Success Stories

How I Improved my Interviewing Skills by Connecting with Others — A WHCM Success Story!

Interview with Julie Brenman, written by Nancy E. O’Hare

What was your situation, Julie?

“I was laid off in 2009. So I was not employed and I had been out interviewing. I felt like I was not interviewing well and I wanted to improve my skills.”

What is your background?

“My background is in healthcare administration since 2002. I received my MBA from Boston University and have worked in two settings since then: a hospital position at MGH and a physician practice.”

“Before that I went to Brandeis University and studied political science, and received my BA.”

What was the next step that you took to improve your interviewing skills?

“Well, WHCM was having a networking event last fall (2009). I decided to go to the event to meet people. I am always looking to meet people with experience in the areas I am interested in.”

What happened at the networking event?

“I met Linda Sutter. She had been an executive for a long time. She also has a clinical background and a nursing home administration background. Linda has done so many things and she has landed on top. We got to talking at the event. I thought that talking more with Linda about interviewing might help me improve my interviewing skills. Linda told me, “I go to interviews impeccably prepared.””

What happened after the networking event?

“After the networking event Linda and I met for lunch. At that time I had two second interviews coming up. Linda helped me focus on how to highlight my skills and how I could solve their problems. This involved looking at the job description and honing in on key phrases.”

“I was struggling because I had not supervised nurses. Linda suggested that I speak about how I was a change agent.”

“We also spoke about working across a multi-site organization.”

“We spent 1.5 hours talking. Even though I did not receive offers from the two positions we prepared for, I came in second. I was much better prepared and I could talk about my strengths and weaknesses. I received very positive feedback from the interviewers.”

“I found out later that one of my competitors was an ex-CEO from another company!”

What did you takeaway from your meeting with Linda that has helped you the most?

“I was able to take a skillset away and translate it into future interviews.

Did you feel a change in yourself?

“Yes, I was able to be much more focused in my search even if I couldn’t hit the ball out of the park. I learned to assess my performance much better.”

What are you doing now?

Since August, 2010, I am working at the Providence Community Health Center in Providence, RI as a Clinical Improvement Coach, a new position. I live in Sharon, MA and so this commute works well for me. This whole thing works very well, actually.”

What did being a WHCM member allow you to do?

“I got to meet people who were further along in their careers than I was. I appreciated the chance to improve my skills. I found the networking meeting to be very helpful.”

What would you give back to WHCM?

“I would like to be a resource to others as well. I have had exchanges with other members of WHCM and I think it is all about supporting women in their careers.”

What would you like to say to Linda?

“I would like to thank Linda very much. I have told her that I landed!”

What are Success Stories

Success Stories are a series of interviews conducted with members who want to share how WHCM has helped them achieve their career goals.

Want to nominate someone to be interviewed for a Success Story, or conduct an interview yourself? Get in touch.