Want Help with Your Job Search?

Jane Jerrard

The Hospitalist. 2007;11(5):11-15. 

In This Article

What Interviewers Look For

Because its essential to find a good personality fit for a group, allow decision-makers to get a sense of who you are during the interview phase.

"It's important to be honest about your values and about who you are," says Dr. Harris. She believes that most hospital medicine directors look for candidates who are "actively interested in being a hospitalist– preferably for a long time," for physicians who are team players, and for traits that include flexibility and responsibility.

"I look for someone who's outgoing," adds Dr. Mark Williams. " I want a nice person–someone who's willing to bend over backward to help others. I appreciate people who've won humanitarian awards in residency."

There are also more basic traits you should display. "General etiquette is important," stresses Dr. Harris. "Be prompt in your responses when using phone and e-mail. If you're interested in the position, be engaged in the process. After you come in to the hospital, send a brief letter or a quick e-mail thanking the person and expressing your interest–or your lack of interest. This doesn't have to be very formal."

When interviewing candidates for academic hospitalist positions, Dr. Mark Williams says, "I look for residents who have won awards, who have laudatory letters of recommendation from their program director. I love letters that say this resident was in the top of their class, or the best we've seen in five years. I look for those who have done research, and those who published case report abstracts, which shows they're industrious."

Dr. Mark Williams also asks questions of candidates early in the process and listens carefully to their responses. "I especially look for good communication skills, which are so critical for hospitalists," he says. "If someone has poor communication skills, they'll have a tough time on the job."

To determine their skills, "I'll ask about their goals, and ask what they see as their weakness," he says. "It's very positive to see someone articulate their weaknesses."

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