When it comes to securing a Functional Medicine practitioner job, we all know that the interview process plays a critical role. At a time when public demand is mainstreaming Integrative and Functional Medicine and the number of opportunities within the field are consistently on the rise, being able to adequately demonstrate your skills and expertise is crucial.
This is where we come in. At Integrated and Functional Connections, we’re the leading-edge healthcare staffing firm that specializes exclusively in Integrative and Functional Medicine career placements. I’ve been doing this since 2009, and I’ve seen my fair share of Functional Medicine candidates either make or break it within the interview process.
Crafting Your Career Story
During the interview process, the essence of the entire conversation revolves around your career story. So what exactly is your career story? According to Glassdoor.com, it’s the story of how you got to be where you are today, why you want to work for the company you’re interviewing with, and why you’re perfect for the job. Providing an accurate, succinct, and compelling history of your path to Integrative and Functional Medicine is crucial, and we find too many candidates struggling in this area. I’ve found that many candidates are unprepared and end up rambling or not conveying the type of information that is best suited to this situation. To avoid this scenario, here are my suggestions for crafting a compelling career story.
Start at the Beginning
When I interview a candidate, I have a list of basic questions I ask everyone, but the power of the conversation comes from the candidate’s story. And a story must start at the beginning. I want to understand how they became involved in Integrative and Functional Medicine and how their path led them to a conversation with me about a new job opportunity.
By starting at the beginning of the story, you can learn a lot about the practitioner’s dedication and passion for the field, and whether they have the much-needed initiative to truly make their mark in the realm of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Demonstrating initiative is at the top of the list when it comes to landing the Functional Medicine practitioner job of your dreams. Describe how you became interested in Integrative Medicine, include personal stories of how this type of medicine became your passion. It may also include experiences at different jobs, which for the interviewer eventually unfolds into how you currently approach patient care and how you will perform in the future.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And I couldn’t agree more. I often speak on the importance of adequately preparing for an interview. Another important aspect of interview preparation is thinking about your career story. Create an outline of it so that you are prepared to give a succinct, personal account of it.
Set Yourself Apart with Stories
Be prepared with a brief yet compelling story of how your experiences and education make you the best person for the job. Provide examples in your career story of how you handled previous situations, as these are the best predictors for how you’ll perform in future situations. Providing examples in your career story will also make you more memorable to the interviewer. Offering a poignant or heartwarming story about how you came to be in the interview will help establish an emotional connection, which can potentially differentiate you from your competitors.
In general, when conveying your career story, organization of your story is imperative. As mentioned above, start at the beginning, and then proceed sequentially so as to avoid confusion and to make your story as meaningful as possible. Carefully consider which important moments within your story are key and definitely need to be included. I often recommend the moments when you knew you needed to practice medicine differently and when you realized that you aligned most with the Integrative and Functional Medicine approach. Highlight these key moments and eliminate others so as to stay on topic and avoid rambling. Otherwise, you risk losing the attention of the interviewer and potentially losing power within your story.
I’ve heard stories from practitioners of how they were unable to address the root cause of their patient’s illness in a 15-minute visit. As a result, they felt like they were simply a pill-mill and not actually helping anybody get better.
I’ve heard personal accounts from providers who found that Functional Medicine was the answer to their own health issue, or a family member’s, and once they discovered this approach they knew they could no longer practice in the conventional way.
I’ve talked to practitioners who were bringing their Functional Medicine education to their current practice but realized they needed the camaraderie and support of like-minded practitioners to address complex medical issues.
By sharing these experiences and suggestions with you, it is my hope that you’re able to secure the Integrative and Functional Medicine job that you’ve had your eye on. Your ideal job within the Integrative and Functional Medicine realm is out there. Let us help you identify it and secure it. We offer bi-monthly email notifications about the latest job opportunities and career tips in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. Sign up here for our monthly jobs announcement eBlast and newsletter.