Ask the Experts

The Hidden Cost of Physician Recruitment: Interview Fatigue

Posted by Anonymous at 5/8/2013 2:28:00 PM

Physician Recruiting Interview Fatigue

By Trevor Strauss, MBA 


Physician Recruiting Interview Fatigue

In recent years, the concept of “interview fatigue” has been become a somewhat familiar one to physicians.  Residency programs and recruiters have provided insights on how to deal with the physical and mental stress/fatigue that comes with the interview process. Given how many job options physicians have today (residents, in particular) interview fatigue is something physicians need to understand. 

A topic that has less seldom been discussed is the interviewers and the fatigue they face from working to hire a new physician or other clinician.  Today healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever and each year many healthcare organizations are faced with the seemingly impossible task of staffing providers at all levels, from RNs and MAs to Mid Levels and Physicians. 


Merritt Hawkins has been involved on both sides of this paradigm for 26 years. We have seen candidates struggle to make a decision, because they are mentally burned out from all of their options on where to practice.  More importantly, our clients have dealt with the stresses of interviewing.

Interview Fatigue can manifest itself in many ways. A few examples are:


  1. Assumption that candidates will not accept your offer based upon prior candidate feedback
  2. Your staff, both clinical and non clinical, are disinterested during the interview process because they have seen too many candidates
  3. Lack of effort or attention to your staffing needs leads to additional clinical burnout of the providers on staff
  4. Domino Effect: staff or clinicians see multiple candidate turn down your position, they may feel the grass is greener elsewhere and seek new positions


Here are a few suggestions I have found effective for avoiding interview fatigue when you are adding a new clinical provider to your practice:


  1.  Prior to starting a recruitment project, ensure that the entire team that will be affected by the additional provider has been brought up to speed on why you are recruiting and the specifics of the search.
  2. Keep your clinical provider team focused on seeing patients and not involved in the day to day aspects of recruiting. 
  3. Ensure that all candidates who you have the clinical team interview have been fully vetted by yourself or your recruitment partner to ensure a good conversation when the clinical team speaks to them.
  4. Only schedule onsite interviews for candidates that you have determined are ready and willing to make a decision within the next 1-2 weeks.


Interview Fatigue is a very real and common occurrence within the healthcare marketplace. Candidates certainly have more options than ever before and face the stresses of multiple offers. As the interviewer, it is important to understand and realize how “interview fatigue” can affect your facility.




Trevor Strauss is a Regional Vice President of Marketing at Merritt Hawkins, an AMN Healthcare Company. For additional questions or information regarding our services, please contact Trevor Strauss at 469-524-1601 or

Photo credit: ThinkStock Images


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