How to prepare, and how to excel by making it a two-way process when interviewing for a chiropractic associates position
AS A NEW OR NEW-ISH CHIROPRACTOR you probably haven’t thought about how the science, philosophy and art of chiropractic relate to the interview process. However, this triune is the perfect foundation to prepare for your next opportunity in a chiropractic associates position and as an associate doctor.
There is a clear science to prepare and excel during a job interview. The basics behind the science of interviewing that consistently convey your level of skill and professionalism can help you land the best chiropractic associate job available.
Punctuality is perhaps the most obvious but often the most frequently overlooked aspect of interviewing.
“It’s amazing how common it is for candidates to show up a few minutes late,” says Adriana Loya, director of placement for Chiro Matchmakers. “It is always frustrating when a perfectly qualified associate job candidate is immediately rejected because they showed up a couple of minutes late for their first interview. This is an easy pitfall to avoid.”
Arriving early for an interview immediately shows that you are interested and provides a grace period in the case of unexpected events. Traffic and parking issues can easily add 10-15 minutes or more to your travel time. People are rarely late for things they regard as essential and a high priority; therefore, arriving early to your interview immediately sets a high standard.
Ditch the casual attire
Another basic science to improve your odds of landing your dream job is how you dress. The bottom line is your interview outfit must be professional. After all, you are a doctor, and even though the attire used in chiropractic offices has become more casual in recent years, still showing up in professional dress shows you care.
You can always show up casually to match the work culture after the job is yours. As the old adage goes, you never get a second chance to make that first impression, so take full advantage of it by dressing for the job you want.
“I have a hard time taking a candidate seriously when they come into the interview with sports attire on,” says Adrian Velasquez, DC, director of Health Quest Chiropractic in Albuquerque, N.M., who recently went through a round of interviews looking for a chiropractic associates position for his growing practice. “Because so few people wear suits today, it immediately sets those candidates apart from the rest of the pack.”
A quick tip is to visit the practice website or even drive by the location before your interview. You can get a feel for how the team dresses when taking care of patients and how they like to be seen by the community. Use what you see as a baseline for what you choose to wear to the interview.
Your communication, verbal and non-verbal
The science of communication is where you have an opportunity to wow the interviewer. We are well aware that communication is more than simply our words. Your body language, eye contact, posture and hand gestures communicate interest and engagement.
Typically, the interviewer has a list of questions they are working on, but your level of engagement often differentiates you from your competition for the position. Take the pressure off yourself by knowing there is no perfect answer to any given interview question. Often, your answers convey excitement or can relate your past experiences directly to the given question that gets the most respect.
It’s important to be completely honest during your interview. Trying to sneak something by a potential team member can start the relationship on the wrong foot. Most often, this occurs when describing techniques or experiences. If you’re a newer chiropractor, you may feel as though you need to stretch the truth regarding experience or technique certifications. Resist the urge and remember, you’re not just looking to get a job. You’re looking for a place where you can spend years of your life improving the health of the people in that community.
The key actions to communicate your interest and enthusiasm are maintaining comfortable eye contact, leaning forward and giving thoughtful examples that directly address your answers from your past experiences.
“If you bring a genuine energy and excitement to your answers, it will have a major impact on how you are perceived,” Loya says.
Your outlook, or philosophy as someone seeking a chiropractic associates position, is an area that allows you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition.
The chiropractic associates position: find your philosophical fit
There is a wide range of approaches to the practice of chiropractic. Understanding a practice’s preferences, adjusting techniques and philosophy can help you decide if that role is a good fit for you.
The happiest chiropractic associates doctors practice in clinics that match their philosophy and approach to health. Think of it this way — practices that align with your philosophy are more likely to have an abundance of your ideal patients. Nothing is more fun and energizing than providing care for a practice full of your ideal patients. And nothing is more challenging and disheartening than showing up to a practice filled with patients you are not excited to treat.
This perspective will help you immediately discern which opportunities can be a great long-term fit for you and jobs that will likely not be the best cultural fit for you to spend your time, energy and focus working for. And, of course, there is the art of practicing chiropractic in our triune. Applying this to interviewing extends beyond your preferred technique of choice and into the philosophy with which you approach patient care.
“We see the best long-term satisfaction ratings for our associate doctor placements when we can find a strong match between the philosophy, technique and behavioral match between a clinic owner and a chiropractor looking for the right job,” says Nick Lancaster, COO of Chiro Matchmakers.
Some techniques can be learned on the job, while others require specific certification. Be mindful of the techniques you are qualified to use and those you are excited about. Matching the technique set of a practice with the passions of an associate can create a big win-win-win. That’s a win for the practice, the associates, and most importantly, the patients receiving care.
Create clarity if need be
Another thing to consider when preparing for an interview is the clarity of the job description. If the job description is unclear, it can signify that the practice’s office systems and procedures may also be a bit sloppy.
There is a direct correlation between the success of an office and its systems and procedures. Therefore, the salary range they are willing to pay a chiropractic associates doctor may be linked to how well the office’s systems, procedures and job descriptions are defined. Based on this, remember that you too are interviewing the office along with them interviewing you for the job.
Having a crystal-clear understanding of yourself (also known as self-awareness) as a chiropractor will help you determine if a job is right for you. When an office can clearly define the work that is expected of you through job descriptions, training and an onboarding program laid out for you, you can take solace in knowing you have likely found a great match.
ALLEN MINER, DC, is a 2003 Parker College of Chiropractic graduate and has been practicing in Albuquerque, N.M., since 2003. He co-founded Chiro Matchmakers, which has placed thousands of DCs around the world. He is also the co-author of “The Chiropractic Code,” published in 2014. For more info go to chiromatchmakers.com.