Finding the right fit in a physician job goes beyond clinical skills and qualifications. Cultural fit – comprising of shared values, beliefs and attitudes between a physician and an organization – plays an important role in long-term job satisfaction and success.
To ensure a mutually beneficial partnership, health care systems place a large focus on assessing organizational values, so you will want to know how to demonstrate cultural fit in physician interviews.
The importance of organizational values
Health care organizations have come to realize cultural fit is a determining factor of your engagement, productivity and retention.
When you share similar values with your employers, you’re more likely to experience job satisfaction, collaborate effectively with colleagues and contribute positively to the overall work environment. When values don’t align, it can lead to conflicts, disengagement and a higher likelihood of physician turnover.
Assessing organizational values during interviews allows health care institutions to gauge how your beliefs, principles and professional goals align with their mission, vision and culture. It also provides insights into whether you will integrate seamlessly into the existing team, adapt to the organization’s practices and contribute to its overall success.
How to assess organizations’ values
Research the organization: Before the interview, thoroughly research the health care system’s mission, values and culture. This knowledge will allow you to align your answers and demonstrate your understanding of their core principles. Researching the organization’s website, social media presence and annual reports can provide valuable insights.
How organizations assess values during interviews
- Behavioral-based questions: Interviewers ask behavioral-based questions to assess how you have previously demonstrated values similar to theirs. For example, “Tell us about a time when you had to make a difficult ethical decision. How did your values guide your actions?” Such questions allow you to show how you align with the organization’s values through concrete examples from your past experiences.
- Cultural fit assessments: In addition to traditional interviews, health care organizations can use cultural fit assessments to evaluate how well you align with their values. These assessments can take various forms, such as personality assessments, values questionnaires or scenario-based simulations. They provide a standardized and objective measure of cultural fit, enabling organizations to compare you and other candidates on a level playing field.
- Panel interviews: Panel interviews involving representatives from different departments and levels within the organization can provide a broader perspective on your cultural fit. By involving individuals who interact with physicians regularly, organizations can assess how well your values align with various stakeholders and the broader organizational culture.
- Site visits and informal interactions: Inviting candidates for site visits and informal interactions with potential colleagues can give you a glimpse into the organization’s culture and values. These visits provide an opportunity for you to observe the work environment, interact with staff members and assess if you’ll feel a sense of connection and alignment with the organization.
Benefits of mutual values
- Improved job satisfaction: Physicians who align with the organizational values are more likely to experience job satisfaction. They feel a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and connection with their work, leading to increased engagement and reduced burnout rates.
- Enhanced teamwork and collaboration: When physicians share common values with their colleagues and the organization, they can collaborate more effectively. Trust and mutual understanding are strengthened, facilitating seamless teamwork and high-quality patient care.
- Reduced turnover: When the candidate doesn’t fit the culture, it’s a significant contributor to physician turnover. By carefully assessing organizational values, health care organizations can select candidates who are more likely to stay long term, reducing recruitment and onboarding costs while maintaining consistent, quality care.
- Improved patient experience: When physicians align with an organization’s values, they are more likely to prioritize patient-centered care. Shared values can contribute to a patient-focused culture, resulting in enhanced patient satisfaction, better outcomes and improved overall patient experience.
Recruiters and hiring employers will be assessing if you are a good fit for their culture, so you should also evaluate if it is the right culture.
When you research the values, mission and goals of the organization, ask yourself if they align with yours. Do you believe in what they value? Are they aware of their mission and values, and does it seem like the organization buys into the shared goals?
If any of your principles are shared with the organization, get a feel for if they are genuine and if you could see yourself practicing and living those values.