Ace Your Cooper University Health Care Interview: The Top 15 Questions and How to Answer Them

Interviewing for a position at Cooper University Health Care can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. As one of the foremost healthcare networks in South Jersey and the surrounding region, Cooper is renowned for its advanced facilities, top-notch patient care, and commitment to medical education.

With competition fierce for roles at this prestigious institution, prospective candidates need to come prepared to showcase their qualifications and align with Cooper’s values. Understanding the types of interview questions commonly asked, and how to answer them convincingly, can make all the difference in standing out from the crowd.

In this comprehensive guide, we provide insights into Cooper’s hiring process and culture, along with the top 15 most frequently asked interview questions. For each question, we break down why it’s asked, offer sample responses, and provide tips to help you craft your best answer.

Overview of Cooper’s Hiring Process

The typical hiring process at Cooper involves multiple stages, starting with submitting an online application. Selected candidates then advance to a phone or video screening with a recruiter or HR representative. Those who impress move on to 1-2 in-person interviews, often including both department heads/managers and senior leadership.

Throughout the process, Cooper aims to make candidates feel comfortable while still assessing their technical abilities, critical thinking, communication skills and cultural fit. Some key qualities they look for include

  • Patient-centric focus and compassion
  • Ability to perform under pressure
  • Attention to detail and adherence to protocols
  • Teamwork, communication, and problem-solving
  • Commitment to continuous learning

Understanding these priorities will help guide your responses during the interview Now let’s look at the top questions you’re likely to encounter

1. Why do you want to work at Cooper University Health Care?

Why it’s asked: This open-ended question allows interviewers to evaluate your interest in Cooper, knowledge of their organization, and overall enthusiasm for the role. It provides insight into your motivations and career goals.

How to answer: Demonstrate passion for Cooper’s mission of exceptional healthcare, education, and research. Reference specifics like their technology, Magnet designation, teaching programs, or community initiatives that appeal to you. Relate your background, values, and interests directly to the position and show how Cooper aligns with your career aspirations.

Sample response: “I’m truly excited at the prospect of joining Cooper University Health Care. Your organizational values of compassion, excellence, and stewardship strongly resonate with me. I’m particularly drawn to your Magnet culture and reputation as a pioneer in healthcare education. As a nurse passionate about professional development and evidence-based care, I feel Cooper would allow me to grow clinically while making meaningful contributions through mentorship and knowledge-sharing. This role aligns perfectly with my goals of providing compassionate, innovative care and helping to shape the next generation of healthcare leaders.”

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Why it’s asked: Interviewers want to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. Your strengths should align with the competencies needed for the job while your weaknesses should show self-improvement.

How to answer: Discuss 3-4 key strengths relevant to the role, providing specific examples. For weaknesses, be honest but pick qualities that won’t raise red flags. Explain how you’re working to improve them. Emphasize eagerness to continue growing professionally.

Sample response: “My main strengths align well with the responsibilities of this position. First, I’m an extremely compassionate caregiver – I can connect with patients on a human level while also remaining professional. For example, patients often provide positive feedback about my bedside manner. Second, I’m a very detail-oriented person, especially when it comes to patient care and safety protocols. I consistently maintain detailed, accurate documentation. Time management is an area I’m working to improve. I tend to take on too many tasks, leading me to occasionally fall behind schedule. However, I’ve learned techniques to better prioritize my duties and delegate when appropriate. I’m committed to continuous improvement.”

3. How do you handle conflict or disagreement with coworkers?

Why it’s asked: Healthcare roles require cooperation across disciplines. Interviewers want to know you can resolve interpersonal challenges in a constructive, mature manner.

How to answer: Provide an example of a past conflict, walking through how you actively listened, found common ground, compromised respectfully, and maintained a professional attitude. Emphasize teamwork, direct communication, accountability, and positive outcomes.

Sample response: “Open communication is key for me in resolving any workplace disagreements. For example, a colleague and I had contrasting opinions about a process improvement project we were collaborating on. To find common ground, we discussed our perspectives respectfully, identified our shared goal of enhancing patient care, and worked to integrate our differing ideas into a cohesive plan. By actively listening, compromising, and focusing on our shared commitment to patients, we resolved the issue and even strengthened our working relationship. This experience demonstrated the power of direct, constructive dialogue in turning conflicts into opportunities for growth.”

4. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest medical research and best practices?

Why it’s asked: Lifelong learning is essential in healthcare. Interviewers want to gauge your motivation to continuously expand your medical knowledge.

How to answer: Discuss the professional education sources you leverage, like courses, conferences, journals, and clinical databases. Demonstrate proactive efforts to incorporate new evidence-based protocols into your practice. Reference a time research impacted your patient care.

Sample response: “I place a strong emphasis on continuing education in order to provide the best possible care to my patients. I take advantage of Cooper’s tuition reimbursement program to take courses in emerging treatments. I also attend nursing conferences, read journals like AJN, and leverage clinical databases to research evidence-based protocols. For example, after learning new clinical guidelines on wound care, I led an initiative on my unit to update our procedures, resulting in improved healing rates. I’m truly passionate about translating research into practice to enhance patient outcomes and the care experience.”

5. How do you ensure accuracy and protect patient privacy when handling health records?

Why it’s asked: Health records contain highly sensitive information. Interviewers want to know you will be meticulous and ethical when managing confidential data.

How to answer: Demonstrate your understanding of privacy laws like HIPAA and facility protocols for data access/handling. Discuss checks you perform to verify accuracy. Highlight your commitment to patients feeling their information is protected.

Sample response: “In managing patient health records, I recognize the critical importance of accuracy and privacy. I follow all regulations like HIPAA to maintain confidentiality and only access information on a need-to-know basis. Before entering data, I carefully validate the details. I also perform regular audits to identify any potential errors, which I then correct immediately. Patients entrust us with their most sensitive information, so I am unwavering in my commitment to honoring that through meticulous records management. My top priority is ensuring patients feel their privacy is respected and protected.”

6. Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.

Why it’s asked: Interviewers look for candidates who can acknowledge and grow from mistakes. The question assesses accountability, self-reflection, and growth mindset.

How to answer: Briefly explain a past failure, emphasizing what you would do differently. Focus on the insights gained, skills developed, and how it made you a better healthcare professional. Keep it professional vs. personal.

Sample response: “Early in my career as a physical therapist, I did not effectively communicate the home exercise program to a patient recovering from surgery. Consequently, they did not adhere to the regimen which hindered their progress. From this experience, I learned the importance of confirming patient understanding through teach-back methods, setting clearer expectations, and being more attentive to their concerns. This influenced how I educate all my patients to ensure comprehension. Though difficult, this failure made me a more patient-focused, detail-oriented clinician committed to open communication and education.”

7. How do you stay motivated in difficult situations such as terminally ill patients?

Why it’s asked: Healthcare roles can be emotionally and mentally draining. Interviewers look for resilience and healthy coping strategies to handle stress.

How to answer: Acknowledge the challenges of the profession while conveying your dedication to patients. Share how you practice self-care, lean on your support network, and focus on making a positive impact.

Sample response: “Without a doubt, working in healthcare comes with emotionally difficult situations, like caring for terminally ill patients. In these moments, what motivates me is focusing on bringing comfort, compassion, and the best possible care to patients and their families when they need it most. I lean on my colleagues, friends, and family for support during trying times. Regular exercise, adequate rest, and activities I enjoy, like reading or hiking, all help me practice self-care as well. My passion for making patients’ days brighter keeps me engaged in even the most challenging circumstances.”

8. How do you respond when a patient or family member presents an unreasonable demand?

Why it’s asked: Healthcare professionals must diplomatically handle unreasonable requests while setting appropriate boundaries. Interviewers look for

How did the interview impress you?

“Tell me about yourself.”

“What is one time you learned about another culture?”

“What is a challenge you faced?”

“Tell me about yourself”

“Tell the interviewer who has not read your file about yourself”

“Have you taken classes that were flipped classroom style before and did you like them?”

“Tell the interviewer with the closed file about yourself and your path to medicine.”

“What is the most impactful community service activity”

“What is your most meaningful community service activity?”

“Give me an elevator pitch summary of yourself (one of the interviewers doesnt have any information on you).”

“Can you tell me about your research?”

“What are some ways that healthcare is different in the US compared to (country where I did some work experience)?”

“Tell me a story from your volunteer experiences.”

“How do you deal with stress?”

