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Lessons from the Front

Do this Before Interviewing

Successful job seekers are inquisitive. They like to learn. They listen well. They ask good questions.

As healthcare facility director recruiters and educators we work with candidates who take their inquisitiveness a step further than their competition. They perform a simple action, they visit the hospital they will interview with prior to their interview.  

More than driving the campus loop to view building facades or the screening of roof top air handlers, they get out of their car and walk. They sit in the lobby. They travel to the cafeteria and walk the public corridors. They wear casual clothes and blend in, observing the hospital rhythm, the hello’s in the hall, the facial expressions of employees.

We recruited for a Senior Director of Facilities Services & Construction at The University of Kansas Hospital last year. Arriving early, I was able to sit in the hospital lobby and observe. While there I saw a young volunteer pushing a beverage cart, offering visitors a drink. A small but impactful gesture. In person observations provide authentic windows into organizations.  

While observing converse with hospital employees. Tell them you are interviewing (don’t tell them the role you are interviewing for) and ask what it is like to work there. Be ware, however, the employee you speak with may have an axe to grind with the organization.

If you don’t want to inform employees you are a job seeker, pretend you are a hospital visitor seeking information. Ask them questions that you have been asked by patient families back at your hospital. A benefit, you may learn items to speak to during your interview.

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said “you can observe a lot by just watching.” While this Yogi non-sequitur would likely draw the red ink of an english teacher, the real world impact of his words shouldn’t be lost: Informally observe the environment you hope to work in to gain organizational insight. 


Best regards,                                                                                                                                          

Peter Martin                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Gosselin Associates provides facilities management search consulting to the health care industry...


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