Though broadly defined, the Vice President of Patient Care is a supervisor position that combines nursing knowledge with administrative skills. The VP of Patient Care is responsible for ensuring that patient care runs smoothly while remaining within the facilities budget. The person who holds this position has several roles and responsibilities that must be fulfilled in order to ensure the medical facility he or she represents runs smoothly.
To reveal your critical thinking skills, leadership style and resourcefulness, you may be asked both behavioral and situational questions. Additionally, since this position will require that you manage personnel, be prepared to answer questions about your communication and administrative skills.
Be prepared to answer the following seven VP of Patient Care interview questions. Please note that these interview questions are also relevant for Director of Patient Experience, VP of Patient Engagement, and VP of Patient Experience.
1. How do you ensure your organization delivers the best care, for every patient, every time?
When an interviewer asks this question, he or she wants to delve into your priorities as well as your leadership and communication skills. Take this opportunity to discuss your passion for patient care, while elaborating on examples that show you are a problem-solver and have the ability to lead and communicate well with a variety of personalities. It is best to have a specific example prepared about the procedures you employ to ensure that every patient receives the best care. After all, patient care is the top priority of the job.
2. What mistakes have you made with the medical staff? What have you learned from those mistakes?
When asking this question, the interviewer wishes to dig deeper into your management and leadership skills. The best way to answer this question is with a specific anecdotal example. Briefly explain what the mistake was, then transition into what you learned from the mistake and how you improved. You want your answer to be honest. However, it’s best not to mention a drastic mistake that might prove critical for success in the position you are interviewing for.
3. How many people have you fired? How do you go about it?
Firing people will inevitably be a part of your job, so you should expect to be asked how you lay people off -- with or without cause. When answering this question, focus on the company’s needs, yet acknowledge that it was difficult and it will always be difficult. Be sure to show empathy, while also expressing your reasoning behind previous layoffs or firings. The most important aspect of answering this question is to show that you are loyal to the company’s long-term plan.
4. How do you make sure your organization is keeping up with continual advances in medical technology?
The interviewer is looking to see if you can help their business take advantage of better technologies to deliver better features or reduce costs. Additionally, they are testing your passion for the field and how well you keep up with medical news. When answering, talk about newsletters you subscribe to, conferences you attend, and any other ways you keep up with industry trends.
5. How do you handle pressure?
Give examples of how you have handled stress in past situations. This way, the interviewer receives a clear picture of how successfully you work under pressure. Some valid answers to this question may include:
I react to the situation, rather than stress. This way, the situation is handled and doesn’t become stressful.
I work better under pressure, and that’s why I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
I don’t have a problem with stress. I have found that I actually thrive when the pressure is on.
6. What do you consider your most important strengths?
Know four or five of your key strengths and be able to discuss each with a specific example. When preparing for this question, pinpoint attributes that prove the most compatible with the job opening. Some common answers to this question? “Management” and “Good people skills.” Don’t use those answers unless you can describe the specific characteristics of management, such as staffing, organizing, and planning. It is important to describe specifically how your strengths have been critical to your success.
7. What are your goals as VP of Patient Care?
This question could be asked in several forms, such as, “Related to this position, where do you see yourself in five years” or “What are you looking for in a new position?” To best answer this question, relate your goals to the job features. Some examples include:
Improve patient satisfaction.
Create a more efficient work environment for nurses.
Enhance collaborations by breaking barriers between departments and co-workers.
Overall, the interview is the time to show off your talents. Take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate that you have what it takes to support the hospital’s mission. Strong leadership skills, a passion for patient care, and strong communication are all required to be a successful VP of Patient Care, so prove that you exhibit all of these skills and that you are ultimately the best person for the job.