Physician Job Interviews vs Residency/Med School Interviews

By the time you have your first job interview as a graduated physician, you’ve already been through a few big interviews. First, you interviewed to get into medical school. Then, you did your residency interview. By now, you’re somewhat of an old hand at interviewing, so you might think this next interview will be more of the same. However, there’s one big difference.

Doctor and physician recruiter shaking hands

You Can Be More Selective

When you were an aspiring physician applying to medical school or a residency, it was all about getting in, right? You put your best foot forward and hoped you’d be selected. You were one of many who applied and the odds were somewhat stacked against you.

Once you’ve graduated, however, it’s a different story. As you’re no doubt aware, there’s a physician shortage in the U.S. right now. Employers have more positions than they can fill, which means physicians have more options than ever. That’s not to say you should be arrogant or take job offers lightly; but it does mean you can be more selective.

Know Your Ideal Physician Job Description

In your first job interview, you’re certainly being screened—but it’s also your opportunity to screen your prospective employer. Is this a place you think you would fit in? Can you see yourself working here and being happy?

Before the interview, you’ll want to have a clear idea of your ideal workplace, so you can determine how well the opportunity measures up. Ask yourself things like: what’s your ideal work environment? What is your target pay, workload, benefit package? What part of the country do you want to work in? What size of team do you want to work with? What characteristics would you like to have in an employer? Also, what are your deal-breakers? What absolutely would not make you happy on the job, or in a geographical region?

Keep your answers to these questions in mind during your interview, and after, when you’re making a decision about the job.

Know When to Compromise

Of course, just because physicians like you are now very much in demand, don’t assume that you will necessarily get everything on your dream-job list. As with all things in life, sometimes you have to compromise a bit. If the opportunity in question gives you 7, 8, or 9 out of 10 of the items on your list (and the last one isn’t a deal-breaker), it’s an offer well worth considering.

Another thing to keep in mind: stay humble. Even if there are more jobs than physicians right now, seeming smug or bored in an interview won’t win you any favors. In fact, it could cost you the job. If you’re genuinely upbeat and enthusiastic about the job, your prospective employers will be much more apt to hire you.

And with that, best of luck with that first post-residency job interview!

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