While you prepare your travel arrangements, wardrobe, and other various elements for your upcoming interview, you should also prioritize researching potential physician job interview questions that could arise during your meeting. Clinical skills, career trajectory, behavioral reactions to situational settings, and personal background information are all main points of interest for a medical employer when reviewing candidates.
Thoughtful interviewing committees will strongly consider a candidate whose responses will complement their existing team. Turnover is very costly and puts a strain on staff so medical employers want to ensure they select the best candidate the first time around. At the same time, you’ll also want to arrive prepared, which will allow you to speak confidently and fully showcase your personality and abilities.
General Personal Questions:
1. Tell us about yourself
2. What are your hobbies or what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
3. What is your greatest strength?
4. What is your biggest weakness?
5. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
6. If you were to describe yourself in three words, what would they be and why?
7. Why did you choose to become a physician?
8. Why did you select to specialize in (subspecialty)?
Don’t be afraid to share some short personal anecdotes during your physician interview- it could leave a memorable, lasting impression. As you begin to mention items listed on your CV, keep it pared down to highlights instead of repeating full lines of your resume. When covering your greatest weakness, do not select an issue so large that it could prevent you from being hired. More importantly, place emphasis on how you have been actively working to improve that issue. Lastly, when asked why you chose to enter the medical field do not utilize the tired and overused answer of, “to help people.” Answer authentically and include some personal backstory.
Practice and Work Culture Questions:
9. Why did you leave your last practice?
10. How would you describe your ideal work environment?
11. What interests you in working with the team at our practice?
12. What do you hope to accomplish in this role?
13. Can you describe a time when you have worked with a difficult colleague or patient and how did you resolve or diffuse the situation?
14. How would you approach sharing difficult or complicated medical information with a patient or their family?
15. What level of experience do you have with using electronic medical records and what platforms have you used?
16. What kind of call schedule is acceptable for you?
17. How would nursing and ancillary staff describe your work style? Collaborate? Independent?
18. Do you believe there are improvements we could make in our practice and what would they be?
19. Is there a time when you have disagreed with a colleague’s diagnosis?
Expect to be asked a large number of behavioral questions. While it is easy for a practice to find a physician with the skills they require, it is even harder for them to find a physician who also additionally encompasses a personality and working style that blends with their current staff. When discussing subjects like past employers, working with difficult people, and other potentially negative topics, do not disparage the other party in your explanation. You’ll also want to convey a sense of flexibility in your answers, especially when it comes to learning new technology, interacting with colleagues, and perhaps call schedule.
Medical Skill Questions:
20. How do you stay informed of current best practices, technology, and medical advancement?
21. Do you have any physician leadership skills and how did you develop them?
22. What do you think are going to be the biggest obstacles for you going from fellowship/residency to practice?
23. What has been your most difficult case thus far and how did you handle it?
24. Do you have any special or unique skills that would benefit our practice?
25. What is your process for evaluating and treating patients?
26. How would you describe your bedside manner as a physician?
For questions related to your medical skills, do not be afraid to market yourself. Even if there are smaller projects or committees that you contributed to, mention them. If there is data that you can tie to any of your successes, produce as much as possible. The goal of these questions is to establish that your skills are higher than average and that you’re deeply invested in continuing to improve them.
27. What are your salary expectations and are those flexible?
28. Have you ever had a malpractice suit?
29. Other than this job opportunity, what is appealing to you about our community?
30. What questions do you have for us?
Handling salary conversations can be tricky. When it comes to an early physician interview, mention that you would like a competitive salary rather than a solid figure. It is also wise to conduct research on the community and mention places of interest during the meeting. If you have family members that already reside in the area, that is an even stronger point to emphasize as it suggests a long-term commitment. Perhaps most crucial of all is preparing your own quality list of questions for the practice as it shows enormous forethought and a stronger desire to be awarded the opportunity.
For seasoned interviewing committees and hiring managers, it is easy to recognize a doctor who has researched the practice and thoughtfully prepared their physician interview responses. By taking the time to rehearse your answers, it dramatically increases your chance of being placed into the top tier of candidates for consideration.
To further supplement your shot at landing the job, consider working with a physician recruiter who will not only get your CV to the top of the pile, but who will also follow up with in-house recruiting managers to ensure your name stays at the top of the pile top of mind during the hiring process.
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