Beginner’s Guide to Networking for Healthcare Professionals


Building connections and networking, is critical for everyone today, and can be very useful for healthcare professionals. Whether you’re a Physical Therapist, Registered Nurse, LPN, Dental Professional, Physician, or in another specialty area, it’s an advantage for your career.

Our world is getting smaller, as Stacey says in her blog on One Hour Translation, ‘we often find ourselves connecting with people from one job to another, or with people who leave and move to another position, you’re likely to find it useful at points throughout your career.’

Several years ago, I was encouraged to begin networking and sought out resources to figure out how, including Keith Ferrazzi, and his book, Never Eat Alone, to better understand the mechanics of how to do it. And while that helped me launch my networking efforts, I quickly realized that sometimes it can be easy, but other times it’s a challenge. Here’s suggestions and ideas for it all.

First, if you’re not on LinkedIn already, set up a LinkedIn profile. Keep it simple, but professional. This is a professional networking site, so never put anything too personal or social on it. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can adjust the settings to better match your comfort level. Then, once you’ve got your own profile, invite a peer to connect with you, and another and another. It’s also a great idea to connect with people you’ve met at school, or at any organizations you belong to. And, try to build 75 connections or more to start. This is an arbitrary number, and a guide to help make it a useful tool. You may not need the connections today, but at some point, you’re likely to consider them valuable.

Let’s talk about why you’re networking. There can be several reasons; you’re looking for a new position, you want to stay connected with talented individuals you’ve met, you want to connect with potential employers, or you know it’s just something you should do. For healthcare professionals, these reasons can also include:

  • Building connections with other therapists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals, which may develop into partnerships or help you to land future patients.
  • Knowledge and advice of other therapy professionals about different or innovative treatments and techniques.
  • Awareness of recent research, upcoming events, and issues your profession is currently facing.
  • More professional options. When meeting other professionals in your expertise, you may learn about another position you’d be interested in.

Healthcare ConsultingWhatever your reason for networking, for it to be useful and be good at it, you need a focus. Several years ago, I learned the hard way what my motivation would be. My family and I were on a trip driving through to another state when we were stopped by the highway patrol on our route. After reviewing our license and talking with us, the officer said, ‘Recently I received some valuable assistance from someone I didn’t expect, and they wouldn’t let me compensate them, they said, ‘pay it forward.’ So, I’m going to pay it forward, and if you agree to do that also, you can go on with your trip and I won’t give you a violation.’ That was the beginning of a commitment to pay it forward. Yes, it’s a simple life story, but it was a poignant lesson I learned and how it impacted my networking was important. After some thought, I decided to make ‘pay it forward’ my motivation for networking. So, as I began reaching out to connect with others, I looked at ways I might be able to help them. Often there aren’t any specific ideas that emerge, and they may end up helping you instead, but knowing my motivation made it substantially easier and more fun to network. And the rewards have been immense – from those that I helped professionally and personally, to those that have helped me in unexpected ways.

So, why do you network? Think about it and decide why you want to build your professional network, choose your motivation and focus.

Next, join a local professional organization. If you can’t find one you’re interested in, try finding an organization to volunteer at, and become involved with volunteering. Volunteering can be a great resource for connecting with like-minded professionals.

healthcare-professionals-meetingStart meeting people face to face, whether it’s at conferences, continuing education, or social. It will all be beneficial, and you don’t need to connect with everyone, but if you can connect with one or several people you respect, connect with them later via LinkedIn, and keep an eye on their progress and stay in touch with everyone in the network you’re building.

Last, as you approach networking, keep your approach positive and professional. Don’t approach networking from the point-of-view, what can I gain from this connection? Instead, your approach should be on connecting with talented and interesting people.

Throughout the years, networking has proved to be rewarding in every aspect, professionally of course, and several times over, but also socially and personally.

So, get out there and just do it!

Nurse Interview Tips

Tips to Succeed in Nursing Interviews

Everyone hates interviewing. It can be scary, nerve-wracking, anxiety-producing, discouraging, and it’s time consuming when you’d rather be doing anything else.

So, how do you make the most of your interviews?
Two simple recommendations…prepare and practice.

