15 Healthcare Communication Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Healthcare Communication skills will be used.

In the healthcare industry, communication is key. From discussing treatment options with patients to coordinating care with other providers, clear and effective communication is essential to providing quality patient care.

If you’re applying for a job in the healthcare industry, you can expect to be asked interview questions about your communication skills. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on how to answer healthcare communication interview questions so you can show off your skills and land the job you want.

1. What is the most important thing in communication?

This question is a great way to test your communication skills and how you prioritize them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list the most important aspects of healthcare communication and why they are so vital.

Example: “The most important thing in communication is empathy. I believe that if you have empathy for others, you will be able to communicate with them more effectively. In my last role as a nurse, I had a patient who was very upset about her diagnosis. She was worried about what would happen to her children when she died. I sat down with her and talked through all of her concerns. By empathizing with her, I was able to help her understand that we were going to do everything we could to make sure she lived a long life.”

2. What are some common barriers to effective healthcare communication?

This question can help an interviewer assess your ability to work with a variety of people and overcome challenges. Use examples from your experience to highlight your problem-solving skills, communication style and interpersonal skills.

Example: “Some common barriers to effective healthcare communication include language barriers, lack of time or resources for training and miscommunication. In my last role as a nurse manager, I worked with a multilingual staff that often communicated in their native languages. To address this barrier, I implemented a translator program on our computer system so nurses could communicate with each other without having to leave their stations. This helped reduce errors and improve patient care.”

3. Why is it important for a healthcare professional to be able to communicate with patients, families, and caregivers effectively?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you understand the importance of communication in healthcare. Use examples from your experience or other research to explain how effective communication can improve patient care and outcomes, as well as reduce stress for patients and their loved ones.

Example: “As a registered nurse, I know firsthand how important it is to communicate effectively with patients and their families. In my last role, I worked with a family who had a child with a rare disease. The parents were very overwhelmed by all of the information they received from doctors and medical staff. They asked me if I could help them organize everything so they could better understand what was happening with their child. I created a chart that listed all of the medications, dosages and side effects, along with instructions on when to administer each dose. This helped the parents feel more confident about caring for their child at home.”

4. What are the different forms of communication that are typically used in healthcare settings?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the different forms of communication that are used in healthcare settings. You can list out the different types of communication and explain how they’re used in healthcare settings.

Example: “There are many different forms of communication that are typically used in healthcare settings, including verbal, nonverbal and written communication. Verbal communication is when you speak with someone or over the phone. Nonverbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions and body language. Written communication involves writing notes, emails and other documents.”

5. Which form of healthcare communication do you think is better – verbal or non-verbal?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the different forms of healthcare communication. It also allows you to show that you understand which form is best for certain situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation in which verbal or non-verbal communication was most effective.

Example: “I think both verbal and non-verbal communication are important when working as a healthcare communicator. Verbal communication is especially useful when communicating with patients who may not be able to read or write. Non-verbal communication is often more effective when trying to communicate complex information or instructions. For example, I once worked with a patient who had limited English language skills. In this case, verbal communication was essential.”

6. How can good communication skills improve patient outcomes?

This question can help interviewers assess your understanding of the importance of healthcare communication skills. Use examples from your experience to explain how effective communication skills can improve patient outcomes and overall satisfaction with their care.

Example: “Good communication skills are essential for providing quality care because they allow me to clearly communicate information about a patient’s diagnosis, treatment plan and any other important details that may affect their health. In my last role as a nurse, I worked with patients who had varying degrees of hearing loss. Some could hear well enough to understand what I was saying, while others needed an interpreter or sign language to communicate effectively. Having strong communication skills helped me develop strategies to ensure all of my patients understood their diagnoses and treatment plans.”

7. Do you think doctors should pay more attention to the emotional aspects of their patients’ lives than they currently do?

This question is a great way to assess your communication skills and how you interact with patients. It also allows the interviewer to see if you have any opinions on healthcare policies or procedures. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of doctors’ emotional support for their patients, but it should not include any personal opinions about current medical practices.

Example: “I think doctors should pay attention to all aspects of their patients’ lives because they can affect their health. For example, I had a patient who was depressed and didn’t want to take her medication. She told me she felt like no one cared about her life, so she didn’t care about living. After talking to her for a while, I learned that she was in an abusive relationship. We were able to get her into a shelter where she could feel safe and start taking her medication again.”

