You Made It to the 2nd Interview—Now What?

Congrats, you made it to round two! The most nerve-racking part of the job-searching process is over. A second interview brings you one step closer to being a hired physician, but there are some things to keep in mind before sealing the deal. Second interviews require a different kind of prep work and using the following tips will help keep you ahead of the competition.

The basics

First things first: remember the basics. The interviewing skills that are important for the first interview, found here on our blog, still apply in the second. Some other basics include:

  • Have a solid understanding of the health group and what it values
  • Identify what you have to offer
  • Know what kind of physicians the health group typically cares for
  • Present yourself as well-rounded in terms of bedside manner, medical skills, work ethic, etc.
  • Have positive body language

Don’t get too comfortable knowing you have your foot in the door. Basics are essential to maintaining a good impression and should still be at the top of your list when it comes to sitting down with potential employers.

The second impression

“Be nice to the gatekeeper,” says Michael Sievert, Vice President at CompHealth Locum Tenens. “The person at the front desk may not be the one hiring you, but that doesn’t mean his or her impression isn’t important. Many facilities specifically ask members of the front desk to give their impression of job candidates, which can play a role in the hiring decision. So make sure to treat everyone you meet during your interview with the utmost respect and kindness.”

In other words, it’s important to be respectful to everyone in the office. Maintain an air of confidence and positivity, and reach out and get to know people better while you’re there. After all, these could be your future coworkers! Don’t be afraid to send a follow-up thank you note to your interviewers or others who help you throughout the interview process.

The chance to dig deeper

Now’s a good time to think about more skills and experiences you can talk about to demonstrate what will make you a valuable physician to this health group. The Mayo Clinic recommends thinking about topics like how you handle patient complaints, strategies you use to communicate with fellow physicians, or a specific time you demonstrated a skill that added value to the team. This is an opportunity to get personal. Give them a glimpse of the kind of physician you are—the things you care about, the treatment plans you’re passionate about, etc.

The need to be current

Beyond your practical skills as a doctor and your emotional skills as a caregiver, it’s important to stay current on what’s going on in the field of medicine. When you’re able to talk about new technologies and procedures, controversial cases in the news, and thought leaders’ opinions on healthcare trends, you establish yourself as a more competent, engaged, actively learning physician. It will improve your confidence and impress the interviewers. Look for opportunities to discuss this knowledge with your interviewers, perhaps during questions regarding what sets you apart as a physician, how you develop your skills, what your personal philosophy is, and how you handle difficult cases.

The questions

When you reach the end of the interview, it’s important to ask meaningful questions. This shows the interviewers that you’re serious about this job, and helps you better identify if this is the health group for you. This can include questions regarding:

  • Health group culture and philosophy
  • Opportunities for growth and learning
  • Care priorities
  • Physician expectations
  • Crisis and malpractice policies
  • Training process
  • Next steps

For more ideas on what questions you can ask, read our blog post, 7 Questions You Need to Ask During Your Interview.

The decision

A second interview makes things a little more real—this health group might be your future work home. While you want to make sure your interviewers like you and that you’ve made it clear that you’re the best possible candidate, you also want to make sure that this health group will be a good fit for you. Consider what you learned about your potential responsibilities and expectations during your first interview and as you researched. Make sure to take more practical aspects – like salary, benefits, and work schedule into account. Think critically about whether or not this career path will set you up for where you want to be down the road, and use this second interview as another opportunity to really weigh your options. You really want to make sure that whatever job you choose will be the right fit.   

The follow up

Now that you’re at the end of second interview, how do you follow up without being annoying? If you didn’t have a chance to ask what the next steps are during your interview, then start with a thank you note. Send a note to each person involved in the interview process. And don’t put this off—feel free to send the note via card or email the same day, or within a few days, of your interview.

Now, if you want to touch base without a phone call first, Jenny Foss, career strategist, recommends “forwarding an article that you think [your recruiter will] find interesting, or congratulating her if you notice she’s been promoted or earned some sort of recognition [on LinkedIn]. Maybe thanking her for a bit of advice that you employed. Keep it simple and brief, and don’t ask for anything back. If that person hears from you and has an update? She’ll absolutely be in touch.”

