Interviewing for any job requires a few steps, and most of the time the early steps in the interview process determine if you continue to move forward. While many of the optometrists and ophthalmologists we speak with understand that they need to “sell” themselves, others jump right to questions or make statements that will leave us or any potential employer wondering if we should even waste our time moving forward.

Here are some common examples of things that end your chances of moving forward in the interview process with an eye care practice.

  1. Not showing a spark of excitement and interest. You have to do more than say things. A great attitude and personality will get you everywhere. Monotone and uninterested will end it before it even starts. Everyone is saying they have great patient rapport, strong communication, and that all their patients love them. Skills can be taught, personality and attitude cannot.
  2. Trying to negotiate compensation during the phone interview. While many eye care companies, groups, and practices may have set compensation models, I assure you that if you are really worth it, they will be willing to negotiate the package. However, they will not and cannot do this without first meeting you in person and thoroughly understanding you and how you may fit into the organization.
  3. Leading with a list of 20 questions regarding the practices history, current staff tenure, compensation model, if they will pay for interview travel, copy of fee schedule, etc. The point of the phone interview is threefold: make basic introductions, share a summary of the practice opportunity, and communicate why you should be interviewed in person. Phone interviews lead to face to face interviews. Face to face interviews are where all the details are shared with you.
  4. Complaining about the poor ethics or criminal acts of your current/previous employer(s). We have all had poor experiences at some point in our careers. However, you have to craft a professional response as to why those previous employers were not right for you. We have interviewed doctors who stated ethical concerns with multiple past employers. It is hard to believe that reason won’t be used for the next, and we start to think the problem is the doctor, not the practice.
  5. Making your current economic situation the practice’s problem. Interview for the job. Help the practice owner understand why you are the best associate for the practice by focusing on your skills and how you will benefit the practice. Don’t tell the owner you need a job because you need money. That does not show long-term commitment. It just shows you need a paycheck to get by right now.