Recruit an Executive

Video and Phone Interviews Surge As Distancing is Vital

These past months have been difficult as we have witnessed and experienced one of the most globally disruptive events in history. Flights have been canceled or altered, conferences have been postponed or revamped to virtual, and many employees are working from home. However, in health care and senior living facilities, it’s all hands on-deck.

This is a challenging time, filled with uncertainty and sudden change. Nothing close to business as usual. We’re hearing from many senior living organizations that they are steadily hiring interim and full-time professionals to keep up with the fast and ever-changing pace and in some states, they’re asking health care retirees to return to work.

When asked for advice on the best way to interview candidates safely and quickly, we recommend a well-prepared phone or video interview. It’s especially useful when trying to screen and pare down first round candidates without risking the health of all parties.  However, without the proper planning and coordination, you could potentially lose a candidate’s interest.

What’s the Best Way to Prepare for a Phone (including FaceTime) or Video Interview?

Know Who You’re Looking For

To make your calltoephone or video interviews effective, plan ahead and create an accurate job description. Do you need an interim or permanent professional? What are the most important factors and functions of the job? Figure out what you need to hear from a candidate for them to advance to the next stage of the process. Clarity as to whom you’re looking for will help guide the questions to ask during the interview.

Plan Your Questions

Once you know the background, traits, and qualifications of the perfect fit, plan questions to ask but make them conversational. The best phone or video interviews are free-flowing, allowing both the employer and candidate to explore if the job is a good fit. Plus, a good conversation will help to eliminate any lapses in the discussion and awkward silence. Most phone and video interviews last about 30 minutes and you should plan on asking 5 to 10 questions.

Test Your Equipment & Surroundings

The day before the interview, test your video and audio equipment and check the lighting. Are the acoustics in the room acceptable? Is the lighting too light or too dark? Is the type of video technology you’re using the best? Next, it’s important to conduct a dry run. By being totally prepared, you can avoid possible glitches.

Put Your Candidates at Ease

Let your candidates know upfront that sometimes these types of interviews can feel a bit impersonal and somewhat awkward, and that you’ll make every effort to put then at ease.  Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera. Give the candidate the opportunity to show a little of who they are by starting with some small talk. Ease into the tougher questions during the later stages of the interview. This is a good way to calm the nerves and allow the interview to flow smoothly.

End Interview on a Positive Note

The best way to end an interview is to advise the candidates how and when you’re going to be in contact and whether any further steps need to be taken such as scheduling a second interview, completion of forms, behavioral assessments, etc. In addition, thank the candidate for their time. Common courtesy creates a positive impression.

Interviewing and hiring are certainly areas which are feeling the effects of this crisis with all parties involved adjusting to the situation.   We expect an uptick of senior living organizations to change their in-person interviews to video or phone interviews, a necessary step to screen candidates with safety in mind.



Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

(Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Oregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.)

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.



MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for the full spectrum of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Ask us about our Interim Talent Solutions including: Interim Executive Director, Interim Nursing Home Administrator, Interim Assisted Living Administrator, Interim Director of Nursing, Director of Health Services, Director of Resident Care/Wellness Director, and Interim MDS Coordinator.

Contact MedBest at / 727-526-1294.


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