3 Keys to Hiring Your Next Staff Member

Doctor chatting to patient
By: Dee Brown
2 Minute Read

It can be a daunting task to attract, develop, and retain a top-notch and diverse workforce. Strategic hires for both medical and administrative roles are instrumental in a practice, directly contributing to patient experiences, practice reputation, and the overall workplace environment.

A good workplace culture starts with good people.

The easiest way to determine a candidate’s potential is to select appropriate behavior-based questions that provide insight into future performance. By conducting well-rounded interviews with a mix of culture-, skills-, and competency-based questions, practice leaders can feel confident that they have selected the best new hire.

1. Focus on Culture

A good workplace culture starts with good people. To get a complete picture of a candidate, it is important to include culture-based questions as well as behavioral-based questions in every interview. Some effective culture-based questions may include:

  • What was the most frustrating thing about working at your last company?
  • What is the most important thing you need to be successful at your job?
  • What is your preferred work style: alone or part of a team?
  • What management style brings out your best work?
  • When working in a team, what role do you most often play?

2. Evaluate Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

While practice leaders should feel empowered to think beyond the “expected” interview questions to select the best hire, it’s important to establish that the candidate is technically qualified for the position. These questions are specifically related to the individual job itself, including relevant experience, education and training, technical skills, and functional expertise. Some examples include:

  • What types of tasks/duties would you like to do in your new position? What would you not like to do?
  • What do you consider to be your single most noteworthy accomplishment in your present/past job?
  • What would your present co-workers say are your greatest strengths? Improvement areas?

3. Uncover Critical Competency

Once it’s established that the candidate is technically qualified and a cultural fit, it’s important to identify whether or not he or she will thrive in this particular environment. The following questions, separated into five key categories, will help the interviewer determine the candidate’s potential for success:

Quality of Work

  • Could you give me an example of a situation where you worked successfully under a very tight deadline?
  • What are the primary factors impeding your current practice’s efficiency? What are you doing about them?


  • Could you give me an example of the role you usually take in a group meeting or discussion?
  • What are the characteristics of a team that you have found to be more or less effective?
  • Tell me about a situation in which a peer/team member strongly disagreed with your ideas or actions. How did you handle this situation?


  • Could you give me an example of a co-worker from a past job whom you found it difficult to communicate with? How did you resolve the situation?
  • What is the most useful feedback you’ve received? What is the least useful?
  • What makes you feel excited about your job? What makes you feel unfulfilled by a job?


  • What is the most creative thing you have done in your present/past job?
  • Describe one failure you’ve had and what you’ve learned from it.


  • Describe your approach to employee coaching and development. What have been the results/outcomes?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to motivate an employee or a group of people to accomplish a challenging task or project. What approach did you take?

To learn more about this topic, Curi members may listen to the February 2019 HR|Experts mini-webinar, titled A Guide to Interviewing and Selection.

Dee Brown
Dee Brown is Curi’s on-call human resources consultant. Members may contact her directly at dee.brown@callhrexperts.com or 919-431-6096.
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