Since a sonographer is someone who runs the imaging equipment to do ultrasounds and catch the first glimpse of a new baby or diagnose an illness, interviewers will want to know if you can pay attention to details and be counted on to give patients your undivided attention. Whether you’re a job applicant or the hiring manager, certain questions are integral to the hiring process. Technical abilities are vital to make clear, accurate images to tell mom if it’s a boy or a girl. At the same time, people skills are important to be able to share information effectively with patients and other medical professionals.
Tell me about your interest in sonography.
This question opens the door for a candidate to share a passion for finding answers and working in a health care field that’s so rewarding. She should talk about the professional or instructor who inspired her to follow the path. This is an ideal time to explain that she wanted to find a health care career that she could start quickly, since only an associate degree or a certificate is required to get started. Open-ended questions like this let recruiters see excitement about the field and dedication to the industry through the stories that tell about how candidates arrived at the decision to become a sonographer.
What makes you the best sonographer for the job?
This question is particularly important when competing with a slew of candidates for the position. Now is the time to talk about technical skills and how the candidate mastered the eye-hand coordination needed to do the job effectively. A candidate may highlight exceptional interpersonal skills by sharing a story about the teamwork she was involved in at a previous job or how she was named the leader in a team project at school. It’s important to illustrate both personality and technical skills through examples with successful results.
Do you have future plans in the sonography field?
Recruiters prefer candidates dedicated to their profession and lean more towards sonographers they believe may stick with the job so they don’t have to go through this hiring process again soon. Candidates should think about the future before going to the interview to be prepared to talk about it to assure the interviewer. Sonographers who are in it for the long-haul are more attractive. After three years, sonographers can move into supervisory positions or become the lead sonographer at a busy facility. Both are relevant paths for confident, ambitious sonographers. A candidate may share that she plans to continue her education in health care and believes that the organization will be a great place to pursue any future goals. Involvement in professional associations, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, also establishes a candidate’s dedication to the field of imaging.
Describe a challenge encountered during clinical studies and how it turned out.
Recruiters are taught to ask situational questions for a number of reasons. They want to see how a candidate thinks on her feet and how she responds under pressure. Armed with a few stories about challenges and the positive results experienced, a candidate can make a positive impression. Stories might include a time the imaging wand slipped out of the candidate’s hand onto the floor and how she quickly picked it up, cleaned it off and successfully completed the test, all the while making the patient laugh and remain lying down. Or she might share a story about how she had to study for a test, but her replacement on the job was late. Instead of freaking out, she relaxed, took a deep breath and continued working. Recruiters listen for how a candidate handles stress in these situations and want to hear about how she avoided getting stressed-out, was able to study late and aced the test the next day.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."