5 Interview Questions Every Physician Should Answer

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Physicians and other types of knowledge workers should prepare for interviews just like anyone else. It may seem counterintuitive after the rigors of residency, but job hunting is still stressful no matter your profession.

You’ll find that interviewers are just as concerned with your soft skills as with your clinical acumen. You are, after all, likely going to interact with patients and other clinical staff. Even though doctors hold a level of prestige different from the average worker, you should be prepared to answer a number of basic questions that have nothing to do with your clinical expertise. This article will help prepare you for these types of questions.

Q&A for Doctors

  1. Tell me about yourself may be a startling question for a doctor with experience or fresh out of residency. This question is a clichéd throwback, but it’s an important one. Interviewers want to hear more about your training and background as well as your goals for the future.
  2. What made you get into medicine? Here’s a tip: Avoid a discussion about how you got into medicine for the pay (even if you did). In our experience, our healthcare clients find this information a bit crass. Try to talk about the altruistic side of medicine more than the pay scale.
  3. Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years? A locum tenens physician may have a different response from another type of applicant. Regardless, be honest about your goals, even if you’re a tenured doctor planning on retiring during this time.
  4. Why are you interested in this position? Again, this is one of those fallback generic questions that is actually important. Many candidates are asked this question early during the interview process. It’s a good idea to review the job description before the interview and look closely at the geographic area and employer. But give some thought to what it is about this specific healthcare provider that interests you.
  5. Why should we hire you? While selling yourself can feel uncomfortable, doctors should be prepared to answer this question at the end of the conversation. It’s usually a sign the interview is going well. Focus on the reasons why you as an individual would be an asset to the team.

Doctors should also prepare for behavioral questions which seek to quantify a candidate based on their past behaviors. Some typical questions you may encounter include:

  • What do you do if you disagree with a patient?
  • Describe a stressful situation during your residency and how you were able to cope with the issue.
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with a policy and how you handled it.
  • Tell us how you handle misdiagnosing a case.
  • Describe a time when you were wrong and what happened.

Doctors can eliminate a lot of interviewing stress by preparing for some of the questions typically asked during an interview. Talk with your team at UHC Solutions to find some of the current opportunities around the country to begin or continue your medical career.