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Contrasting Interviews

April 15, 2010

Over the past week, I’ve had three interviews for potential summer internships. The first two really stood out with stark differences between them.

The first interview was at a county health plan. To call it an interview would probably be an inaccurate description though. There were a few general interview questions, but most of the time, it was very free flow.  It felt like a casual conversation and both I and my two interviewers exchanged a lot of stories about our lives and wove them around the job opening. There were plenty of laughs and I felt really comfortable.

The second interview was at a branch of a huge health care company. Again, I was interviewed by two people, but this time there was a distinct corporate feel to everything, from the small windowless conference room to the structure of the interview. It was static and not very two-sided. Question. Answer. Question. Answer. I was asked a lot of specific and standard interview questions. I stumbled on some of them and my answers weren’t that great, but I left thinking that this company and internship might not be the right fit for me.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was at the end of the interview, when I asked the interviewers what motivates and drives them to come to work everyday. The first words that came out of each interviewer’s mouths were something about how they love the company and the excitement and potential for growth in it. I know that it’s a good thing to like working for your company, but if that’s the first line of motivation, that doesn’t really fit my mindset of wanting to go into the health care industry to help others first and foremost.

In contract, in my interview with the county health plan, the interviewers answered this questions with stories and dreams centered around helping people. When this whole process sorts itself out in a few weeks, I’m sure I’ll be glad to have any internship at all. But based on the interviews, I already know which culture I’d fit in the best.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. socialenterprisegal permalink
    April 17, 2010 8:31 am

    Interesting insight. It actually fits right in with my notion of the business side of medicine not really being about the patients’ well-being.

    I too would favor the county health plan. Of course, there patients are the focus, but the funds are far tighter and there can be a frustrating amount of bureaucracy. At least that’s been the case historically.

    We definitely need more dedicated young people like you to go in and change the system for the better!

  2. April 18, 2010 10:09 am

    Thanks for the input. I too think that there is a belief of bureaucratic inefficiency in the public sector. But now is a an exciting time for change, and I’m hopeful that change will come in the health care industry.

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