Once you graduate with your health care assistant diploma, your practical skills and education will set you apart when applying for jobs. But, even with these advantages, you don’t want to harm your chances by making mistakes during your interview.
Interviews can be very stressful, especially for shy professionals or ESL graduates who need to answer questions in their second language. They may feel intimidated, or unsure of how to answer difficult questions.
Fortunately, careful preparation and research can make all the difference. Here are a few commonly asked interview questions for health care assistants, and a quick look into which answers work, and which ones might do more harm than good.
“Why Do You Want to Work as a Health Care Assistant?”
Wrong answer: “I want a job that pays well and is in demand.”
Why it harms your chances: While these might have been part of the reason why you chose to pursue a career as a health care assistant, focusing exclusively on pay and employment statistics makes you sound unmotivated. Employers want to know that you feel passionate about your field and the work that you’ll be doing.
Try this instead: Focus on how helping others and giving back to the community motivated you to choose a career in health care.
“Tell Me About a Time Where You Had to Deal with a Difficult Patient, and How You Handled It”
Wrong answer: “The patient was being completely unreasonable. They just kept saying awful things to me and wouldn’t listen to anything I said. It was completely demoralizing.”
Why it harms your chances: Because dealing with stress and difficult patients are part of working as a health care assistant, employers want to know that you can handle stress well. Focusing only on how the patient acted and how it made you feel will lead them to believe that you didn’t learn from the encounter.
Try this instead: Focus on how you handled the situation, what you tried, and what you learned.
“What is Your Biggest Weakness?”
Wrong answer: “I work too hard and can be a bit of a perfectionist.”
Why it harms your chances: Many employers ask this question because they want to see if you are self-aware enough to know your weaknesses (and strengths!) and that you took the initiative to work on them. By mentioning a “fake” weakness, employers might think that you don’t believe you have any weaknesses at all.
Try this instead: Try thinking about an obstacle that you overcame. Are you shy and have worked hard on your public speaking? Did you enroll in a health care assistant courses for ESL learners to improve your English? These experiences show your potential employer that you are dedicated and work hard to achieve your goals, and that’s exactly the kind of candidate they want to hire!
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