Hiring managers can only learn so much through a resume. If you’ve made the cut to visit the office for an interview, it means the practice wants to dig deeper. This is your chance to articulate your personal passion for the industry, patients, and the procedures you perform.
Preparing before the interview is vital. The last thing that you want is to be asked a question that you are completely unprepared for or that catches you off guard. You need to put your best foot forward and we have put together a list of commonly asked questions to help you do just that!
Tell me about yourself.
Likely the first and most common question you’ll hear in an interview. Tell me about yourself provides an opportunity to break the ice and introduce yourself. Your answer here could set the tone for the entire interview. Keep your answer succinct. Rambling can quickly steer the interview in a direction you want to avoid. Try not to recite your resume. Assume the interviewer has read your resume and has a general idea of your work experience. This is a time to introduce you as a person and talk about your passions, both professionally and personally. Tie everything to the position you are seeking and the skills you know the hiring organization is looking for.
Describe your strengths and weaknesses.
This classic interview inquiry could be thought of as a softball question OR you could use this opportunity to stand out from the crowd and separate yourself from the other candidates. Describing your strength is not your best opportunity to do that. Describing your weakness is! The key is to always have a strategy to overcome any weakness you list and proof that you have made steady improvements. For example, if organization is a weakness, talk about it. Describe why you believe you are weak in that area, the strategy you have developed to improve your organizational skills, how you have implemented that strategy and how it is working.
Why do you want to work here?
Another slow pitch question delivered right down the middle. Be prepared to hit this one out of the park by referencing specific observations about the practice, demonstrating that you have done your homework. Of course, this requires a bit of research on your end. Thoroughly review the practice’s online footprint, the services offered, reviews from patients, the practice’s social media pages and finally, talk with a recruiter about the practice. Use your research to answer the question with very real, very specific reasons why you want to work at this particular practice.
Why are you pursuing a new job?
This is an opportunity to talk about your desire for professional growth. Be honest with your interviewer and focus on the reasons you want to move forward in your career. If there are negative environments or experiences that you are having with your current employer, try not to dwell on those. Instead, focus on the future. Where do you want to go in your career, and why you think this position can get you closer to your professional goal?
In what areas do you believe that you could improve?
No one wants to speak badly about themselves during an interview. Although this commonly asked question is asking you to identify a fault, it’s all in how you present your shortcoming. One strategy for answering a question like this is to answer it truthfully, but focus on the strategy you have developed and implemented to overcome the deficiency. For example, if scheduling is a challenge for you, focus on the three strategies you have developed to help you get better at keeping a schedule every day. Focus on solutions and you can answer any question designed to identify your potential liabilities.
Lastly, job interviews typically end with one final question, “Do you have any questions for us?” Do your background research and have questions that are specific to the practice ready. Unique, practice specific versions of these may include:
- What medical philosophies do you practice? (Conservative vs. aggressive surgeon)
- Can you describe your patient base?
- Do you have a marketing strategy, or are you largely dependent on referrals?
- What kind of equipment is in use?
- What about your practice are you most proud of?
- Where do you see the practice in five or ten years?