How to handle physician job telephone interview
Before a face-to-face interview the physician candidates the prospective employers screen them over the phone. This is because interviewing involves a significant monetary and time commitment. Hence the physician employers need to know few important things about you. It is also to your advantage as you can ask specific questions regarding the physician job to determine if you want to attend the job interview or not. Expect each telephone interview to last anywhere from ten minutes to thirty minutes. If it is the recruiter calling you then you probably will be done much earlier. Following are the few important answers the interviewer is looking for:
1. How did you hear about us?
It sounds easy, but it isn’t so! Many times when you get that unexpected call from the potential employer you would not even remember whether you found the physician job in NEJM, JAMA or online. Non-specific answers like “one of the journals” or “online” are acceptable but being specific may project a better image of yours. The answer to it is not as important by itself as the question is generally used as an icebreaker. But if you came to know about the physician job by networking do not forget to mention who referred the position to you. As mentioned in the previous post, references in medical field may work wonders.
2. Are you serious about this physician job and the interview process?
They won’t ask you directly but you will have to make them feel that you are serious and interested in the job opening. After all physicians are busy with their practice, and even if you are paying for the job interview, they would not like to waste their time interviewing you if you are not serious about the position at their facility.
3. Are you willing to relocate?
If they offer you the doctors job would you be willing to move to the area. The employers realize that this is a very significant factor while considering job offers for doctors. Well thaat holds true for almost anybody.
4. Can you hold a good conversation?
In medicine your ability to communicate reflects how you good are you with patient communication. Tip! To improve your performance in a phone job interview, record your voice on a tape and listen to it. You will find few things you may want to change. See the next post for some phone etiquettes.
The employers also use this opportunity to explain to you what the medical job entails and responsibilities. Most of the time the private physician employer will also tell you about the compensation package (Salary and Benefits). After all they also have to attract you to their medical practice.
Typically you will not be able to attend more than 4 to 6 in person job interviews, hence you should also use this interaction to screen whether you want to attend this interview or not.
- Ask about the locality (Total population, nearest big city etc.) to get an idea where it is.
- Make efforts to clarify anything that is vital for you to decide whether you want to take that position or not.***
- If you are a foreign medical graduate confirm beforehand if they are willing to sponsor visa/ immigration.
- If the interview is from private sector you can ask them if they will reimburse your expenses for the interview before agreeing for one. If the call is from academia then leave the question for the office secretary who you can call later in the day.
*** [The best way to approach this would be to develop criteria to screen physician job interview offers. For example: Places with population more than 20,000, salary over $150,000, must offer medical insurance, should not be more than thirty minutes drive from a big city etc. Include everything that is vital for you. The factors that are negotiable for you can be used to rank these job interview offers in a preferential order. But be flexible. It is hard to find the ideal job. By and large you gain some and lose some points.]