But, if you feel comfortable calling to follow-up, be sure that you keep your calls to a minimum. If you aren’t able to connect with your interviewer, simply leave a short voicemail and trust that they’ll get back to you. Making a hiring decision is a big deal, and it can often take some time. So follow-up and then just be patient (we know it’s hard.)

Prepare to take round two like a champ with a little more in-depth preparation. Hang in there, you’re one step closer to your newest physician job. Still working on making it to the first interview? Start your job search on PhysEmp.

7 Questions You Need to Ask During Your Interview

Despite the adrenaline rushing through your veins as you answer interview questions, trying to maintain good eye contact while responding with confidence, it’s important to ask your interviewer good questions. Questions not only show you’re prepared and serious about this potential job, but also help you decide whether or not this is the health group for you. Consider asking these seven strategic questions next time you’re interviewing.

  1. What is your health group’s vision and culture?

This health group might become your home away from home. So, this question is mutually beneficial: first, you’re getting insight into whether or not this is a place where you see yourself working. Second, you’re showing consideration in how you can contribute to making the health group a positive work environment. It doesn’t matter how much the salary is or how perfect the location of the health group is; if your vision and work culture don’t mesh well with theirs, then you’re not going to thrive.

Ask follow-up questions such as what their practice philosophy is, whether that includes policies regarding pharmaceutical reps, continual education, or comprehensive care. Do they have crisis and malpractice philosophies put in place? Get an understanding for what they prioritize as a health group, and consider whether these priorities align with your own.

  1. What’s a typical day like?

While a “typical” day in the life of a physician might not exist, it’s a good idea to ask for a general idea of what to expect. Hearing what a typical day is like will help you know whether or not you’re qualified for the job, how the health group runs things, and how to prepare for success before you walk in with your white coat on the first day. You can follow up with a question about what the training process is for physicians and tips for how to succeed as a new team member.

  1. What would my typical weekly schedule look like?

This is a respectful way to find out what your time demands will be like. It opens up the conversation to how much time you’ll be on call, how many hours you’ll be devoting on a daily basis, and how physicians split up responsibilities. Knowing what your week will look like is a good way to see if this physician role will fit your personal lifestyle, such as family responsibilities.

  1. What kind of opportunities for growth are available?

A job is a job, but a job that lets you grow will keep you motivated, give you a sense of contribution, and allow you to progress and practice at a higher level. Hopefully, the health group will have opportunities for you to take on new or specialized responsibilities and leadership roles. Asking this question shows you’re thinking about the long-term benefits this career path might offer. Don’t let the need for a job keep you from finding that one job that values you and your career.

  1. Are there partner or buy-in opportunities?

To expound on the last question, asking about partner or buy-in opportunities is a bold way to show your commitment and the confidence you will bring to your role. While this might be a more appropriate question for a second interview, it’s important to know what the future holds if you have professional or financial goals you’re seeking. Asking this question also shows you’re willing to go above and beyond in order to help the health group be successful.

  1. What is the compensation like?

Most people would warn against asking about salary during the first interview. However, Fortune claims, “A record high 70% of hiring managers now say they welcome salary discussions as early as the first or second interview, according to a new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half International—a far cry from the days when talking about money so soon marked a candidate as crass, or desperate.”

Gauge the conversation—if it feels natural to bring salary up, then respectfully ask about compensation, including benefits that go beyond salary. If you feel more comfortable waiting until the second interview, then there’s no harm in waiting.

  1. What’s the next step?

When you reach the end of the interview, show initiative by asking what the next step is in the hiring process. This is a strong way to show your interest and be proactive about moving the hiring process along. And don’t be afraid to send a follow-up thank you note—it’s a sure way to make a positive, lasting impression.

Grab some gumption and ask these strategic questions during your interview. Remember, this interview is a way for both you and the interviewers to decide if you will be a good fit for the practice. Just starting your job search? Start searching for your dream job now at PhysEmp.

4 Tips to Help You Totally Crush Your Residency Interviews

Finally, after years and years of school, you’re ready to start your residency. It’s an exciting time – after all, you’re finally out of school!  But, between you and your lifelong dream looms the all important interview (and accompanying residency). You’ve probably been interviewed before, for jobs and for school, but this interview might be the most important one yet, at least until the next one. No pressure, right? We have the tips and tricks you need to prove how amazing you are.

