Set and prepare for your interviews
It is tempting to accept every interview that you’re offered, even if you’re unsure if the opportunity or location will be a good fit. After all, your goal up to this point was probably to find as many job opportunities as possible that fit your parameters.
But keep in mind that you will be limited in exactly how much time you can take for phone and on-site interviews.
If you have defined your goals and done your homework, narrowing down your options will not be an overly daunting task.
Before you start setting dates for interviews, decide how much time you want to elapse between your first and last interviews. It’s not unheard of for residents to take several months to complete all their interviews, decide that the first one was the best opportunity - then find out that it’s no longer available. Of course, it’s also OK to cancel interviews if you know what you are looking for in a job and find it somewhere else. When you find the position that accomplishes most of your career and lifestyle goals, don’t hesitate to take it.
- Prepare for a phone interview. It’s likely you will have a phone call prior to your in-person interview. How do you come across in this format? Practice so you come across as confident and strong but also as a good listener.
- Be prepared to take notes. Ask lots of good questions and bring a notepad to record the responses. Jotting down notes shows you’re engaged.
- Watch your non-verbal cues. Don’t fidget. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward to show you’re interested in what the interviewer is saying. Smile as appropriate and use eye contact. Get a good night’s sleep before the interview. Don’t go after a night on call.
- Don’t play games. The physician group or hospital wants to know your interest level. Be honest. It’s OK to say you have other interviews planned.
- Don’t get discouraged. You may not be successful in your first interview or two. Take any missteps as lessons for the next time.
- Don’t burn bridges. No one knows the future. A position or employer that might not be a good fit for you now might be the perfect opportunity in the future.