Preparing for the Interview
To clarify your needs and preferences, do the following:
- List your strengths and weaknesses
- List your goals and objectives
- List your most important personal and professional needs
- Decide on areas of trade-off and compromise
- Develop desirable/undesirable job profiles
- Consider performing a self-analysis such as the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator
- List your family requirements, including preferences for school, religious affiliations, recreation, housing, employment for your spouse, and any special needs
Before the Interview
Refer to the lists you’ve developed as you are interviewing. They will help you determine what is most important to you and will assist you in evaluating and comparing specific opportunities.
Prepare and forward your CV with a cover letter. The employer will make an initial assessment of you based on your CV; therefore, you want to proofread it carefully and have it professionally printed. You should also prepare your references and confirm their availability to speak with prospective employers.
Research the opportunity and community as much as possible, contacting local specialty organizations and healthcare professionals. You will want to gather information on:
- Reputation of the practice, including malpractice suits, harmony and rapport within the group, and practice ethics
- Number of specialists in the community
- Entry-level salaries
- Physician/patient ratio in the area
- Physicians in the community
- Local medical associations and societies
- Area hospitals
Take extra copies of your CV, a copy of your interview itinerary, a pen and notepad with you to the interview.
If you are interviewing in a distant location, plan to spend several days there. During your visit, arrange to tour the practice/hospital, meet the staff and partners, and even spend an evening with them if possible. You should also allow time to meet with a real estate agent and visit the local chamber of commerce.
The night before your interview, drive to the location to know how much time to allow and where to park. Most prospective employers will cover interview expenses. If they do not offer the information up front, be sure to ask what their payment or reimbursement process is before making travel plans.
The Interview Itself
Make a positive first impression by arriving promptly, dressing professionally, and displaying professional, courteous behavior at all times. Your body language during the interview is also important. Make a point to maintain eye contact, smile, sit up straight with your hands in a comfortable position, modulate your voice and keep a positive attitude.
You should allow the interviewer to control the flow of the conversation, but do not hesitate to ask questions when appropriate. Be sure to answer all questions in full sentences, and limit your responses to two to three minutes.
Keep in mind that the real purposes of the interview from your perspective are to present yourself in a positive light and to gather information about the opportunity. The employer’s main purposes are to determine your professional credentials and practice style, your behavioral characteristics, personality fit, “team-player” capabilities, and long-term goals and interests.
As the interview comes to a close, you will want to reiterate your interest in the opportunity, verify that you are still a candidate and briefly discuss the next steps in the selection process.
Finally, you should exit the interview as you entered, with a firm handshake and an expression of thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
After the Interview
Follow up promptly by sending a letter to each person with whom you interviewed. Be sure to reiterate the reasons you believe you are qualified and thank them for their time and interest in you.