1.Do Your Homework

You wouldn’t go into a test without studying, would you? No! You’d spend hours studying and preparing so that you could ace it. So why would you go into an interview being anything less than 100% prepared? There are several things you can do to be prepared to put your best foot forward in your interview:

Research the Institution and the Interviewers

Try to get the basic information about those who will be interviewing you, and research them. You will leave a great impression if you are familiar with any of their work or accomplishments. But even if you can’t find out who your interviewers will be, you should definitely be able to find information about the institution. Understand the institution individually – what their specialties are, any notable doctors they’ve employed, research they are working on, and their overall mission  – and try to make your interview more personal than simply saying, “I’ll work anywhere that will help me fulfill my residency requirements.”

Your 5 Year Plan

More often than not, your interviewers are going to ask about your plans after residency. Be upfront about your plans. Do you see yourself staying there and looking for a chief residency position, or will you be returning to school?  No matter what your plans are, you want to make sure that the residency position you accept is going to be the best fit for you.

Practice your Answers

When studying for a test, you don’t know every question that your professor is going to ask. But, you usually have a pretty good idea of what they’re likely to ask. The same is true of an interview. Practicing your answers will help you stay on topic be prepared with an answer when you hear certain keywords and catchphrases. Your interviewers are not expecting you to be a professional speaker; however, they do want to know that you can communicate with them as you will be required to communicate with patients and associates.

  • Why did you want to interview with us?

Use this question to showcase your knowledge of the individual program, including your research of the interviewers, your potential teachers and what you hope to learn.

  • What strengths and qualities make you a good physician? What are your weaknesses?

While you want to highlight your positive character traits, this is also a great opportunity to highlight what makes you great in the context of your work experience. Don’t just say you have a great bedside manner, tell how you’ve interacted with patients in the past. Be sure to keep your answer relevant to your specialty.

When talking about your weaknesses, don’t sugarcoat. Everyone has weaknesses, but make sure to highlight how you work to bounce back and compensate for your shortcomings.

  • Why did you decide to be a physician?

This is a great opportunity to let interviewers know who you are a little better. Let them know what inspires and motivates you.

  • Why did you choose your specialty?

This is another great opportunity to let your interviewers know more about who you are. Talk about why you’re passionate about your specialty, what you want to accomplish, and why it’s the best fit for you.

  • Do you think that you will fit in with the culture we have at our institution?

While an institution may look perfect on paper, you might find that it isn’t quite what you expected once you get to your interview. And you don’t want to take a position where you don’t fit in.  

Your interviewers are not expecting you to be a professional speaker; however, they do want to know that you can communicate with them as you will be required to communicate with patients and associates.

2.Dress to Impress

First impressions can color entire relationships, and when they’re good, they can help you overcome any little missteps you might make in your interview. You want to be seen as a professional, so you need to dress like one; leave the scrubs at home. Make sure that your clothes are clean and pressed, that your shoes are shined, and that your hair isn’t wild. And since your phone is practically a part of your wardrobe, make sure to silence your phone and keep it in your pocket throughout the interview; or better yet, leave it in your car.

3.Timing is Everything

You may be nervous on the day of your interview, and that’s ok. If you’re especially anxious about getting lost and arriving late, drive to the interview location the day before your interview so you know how to get there. Make sure to get to the interview early, after all, it’s far better to be 20 minutes early than 2 minutes late. Bring extra copies of your resume and CV in a professional briefcase or binder, just in case.  

4.Don’t Leave Without Asking Questions

At the end of nearly every interview, you’re probably going to be asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” Although this question seems innocent enough, it is actually a great opportunity that can separate you from your competition instantly. You should be prepared to ask insightful, relevant questions about the institution, potential co-workers, the program, and working conditions. You can prepare a few questions like:

  • What traits do you look for in your ideal candidate?
  • Where do you see this program or institution being in 5 years?

But, you should also be prepared to ask questions based on the interview itself. So, be sure to take notes and make sure that this institution is going to be the best fit for you.

If you’re looking for top-notch residency programs, PhysEmp can help you find them. We have the best jobs and the most up to date contact information for employers throughout the country. So start your search today!

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