Photo thanks to Brian Smith via Flickr.

Preparing for Your Interviews

Cortney Ikpe

For the best chance of success at an interview, a physician should spend time preparing for the interview. Different types of interviews can require different preparation methods. Use these methods to set the stage for a positive interviewing experience.

All Interviews

  • Be sure to research the company interviewing you. Not only will knowledge of the organization make you appear professional and prepared to a perspective employer, but it will also help you discover whether the position for which you are interviewing is the right fit for you.  While you are researching, keep in mind what questions you wish to ask your perspective employer. Writing down your questions in your portfolio can help assure that you will not forget.
  • Although you want to sound natural rather than rehearsed, it is a good idea to practice your answers to common questions. Additionally, practice telling stories that emphasize your best qualities.
  • Contact your references and tell them they could potentially receive a call, along with what intuitions you are interviewing with.
  • Aside from phone interviews, you be sure to present yourself in a professional manner at an interview.

Phone Interviews 

  • Make sure to find a location for your phone interview that is free of distractions, and if anyone else has access to this place let them know that the space will not be available during this time.
  • Make a visit to the location you choose before your interview and make a practice call to a friend, ensuring you have a clear connection. Additionally, charge your battery before the interview.
  • Make sure you have updated your CV and other professional materials, and keep them by your side during your phone interview to reference. Read over these documents before the interview and highlight anything you especially want to be sure is brought to the interviewer’s attention.

Onsite Interviews 

  • Make sure you know when and where your interview is to be held.
  • If you have never been to the interview site before, practice driving there so you are sure to be on time the day of the interview.
  • Bring a portfolio with extra copies of your CV and references and a list of questions you may ask, as well as a pen and blank paper to take notes during the interview.

Dinner Interviews

  • Depending on the location of the dinner interview and who is attending, dress can range from casual to business professional. When in doubt, err on the side of overdressed.
  • Often if a company is interested enough in a perspective physician to take them to dinner, guests may be invited as well. This can be a great opportunity to introduce the company to your spouse, and they should be included in conversation, but be sure the focal point of the conversation does not turn to the spouse.
  • If you have any food allergies or special requirements, give your interviewer advanced warning as to what you cannot eat to avoid an awkward situation.

Skype Interviews

  • Arguably the most important part of a Skype interview is knowing your Skype ID. Come up with a professional name, and make sure you give your interviewer the correct ID.
  • Carefully consider what your interviewers will be seeing in the frame behind you. Be sure there is nothing unprofessional included in the frame, as well as nothing distracting. Additionally, make sure the place you choose is quiet.
  • Before the interview, experiment with placement of the camera. Some angles are much more flattering than others. You want to pick an angle that doesn’t cast any shadows on your face.
  • If you do not regularly use Skype, make a practice call to a friend before your interview so you know what to expect. Ideally, you will want to make this practice call on the computer you will be using for your interview. Take note of where the camera is located in relation to where your picture and the picture of your interviewer are shown. Ask your friend if you are speaking at a proper volume.
  • Be sure that your Internet connection is reliable. If you are using a laptop, take precautions to be sure your battery will not die mid-call.
  • In Skype interviews, people often smile less than they do in on-site interviews, even though facial expressions are just as important in this type of interview. It can be a good idea to make a note reminding you to smile and tape it on your computer screen.

Preparing for the type of interview you are granted shows that you are serious about working for the employer. When these steps are taken, the base is built for a successful interview.