Job Interview Tips for Physicians

Job Interview Tips for Physicians was originally published on Hospital Recruiting.

tips for interview questions

Congratulations! You are asked to interview for a clinical position at a medical facility. Be well prepared so you can wow your future employer into offering you a contract.

When a medical office or hospital offers you an invitation to interview on site, it’s already an encouraging sign that the administrators feel you would be a good fit for the group, at least on paper. Now they want to meet you in person so they can get a feel for those intangibles that will help them decide if you will fit in with the culture and cohesion of the group. It’s also an opportunity for you to see the facility for yourself and meet your potential new colleagues. You should make the most of this visit to determine if this position is really where you want to practice medicine.

In advance of your scheduled visit, you will likely already have had a phone interview, during which the administrators will discuss the basics of the position, call schedule, patient load, and logistics of the practice. Do your homework about the facility, including its history, reputation, administration, strengths, and unique aspects.

You should receive a detailed itinerary ahead of time, which lists where and when the interview will occur and with whom you will be meeting. Typically, the interview occurs over one or two days, sometimes over a weekend. The time frame may be longer if you are travelling from out of state. In such cases, you may meet with a realtor or have time to look around town. You should familiarize yourself with the itinerary in advance, to avoid the last-minute hassles of being late or getting lost. Obtain travel directions in advance.

Keep in mind that first impressions are very important. Present yourself in a professional manner. This means being dressed appropriately, in business clothes, and not casually (keep the Bermuda shorts at home). Be alert, attentive, and enthusiastic. Bring extra copies of your resume. Be prepared to sell yourself and demonstrate how you differ from other potential applicants. Be courteous and respectful, and let your personality shine.

 

Interview Questions You Will Be Asked

During the interview, you will likely meet physicians and administrators. Listen carefully as they discuss the job details. You will be asked a number of questions, many of which are fairly standard. You should prepare your answers in advance so that you project a confident demeanor.

Common interview questions include:

  • Why did you choose a medical career?
  • Why did you choose your medical school?
  • Why are you looking to change jobs (if you are not a recent graduate)?
  • Why are you interested in this position? In this location? The facility wants to ensure that you plan to stay at the group and in the area for a long time, since it is investing in you. If you have family in the area, or other ties to the city, make sure to highlight this.
  • What professional benefit can you bring to the group?
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Describe a scenario that highlights your clinical judgement.
  • Describe a clinical triumph.
  • How did you handle a major conflict with a patient?
  • What do you think patients like best about you? Like least?
  • Describe your personality and work ethic.
  • What volume of work can you handle?
  • Do you have any disciplinary actions against you? Be prepared to discuss these details.
  • List the compensation level you require.

According to Mr. Chris Tracy*, director of recruitment for Royal Oak Health Group, you should use the interview process to decide if you can envision working at the facility. Do the physicians that you met that day seem like they can become trusted colleagues?

 

Interview Questions You Should Ask

You will also get a chance to ask questions of the staff.  This is your chance to have all your questions answered and determine if this facility is to your liking and will be a good career move for you.

Some important questions to ask include:

  • Why is there a vacant position? Is it due to growth of the practice, retirement of a physician, or some other reason?
  • What is the location of the practice? Will you be only office or hospital based, or both?
  • Are you expected to travel to multiple satellite sites on an ongoing basis? If so, what is the driving time from the main facility?
  • What is the average daily patient load?
  • What is the call schedule? How is holiday call divided?
  • What is the practice’s philosophy and culture?
  • What are the typical patient demographics?
  • Is there a partnership track?
  • Are there career advancement opportunities available?
  • Who measures your performance and how is it measured?
  • What administrative tasks are required of you?
  • What type of support staff will you have?

Compensation is usually the last topic discussed. “Compensation will always take care of itself,” advises Mr. Tracy. The highest offer may not be the best job for you. Additionally, if the facility really thinks you are a good fit, usually its income offer can be increased to meet your expectation.

 

Conclusion

Once you return home from the interview, write down your impressions quickly so you don’t forget them over time, especially if you will be going on multiple other interviews.

Be sure to send a thank you note to all the people you met with within a couple days of the interview. A handwritten note is preferred.

Be in touch with your job recruiter promptly and review your impressions. If the facility felt you were a good match for its position, you will likely be offered an employment contract. If you felt that this opportunity was not a good fit for you, decline it promptly and politely.

If you’re interested in more interviewing tips, consider this article on what NOT to do during your interview process.

Good luck!

*Chris Tracy has 24 years of experience in helping physicians, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants find their dream jobs. He can be reached at ctracy@royaloakhealth.com.

By Shani Saks - Hospital Recruiting
Hospital Recruiting
Hospital Recruiting | Physician and Healthcare Job Board.