Healthcare Training CEUsSeek out a couple sources for advice, friends who have interviewed recently, and website blogs. On the internet, research topics like ‘interviewing advice’ or ‘interview questions’. Spend time reviewing the information you discover before you begin your preparation. Your preparation before the interview will make a huge impact on how well you do at the interview.

Put together a brief explanation of why you’re looking for a new role. In some circles this is referred to as an elevator pitch. According to Wikipedia, ‘The name ‘elevator pitch’ reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes and is widely credited to Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso (while he was editor for Vanity Fair) for its origin.[2][3] Bottom line, it’s your story, succinctly conveyed in a short elevator ride. Your ‘story’ should be about a paragraph long. It’s challenging to be succinct, so write it down, review it, and edit until you’re satisfied. Start with a high-level explanation of your current role. For example, ‘I’m a RN in XYZ’s critical care unit, in charge of a small team.’ Then explain where you’re headed and why. Perhaps, ‘While I love what I’m doing, I’ve been there for seven years, and think it’s time for a fresh challenge.’ Or ‘while I enjoy where I’m at, there are only limited opportunities, and I’m looking for an organization with more growth opportunities.’

Next, consider the questions that will come up during the interview. Prepare for those the same way you prepare for your ‘story’. Consider drafting responses to the following frequently asked questions.

Question 1: Tell us about yourself.

Answer Example: ‘I’m an energetic, dedicated, and compassionate RN with 5 years’ professional experience in both clinic and hospital settings. I value providing the best quality of care to my patients and supporting my peers so that we provide the best care possible to all patients.’ Its succinct, complete and reveals your motivation and healthcare goals.

Question 2: Why did you choose healthcare as a profession?

nursing-interviewingAnswer this question with a strong, specific response. Your response will reveal your motivations and it can make or break the rest of your interview. Telling a personal story is the best way, but be authentic.

Answer example: You may have grown up with an ailing family member for whom good healthcare was critical. Then, you decided you wanted to be a part of the solution. Or, perhaps your experience wasn’t that personal. But it could be something as simple as, ‘whenever I had to have a vaccine or injection, which I was particularly scared to get, I always appreciated when the staff understood my fears and supported me. It was then that I realized I wanted to do that for others.’ Or it could be from an experience volunteering or because you realize that healthcare is vital and becoming more so to improving people’s quality of life. And you decided you want to be someone who’s directly involved in making it better for them. Whatever response fits you, make it real, authentic, and show your commitment and passion to what you’re doing. Never answer with, something like, ‘I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but was good in science classes, so I kind of fell into it.’ This is an opportunity for you to show the interviewer you’re a dedicated and responsible caregiver.

Question 3: What are your strengths?

Almost every interviewer asks this question, and while I’ve often heard it criticized by some professionals as too broad, or they always get the same answer, I’ve always found the question valuable. It’s valuable because while everyone often answers similarly, there are nuances in tone, in words used, and in supporting stories that can influence how believable and valid the strengths are. I’ve experienced dozens of candidates providing responses that don’t relate to the job they’re seeking or are vague, without any supporting statements, leaving the interviewer wondering if they’re sincere.

And because it’s an easy question for interviewers to ask and candidates to answer, I’m confident it will remain the number one question asked in interviews.

So, how do you best answer the question? Prepare ahead with 3-4 strengths that apply to the new role you’re considering. And, provide a supporting statement or story that reveals where it’s been a benefit for you in your past.

Question 4: Why are you interested in leaving your current job?

Never, ever criticize your current employer. The only exception is if there’s public knowledge about the organization that simply explains why you’re looking. For instance, if the hospital is closing and it’s been made public. In which case, stating that as your reason for looking is a public fact, genuine, and will be appreciated by the interviewer.

Question 5:  What are your salary requirements? Or what is your current salary?

male-murseThis is a challenging question for many to answer. Should you tell your current salary, should you say what you’re hoping to get? Or, should you respond that you’re open to ‘market’ compensation?