“What can you give to our school”

“Why a doctor and not a nurse?”

“Tell us about yourself…”

“What drew you to apply to Cooper?”

“How do you match Coopers mission?”

“Tell me a joke I could tell my 6yo”

“What situations have you been in that have tested your leadership skills?”

“Describe an ethical dilemma that youve faced.”

“Talk about a patient experience you had working with underserved populations.”

“What is one time you received criticism?”

“What ethical dilemma did you face?”

“Tell me about a time you received criticism”

“Describe a time you were frustrated with yourself and how did you handle it”

“Why were you homeschooled”

“Tell me about your hobbies”

“Describe one situation in which you were very angry and how you handled it”

“One of my interviewers said they were a math nerd and asked me to talk about my research, which was on game theory and cancer.” “.

“Tell me about yourself”

“What led you to pursue a career in medicine?”

“Do you have any experience working with the underserved?”

“Being with people who are shy would be hard for you because you have a strong personality.”

“how have you prepared yourself to be a”

“Did you have any shadowing experience?”

“What brings you to Cooper?”

“Since only one of us has read your file, tell us about yourself.”

“How will you work in Coopers Active Learning Group-based curriculum?”

“What is the thing youre most proud of, disappointed by, etc.”

“What originally made you want to be a doctor?”

“What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and your greatest failure?”

“Tell me about yourself.”

“Tell me about _ service activity you were involved in”

“Tell us about your volunteer experiences”

“How were you able to balance both your academic and athletic responsibilities”

“What kind of volunteering do you do?”

“What kind of shadowing have you done?”

What would I do if I was in a small group and someone else in the group had a different opinion and spoke out against it in a rude and unreasonable way?

“Why did you take a gap year?”

“How were you able to balance work, school and other ECs during your undergraduate career?”

“Tell me more about X experience (in your application file).”

“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”

“Do you think that City Year (an AmeriCorps program I’m in) helped you understand the problems that communities with few resources face?”

“What about you would make you a good fit in the inaugural class of CMSRU?”

“What is one time you learned about another culture?”

“What ethical dilemma did you face?”

“Tell me about a problem you faced recently”

“A lot of the questions were just me elaborating on my personal story”

“Tell us about a time you made a mistake and how you learned from it.”

“What is your favorite art museum in NYC (I mentioned that I paint)”

“I played music professionally for a while and was asked what instrument I played most often and what model I have now.” “.

“How would you adjust to living in the Camden community?”

“How would you go from a competitive setting (I played sports in college) to a collaborative setting like medicine?”

“What did you learn from x experience?”

“What was your proudest moment/greatest achievement with X club/activity?”

“Because you’ve already changed careers, why should we think you won’t want to do it again in a few years?”

“What happened between your undergrad and graduate work? (I had a drastic GPA discrepancy)”

“How could you see yourself getting involved here in the Camden community as a student at CMSRU?”

“Tell me about a time you received criticism and how you handled it.”

“What is one time you received criticism?”

“What ethical dilemma did you face?”

“How do you feel about critical care (the specialty)?”

“What was your most negative feedback and how did you respond?”

“Where do you see yourself in 10 years”

“None were particularly difficult”

“How have you handled a harsh criticism in your past?”

“What did you learn from […]?” It wasn’t hard, but I had to think about an experience on the spot, which I wasn’t planning to talk about much. But I think it went well! Tip: Know your AMCAS work and be ready to talk about any part of it.

“What was your greatest challenge?”

“Do you have any questions for us? (They had already answered the questions I had planned for this!)”

“Why do you want to do Medicine – in 30 seconds or less.”

“The one about greatest accomplishment and greatest failure.”

“Mock interview, prepared general answers beforehand”

“Looked here for questions they asked and prepped answers”

“SDN, mock interviews, being comfortable with a “why medicine” question”

“Researching more about the school and what they stand for. Also reviewing my application.”

“Reviewed my application and the school website”

“SDN, just researching the school”

“sdn, cooper website, mock interview”

“SDN feedback, reviewing my app, and reading “Winning Strategies for the Med School Interview””

“Sdn and youtube videos”

“Reading through there website, watching there youtube videos, learning about camden, re-reading through my application.”

