WVU Health Sciences Placement Service
The Successful Interview: Are You Asking the Right Questions?
A two-hour interview is a very short period of time to spend gathering information that will lead to one of the most important decisions in your life.
The key is to get the RIGHT KIND of information, so that when you say “yes”, you can do so with confidence and feel exhilarated about the changes to come – not worried.
Ask the Right Questions to Avoid Dissatisfaction
First, gather as much information as you can about the position, the organization, and the community BEFORE the interview so you can determine if the opportunity is a good match for what you are looking for.
- What is the practice situation (solo, multi-specialty, etc.)?
- What is the patient base/type?
- What is the community like? Your basic questions about community should fit the needs and interests of you and your family.
- Do you have special requirements for schools for your children?
- Do you have specific religious needs?
- Does your spouse’s career affect your decision?
- Are athletic and/or arts programs essential to your family?
- Are there specific health concerns that require you to live near a metropolitan area, in always-warm climates, etc?
You should have this information BEFORE an interview is scheduled
You can find much of this information at an informal telephone interview, and on the internet. You can also check with the local Chamber of Commerce.
ONLY when your basic questions have been answered, and you are satisfied that the opportunity could be a good match for you, are you ready to set up an interview.
At the interview, it is important to ask some ESSENTIAL questions.
Essential Questions to Ask At the Interview
- Why you need a physician? The employer should be able to prove to you that there is an established need for a physician. They may offer you a two-year guarantee, whether 1 or 100 patients come to see you. But eventually, that guarantee will run out, and you will be on your own. You need to make sure that patients are going to continue to come to you.
- If the answer is “I’ve been doing 1 in 2 call for years, and I’m tired of it. I need a better schedule”, that’s not the answer you want to hear.
- But if the answer is “I’ve got a six-week waiting list for new patients, and the population of the draw area is growing”, that’s the right answer.
- You may ALSO want to find out what the physician-to-population ratio is, how the area is currently being serviced, and how referrals are handled.
- What is the position going to entail?
- How established is the referral system?
- What is the call coverage?
- Where will I be working? Where is the office location? What equipment, staff and support are provided? How much travel is required? What is the distance between the office and the hospital? What is my hospital affiliation?
- What about malpractice insurance and tail coverage?
- What is the relationship with the hospital? You will want to meet with the administrator and understand their vision for the community.
- Is it a well-thought out plan?
- Are the physicians friendly and accepting of a new physician?
- Is the hospital administrator supportive of the physicians?
- When you agree to an interview, your decision should already be leaning very heavily toward "YES" - you should be fairly certain that the opportunity and community are right for you and your family.
- At the interview, you will see if you have chemistry with the interviewer, gauge your level of comfort with the personnel, and nail down answers to your essential questions.