We recommend that you don’t provide any of these answers without some consideration. If you’re comfortable with your current salary and it’s not an important part of your decision to accept a new role, then be transparent and say where you’re at. However, if you’d like to get an offer for the most you can, then you’ll need to be more careful. It’s important to be forthright and transparent, but you should qualify that. For example, state your current salary, your desired salary, and your supporting reasons for wanting a higher salary. Valid reasons for wanting a greater salary are that your current organization has been restricting increases because of cost control, or the market has significantly improved, or you’ve gained additional experience or education and haven’t yet received an increase that correlates with that achievement. Reasons that aren’t well received are statements like ‘This is a bigger role,’ or ‘I’ll be working harder here,’ or ‘My commute will be longer.’

All in all, if you want your employer to be trustworthy and transparent, then you should also be transparent and display that you’re trustworthy.

And, finally, you’ll likely be asked one or more difficult questions, such as:

  1. What do you feel is the most challenging or difficult part of being a nurse? Describe a time when a physician gave an order that you believed was incorrect. How did you handle it?
  2. Describe a time when you were unsure of the best protocol to follow. How did you handle it?
  3. Describe a time when you had a conflict or disagreement with your supervisor. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  4. How have you handled coworkers, physicians, or others you work with who become rude or demanding?
  5. How do you stay current within the nursing field? What publications do you read? What research findings interest you?
  6. How do you handle a request you disagree with?
  7. Can you describe a time when you had to intervene for a patient, what you did, and why? What was the outcome?
  8. How would you handle a patient, who complains about everything?
  9. If your shift ends at 5:30 and your replacement has not arrived by 5:45, what do you do?
  10. Tell me about the last time someone critiqued your work. How did you respond?
  11. Have you ever disagreed with a supervisor’s decision? Tell me how you handled the situation.
  12. When you have a lot to do, but not enough time on your shift to do it, how do you handle the situation?
  13. Talk about a time when you disagreed with a co-worker.

Nurse Interview guideSince you know ahead of time that there will likely be difficult questions, your best action is to prepare for them ahead of time. While you’ll never know exactly which questions you’re going to be asked, our recommendation is to prepare three to four stories of challenging experiences you’ve had and the action you took to resolve a problem and what you learned from the experience. While this won’t arm you to answer any question, it will generally help you answer many of them. As you prepare your responses ahead of time, write down your examples, review them, edit until they’re succinct. Then review them with a family member or friend and listen for any possible changes you should make, or any additional information you should be including.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “In career news, healthcare is everywhere. That’s because the healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs—over 4 million—than any other industry between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And it is projected to be among the fastest-growing industries in the economy.” So, while the industry is growing, people are continually joining the healthcare field, which means you’re also likely to have competition when you interview. Therefore, preparing for any interview is going to be critical. And, as you prepare, think about the responses you’ve put together, practice with family and friends. While you don’t want your responses to sound too rehearsed, preparation goes a long way to helping you come across confidently, not rehearsed.

In the end, your education, experience, positive attitude, and preparedness will likely lead you to getting the job you want.



#1 Tip to Be Successful–Overcome Average

Success – We all define it differently. For some it’s about making a lot of money, for others it’s about getting to the top of a company, and for others it’s about health and/or lifestyle. But, in the end, success is success, and it will always run up against the same problem – AVERAGE.

What do we mean by that? Average is always out there judging you and what you’re doing. Whether average comes in criticism from others, critical looks, or your very own head. Don’t listen, don’t accept, and get rid of it in your own thinking, and who you’re listening to. We mean refuse to accept average, in yourself, and in those around you.

Sound simple? It’s not. It can be one of the most difficult challenges you ever take on.

studyingHere’s a fundamental example and it starts early in our lives…When you were in middle school or high school and friends wanted you to hang out, rather than study for a test, or practice your sport, pursue your music, what happened? They applied pressure. They coaxed, they prodded, and sometimes they deserted you. Or what happens if you aced tests all the time, were a top student, became the captain of a team, or got were becoming an accomplished musician? Some of your friends and peers mocked you because you were unavailable, busy going after your own plan. Your success does NOT come unconditionally. It comes with a price. It can be lonely at first to not settling for average. But by focusing on your goals and understanding that… in the end, your own self, and those you love will be better for it, and you will realize you can do it.

And, achieving success takes hard work, and most of us don’t want to do that, because it’s easier not to. Hard work, day after day, hour after hour, often when you don’t feel like it. The problem with not consistently pursuing your goals, we never realize our dreams.

