging you to come up with three additional goals. You won’t need to memorize any objectives like the application but the goals themselves need to be different and something you’re truly interested in doing during your internship. Sometimes hospitals will ask this question and say, “But make them different than your common application answers.” Rather than being caught off guard, come up with a few extra goals so that this question doesn’t completely wreck and distract you for the remainder of the interview.

What are your expectations for this internship?

What do you know about their program? How do you best learn? What would you like your supervisor relationship to look like in order to help you succeed? All good things to consider!

What do you hope to accomplish/learn by the end?

What is special about this hospital that would be impressive for you to take with you into your future jobs? For instance, if this hospital has the #1 NICU in the nation, perhaps talk about some of the things you know about their child life program in the NICU and how valuable you feel your experience would be; even shadowing those child life specialists for a day would provide you with further knowledge to perhaps start a NICU program at a hospital one day.

Hospitals will be impressed by your desire to incorporate the experience and knowledge gained from their site into your career trajectory.

Why do you want an internship with us?

Again, this is where you’ll want to do your research on each individual hospital and be able to speak as to why you want an internship with this particular hospital. What’s special about their program?

Are there four rotations versus two?

Do you get to rotate on a specific unit that you have a strong pull towards?

Do they have a unique internship program either due to their hours, variety of units, or amount of child life specialists on staff?

Do you have any questions for us?

I always tell my students to come prepared with five questions but ask one to three.

Sometimes when doing an interview, you’ll really be vibing with the coordinator and she’ll stop you and say,

“Okay, Sarah, now before we get to your questions we just want to tell you a little bit about our program,” with a smile beaming as she goes into great detail about their program, number of specialists, rotations, and more. Next thing you know it, she’s checked off all of the questions you had through her little spiel.

“Okay, Sarah, now do you have any questions for us?” 

Smiling through it, you fumble to come up with something on the spot; dreadfully, you state, “No, I think you answered all of them. Thank you.”  

Instead, have some extra questions in your back pocket by preparing five so you can ALWAYS have a question for them. Nothing worse than not having any questions for them at the end!

With these five tips, you’ll feel further prepared to absolutely crush your interviews!

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