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Top 5 Must-Ask Interview Questions to Ask a Candidate Before Joining Your FQHC?

FQHCs have a lot riding on getting the interview questions just right. Here are five great questions to find a better candidate.

You have a lot riding on the interview process. In this, you’re not alone. Failing to properly interview any candidate creates organizational risks that can cost you financially and indirectly in ways that impact the whole team.

FQHCs are unique work environments that present challenges for candidates and in turn, present challenges for interviewers. Healthcare providers in an FQHC setting need expertise in several different areas to succeed. Asking the right screening questions can mean the difference between a mediocre candidate and one that succeeds in your unique environment.

What are five key questions you should be asking your clinical and administrative candidates who apply for jobs in your FQHC or community healthcare organization? Read on to find out.

Best FQHC Interview Questions

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) were created to serve the underserved. In some areas, these patients are both poor and uninsured. The underserved could also be the entire community simply because there is a lack of healthcare providers in the region. The mission to serve these patients can help your staff through any difficulties inherent in the work. The mission is what drives us, so asking a candidate a qualifying question in this area is critical.


#1 Are you interested in working with an underserved population? Why? What has your experience been with underserved populations?

Most FQHCs work within an integrated model that combines primary care, mental and behavioral health, and dental care. The idea is that one clinical location can become the go-to resource for entire communities for their healthcare needs. So, you’re trying to find a candidate that is at least comfortable under this model—or, at best, experienced at practicing within these integrated settings.


#2 Have you practiced in a setting where primary care and mental health treatment are integrated? If not, what are your thoughts about these clinical models?

Community healthcare organizations often lack the resources of their larger health system counterparts (who are also sometimes competitors). Attracting and retaining patients and staff, as well as responding to times of peak demands, are just a few of the difficulties inherent in these healthcare models. It sometimes takes a level of creativity to “do something with nothing” in these settings. You’re looking for a resilient, innovative candidate with a track record of getting things done despite the hurdles.

#3 Name one of the most creative solutions you ever came up with to a difficult problem in a healthcare setting.

Every clinician, every back-office support staff, and every administrator has made a mistake in their career. You’re looking for candidates who can keep going in the face of adversity and who can pick themselves up after a fall. Getting back up means the candidate has perseverance but also the creativity and problem-solving skills to keep moving forward.


#4 What was your greatest career mistake so far and what did you learn from it?
This is a great question that will really help you understand the egos and attitudes of the people you’re hiring into your organization. Even the best doctors make mistakes, but how are they at admitting them? Learning (and mistakes) are human but you’re trying to find the candidate that keeps moving forward despite their struggles.


#5 What are the unique skills that set you apart as a (fill in the job title)?

Finally, you’re trying to find out what sets this candidate apart from everyone else you’ve interviewed. Every doctor has a unique way of treating patients. Every administrator has a technique that helps them do their job. Whether the candidate is a doctor or a biller, a technician or a coder, this last question can fit just about anyone.


UHC Solutions offers community healthcare organizations an integrated service for sourcing, interviewing, negotiating, and hiring FQHC candidates. Talk with our team today to find out how we can help your organization find a better hire this year.


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