“School website, YouTube videos about Cooper, reread application, mock interviews”

“School website, sdn forum, student feedback, watching videos, practicing with friends. Researched a bit about standardized patient interviews but wasnt necessary. It looks scary to do the patient interview, but once you’re with the patient, you just talk to them, and it’s not that bad. “.

“Re-reading MSAR, schools website, and my own applications. Watching videos from the schools YouTube channel.”

“Practice with friends and family.”

“Practice, practice, practice. On Skype with your family, with your boss, with whomever.”

“Read app, mission and values”

The day before, I drove to the hospital to make sure I knew where to go, and I looked over my application to know what kinds of questions they would ask. “.

“Researched the school and area heavily”

“Everyone was so inviting and pleasant! Really increased m”

“They were so calming and eased everyones nerves. The interviewers were incredibly chill.”

“The interviewers seemed genuinely interested and curious about me and my experiences”

“The admission staff was extremely nice, interview was very conversational”

“The compassion displayed by the admissions team.”

“How much the students I spoke to loved their school”

“How friendly everyone was”

“The students seemed to really love the school, they volunteered with a lot of heart, and the teachers were so nice to me.”

“Almost everything. The school is amazing. Its right in the community, which is great. The facilities are very impressive, including the sim lab and the anatomy lab. Every single student was super friendly and very happy to be there. “.

“After the interview, I talked to a lot of students who went to the school of record to find out what they thought about it.”

“Pupils and teachers alike seemed genuinely excited about the school.”

“The facilities are up to date and the faculty seems like they genuinely care about the students success. I like how thoroughly they covered their curriculum in the info session. The SIM center is cool. “.

“The day’s planning, how happy the students seemed, the calm and friendly atmosphere, the support and encouragement from the teachers throughout the day, and the facilities Also no sense of you should come here because we are the best. They really tell the students everything they need to know without bias, and they know that the small group/Cooper values might not be right for everyone. Faculty also addressed concerns many may have about living in Camden. They made sure to stress the security protocols in place to help students feel comfortable. Really appreciated that part. “.

“People are amazing at the school”

The lessons taught, the school’s connection to the neighborhood, the fact that students said all the staff members knew their names—everything the school does to make students happier “.

“Cooper has a very supportive learning environment. When I asked about different activities that weren’t being offered at the moment, I was told that everyone would work with me to make sure I could start these programs. “.

“Incredibly innovative curriculum, in both the “pre-clinical” and “clinical” years, with extensive clinical work starting in week 3. Great facilities. Vivacious faculty. “.

“Very enthusiastic committed people, strong clinical experience”

“The interviewers were very engaging and interested to be there. They were doctors, not adcom members, but they took their job as interviewers seriously, and I enjoyed talking to them. “.

“The facilities were top-notch, and everyone I met on staff was friendly and excited about the school.” “.

“Faculty and staff were extremely positive and encouraging with great senses of humor.”

“Nothing. It feels like an up-and-coming school thats out to grow and accomplish a lot.”

“It wasn’t the interview day or the admissions staff’s fault, but I think everyone wished it was in person.” Hopefully next year it will be. “.

“The surrounding area, not many places to go to eat”

“The exams are professor written, not NBME. Thats the only downside I saw.”

“the area surrounding the school is not the nicest. Most people live in philly, but I would want to do that too. it seems not that inconvenient. Having early morning classes. “.

“Financial aid presentation could have been shorter”

“The area. There isn’t much to do outside of the school’s main building, even though the patients seem interesting and varied. It seems like most of the students travel to Philly if they want to do something fun. “.

“. Camden. Most students life either across the street or in a neighboring town and commute in via train. “.

“The 2-interviewers-on-1-student didnt come off the right way for me. I would prefer two 1-on-1 interviews.”

“Lack of a match list.”

“As an out of state student, its going to be REALLY expensive.”

“Only the fact that they are new, and somewhat unproven. However, I do not foresee any problems with students passing boards or the last stages of certification. “.

“Camden is a difficult area – but Cooper is working to improve it. I almost wish I was interviewing here in two or three years, when all the cool stuff that’s going on here will be done. “.

“Still very new, lots of empty lab space”

“Nothing. If you have never been to Camden before, you probably won’t like the neighborhood. But for those of us who have been there before, we knew what to expect.” “.

