Healthcare Startup Interview

Remember how I mentioned that my ultimate dream job would be to work for a healthcare startup?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I landed an interview with a 13 person healthcare startup near Philadelphia.  Coincidentally, I found out about this company while preparing for a NP interview at a hospital in the city.  I was very interested in what this company was doing to prevent 30 day readmission rates.  So, I went to their website and discovered they were looking for someone with clinical experience to join their team.  I knew I was underqualified for the position, but decided to give it a go anyway- nothing to lose, right?  One of the founders replied to me within the hour of emailing my cover letter and resume and we set up an interview for the following week- score! I was excited but also very nervous.  I knew this interview would be unlike any other that I've experienced before.

Before the big day, I spent the prior week preparing.  I read up on the company, the legislation surrounding 30 day readmission and any tips that I could find when interviewing with a startup.  I'm glad I prepared as much as I did because I relied on that information for what became a 3 1/2 hour interview with 4 members of their leadership team- yikes!  By the end, I was absolutely exhausted.

Even though the experience was tiring, it was also exhilirating and I learned a lot about the startup world.  No, I wasn't offered the position but it was for the best.  For a number of reasons, it would not have been the right fit for me at this time in my life.  Although, I was glad to hear that it came down to me and another candidate.  In the end, they chose the other candidate because he/she had more project management experience.

If you're thinking about taking the plunge into the exciting world of healthcare startups or are preparing for an interview- I'll share some of the interview questions that stood out to me.

1.  Tell me what's important to know about you?
2.  Tell me about a time when you failed.
3.  Hypothetical:  Tell me how you would handle xyz situation?
4.  Do you consider yourself tech savy?
5.  What are your passions?
6.  What book are you currently reading?
7.  How would handle working in an unstructured environment?  (basically, how self-motivated are you?)
8.  What's your experience with analyzing data and drawing conclusions, etc.
9.  We're going to move quickly on this position- if you were offered the job, how quickly could you let us know if you'd accept it?

Those are just a few of the questions that stand out- believe me, there were a lot more!  

Have you ever worked for a healthcare startup? I'd love to hear about your experience. 

Reflections about NP school

Guys- tomorrow is my last day as a NP student at the University of Penn.  Tomorrow will be the last day I sit in this classroom.  I have no plans at this point to return for my PhD or DNP, but perhaps in 10 years I will have forgotten the pains of graduate school and I might take the plunge again.

As I reflect upon my own experiences in school there are a few things I would have done differently.

1.  Become involved in a grad student association.  GSO is the organization I should have joined when I began the program.  I decided early on that I didn't have the time for extras in my life because between school, work and family I was already juggling enough in my life.  Organizations such as this one can enhance the grad school experience.  There were definitely networking opportunities that I missed out on.

2.  Select a specialty early on and stick with it.  When I began my clinical rotations I did not have a preference aside from the fact that I wanted to work in the ICU setting.  My first rotation was in the Neuro ICU followed by a rotation in a Cardiothoracic ICU and my last clinical was in a general surgery practice- inpatient.  While my experiences were varied and I did learn a lot- I feel that my job search would be easier had I chosen a specialty and chosen my clinicals in that area only.  For example, had I chosen cardiology I could have worked in an inpatient/outpatient setting, a clinical in a cath lab and a rotation in a CCU (coronary care unit).  What I am finding is that even though I have worked for several years as an ICU nurse, many of the job openings in my area require experience within that particular specialty.  So, to make a long story short- my advice would be to select a specialty and stick with it throughout all of your clinical rotations.

3.  Connect with your classmates.  Luckily, as a result of this program, I feel that I now have new friends for life.  A group of us worked together very closely on projects and complimented each other very well.  We've shared our disappointments and celebrated our successes.  They have made school fun- good friends are essential.   

Do you all wish you would have done things differently while in NP school?

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