Physician Staffing Blog

Job Search Advice

How to Ace Your Physician Job Interview

January 23, 2018


Physician job interview tips that will help you get the job you want

Merritt Hawkins has experienced professional recruiters on staff who can help physicians prepare for any phase of the job search. Below are some tips to help you nail the interview and get the job. 

Anticipate likely questions, and prepare and practice your responses in advance. 

In particular, be prepared for behavioral interviewing techniques, which are based on the principle that past behavior can predict future behavior. For example: Tell me about a conflict you’ve had with a colleague and how you handled it. 

Dress appropriately. 

Traditional business attire is appropriate for most physician job interviews.

Greet and be kind to everyone you encounter. 

This includes those you speak with on the phone before you arrive, reception staff, and anyone you encounter in the parking lot, hallway or elevator. 

Be aware of your own body language. 

While it’s natural to be nervous, try not to cross your arms or slouch during the interview. And, it’s always good practice to make and maintain good eye contact, which helps project confidence. In addition, a smile goes a long way and will help both you and your interviewer feel more relaxed and at ease.  BONUS TIP: A few deep “belly breaths” can help you relax quickly.

Never rush to answer a question. 

Take your time and think your responses through before answering. A few seconds of silence while you formulate your response might feel awkward, but don’t let that sensation distract you from providing the best answer you can muster. Interviewers will appreciate that you exercise good professional judgment by thinking carefully before responding.

Never disparage previous employers or supervisors. 

This could make you appear petty and spiteful.

Ask intelligent questions. 

Although you need to be prepared to answer questions about yourself during the interview, there are also questions you should be certain to ask at the appropriate juncture. For example: 

  • How is the program or practice managed, and to whom do physicians report? 
  • What are the metrics for success and how are physicians reviewed? 
  • Is staff support available to help with routine tasks? 
  • Are there opportunities for advancement into leadership roles? 
  • What are the local licensing requirements and admitting privileges?

Refrain from inquiring about compensation, benefits, paid leave, or bonuses until the topic is broached by the interviewer(s). 

These topics are more appropriately vetted with your professional recruiter (before your interview), or when a formal offer is either imminent or in hand.

Inquire about next steps at the end of the interview and send thank you cards to each interviewer. 

This is your opportunity to reiterate your interest and overall qualifications, as well as to highlight something unique about your candidacy that might give you an edge.


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