Preparing for Physician Interviews
It’s that time of year again when residents and fellows begin to apply for jobs and start the interview process. The interview process has changed drastically over the last year due to the pandemic and new social distancing guidelines. During the interview process, physicians may see a few different types of interviews like a phone interview, virtual interview, or in-person interview. Even though these interviews will differ slightly, they all serve the same purpose, to ensure a candidate is the right fit for an organization and vice versa.
Before interviewing, physicians need to do some background research on the organization, the location of the position, and the position itself. During this time lookup key facts about the organization like:
- How long has the organization been around?
- What area(s) does this hospital serve?
- What is the organization’s mission?
- Are they opening new locations or closing locations?
- Are they nationally recognized?
During the interview there is a good chance you may be asked why you decided on their organization over others, so have a few factoids prepared. You should also prepare any questions you already have about the opportunity, organization, community, or team to ensure your questions are answered during the interview.
This is also the time to practice interviewing. You can reach out to your program leadership, peers, or even search on the internet for questions that come up frequently for your specialty, but there are some common questions you can prepare for as well! As you are practicing, avoid rehearsing answers so you don’t sound mechanical during the interview. You can also practice answering questions in the mirror or on video so you can observe your non-verbal communication as well.
Virtual interviews and phone interviews require some additional preparation by the candidate before the interview. Virtual and phone interviews require candidates to set up their own interview space, unlike in-person interviews. For a phone interview, it’s important to have an area that is quiet and that you will have good cellphone reception. Most importantly, make sure that your phone is charged before the interview started and if you use a headset or headphones that they are ready! With a virtual interview, you will be on camera, so you want to have a neutral background. Interviews will range in length, utilize a desk/table for your notes, computer, drink, and any other documents needed. Once you receive the meeting request, test the platform! Even if it is one that you have utilized in the past, ensure there are no updates needed. If you do have issues connecting to the platform reach out to your point of contact to troubleshoot the issues. Lastly, check your microphone and camera to ensure you will be seen and heard during the interview.
Dress the part. For a phone interview, it is not as important to dress professionally, but for in-person or virtual interviews you need to!
Once the interview begins, remember to be yourself! This is your potential hiring organization, so you want to make sure that you are comfortable with them and they are comfortable with you. Avoid lying or exaggerating about experiences because when found out you will lose all credibility with that organization.
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