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For Physicians – Interviewing 101 – How to Get the Job You Really Want!

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You have identified several job opportunities. Now you’re ready to contact the prospective employers to learn more about their career offerings. The interview process begins with an initial phone call and may entail one or two site visits. Consider your initial phone call as the beginning of your interview process! Your first phone call will form an initial and lasting impression on the recruiter or key practice contact, so be prepared and be professional. Your first contact may determine if you are invited for a site interview. Pre-schedule the call at a time that is convenient for you. If possible, try to schedule the call at a time that you’ll have no distractions.

Preparing for the Phone Interview

  • Do your homework. Visit websites of the hospital, practice, and community.
  • Prepare Questions: Ask for a profile of the providers in the group. What is the organizational structure? Partnership, benefits, call, etc? Why are they recruiting (growth, retirement, replacement)? What is the community like? Are there opportunities for your significant other?
  • Anticipate Questions: Why are you pursuing this opportunity? What is important to you both professionally and personally? What are your timelines? Do you have any issues regarding malpractice history, license suspensions or restrictions, etc.? What are your compensation requirements?

The Phone Interview

  • Be courteous, polite, respectful and answer questions honestly!
  • Your first questions should not be about salary and schedule.
  • Ask for an information packet on the organization and community.
  • Ask what the next step is. Often you will have additional phone contact prior to being invited to interview.
  • Decide if this is a job you would accept before taking the time to interview. You have limited time to interview, so use that time wisely!

The Site Interview

  • Tell your recruiter or contact any special needs you or your family have BEFORE the interview.
  • Bring your spouse on the first visit. His or her opinion is key.
  • Dress professionally and be punctual. Turn your cell phone OFF and put your Blackberry/PDA away.
  • Always remember to use a firm handshake (but not bone crushing). Maintain eye contact and smile! ?
  • Be yourself. Employers want to know if your personality would be a good fit for the practice and community.
  • Ask Questions and Talk! If you don’t, you will appear disinterested and present a flat affect.
  • Tour the community and neighborhoods. Get a feel for the housing market.
  • Visit schools, places of worship, and grocery stores. See what life is like for local residents.
  • Reserve time for leisure and cultural activities in the area. Does the community meet your lifestyle needs?

After Your Visit

  • Follow up promptly!
  • Send Thank You Notes! Email is OK, but a handwritten note makes a better impression.
  • If you’re interested in the opportunity, express continued interest. Be honest if the opportunity is not right for you at this time. It could be in the future!
  • Follow up with any additional questions.
  • Submit receipts for reimbursement for reasonable interview expenses.


Consider the interview as a tool…it works well only when the operator prepares and knows how to use it!

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