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Ace The Sonographer Interview

You've done your research. You've searched "jobs in sonography", "diagnostic sonography positions", "cardiac sonography jobs", and at least a dozen other terms. Your resume is updated, cover letter honed, and application refined. You know you can do the job and do it well. Your hard work paid off, and you landed the coveted interview.

To help you ace this next step, ARDMS has developed some sonography-specific tips, so you can land the ultrasound job of your dreams...

The Set Up

No doubt you'll cover the who, what, when, and where of the meeting, but there are other equally important logistics that need to be addressed. For example, is the interview one-on-one or will it be a panel format? (This becoming more prevalent in our industry.) Will scanning be part of it? (While not standard, some private facilities may request it.) Will it be done in-person (Ie: a sonography job near you) or via web conference, like Zoom or Skype (Ie: Applying for vascular ultrasound job in Michigan or a cardiac sonographer job in Florida)?

Whether it includes a simulation or not, is live or online, some of the same principals apply. Be mindful of your nonverbal communications, use appropriate terminology and verbiage, exude confidence, and listen actively to best answer questions.

Know Your Stuff

As with any industry, there are skillsets and proficiencies that you need to demonstrate. Be prepared to drill down on both mainstream questions and credential-specific ones, like accepted measurement ranges for Pediatric Sonography (PS) scans or the latest principles and instrumentation for Adult Echocardiography (AE). (If you need a refresher, take one of our 30-minute practice tests in My ARDMS.) Additionally, let the interviewer of the sonographer job you're applying for know what ultrasound machines you've used, what exams you've taken, your strengths and weaknesses, if you're comfortable with EMRs, and if you have any abilities that set you apart from other applicants, like speaking other languages.

If you're right out of school or training, don't be put off. Be the best candidate that you can when you walk in the front door of the hospital or medical facility you are interviewing for - that's when first impressions are made. Remember that sonographers are a small community. Putting your best foot forward each day will carry you a long way.

Tell Me About...

An inevitable part of your interview will be behavioral questions. These are the ones that typically start with "Tell me about a time you've performed a scan and..." or "Give me an example when you were in a sonographer job and..." which end in a variety of scenarios. (Other examples include: when your work was criticized, when you went above and beyond, when someone was upset with you, when you weren't able to meet a deadline, etc.).

Our advice: break it down. Respond as specifically as possible and outline the situation, the actions you took, and the result. Above all – answer honestly. Remember that these questions are meant to glean important information not only about past challenges, but to also pinpoint indicators for future success.

Share Your Accomplishments

There are over 97,000 active ARDMS Registrants who hold the RDMS, RDCS, RVT and/or RMSKS. If you are one of them who hold a credential with ARDMS, don't be shy about sharing what you have accomplished in school and in your career. Not only did you meet the prerequisites necessary to apply, you passed the vigorous examination, and were awarded a credential in the areas of ultrasound. That is a huge accomplishment! So, stand proud as you share why you are capable, confident and deserving of the sonography job you are being considered for.

Ask Them Back

While you will be the one to answer the majority of the questions, prepare yourself with a few questions to ask of your own. Your interview is meant to be a dialogue and there is information you'll need to make a decision. By actively listening and devising your own follow-up questions, you'll be able to demonstrate your interest, understand the employer's challenges, discern if the opportunity is the right fit, and advocate your candidacy. For instance, ask the interviewer, "What are the ideal qualities you are looking for in a diagnostic medical sonographer to fill this job?" Another strong question to consider, "Looking back one year from now, what would I have to do in this role as a vascular sonographer to convince you that I was a strong hire?" Not only will this get the interviewer envisioning you performing ultrasound in their facility, it will also show him or her that you are committed to performing excellence in your position of healthcare.

In addition, you can ask their perspective on details about the hiring process, what sets their organization's culture apart, when you can expect to hear something back, and who you should follow up with if you have additional questions.

Need More Info?

For additional resources, such as our career coaching, resume writing and reference checking, visit the resources page of UltrasoundJOBS.

In the meantime, good luck - you've got this!

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