17 Health Care Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a health care manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

The health care industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the United States, and health care managers are in high demand. Health care managers plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of health care services. They may also be responsible for the financial management of a health care facility.

If you’re interested in a career in health care management, you’ll need to have strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. You’ll also need to be able to think critically and make sound decisions. During a health care manager interview, you’ll be asked questions that assess these skills.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve compiled a list of common health care manager interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working with a team of professionals in a fast-paced environment?

Working in a health care facility can be hectic at times, especially when you’re managing multiple patients and staff members. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to work well under pressure. In your answer, explain that you enjoy working with others and are able to stay calm during stressful situations. Show them that you are confident in your leadership skills by describing how you would delegate tasks to your team.

Example: “I am definitely comfortable working with a team of professionals. I find it motivating to see my colleagues succeed as much as I do. When things get busy, I love being able to rely on my team for help. It’s nice knowing that we all want to provide our patients with the best care possible.

In my previous role, there were many days where we had more patients than usual. During these times, I would delegate certain tasks to my team so everyone could pitch in. For example, if one person was running low on supplies, I would assign another employee to go grab some more. This allowed us to keep up with our patient load while also ensuring that everyone felt like they were contributing.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a successful healthcare manager?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they’re looking for in a health care manager. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the skills and traits that helped you succeed as a healthcare manager in your previous roles.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for a successful healthcare manager is communication. I always made sure to communicate with my team members about any changes or updates to our department’s policies or procedures. Another quality I find essential for success is empathy. As a manager, I try to understand how my employees feel about their work environment and what they need from me to perform well.”

How would you deal with a difficult patient or family member?

As a health care manager, you may need to intervene when patients or their family members are having problems. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the interpersonal skills needed for this role. In your answer, share two or three strategies that you use to diffuse tense situations.

Example: “I find it helpful to meet with patients and their families before procedures or appointments. This gives me an opportunity to learn about their concerns and address them in person. If I notice something is making them uncomfortable, I can try to change the situation. For example, if a patient’s family member was upset because they weren’t allowed into the operating room, I would speak with my team about changing our policy.

Another strategy I use is active listening. When someone is upset, I try to listen to what they’re saying without interrupting. By giving them time to express themselves, I show them that I’m taking their concerns seriously. Finally, I always encourage patients and their family members to talk to my staff rather than me. Sometimes, just knowing there is someone else they can go to makes people feel more comfortable.”

What is your experience with managing budgets and finances?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with financial management. As a health care manager, you may be responsible for managing the budget of your department or facility. Your answer should highlight your ability to manage finances and achieve goals within a budget.

Example: “In my previous role as a hospital administrator, I was in charge of creating monthly budgets for each department. I would meet with managers to discuss their expenses and revenue projections. Then, I would create a budget that met the needs of each department while staying within the overall hospital budget. This process helped me understand how important it is to stay within a budget when making decisions.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision regarding a patient.

This question can help interviewers understand how you make decisions and the thought process behind them. It can also show them that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation where you had to make a decision quickly or one in which you were unsure of what to do but still made a choice.

Example: “In my previous role as a nurse, I worked with a patient who was experiencing some mental health issues. They would often become confused and forget things, so we would have to remind them about their medications and other instructions multiple times per day. One day, they became very upset when we reminded them about their medication schedule for the third time that morning. They told us that they didn’t want to take any more medications because they felt better. We tried to explain that the medications helped them feel better, but they refused to listen.

After talking with our team, we decided to remove all of their medications until they calmed down. Once they were calm, we explained that if they wanted to continue receiving care at the hospital, they needed to follow their treatment plan. They agreed and took their medications again.”

If we were to visit your current place of employment, what aspects of your job would they highlight?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your work ethic and how you fit into your current organization. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight aspects of your job that are similar to what you would do in your new role.

Example: “If I were to take you on a tour of my current hospital, they would probably show you our state-of-the-art emergency room, which has been one of our most popular attractions since we opened. They would also likely point out our pediatric wing, as it’s one of the reasons why many families choose to come here.”

What would you do if you noticed a pattern of staff members taking excessive sick days?

This question can help interviewers assess your ability to manage staff members and their attendance. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation you encountered in the past and how you handled it.

Example: “In my previous role as a health care manager, I noticed that several of our nurses were taking sick days on Mondays. After speaking with them about this pattern, we discovered they all had doctor’s appointments scheduled for Monday mornings. We worked together to find alternate times for these employees to have their medical appointments so they wouldn’t need to take time off work.”

How well do you understand federal and state laws regarding healthcare?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the laws that govern healthcare. As a health care manager, you must be aware of all applicable laws and regulations so you can ensure your facility is in compliance with them. In your answer, explain how you stay up-to-date on these laws and what steps you take to ensure your organization follows them.

