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Physician Interview Tips

If you received a call from your dream employer, would you be prepared for the interview? While most physicians are qualified for the job in which they apply, they struggle with the interview process. Based on years of recruiting experience, we have identified some practical tips to guide you through the physician interviewing process.

The first thing to realize is that an interview is a two-way street. While the employer has the upper hand in many respects, you are both trying to make a positive impression on each other in the hopes of finding a good match. Therefore, you shouldn’t go into an interview feeling as though you are being put under a microscope.

It is important that you understand proper interview etiquette. Remember the more prepared you are, the easier it will be for you to stand out against the competition.

Preparation is key to a successful interview. Here are some interview preparation tips to ensure you have a smooth interview process to land your next physician job.

Interview Preparation Tips

  • Do your homework. Research the hospital/clinic you are interviewing with and know how you will be an asset to that facility. Not only will this allow you to ask well-educated questions throughout the interview process, knowing the general facts about the position will allow the interviewer to cover more specific areas of interest.
  • Practice makes perfect. Practice interviewing with a friend, colleague, or associate if possible. Record and listen to yourself before interviewing to eliminate the “um’s and oh’s”. The confidence and communication skills you gain in the process are worth the momentary feeling of silliness.
  • Be Professional. You do not have a second chance to make a first impression. We recommend that you wear a conservative suit, and have a neat and well-groomed appearance. Make sure that your clothing is clean, pressed, and presentable. Try to develop a rapport and relate with the interviewer. Always maintain eye contact and positive body language. Do not interrupt the interviewer and listen to them very closely. Always address whomever is interviewing you as Dr./Mr./Mrs. unless they tell you otherwise.
  • Be Punctual. It is never appropriate to be late for an interview. Before you visit the location, make sure that you can be there on time (drive to it in advance and locate the room that you will be interviewing beforehand). You should be no more than 5-10 minutes early for the interview.
  • Bring a clear copy of your Curriculum Vitae, along with names, addresses and phone numbers of your references. Have your CV nearby as a reference; chances are your interviewer has it in front of them and will be asking questions about it. In addition, jot down a list of your strengths and weaknesses; employers love to ask these slightly predictable questions. Use that to your advantage and be ready with solid answers.
  • Don’t discuss salary. It’s important to remember that you should never ask about salary during your first interview. If asked what kind of offer you are looking for, your response should be, “I will consider your strongest offer.” This will prevent you from giving a figure that is too high or too low, which could take you out of the running because they can’t afford you – or generate an offer less than desired. If and when they offer you the position, you can negotiate the offer and discuss your salary.
  • Close the deal. Your goal in any interview is to get an offer. If you like what you see, don’t leave the interview without letting the interviewer know you are really interested in the position.
  • Write a thank you note. After the interview, take the time to send a handwritten note. It should be brief and tell them you enjoyed your meeting. Express interest in the position and in hearing from them soon.

When it comes to interviews, practice makes perfect. You may be a smart, hardworking candidate, but you are competing against equally intelligent, motivated candidates. Relying solely on your credentials is not sufficient. By understanding the interviewing process and practicing the tips in this guide, you will have a better chance for success in your quest for your ideal physician job.

Keep in mind that interviewers are as eager to find a good match as you are. Before you sit down to an interview, take a deep breath and focus your attention on all of those things that make you a good candidate. When you are feeling confident internally, you will portray yourself as someone worth getting to know. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

General

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why did you choose to go into medicine?
  • Why did you choose the medical school you attended?
  • Why are you changing jobs, or why are you interested in this job?
  • Why did you choose our practice location?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you feel you can bring to the group?

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Describe your strong points.
  • Describe your weaknesses.
  • Describe your abilities as a team player.
  • How do you describe your clinical judgment?
  • What are your strongest clinical areas? What makes you say that?
  • Describe one of your most recent clinical triumphs.
  • Describe a clinical scenario that did not go well.Quality of Service and Patient Relationships
  • How did you resolve a major conflict with a patient?
  • What do your patients like best about you?
  • What do your patients like least about you?

Personal Attributes

  • Describe your personality (initiative, enthusiasm, stability and consistency).
  • Describe your work habits (difficulty reaching, timely reports, patient interaction, etc.).
  • How well do you communicate by phone when describing patient situations?
  • With what volume of work are you comfortable?
    Contributions
  • What do you feel are the most important contributions you have made to your practice, community, and hospital?

Risk Factors

  • Have you ever come before any committee of a hospital or peer review group for review or had privileges revoked or suspended?
  • Have you ever had any disciplinary actions or problems of professional competence?
  • Are you aware of any claims or investigations against you (past or present)?
  • Have you had any malpractice suits?

Conclusion

  • After what you have seen and heard are you interested in the position?
  • What level of compensation do you require?

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