Graphic that shows three different types of interview questions you should be asking.

Use these questions to identify a candidate’s technical knowledge and abilities

Use these questions to determine how a candidate handled situations in the past

Use these questions to assess a candidate’s personal traits and cognitive skills

Why this matters

As a patient nears discharge, the case manager is typically counted on to improve the chances of effective plan implementation. A successful case manager will be well informed prior to this event—recognizing potential barriers and challenges, assuring nothing has been overlooked, and making last-minute alterations for the immediate discharge period.

What to listen for

  • Knowledge of common resources used in discharge planning, such as meal planning, home health, and medical equipment.
  • Inclusion of family or caretakers in the process, and constant communication pre-discharge.

Why this matters

A vital case management skill is the ability to recognize a patient’s health problems and formulate an action plan based on both subjective and objective data. While case managers may not perform these assessments themselves, they often make referrals for them, so a solid understanding of the factors involved is important.

What to listen for

  • Answers should cover a range of factors, from reasons for admission and functional abilities to level of assistance needed and financial status.
  • Candidates should stress the importance of accurate and comprehensive documentation.

Why this matters

Many case managers end up providing at-home services in locations outside their assigned areas. Through communication, collaboration, and resourcefulness, a highly qualified case manager will do what it takes to uncover community support that motivates the patient to succeed in meeting the goals of their care.

What to listen for

  • Evidence the candidate continually assesses local human service agencies for referrals.
  • Examples of relationship-building in past roles and current partnerships with community groups.

Why this matters

A case manager’s expertise is the vital link between the individual, the provider, the payer, and the community. It’s important for them to apply specialized skills and knowledge throughout the processes of patient assessment, care implementation, required interventions, and outcome evaluation.

What to listen for

  • Candidates should mention the need for a critical eye to set and reset realistic goals, and seek viable alternatives when necessary.
  • Answers should stress collaboration among members of the healthcare team.

Why this matters

To achieve successful evaluations and outcomes, a case manager must routinely assess and reassess the patient’s status and progress. This involves heavy documentation, which assists in clinical management, justifies interventions and expenses, and supports patient advocacy.

What to listen for

  • Candidates should show they value accurate record-keeping in planning, implementing, and evaluating services.
  • Demonstrated experience using Electronic Health Records is a plus.

Why this matters

The intake process can be challenging for the client, their family, and the case manager. Some patients may feel anxious, especially if they are unfamiliar with the mental health/social services system. Your candidate’s answer will show their ability to calmly and quickly assess difficult situations, and take the appropriate action.

What to listen for

  • An understanding that challenging situations are a part of the job and that empathy is critical for dealing with them.
  • Top candidates may have special expertise, such as training from a nursing degree, that helps them in situations like these.

Why this matters

The optimal delivery of case management services involves a supportive and trusting relationship between patients and all members of the healthcare team. Through mutual respect and communication, case managers develop a vested interest in the patient’s outcome and their advocacy demonstrates this.

What to listen for

  • Evidence that the candidate views the patient’s best interests as paramount in the process of care delivery.
  • Signs that they facilitate the patient’s and family’s decision-making activities by keeping them well informed of their rights and options.

Why this matters

In case management, issues involving the patient, family, and healthcare provider continuously arise. A case manager’s ability to provide safe, efficient, and competent services depends heavily on their skills in problem-solving, clinical reasoning, and critical thinking.

What to listen for

  • Knowledge of the legal and ethical requirements of patient care delivery.
  • Demonstrated experience negotiating, making sound decisions, and resolving conflicts.

Why this matters

Case managers use many leadership skills to effectively master the healthcare process. Since they function as problem-solvers, resource managers, and members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, they should possess some leadership qualities, even if they’re not on the leadership team.

What to listen for

  • Look for signs that the candidate recognizes the importance of their role in directing or altering the course of patient treatment.
  • Candidates should feel confident instructing others and voicing their opinions when it can lead to better patient care.