Let’s face it, we’re all among that group, in one way or another, at times. There is NOT an area of our life where we succeed in everything. It may look like someone else does, but they don’t! So, stop dwelling on it. Just do what you want and want to succeed at, accept that you cannot do it all and won’t be successful in everything, career, money, fitness, nutrition, beauty, and/or relationships. There will be sacrifices and some areas of success you’ll never have. The question is, where do you really want success, because you don’t know and will never know if you don’t achieve it. So, you might as well go after your goal, with a vengeance, when it’s important to you, and overcome ‘average’.

successAverage comes in all shapes and forms and attacks you in ‘so’ many ways it’s challenging to overcome. It’s there in your head, in your friends, even in your family. No one means to send you ‘average’ intentions, but they often do. Because average is what most people are. And to compensate for that, we find flaws in those who are successful.

So, how do you overcome listening, thinking, and believing you’re not ‘average’? You become alert to it, and every time it roars its ugly head, you SHUT IT DOWN!

People, whether your friends, family, or strangers, will discourage you. Its only rarely that everyone agrees with you or what you’re doing. And there will be those who doubt you along the way.

  1. Start by believing in yourself and repeating positive messages to yourself frequently until they become your strongest message to yourself and rarely think otherwise. Whether it’s post-it notes, or inspirational messages, or on your home screen, tell yourself you are on the right road…all the time. And, when negative thoughts or doubt creep in, SHUT THEM DOWN FAST!
  2. Stay positive and be confident. Even if you’re not! None of us are, all the time, but fake it. ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Pretend confidence and eventually you will be confident. Eventually you’ll believe it and BE it.
  3. When others doubt you, listen and learn when appropriate, but never, ever doubt yourself. You may want to alter your mindset or direction, but you need to be cautious of doubters and move on.
  4. You will fail, sometime. Everyone does, but don’t dwell on it. If need be, look at it, analyze it quickly, learn from it, and move on. If you determine you need more guidance, direction, or to learn a new skill for your toolbox, get busy.
  5. Build alliances with those people that support you and believe in you. Move closer to those who aid and facilitate what you’re working toward, and limit exposure to those who don’t.
  6. Be cautious when you share your plan, because when you do, the brain interprets words for actions and you’re less likely to then achieve it. For more on this watch Derek Sivers in his TED Talk named, Keep Your Goals to Yourself.
  7. And, always, be grateful to those that supported you and support them in kind.

In the end, pay it forward. Help others achieve their dreams and the rewards will return in unexpected ways.


Want to Work at a Company Where the Culture Is a Positive One?

“Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”

— Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s

A job is more than just a place you go for 8+ hours a day—you also need to deal with coworkers, bosses, and office politics. Here are some clues to determine a company’s culture before you take the job and it’s too late.

It’s important the culture of the company is one you think you’ll thrive in. The work environment significantly influences how you’ll feel about your job. This includes everything that forms employees’ involvement with the work itself, such as co-workers, supervisors, company culture, personal development opportunities, even hours and surroundings.

A positive work environment makes employees feel good about what they’re doing and encourages employee engagement.

Our colleagues and especially our boss, have a huge impact on our work experience.

If you’re looking for a new job, assessing a potential work environment is a crucial consideration you shouldn’t skip.

Check Out the Company Using Multiple Tools to Learn More

Start with the corporate website. What news and updates do they put out to the public, because what’s on their website is generally relevant to new products, ideas, conferences, or volunteer activities that are happening at the company. If there’s nothing there, that may evidence they’re not concerned about their image. So, they may react the same to their employees.


Check the feedback about the company on sites like Glassdoor. Take the reviews you see there lightly, but if you see common threads between reviews, you’ll know what to watch out for. If everyone leaving a company complains nothing is worth the long hours and demanding management, it may not be what you want to get into. On sites like Glassdoor, don’t just read what employees say, but look at what people who interviewed said too. And, if candidate interview reviews suggest a strenuous or disorganized process, consider it a reflection of what’s happening behind the doors.

Check out the company’s social network profiles, specifically their pages on LinkedIn and Facebook.

See what they share on Facebook to the public, and visit their corporate LinkedIn presence will reveal people who work there, what their skills and backgrounds are.

