Many people are familiar with the typical dos and don’t of a job interview—don’t be late, do introduce yourself, etc. (We covered many of the ways that you can best prepare for an interview here.) If you are a physician, however, there are some additional dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of. Here are some specific job interview dos and don’ts, especially for physicians.
Do come with the right materials.
You’ve probably read that you should come to any interview with extra copies of your resume and list of references. For a physician interview, however, it gets a little more detailed than that. Be sure to bring all of the following to any interview for a physician position:
• Extra copies of your CV (enough for everyone who will be in the interview)
• List of references
• Letters of recommendation from former employers
• Copies of your degrees and certificates
• Thank-you letters from patients
• Other achievements
In addition to these, it is a good idea to bring written directions to the interview location (in case your GPS malfunctions) and a folder of briefcase for all of your papers. For things like your letters of recommendation, copies of degrees, and thank-you letters, it is a good idea to keep them together in a three-ring binder or expandable file folder. That way, interviewers can easily flip through them during your meeting. It may seem like overkill, but it is always better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
Do bring your spouse (if invited).
Healthcare employers understand that starting a new physician position in a new location is a major decision that any physician makes with their spouse. For this reason, many will pay for your spouse to come along, and they may even ask for your spouse to be present at some of the interviews. If this is the case, then you should of course accept the invitation. Just be sure that your spouse will not dominate the conversation during the interview.
Do recognize the importance of a cultural fit.
Filling any physician position is highly dependent on finding the right candidate with the right skill set and right background to perform the job well. But that doesn’t mean that healthcare employers aren’t also considering whether or not a candidate is a good cultural fit. In fact, one of the primary purposes of an in-person interview is to see if a candidate is truly a good fit for the practice in persona and outlook—not just on paper. An employer wants to see that a physician will fit in well with the culture of the company and of the community as a whole. So as you prepare for your interview, remind yourself to be respectful of any cultural differences and to research the company to make sure that your values align with those of the company.
Don’t wear scrubs.
You may be interviewing for a healthcare position, but the rules for dressing professionally still apply here. Dress for a physician interview the way you would for any business interview. For men, that means wearing a dark gray or blue suit with a light colored shirt and a conservative silk tie. Shoes should be dark and polished. For women, that means wearing a conservative business suit—avoiding shorter skirts, chunky jewelry, and spike heels. Hair should be tamed and makeup should be muted.