Interview Tips

10 Behavioral Interview Questions for Physicians

In the new world of healthcare reform and patient satisfaction scores, hospitals and facilities are looking to hire physicians who have more than just strong clinical skills — they need doctors who can really connect with patients.

behavioral_questionsIn the new world of healthcare reform and patient satisfaction scores, hospitals and facilities are looking to hire physicians who have more than just strong clinical skills — they need doctors who can really connect with patients.

A physician recruiter from a large health system shared what he looks for when he brings on a new physician.

“In an ideal situation, quality is number one. I’m looking for a doctor with a strong skill set, but he also needs to communicate effectively with staff and with patients,” he said. “Today’s healthcare consumers are savvy and they want more than just a physician with good clinical skills. They want somebody who is going to listen to them, take care of them and truly understand who they are.”

So how do recruiters determine a physician’s communication skills and bedside manner? Many employers have shifted from using interviews to ask about work history and accomplishments — that’s what CVs and reference checks are for — and now focus on asking behavioral questions.

Here are a few typical behavioral interview questions for physicians:

  1. Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation and you demonstrated your coping skills.
  2. Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
  3. What do you do if you disagree with a patient?
  4. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
  5. Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset patient or staff member.
  6. Describe a time when you were wrong.
  7. Tell me about a time when you misdiagnosed a case and how you resolved it.
  8. Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  9. How have you handled a difficult situation with a supervisor?
  10. Walk me through how you present complicated information or instructions to patients.

For employers, these types of questions give a glimpse into how the physician will handle the various situations she may face in the new job. For the physician, it’s provides an opportunity to demonstrate skills that may not show up on a CV.

If you’re serious about your job search, make sure to do your homework and come prepared to answer these questions. For more interview tips, click here. Or if you are ready to nail that interview explore our physician job board for open positions today.

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