Finding new associate optometrists or ophthalmologists can be a challenge. The perfect candidate must be the right fit for the practice, your patients, and your staff. That is a tall order. Without a recruiter, you will likely spend months pouring over resumes and taking detailed notes to narrow the pool of potential associates. While there is a lot that you can learn from a resume, the interview process is where the rubber meets the road.

A thorough interview allows you to evaluate a candidate’s skill level, as well as their work ethic, personality, and distinguishing attributes that set them apart from other candidates. It’s important that you take the time to ask the right questions that will provide the details you need to make an informed hiring decision. There’s nothing worse (or costlier) than hiring an associate only to lose them a short time later and be right back where you started – reviewing resumes.

 Of course, you should ask questions that are specific to your office, the services you offer, and the patient demographic you serve. It’s important to be as specific to your office as possible in the interview process, but our hope is that the questions below will provide a good starting point as you develop your own series of interview questions.

Work History

  • Where have you worked?
  • How long have you been in each position?
  • Why did you switch jobs?
  • Describe the general environments in which you have worked.
  • In which insurances did you participate?

Goals/Motivations

  • What motivates you?
  • What attracted you to my position?
  • Why are you looking for another position?
  • In what way do you hope to develop over the next 1-3 years? 5-10?
  • Are you interested in eventual partnership or ownership? How soon?
  • What are your income expectations?
  • What do you like the most/least about the position with my practice?

Clinical Philosophy

  • How would you describe your practice philosophy?
  • In what areas do you have interest in further training?
  • Do you have an opinion on (ocular disease treatment and management, vision therapy, etc.)?
  • How do you present treatment plans? What is your success rate?

Competencies and skills

  • What would your current boss say that you do well? In what areas would he/she say that you needed to improve?
  • What was your average production at that office?
  • What are your clinical strengths?
  • What CE courses have you taken recently?
  • What journals do you read?

Uncovering future issues

  • Will you need to relocate for this position? If so, who else will be affected by your move? Are there factors that would make either area more appealing? Will you need to sell a house?
  • What is an acceptable commute time for you?
  • How often have you been late over the last year?
  • What kind of notice period do you have to give?
  • Do you have a restrictive covenant that would keep you out of this area?
  • Are you right-handed or left-handed?
  • Are you familiar with the equipment used in this office?
  • What days are you available to work?
  • Will you be able to provide references from other optometrists/ophthalmologists? Former employers?
  • Are you willing to undergo a background check and drug test?
  • What resources do you need in order to be successful?
  • Now that we have spoken, are you interested in pursuing this position further?

Sorting the best from the rest

  • If you have ever been in an office with a light schedule, what did you do with your free time? What did you do to help fill the schedule?
  • What do you use to measure your success?
  • Which of your strengths and achievements do you feel best distinguishes you from other candidates with whom I may speak?

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