How to Prep for Job Interview Success for Physicians

Congratulations on graduating medical school or residency! Now it’s time to find the perfect position to launch your career. Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to help you ace your physician interviews and secure the job that best suits your goals.

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  1. Be Prepared – Information is Power

Before you step into the interview room (or hop on a video call), take some time to get your bearings. Here are several tips on what to do:

Invest Time in Self-discovery and Research

Begin by reflecting on your career aspirations. What kind of practice setting appeals to you? Do you prefer research opportunities or do you favor a role with a high patient volume? Knowing your preferences will help you target the right positions.

  • Dive deep into the organization’s website and its news coverage. Understand their patient population and philosophy. Utilize resources like the AMA Health Workforce Mapper to get a feel for the local healthcare landscape.
  • Prepare insightful questions about the position, employer, and community. This will demonstrate your genuine interest and help you gauge if the role aligns with your needs.
  • Pack extra copies of your updated CV, dress professionally, and arrive early.

Be an Active Listener

Pay close attention to what the interviewer is saying. This not only shows respect, but will also help you tailor your responses.

  • Honesty is key. Be truthful throughout the interview process. Any discrepancies could surface later and jeopardize your chances.
  • Embrace the “medical analogy.” Think of interviewing like taking a detailed medical history. Gather all the necessary information to make an informed decision about accepting the job.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. First and second interviews are not negotiations. If you forget to ask something, you can always follow up later.

2. Questions They Will Ask

Review this list of common questions you can expect during your physician interview. Practice your answers.

General questions help the interviewer get to know you and assess your cultural fit. Examples might include: “Tell us about yourself,” “What interests you in this position?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

  • Be prepared to discuss your medical education, past experiences, and areas of expertise. The interviewer may ask about your approach to patient care, collaboration with colleagues, and handling challenging situations.
  • In-depth questions delve deeper into your problem-solving skills and how you handle specific scenarios. Examples might be: “Describe how you built rapport with a difficult patient” or “How do you approach diagnoses and treatments?”

3. Questions You Should Ask

While the interviewer evaluates you, it’s equally important for you to assess if the position aligns with your needs.  Asking questions will show your interest.

It’s important that if the interviewer says something that you are not interested in or don’t like, do not express interest. You want to decide whether or not to take a job, rather than leaving that decision to them. And keep in mind that if they share details that make you feel less interested, the next minute they may say something that you very much like. Staying open and asking questions is the best policy.

Understanding the Role

During the interview, you could ask: Why is this position open? What is a typical day like? What is the patient volume and allotted time per patient? How is productivity measured?

  • Ask for clarity on the call schedule, weekend and night responsibilities, and hospital coverage
  • Ask practice dynamics questions, such as: How would you describe the current staff and organizational culture? How are new physicians integrated?

Here are further questions you could ask:

Leadership and Management

  • Who manages the practice, and what is the governance structure?
  • How does the partnership system work (if applicable)?
  • What resources are provided for business aspects like billing, coding, and legal support?
  • What is the overhead cost and return on investment for physicians?

Your Future Plans

  • Does the practice have plans for expansion or integration with larger healthcare systems?
  • What is the payer mix and reimbursement history?
  • Explore the compensation package, including base salary, bonus opportunities, vacation/CME time, insurance coverage, and malpractice insurance details.

Video of a physician interview

Remember, it’s a two-way street. While the interviewer assesses your qualifications, take the opportunity to evaluate the organization and position to ensure that it aligns with your career aspirations.

By being well prepared, you’ll be able to navigate the physician interview process with confidence. Good luck!

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Career Beat

Written by Warren Goldie