Once your CV has done its job of attracting the eye of your prospective employer, it is up to you again to prepare for the interview. Whether you’re fresh out of medical school or a seasoned doctor who is vying for another career opportunity and better work-life balance, it wouldn’t hurt to think about ways in which you can better your chance of acquiring a coveted post. Here are some of the things you may want to look into in preparation for and during your interview:
Preparing for the Interview
Appearance plays a big factor in making an impression on the interview panel, and dressing up takes more than thinking about how you want to be seen. Hospitals are becoming increasingly aware that their physicians represent their quality of service, so these establishments are more willing to invest in people who understand the value of marketing. Consider how the practice brands itself when you start planning how you will present yourself during the interview.
In addition to making a good first impression, you should also know what you want from the establishment you wish to join. What makes the hospital an attractive option if your goal in applying for a new job is to strike a perfect balance between lifestyle and career? What can the hospital or recruiting organization do or offer to help you hit the road running? You should also consider possible employment arrangements beforehand, such as calls, part-time work, and job sharing, so you can have a clear cut position on those options should anyone bring them up during the interview.
During the Interview
Try to relax during the interview process, but not to the point where you forget your language and act too casual. Your employers will assume that the way you appear and communicate during the interview is how you will be in practice, so always maintain professional judgment. To balance this and to make a personal impression on the interviewer, find something in common with a physician on staff, such as interests and backgrounds. However, steer clear of religious or political topics.
Ask questions to show interest on the practice. Inquire how regular days are like in the hospital, the competition in the area, and other information that one can’t easily find online. Save your inquiries about salary and vacations on the latter section of the interview. However, don’t talk too much about offers from the hospital’s competitors or your employers might think that they are being tempted to go into a bidding war.
The Long Wait
The goal of every interview is to get a job offer at the end. At best, you can walk out the room with a promise of receiving a letter of intent to hire in the next few weeks. But if the interview ends without any specific feedback, it would be best to explicitly but courteously ask about the employer’s next step and timeline. This way, you can know when to close the door and seek your opportunities elsewhere.