“My only doubt was that the school building wasn’t finished yet, so I couldn’t take a tour of it.” “.

“1 interviewer is open file and the other does not know anything about you at all. Keep this in mind as you respond!”.

“How chill the interview would be.”

“How conversational the interview would be.”

“You only have 30 minutes (there was a timer), and you shouldn’t let the casual atmosphere of the interview make you act less formal. This is a medical school interview, after all.”

“I was pretty well prepared. They dont provide lunch, but they do provide breakfast.”

“that you are choosing the school as much as they are choosing you. if you get accepted into multiple schools, you have to make a decision. You can ask them how much time they give for studying and what their USMLE scores were. “.

That the interview would be one-on-one (it was weird talking to two people at once and making sure your answers were right for the person who knows your file and the person who doesn’t)”

“How short the interview would be! It was relatively low stress and only about 20 minutes.”

“That it would be a relaxed and fun day. And that the patient interview part is SHORT. It flies by and then youre on your way to the next part of the interview. “.

“Nothing, they gave us all the information that we needed.”

“Nothing in particular. I felt good about my preparation.”

“Not to worry so much!”

“Don’t worry so much! Get ready to introduce yourself in front of the whole group for 20 seconds.” “.

“Which touring group I was in.”

“I wish I would have known that the interview was going to be short.”

“They really try to make you feel comfortable”

“Great community centered school tied to the best hospital in South Jersey.”

“30 minutes goes by so fast; they only asked me 5 or 6 questions. I was definitely over-prepared. Two-on-one interviews with one open file interviewer and one closed file interviewer are a little strange. The closed file interviewer didn’t ask me any questions and just stared me down. Other than that everything went perfectly and I love this school :)”.

“It was a good school, but I felt rushed because I was timed and had to start from scratch when I had someone close my file.”

“This school is amazing. I will be very fortunate to get accepted.”

“Really short interview, really long day.”

“This school tells you right away (within a week or two) what they’re doing with your file, which was great to hear since you got your first acceptance.”

“Know your app, and remember that this school is passionate about a very special work and place.” “.

“Seems like such a kind and supportive environment to go to school in. Youll hear that it is relaxed and just keep that in mind. It really is an enjoyable day where they want to get to know you. Stay calm and try to have fun. Also, the interview WAS a conversation where you could say as much as you wanted. Not a speedy Q & A format at all. I think whatever you say kind of directs the conversation/questioning. I would be most prepared for, Why Medicine Why Cooper? and Why Camden? Have fun!”.

“Good school, beautiful building but the surrounding area looks a bit sketch”

“LOVED this school. I believe that Cooper is a one-of-a-kind and wonderful medical school because of its setting. “.

“If it werent for the super-expensive tuition, Cooper would be my number one choice, no question. Their combination of mission and innovative curriculum is just fantastic. It’s not clear to me if I should pay the out-of-state tuition when I have interviews at state schools that will cost me a lot less. “.

“Great Place to Interview! Great School!”

“The day was relatively short. We had to go on the required tour and information sessions, but what was really interesting were the two mini-standardized patient interviews. These didn’t require any medical knowledge, but rather tested our people skills. They also had small ethical dilemmas weaved in as well. The interview itself was a 2 on 1 affair, with one open-file and one blinded interviewer. It was very casual and not long. The blind interviewer asked three questions from her “list,” and the open interviewer asked one. The other questions came from my answers to the first two questions. In general, the school impressed me greatly. “.

“Interview is 2:1 with one open file and one closed file at the same time. Makes for some awkward moments and I wished I had treated it more like completely closed file. “.

“Great school, hope I can go there.”

“Awesome school to interview for, very relaxed atmosphere, approachable staff.”

All Questions & Responses

  • Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
  • Allopathic Medical School
  • Camden, NJ



How do I prepare for a health interview?

First impression speaks volumes, and this includes your physical attire, so aim to be neat, tidy and well-groomed. Take relevant documents: Bring any documentation that you feel will support your application. Feel free to bring notes and work examples to refer/ share with the panel during your interview.

How to answer health care interview questions?

The “Tell me about yourself” question often initiates interviews and sets the tone for further discussions. When answering healthcare interview questions, remember to focus on relevant professional experiences, educational background, and personal qualities that align with the demands of a healthcare job.

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