8. Can you give me an example of how your communication skills have helped a patient overcome a difficult time in his/her life?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer how you use communication skills in the field. It also shows them that you can empathize with patients and their families, which is an important skill for healthcare communicators. When answering this question, try to think of a specific example where your communication skills helped someone overcome a difficult time or situation.

Example: “When I was working as a nurse’s aide at a hospital, I had a patient who was going through chemotherapy treatments. She was very nervous about her upcoming treatment because she didn’t know what to expect. I asked her if it would be okay if I spoke with her doctor about her concerns so I could better understand them. After speaking with her doctor, I learned that there were certain things we could do to make her experience more comfortable.

I then went back to my patient and explained everything I learned from her doctor. This made her feel much more confident about her upcoming treatment. Her confidence level improved, and she even started making jokes with me during our visits.”

9. What steps would you take as a doctor if a patient refuses treatment from you?

Healthcare professionals often encounter patients who refuse treatment. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the communication skills necessary to handle such a situation. In your answer, explain how you would try to convince the patient to accept treatment and what steps you would take if they still refused.

Example: “I would first try to understand why the patient refuses my treatment. I would then use my communication skills to show them that I am qualified for the job and that their refusal could lead to more serious consequences. If they still refuse, I would refer them to another healthcare professional.”

10. Have there been times when you’ve had to deal with angry patients? If yes, then what did you do in those situations to restore calm?

This question is a great way to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to diffuse tense situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of how you handled the situation successfully.

Example: “I once had a patient who was upset because they were waiting for their appointment. I asked them if there was anything I could do to help make their wait more comfortable. They said that they would like some water, so I got them a bottle from the break room and told them I’d check back in with them in 10 minutes. After checking on them again, they seemed much calmer and thanked me for my help.”

11. What’s the best way for a nurse to introduce herself to a patient who has just arrived at the hospital?

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills by providing a specific example of how you would introduce yourself. You can also use this as an opportunity to highlight any specialties or certifications that the patient may be interested in learning about.

Example: “I always make sure to introduce myself and shake hands with every new patient I meet. It’s important for patients to feel comfortable, so I try to greet them with a warm smile and friendly demeanor. I also let them know what my role is at the hospital and if they have any questions about me or my qualifications, I’m happy to answer them.”

12. What would you say to reassure a family member who is concerned about the health status of her relative?

This question is a great way to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with patients’ families. It also allows you to demonstrate how you can use empathy and compassion to help others feel more comfortable in stressful situations.

Example: “I would first ask the family member what concerns them most about their relative’s health status, and then I would explain exactly what was happening and why it’s occurring. For example, if they were concerned that their loved one wasn’t eating enough, I would tell them that this is normal for someone who has just undergone surgery. Then, I would reassure them that our team of healthcare professionals are doing everything we can to ensure their loved one gets better.”

13. What are the main differences between listening and hearing?

Listening and hearing are two different skills, so it’s important to understand the differences. This question is asking you to explain what makes them different and how they’re used in healthcare communication.

Example: “Hearing is a physical process that involves your ears. It’s when sound waves enter your ear canal and vibrate your eardrum. Hearing is automatic, meaning you don’t have to think about it. Listening, on the other hand, is an active process. You must focus on what someone is saying and actively listen for key information. In healthcare communication, listening is more important than hearing because you need to hear what patients say but also understand their nonverbal cues.”

14. In your opinion, why do so many people choose not to listen to others?

This question is a great way to assess your communication skills and how you can use them to help others. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about why people may not listen to others. You should also explain what you would do differently if you were in their position.

Example: “I think there are many reasons why people don’t listen to others. Sometimes they’re just too busy or distracted to pay attention. Other times, they may feel like the person speaking doesn’t have enough authority to give advice. I always make sure that when I’m communicating with someone, I speak clearly and confidently so they know I’m an expert on the subject.”

15. Are you comfortable dealing directly with patients?

This question can help the interviewer determine how comfortable you are with face-to-face communication. It can also show them whether or not you have experience in this area. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific instance where you had to interact directly with patients and what your role was.

Example: “I am very comfortable interacting directly with patients. In my previous position, I often spoke with patients over the phone about their concerns. If they needed more information, I would provide it to them and answer any questions they had. Sometimes, if they were having an emergency, I would direct them to the nearest hospital.”


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