Ask Questions About the Culture in Your Interview

If you’ve done your homework and the company still looks like a great place to work, you have an opportunity to learn more about the culture in your interview. The one question that usually comes up (and often near the end) in most interviews is “Do you have any questions for us?” That’s your opportunity to learn more about the culture, information you can’t get from just your research. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  1. What’s the company culture like from your perspective?
  2. How does this group work with other teams?
  3. How do the different roles on our team interact?
  4. What’s the intrateam dynamics?
  5. How would your employees describe you? What have you been told by more than one person?

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, one of the strongest advocates of culture, makes a solid point when he says ‘the people you hire represent your company even outside of work. If you meet someone and learn where they work, your perception of that place is influenced based on what you learned.’

So, What Elements Make a Great Company Culture?


Let’s start with what is Corporate Culture. It’s probably a word you hear often, but what is it exactly?

According to The Business Dictionary corporate culture is: “The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.”

This is the reason a positive culture matters. Culture sustains employee enthusiasm.

8 Elements of a great company culture

  1. Positive Values – A positive mission statement outlines the goals and demonstrative the company values and strives toward.
  2. Relaxed and Productive Atmosphere – People enjoy coming to work and feel appreciated, acknowledged, and rewarded.
  3. Open and Honest Communication – Everyone communicates in a cards-on-the-table manner, solving difficulties in a positive way. They view constructive feedback as an opportunity for growth. And constructive feedback is given frequently if needed, and they don’t wait for your annual review. Constructive feedback should also offer workable solutions.
  4. Cooperation, Support and Empowerment – Employees have a sense of camaraderie, cooperation and empowerment.
  5. Humor – Employees keep things in perspective, laugh, and have fun even when change is occurring or everyone is busy.
  6. Flexibility and Transparency – The employees embrace change, accommodate new trends and technology, and incorporate new skills. Companies where management is transparent about the direction, current challenges, and even mistakes creates an environment that builds trust.
  7. Positive Reinforcement – People need acknowledgement, appreciation and gratitude to be motivated. And frequent, specific and timely positive reinforcement is best.
  8. Approachability and Support – When employees feel they can talk openly with their boss and will be supported when faced with challenges. At some point in a career, everyone faces challenges and managers who support their employees


Tony Hsieh, now CEO of Zappos, believes that interactions–both between employees and with customers–are the key to a business’s identity. “At Zappos, we really view culture as our No. 1 priority. We decided that if we get the culture right, most of the stuff, like building a brand around delivering the very best customer service, will just take care of itself.”–January 9th, 2010, The New York Times

In the end, there are no magic pills even when you’ve thoroughly done your research. Business, like everything else today can change on a dime, so if you’ve decided to join a company and learn the culture is toxic, start looking for a new opportunity, and do research on how to handle a toxic environment before you find yourself just reacting to it.



Nuances of Successful Phone Interviewing

Phone-InterviewIt all starts when the recruiter reaches out to you about your availability for a phone interview. When they do, and they will, offer a couple blocks of time, not just one. If you only offer one time, it often requires multiple back and forth emails that delay your interviewing. Also, consider that the person interviewing you may not be in the same area code, so provide availability that would accommodate multiple parts of the country. Many companies may have an office in your city, but their recruitment may be in another or a different state. Even if you know where the home office is, the recruiter could be somewhere else. Again, suggest multiple blocks of time you’re available that could be accommodate east coast and west coast callers if needed. And, include the phone number that you can be reached with your area code. Plain and simple, doing these two simple tasks can speed up the entire process for you.

The Day of The Interview

Plan to be available for the call a minimum of 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after (in case it goes longer). Most phone interviews last 30 minutes, but keep 60 minutes available. If you can’t do that, alert the interviewer up front to your time restraints. Use a comment like, “I’ve got another meeting at 1:00 I can’t be late for”, rather than “I only have 30 minutes” or ” I have a hard stop at 12:30″. That will take pressure off you to get the interview wrapped up at a specific time and possibly rushing the interview.

Start with a smile on your face. Not so easy to plaster a fake smile on your face? Think about yourself talking to someone who always make you smile or laugh as you answer the phone.

Greet the caller with your name immediately, and let them know you’re pleased to be speaking with them. I always appreciate when someone says, “I’m glad we could find a time that works.” It tells me they’re excited about the opportunity and starts the conversation off on the right note.

