Coming up with interview questions that will really tell you something about your candidates can be more difficult than it seems. Save precious time by avoiding going over all the standard data and information most receptionist CVs will include, and make sure these prompts are on your list: they all invite your candidates to give anecdotal evidence of how they dealt with a situation previously, whilst allowing them to offer a hypothetical solution if their experience doesn’t yet cover the skillset you’re interested in exploring.
1) Talk me through a stressful workplace situation you have handled in the past
How did you manage and overcome the situation? What might you would have done differently, if anything? If you limit the choice of situations to those that didn’t include distressed patients or customers, you may hear a more diverse and revealing set of responses from your panel.
2) How do you personally deal with extremely busy times at work and at home?
What you’re looking for here is evidence that your candidate can prioritise their workload whilst keeping on top of the most immediate tasks at hand. You’re probably keen to employ an interviewee with a demonstrably sharp memory: someone likely to keep thorough records in a timely manner.
3) How do you deal with distressed patients or customers?
This question will encourage your interviewees to talk either generally about managing crises, and then you can invite them to specify a particular scenario where they had to employ their training and interpersonal skills in order to pacify and solve a problem.
4) How do you handle sensitive or confidential information, and what challenges do you anticipate in keeping information private within this workplace?
A candidate can’t be expected to know exactly what your confidentiality policies and practices are at this stage, but assurances – and evidence – of integrity and respect for sensitive information, as well as an awareness of the trusted position a surgery receptionist holds, will be encouraging responses.
5) Talk about a time you had to notch your multitasking up a level
Pay as much attention here to how they perceived the situation ‘emotionally’ as how they handled it practically. A candidate worth asking back will relay the scenario as pressured but manageable rather than nightmarish and disastrous!
Now it’s time to share your best interview questions below… Or let your fellow Practice Managers know which interview questions yield the most predictable responses!