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blogpost 03082016

Preparing for Healthcare Peer Interviewing

This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. Every week we share information that demonstrates our expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions we have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Peer interviewing is a process and, as such, there are a number of essential steps involved to ensure success. Being solidly prepared for the interview is necessary to give the team the knowledge they need. So the first step is gaining a good understanding of all that the position entails, including technical and behavioral skills. This information is then used in the second preparatory step—exploring the best behavioral-based questions to ask the applicant.

First: Come to an Understanding of the Job

In preparation for the interview, the team members review a current job description. They should pay particular attention to the following aspects:

  • Does the person manage others?
  • Does the job involve making decisions related to policy and/or procedures?
  • What specific technical skills does the job involve?
  • What specific behavioral skills does the job involve?
  • Does the job involve direct contact with customers?
  • With what departments does the job interact?
  • Is there anything else important to know about this position?


Technical skills
are those that require specific technological/clinical knowledge or experience. Examples might be:

  • Use of specific machines or equipment
  • Use of specific kinds of computer hardware and software
  • Using tools in prescribed and precise ways


Behavioral skills 
are the actual tasks and responsibilities assigned to the job, including interpersonal ability. This skill set, which is closely linked to an organization’s Standards of Performance, could relate to:

  • Managing, supervising, and coaching other employees
  • Making and being responsible for decisions
  • Following established guidelines
  • Adhering to policies and procedures
  • Dealing with other departments
  • Interacting with the public
  • Receiving an assignment and reporting its results when completed
  • Working on interdepartmental teams
  • Effectively leading meetings
  • Presenting information to a group


Second: Use Exercises to Help to Identify Necessary Candidate Skills

Determine, from brief job descriptions, the essential skills needed for each position. This exercise is useful in helping your organization understand how to develop a more detailed list of skills from a typical job description.

Exercise One

Sample of a Job Description Summary – Professional Nurse CNII

A Clinical Nurse II is a registered nurse who works with increasing independence to set criteria for the quality of patient care; assesses patient needs, and plans for the individualized care of patients using specialized knowledge and skills; and evaluates the outcomes of interventions. He/she may perform the duties of the Clinical Nurse I. This individual also directs and guides patient-care activities of ancillary staff and other patient-care personnel, while maintaining the standards of professional nursing practice.

Technical Skills

1.                                                                                                                         

2.                                                                                                                         

3.                                                                                                                         

4.                                                                                                                         

5.                                                                                                                         

Behavioral Skills

1.                                                                                                                         

2.                                                                                                                         

3.                                                                                                                         

4.                                                                                                                         

5.                                                                                                                         


Exercise Two

Sample of a Job Description Summary – Utility Worker

This individual reports to the food-production manager. He/she performs a variety of duties in the kitchen, including cleaning work tables, meat blocks, refrigerated areas, and soiled pots, pans, and trays; sweeps and mops floors; obtains and distributes supplies  and utensils; removes soiled utensils to the sink area, cleaning them in accordance with sanitation techniques and returning them to their storage place. Those in this position also remove trash or garbage, may transport supplies into and out of storerooms, comply with all sanitary regulations, and must deliver or pick up food carts from the floors. In general, he/she is responsible for cleanliness of all areas used by the kitchen staff, including storerooms, the cafeteria, and dumpster areas.

Technical Skills

1.                                                                                                                         

2.                                                                                                                         

3.                                                                                                                         

4.                                                                                                                         

5.                                                                                                                         

Behavioral Skills

1.                                                                                                                         

2.                                                                                                                         

3.                                                                                                                         

4.                                                                                                                         

5.                                                                                                                          

 



About the Best Practice Series

We are pleased to share the best practices developed by our expert coaches from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. This series of how-to publications offers proven techniques, key words and phrases, and processes to help you transform your culture to one of high performance.

Our Best Practices Series, based on employee-developed and employee-managed practices and programs, includes the following:

  • Hourly Rounding
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Peer Interviewing
  • Bright Ideas
  • Purposeful Rounding
  • Words that WorkSM
  • Service Recovery
  • Standards of Performance

Our goal for this collection is to offer you even more tools to achieve extraordinary service and higher levels of performance excellence.

Learn more about the services offered by the HealthStream Engagement Institute.

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