Example: “I am very familiar with federal and state laws regarding healthcare because I have worked in several different facilities throughout my career. At each new facility, I make it a point to learn about any specific rules or regulations they need to follow. For example, at one facility where I worked, we had to comply with HIPAA regulations. To help me understand these regulations, I took an online course on privacy and security.”

Do you have experience creating and implementing new policies and procedures?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you use your experience to improve a health care facility. Use examples from your past experience to highlight your ability to create and implement new policies, procedures or guidelines that benefit patients and staff members.

Example: “In my last position as a health care manager, I noticed there was no policy in place for handling patient complaints. After discussing this with my team, we decided to develop a formal complaint process where patients could submit their concerns through email or phone calls. We then created a system of assigning each complaint to a specific member of our team so they could address it within 24 hours. This helped us better respond to patient needs while also improving communication between our team and patients.”

When selecting a new location for a clinic or hospital, what factors do you consider?

This question can help an interviewer understand your decision-making process and how you apply it to the role. Use examples from past experiences in which you considered multiple factors when selecting a new location for a health care facility.

Example: “When considering a new location, I look at several factors including population density, transportation options and existing medical facilities. In my last position as a hospital administrator, we were looking to expand our services into a neighboring county. We needed to find a location that was close enough to provide convenient access but far enough away so that we didn’t compete with other hospitals. After researching the area, we found a suitable location that met all of our needs.”

We want to improve our patient satisfaction scores. Describe a strategy you would use to achieve this goal.

Patient satisfaction is an important metric for health care facilities. Interviewers want to know that you understand the importance of this metric and how it can help improve their facility’s overall performance. In your answer, explain a strategy you would use to increase patient satisfaction scores in your current or previous role as a health care manager.

Example: “I believe that improving patient satisfaction starts with hiring the right staff members. I would ensure that all new hires have the necessary skills and qualifications to provide excellent customer service. I would also hold regular training sessions for existing employees on how to better interact with patients and resolve any issues they may be having. Another way I would improve patient satisfaction is by making sure our facility has plenty of resources available to make patients feel comfortable.”

Describe your experience with computerized medical records systems.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with computerized medical records systems. This is an important skill for health care managers, as they often need to access patient information quickly and accurately. When answering this question, describe any previous experience you have with computerized medical records systems. If you don’t have any experience with these systems, explain that you are willing to learn how to use them.

Example: “I’ve worked in the healthcare industry for five years now, and I’ve always used computerized medical records systems. In my last position, I was responsible for managing a team of nurses who also had experience using these systems. However, if I were hired for this role and needed to learn how to use these systems, I would be happy to do so.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their organization. Before your interview, make a list of the skills and experiences that qualify you for this role. Focus on highlighting your most relevant experience and soft skills.

Example: “I have five years of experience as a health care manager in a hospital setting. I am familiar with the challenges hospitals face when it comes to patient satisfaction and staff retention. In my previous position, I developed a program to improve employee morale and reduce turnover rates. This resulted in higher levels of patient satisfaction and improved overall performance.”

Which industries do you have the most experience working in?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and experience. It’s important to highlight any unique or impressive experiences you have that relate to the position.

Example: “I’ve worked in both private and public hospitals, but I also spent two years working as an administrator at a large urgent care facility. This was my first time managing a team of medical professionals, so it was a valuable learning experience. The skills I learned there helped me become a better manager when I returned to work in a hospital setting.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service for healthcare professionals?

Customer service is an important part of any job, but it’s especially vital in the healthcare industry. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills and how you would apply them to a health care facility. In your answer, try to emphasize the importance of treating patients with respect and compassion.

Example: “I think that patient satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of providing quality care. If a patient isn’t happy with their experience at our facility, they’re less likely to return for future treatment or recommend us to others. I believe that every member of the staff should be committed to making sure each patient feels comfortable and cared for during their visit.”

How often do you make recommendations to upper management?

This question can help interviewers understand how often you seek out opportunities to advance your career. As a health care manager, it’s important that you’re able to communicate with upper management about ways to improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Example: “I make recommendations to my team members regularly, but I also make sure to speak up when I notice areas for improvement in our department or hospital as a whole. For example, last year we had an issue where patients were waiting too long to be seen by their doctors. I spoke with my supervisor about hiring more staff so we could reduce wait times. We ended up hiring two new nurses, which helped us decrease average wait times from one hour to 30 minutes.”

There is a new treatment for a disease that affects many of your patients. What do you do?

This question can help interviewers understand how you might approach a new situation in the workplace. In your answer, try to show that you would research the treatment and its potential benefits and drawbacks before implementing it into your facility.

Example: “I would first do some research on the treatment itself, including what it is, how it works and any side effects or risks associated with it. I would then speak with my patients who are currently receiving this treatment to see if they have experienced any negative side effects. If there aren’t any major issues with the treatment, I would implement it into our facility as long as we had the resources available to support it.”


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