If you are a healthcare professional looking for a change of pace, you might be considering opportunities at a digital healthcare startup. Whether you’re intrigued by the cutting-edge technology, the flexibility startup life may offer, or the opportunity to transform the healthcare industry, there are many reasons to get excited about your next possible career move. But first, you need to get your foot in the door.
There are a few unique aspects of interviewing at a healthcare startup. As newer companies, for example, startups might have different cultures or face different challenges than traditional healthcare corporations. You must prepare for these nuances if you want to ace the interview!
To help you learn how to position yourself as the best candidate for a role at a healthcare startup, we’ve spoken to Becky Litvack, a Managing Director within ES Healthcare a division of The Execu|Search Group. Here are a few steps she suggests taking before walking into the interview:
Do your research
The foundation to a successful interview at a healthcare startup is strong company research. While you should look into basics such as when the company was founded and what services they offer, you’ll want to pay close attention to their mission, vision, and values. Understanding and demonstrating how you identify with the building blocks of the company, as well as how can help them accomplish their goals will be critical to moving forward in the hiring process.
Get to know the founders
If you’re interviewing at a healthcare startup, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually meet with one of the founders. “After you’ve done your initial company research, you’ll want to dive a bit deeper and turn your focus to the founders,” says Becky. “Read up on their careers, their reasons for starting the company, and their accomplishments.”
It might also be helpful to do a quick search for any profiles and articles they’ve been featured in. Your findings can give you more insight into the founders’ values, goals, and successes.
Be prepared for a video interview
To streamline the hiring process and assess your comfort level with technology, many healthcare startups will conduct video interviews. “A higher-level understanding of technology is critical for clinicians looking to make the leap to a healthcare startup,” says Becky. “While you might not be in a tech-specific role, you will be leveraging more technology than you would at a more traditional organization. This is especially true as telemedicine becomes more popular. A video interview is a great way to test your tech capabilities.” Read also: Change Of Plans? How To Adapt To a Video Interview Process
Express the right skills
While your clinical and/or administrative experience might make you qualified for the job on paper, they may not be enough to land an offer. “While a healthcare professional working in a facility often has a more defined role, this is not always the case in a startup environment,” says Becky. “Startups rely on teamwork to solve problems and complete tasks with what is usually a small team, so you will be expected to wear many hats and juggle a variety of responsibilities.”
Since the work can be fast-paced and ever-changing, startup employees need to be flexible, accountable, and self-sufficient. During the interview, you’ll want to demonstrate these qualities in your past experience and work.
Ask questions, early
The hiring process at a healthcare startup can move much faster than you’re used to. As a result, you’ll want to ask your questions early on. “Many hiring decisions at startups are made after the first round, so this is the time to get your questions answered and demonstrate your interest in the role,” advises Becky. “While it can be tempting to fall back on generic inquiries, it’s important to ask smarter and more targeted questions about the company and the role.” Some examples include:
- How would you describe the company’s culture?
- Where do you want the company to be in the next 3-5 years?
- How does my role fit into the company growth?
- What upcoming initiatives do you find particularly exciting?