Phone interviewers rely heavily on everything you’re saying and how you’re saying it. There are no non-verbal cues here except how you’re saying things, so keep it upbeat and eliminate distractions, whether it’s music or pets or family. While many people recommend dressing up or making sure you’ve got another person to field distractions, sometimes they can still happen. I used to go into the bedroom, lock the door, and tune out the outside world. Not the recommended environment, but it worked. Whatever it takes.

Phone-InterviewDress comfortably, wear whatever inspires you to have your best conversations, so wear whatever you can be comfortably relaxed in.

Critical to any successful interviewing is building rapport, and it can happen in a phone interview two ways. First, you just connect with the p
erson (maybe because their voice if friendly, or because their background is similar). But, that rapport can sometimes hurt you if you get too friendly and don’t come across as knowledgeable in your field. The other problem is sometimes it might cause some to reveal too much and on the phone, you won’t get to see the interviewer’s non-verbal responses to the messages you’re conveying.
The second way to build rapport is to be upbeat and knowledgeable. When offering responses, they should come across as well thought out, thorough, and concise. Often people have good examples of their successes, but the story they tell about them goes on and on, and by the time they’ve told the entire story, I’ve lost interest. Especially when they do it multiple times in a 30-minute interview. At that point, I’ve also determined they don’t have the sense of urgency we do and won’t be effective in this fast-paced business world we are all a part of today. Unfair? Maybe, but I, the recruiter, must decide on this candidate’s next step and I only have so much time. So, here’s where being prepared becomes your advantage. If you’ve prepared for the interview ahead of time, knowing your strengths and why you consider them strengths, having several responses to questions like, ‘Tell me about a time you solved a complex problem,’ or ‘Explain what you’ve done that shows you’re an analytical thinker’ if you’re applying for a job that has analysis involved, then the interview should go smoothly. Many companies today focus on customer service, both inside and outside the company, at all levels, so be prepared with a response, even if you don’t have external customer contact. Who are your customers? Explain how you’ve taken extra steps to insure they’re satisfied.

And if you have additional constructive comments on a topic don’t hesitate to bring them up during the conversation. But again, be concise.

One of the advantages of a phone interview is that it diminishes the difference between an introvert and extrovert, because generally everyone is friendly on the phone. It also removes your appearance which can help, because it’s not a distraction. Bottom line, what the interviewer is looking for is knowledge, experience, and cultural fit. And, regarding culture fit, while every company is different, most look for someone who’s motivated, energetic, positive, and exhibits high integrity. And often, these characteristics come through in something as simple as a phone interview.

Have your resume handy, so you can easily reference it. Also have your prep work available and don’t forget to have the job description next to you too.

After you’ve answered a question, a great suggestion is to ask the interviewer if you’ve answered their question. It’s a great opportunity for them to bring up something that may need clarification. And, while the interview is your time to highlight yourself, don’t dominate the conversation, wait for the interviewer to ask questions. And then respond to the question and be as specific as you can. With that said, it’s also your time to get some of your questions answered, and you can ask right in the beginning or at the end, if you can ask a few questions if the interviewer hasn’t brought it up.

At the end of the interview, show interest and ask what the next step is, and/or what the entire process will be, and at what point will there be an in person interview. More and more companies never meet you in person, but conduct all interviews via phone or Skype. So, the more you know, the better you can prepare.

After the Interview and ‘The Thank You’

Shortly after you conclude the interview, send a thank you note. Today, the preference is an email and a generic one is nice, but nothing more. Including a specific topic or detail in the thank you can get you bonus points. And, it doesn’t need to be the reasons you’re a good fit, but what you appreciated about the interview that will stand out. You can include information if it’s additional information that wasn’t discussed during the interview and can benefit you, but keep it concise and brief.

Follow-Up After the Interview

How long do you wait to reach out to your interviewer to check on your status? In general, allow 5 business days before you make any attempts and done by e-mail is always the best, and most appreciated by companies. The only exceptions would be if the recruiter or screener told you they should have an answer in a specific time, then allow another 2 days and follow-up. Your career is critically important to you, and all companies understand that.

Summing this up, have a positive attitude, be flexible with your availability, and be prepared!