If your role is to interview candidates for jobs in healthcare, it can be very challenging to measure a candidate’s ability to show empathy at work. In addition to evaluating hard skills required for the job, it is extremely important to make empathy a priority when hiring candidates in the healthcare industry. Empathic workers are better suited to provide top-quality patient care and ensure their patients have positive experiences during their stays.
The only way to really gauge a candidate’s empathy is to ask specific questions about how they react and deal with difficult situations. Asking these questions can help you (the interviewer) understand how self-aware the candidate is of their own behavior and actions in connection to success at work.
Here are two key questions that can help you determine if a candidate exhibits enough empathy to meet the needs of your team and patients in your medical unit:
How do you handle problems with others?
Getting an idea of how the candidate deals with conflict is one of the most direct ways to gauge empathy. The ideal candidate should express an open mind and take responsibility for any wrongful actions they’ve committed. If the candidate presents a tone of blame or dismissiveness, that’s usually a sign they are not very adept at resolving difficult situations and conflicts with others.
How do you deal with stress at work?
How an employee deals with stress has a direct connection in how they show empathy to others. For example, retreating and refusing to talk to others during a time of stress shows a lack of communication and teamwork. Screaming or lashing out is also an ineffective way to deal with stress and is detrimental to the work environment. An employee with empathy has the ability to address issues with teammates and appropriately express what type of support they need during a shift, while always keep others’ feelings in mind.
Despite what some may think empathy is one of the most important soft skills a candidate should possess. During interviews, evaluate how candidates respond to questions involving their behavior in situations of a sensitive nature. Remember, character is just as important as qualifications!
Are you looking to expand your medical workforce? Contact our team of experts at Medical Staffing Network and request an employee today!