Jones & Bartlett Learning Public Health Blog

    Informational Interviewing: a 2-Part Student Assignment with Rubric

    Posted by Sophie Teague on Feb 1, 2018 5:52:00 PM

    By Sharon Buchbinder, RN, PhD

    Author of Introduction to Health Care Management, 3rd Edition

    Since I received feedback the January post was appreciated, I thought I’d follow up with a second one, this time with a focus on Informational Interviews. This is a great assignment at undergraduate or graduate level programs and works well in Internships and Capstones. They also are effective in courses that provide an overview of healthcare systems and healthcare professionals, as well as others. When used as part of a course, I recommend a structured interview. This enables the student and the interviewee to focus on the key tasks of the interview and to avoid wasting time. Some students who have little or no experience in healthcare settings may need assistance with identifying an interviewee. The faculty member may need to have his or her own network at the ready to serve as a pool of interviewees. Herewith you will find the assignment, the assignment objectives, and the grading rubric for the assignment.Informational_Interviewing_IMages.jpg

    Informational Interview Assignment

    The purpose of this exercise is for you to find out what executives actually DO in a healthcare setting. The titles are impressive, but what’s behind the title? Sit down and look at jobs in your place of employment or where you would like to be employed that you think you would be interested in doing. Then make an appointment with the person who holds that job by asking for an informational interview that will take 15-20 minutes. Take them coffee! Bring donuts! Thank them! They are giving you their time and expertise.

    If the interview goes well, you will have added to your network of people that you know in the organization and in healthcare management. Remember, people move around and get promotions. You never know when that COO you interviewed might become a CEO and remember that bright young student who interviewed her (or him).

    The following are suggested questions to ask. If your interviewee keeps looking at his watch, wrap it up and thank him (or her) for their time.

    Assignment Objectives:

    By the end of this assignment, the student will be able to:

    • Identify the health care leadership competencies required by his or her target job title.
    • Identify his or her health care leadership competencies required to complete the interview.
    • Analyze his or her needs for additional education, training, or certification to advance in his or her career.
    • Create an outline of a plan for continuing education.
    • Demonstrate effective professionalism, personal and professional ethics, written, verbal, and interpersonal proficiencies.

    The Interview Questions:

    1. What degrees do you hold and what other practice preparation did you have for your current position?
    2. Please describe your employment history. What path did you take to arrive at this position?
    3. What types of decisions do you make on a day-to-day basis?
    4. What is the worst decision you have ever had to make in this job?
    5. What is the best decision you have ever had to make in this job?
    6. What are the key skills and competencies that you use and are needed in this job?
    7. What are the key sources of satisfaction in your job?
    8. What are the challenges you face in your role and in healthcare management?
    9. Can you provide an example of a crisis you managed successfully while in this job? Why do you think you were able to respond effectively to the crisis?
    10. Who were your role models on your career path and do you have a mentor who works with you now?

    After you complete the interview, prepare a narrative (no bullet points, no numbers). In addition to the interviewee’s responses, you must include a reflective section.

    Part 2: Student Reflections

    This section should be a minimum of two (2) pages (500-600 words) long and should include your thoughts in response to the following questions.

    • After interviewing the healthcare manager, are you more or less interested in holding that job? Explain your response in detail.
    • What Healthcare Leadership Competencies did you utilize for this assignment?
    • Looking back on this interview, were there any surprises or AH-HA moments for you? What were they? How will you apply this information to your professional development?
    • What additional education or training do you think you will need if you want to pursue this role? Identify a minimum of three areas for additional education or training and create an outline of a plan for your continuing education with a timeline.

    Informational Interview and Reflections Rubric

     

    A Level

    B Level

    C Level

    D Level

    Assignment Objectives

     

     

     

     

    The student identified the health care leadership competencies required by his or her target job title. (20 points)

     

    Conducted a comprehensive assessment of the HLCs required, comparing interviewee’s stated HLCs to program HLCs.

    Conducted an adequate assessment of the HLCs required, comparing interviewee’s stated HLCs to program HLCs.

    Student conducted a cursory examination for assessment of the HLCs required.

    Student conducted no examination for assessment of the HLCs required.

    The student identified his or her health care leadership competencies required to complete the interview. (20 points)

     

    Conducted a comprehensive assessment of the HLCs required to complete the interview, his or her stated HLCs to program HLCs.

    Conducted an adequate assessment of the HLCs required to complete the interview, his or her stated HLCs to program HLCs.

    Student conducted a cursory examination for assessment of his or her HLCs required for the interview.

    Student conducted no examination for assessment of his or her HLCs required for the interview.

    The student analyzed his or her needs for additional education, training, or certification to advance in his or her career. (20 points)

     

     

    Analyzed his or her needs utilizing peer-reviewed literature and professional organization websites, citing and referencing appropriately.

    Analyzed his or her needs utilizing non peer-reviewed literature and professional organization websites, citing and referencing appropriately.

    Analyzed his or her needs utilizing non peer-reviewed literature, dot com websites or Wikipedia, with or without citing and referencing appropriately.

    Failed to provide an analysis of his or her needs for additional education, training, or certification to advance in his or her career.

    The student identified a minimum of three areas for additional education or training and created an outline of a plan for continuing education with a timeline. (20 points)

     

     

    Identified 3 or more areas for additional education or training and created a detailed plan for continuing education with a timeline.

    Identified 3 areas for additional education or training and created an adequate plan for continuing education with a timeline.

    Identified 2 areas for additional education or training and created an inadequate plan for continuing education with a timeline.

    Identified 1 or no areas for additional education or training and created a poor plan for continuing education without a timeline.

    The student demonstrated effective professionalism, personal and professional ethics, written, verbal, and interpersonal proficiencies in application of course materials. (20 points)

     

     

     

    Completed interview and reflections give a professional and polished impression.

    Completed interview and reflections have some errors in grammar, spelling or presentation of materials.

    Completed interview and reflections are poorly formatted, have numerous errors in grammar, spelling or presentation of materials.

    Completed interview and reflections are poorly organized and formatted, have numerous errors in grammar, spelling or presentation of materials.

    COMMENTS TO STUDENT

    Total Score

     

    When used in conjunction with a reflective assignment, informational interviews require students to use higher order thinking skills. In this assignment, they must not only find out what it took for the healthcare manager to attain that role, but determine what they need to learn, as well. Sometimes it is difficult to convince students that professional development and lifelong learning are mandatory for all healthcare professionals. Often, after an informational interview experience, I have found students have reconsidered this perspective and realize that graduation is not the end of their learning.


    Sharon_Buchbinder_10-9-17.jpgSharon Buchbinder is Professor and Program Coordinator for the MS in Healthcare Management at Stevenson University in the Graduate and Professional School and former chair of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). She is also the author of three books from Jones & Bartlett: Introduction to Health Care Management, Cases in Health Care Management, and Career Opportunities in Health Care Management.

     

    Here are some resources if you are interested in this topic:

    Hall, N. C., Gradt, S. J., Goetz, T., & Musu-Gillette, L. E. (2011). Attributional retraining, self-esteem, and the job interview: Benefits and risks for college student employment. Journal Of Experimental Education, 79(3), 318-339. doi:10.1080/00220973.2010.503247

    Hansen, K., Oliphant, G. C., Oliphant, B. J., & Hansen, R. S. (2009). Best practices in preparing students for mock interviews. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(3), 318-327.

    Ward, K. W., Leuty, M., & Corie, J. (2016). Effectiveness of a job search and interview skills workshop for graduate students in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Contemporary Issues In Communication Science & Disorders, 43, 174.

     

    Topics: Sharon Buchbinder