Interviewing Tips

According to most employers, the interview is considered to be many residents’ and physicians’ biggest weakness…

Helpful tips to assist Helpful tips to assistyou throughout the interview process:

Prior to Gaining an Interview:

  • Self Assessment
    • Key competencies
    • Personal concerns
  • Selling Yourself- Selling Yourself-communicating your abilities communicating your abilities communicating your abilities
    • Awareness of what makes you a great physician
    • What do others compliment you on?
    • What makes you unique?
  • Written Communication
    • Have someone proof your Curriculum Vitae and make sure dates are correct
    • While corresponding with potential employers over e-mail, use proper grammar. No “text message” type (i.e. ur instead of your)

First Impressions/Telephone Interview:

Do’s:
  • Be prepared
  • Sound alert and interested
  • Eliminate background noise
  • Write down callers name and hospital/organization
  • Ask questions
  • If you have a tie to the city/town where the hospital is located, let the interview know
  • Inquire about the next steps (if the interviewer does not give you next steps)
  • Be flexible in scheduling a site visit- have a couple of dates in case not all parties are able to meet on a given day
Don’ts:
  • Be abrupt on the phone- physicians are typically in a hurry and sometimes have a tendency. If it is not a good time to speak- ask to reschedule.
  • Ask “what hospital is this again?” or “can you remind me of where the practice is?” This will tell the interviewer that you are just fishing and have no real interest.
  • Ask about salary figures. It will make you appear driven only by money. While we are all driven by money at some point… save it for a later point! - If asked by the interviewer, give a range, never an exact amount.
Prior to On- Prior to On-Site Interview:
  • Confirm your appointment- make sure you have directions and phone numbers.
  • Are you comfortable with driving in the city/town you will be visiting? If not, arrange for transportation with the person scheduling your visit.
  • Do your Homework!! Who are the people you will be meeting with? How do they relate to your position and the organization? (This will help prepare you for questioning them)
Day of Interview:
  • Dress professionally. Ladies and Gentlemen- conservative suits are best - Make sure your suit is pressed and your shoes polished ** It is always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed!
  • Be on time. Fifteen to twenty minutes early is acceptable- no earlier though.
  • Bring a couple of additional copies of your CV - don’t assume that everyone has already reviewed your CV
During the On-Site Interview:
  • Be yourself- even if you are nervous. Everyone has to interview at some point in their life and understands the stress.
  • Do not be disrespectful during the interview- to anyone. How you treat the person that answers the phone may be indicative of how you treat your patients…
  • Do not argue under any circumstances AND do not discuss politics or religion. This extends to your spouse/significant other as well
  • Don’t forget that interviewers are not always trained in interviewing. They could be nervous as well.
Lunch/Dinner Interview:
  • Follow ordering cues of your host. Don’t order a dish that is difficult to eat or is messy.
  • Make sure your etiquette is excellent at all times. Table manners are extremely important
  • Even if the food is fantastic, don’t be all-consumed with eating!
Interviewing in General-Conclusion:
  • Practice makes perfect!
  • You should accept every interview that is offered to you- especially if it is local.
  • The position may not be exactly what you are looking for on paper- in person it may be an ideal fit.
  • More exposure = more comfortable
Potential Interview Questions:
  • Biggest weakness- this question is asked to determine how self-aware and realistic you are.
    • do not fall to old clichés
    • talk about a weakness you are working on/making progress toward
  • Biggest strength- answer in terms of what you colleagues and supervisors have said about you.
    • avoid looking egotistical
  • How did you decide upon a medical school and what led you to choosing your particular specialty?
  • As you consider practice opportunities, what are your priorities going to be?
  • Describe the best working relationship you’ve ever had with a patient.
    • To what do you attribute the success of this relationship
    • What did you do to maintain and improve the relationship
    • What did you enjoy most about this relationship? Why?
  • Tell me about your most successful accomplishment during your training?
    • what led up to the situation
    • specifically, what did you do that made you proud of what you accomplished
    • what was the result or outcome of your efforts
  • Tell me about the most memorable time when you had a personal conflict with another member of your work team
    • how did you deal with the conflict
    • have you had any similar problems with the person since that time
    • what did you learn from the experience that has been helpful in similar situations
  • When do you plan on sitting for your Boards? If in a Fellowship, have you already taken your Boards (i.e. Internal Medicine)?
  • In the event of a background check, would anything surface that may be considered negative such as:
    • privileges denied/probation
    • licensure suspension/denial
    • malpractice