Your Job Interview: How to Get the Offer

Koushik Shaw, MD

Disclosures

July 26, 2019

Tour the facility. As you walk around, take in the surroundings. Is the place neat and clean? Do people seem friendly and relaxed, or tense and unhappy?

Pointers for the Interview

Be upbeat. Use empowering phrases like "I can," "I will," and "I know." Tell people what makes you unique. Use strong descriptions of your assets, such as "I have great patience," "I learn quickly," or "I'm great with kids." Outline the qualities you will bring to the organization.

Mind your body language. Sit up, lean slightly forward, and don't fidget. Make eye contact, smile when appropriate, and look engaged. When sitting, fold your hands loosely in your lap, and when standing, keep them by your sides.

Show your enthusiasm for the job. All other things being equal, the employer will pick the candidate who is most enthusiastic about the position. A smile and a friendly demeanor go a long way.

Present yourself as a team player. One of the key attributes that employers are looking for is the ability to work well with others, particularly in these days of care coordination and team care. You might mention participation in team sports, clubs, or societies.

Conversely, interviewers will also be on the lookout for prickly personality traits. "Sarcasm doesn't play well," Hertz says. "Neither do off-color humor, politically incorrect comments, or generational put-downs, such as 'Those millennials are the worst workers.'"

Be friendly to everyone you meet. They may be asked to comment on you later. Don't interrupt people, and wait for the trailing person to pass when you're walking around. Send thank-you notes to interviewers afterward. "Email is fine, but there is nothing like a handwritten note—especially if you have good cursive," says Hertz. He offers an example of wording: "Thanks so much for the thoughtful and well-planned site visit. Pat and I felt we had all our questions answered. We know so much more now about (XYZ group) and your wonderful physicians. This is a group I would be proud to join and a community in which my family and I would love to live."

Be honest. If there are any blemishes in your record, address them in a forthright manner. Interviewers may ask about gaps in your training, dropping out of a degree program, or even a drunk driving citation. It doesn't help to obfuscate.

Don't disrespect past worksites. Employers may assume that if you're negative about former worksites, you'll be negative about the new worksite.

Answering Specific Questions

Here are a few commonly asked questions asked during physician employment interviews. Develop two or three talking points for each question.

What attracts you to this position? This is a frequent starting question. Talk about why you want to be in that city or town and what you like about the facility. Employers reason that if you're attracted to the organization or the locality, you're more likely to stay.

Tell me about yourself. This is not an opportunity to tell your life story, so keep your answer short. Describe your training experience, your future plans, and any personal ties you have with the location or organization.

Why are you a good match for us? You might state that you're especially adept with certain types of cases or procedures. Nonclinical skills may also give you an edge.

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