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Residency Interviewing


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Tips for a good Residency Interview

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine

Residency Interviewing

  1. 1. Residency Interviewing Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Class of 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>Hiring decisions are made in the first 30 seconds of the interview – the balance of the time is used to justify the decision. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>There is no “right” way to interview. </li></ul><ul><li>You will bring your own unique </li></ul><ul><li>perspective and personality to </li></ul><ul><li>the interviewing situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear, concise and natural. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Goals of the interview <ul><li>You will be assessing your compatibility with the program </li></ul><ul><li>You will be assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the program </li></ul><ul><li>They will be confirming and expanding upon the information in your application </li></ul><ul><li>They will be assessing your compatibility with the program </li></ul>
  5. 5. They will be noticing…. <ul><li>Body language </li></ul><ul><li>Affect </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuality </li></ul><ul><li>Attention </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine interest </li></ul>
  6. 6. Scheduling Interviews <ul><li>Respond to programs ASAP so that you can have your choice of interview dates </li></ul><ul><li>If at all possible, don’t interview at most desirable program first </li></ul><ul><li>Review your schedule ahead of time so you know when you are free for interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>If you decide to not interview at a program, cancel the appointment AHEAD of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that your interview starts with the first phone call. </li></ul><ul><li>Call and confirm your interview a week before. Confirm place and time. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Typical Interview Day <ul><li>Background on the program (group) </li></ul><ul><li>Attend conference (morning report, Grand Rounds) </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch* (possible interview at lunch with residents) </li></ul><ul><li>Tour </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap-up </li></ul>
  8. 8. Research the Program <ul><li>** Know what is unique about the program ** </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of any recent changes in the program/department </li></ul><ul><li>Know something about the faculty/research in the department </li></ul><ul><li>FREIDA, internet, Google the program/hospital </li></ul><ul><li>Speak with NU alums </li></ul><ul><li>Know the geography of the program, i.e. remote clinical sites </li></ul><ul><li>Research the community </li></ul>
  9. 9. What to bring with you <ul><li>Directions and contact phone numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Any information you have on the program </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple copies of your CV </li></ul><ul><li>Papers/articles published </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio, pen, pencil </li></ul><ul><li>Okay to bring small suitcase if traveling </li></ul><ul><li>Any updates to MSPE or transcript </li></ul><ul><li>Interview checklist </li></ul>
  10. 10. The interview <ul><li>Be early </li></ul><ul><li>Call if you are going to be late </li></ul><ul><li>Turn off cell phone and/or pager </li></ul><ul><li>Ask ahead of time what the interview day will be like, who you meet with, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Do not drink alcohol at lunch </li></ul><ul><li>You are interviewing with EVERYONE with whom you come in contact </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your day so that you don’t have to leave early </li></ul>
  11. 11. The interview <ul><li>Starts with a handshake and good eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to smile </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of your body language (eye contact, position in chair) </li></ul><ul><li>Show enthusiasm for the program, no matter how interested you are </li></ul><ul><li>Answer question and then pause. Know when to stop. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to interviewers cues </li></ul><ul><li>Be wary of programs that do not allow you to interact with residents </li></ul>
  12. 12. Questions you may be asked <ul><li>Tell me about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical dilemmas </li></ul><ul><li>What attracts you to this specialty </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the most interesting case you’ve seen </li></ul><ul><li>What is your greatest weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Why should we choose you over other candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you see yourself in 10 years </li></ul><ul><li>What are the biggest issues facing physicians today </li></ul><ul><li>Look on OSP webpage for more sample questions </li></ul>
  13. 13. Questions to ask Faculty Interviewers/ Program Directors (PD) <ul><li>Ask INTERESTING and UNIQUE questions!! </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any programmatic changes anticipated? (PD) </li></ul><ul><li>What percentage of residency graduates have passed the specialty board exams on the first try? (PD) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you assist graduates in finding a job? (PD) </li></ul><ul><li>What do you feel are the strengths of this program? </li></ul><ul><li>What do your graduates do after residency? (what types of jobs, where they are located) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the balance of didactics and clinical work? </li></ul><ul><li>How much contact do the residents have with faculty? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there opportunities for research (only if you are interested)? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there non-clinical requirements (research, writing, admin)? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there elective time? </li></ul><ul><li>*What aspects of the program need improvement? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Questions to ask Residents <ul><li>What do you feel are the strengths/weaknesses of this program? </li></ul><ul><li>How much contact do the residents have with faculty? </li></ul><ul><li>What do residents generally do with elective time? </li></ul><ul><li>What aspects of the program need improvement? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you evaluated? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you receiving adequate feedback? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there international opportunities? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Questions you shouldn’t ask <ul><li>What is the salary? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the benefit package (should be in the information packet)? </li></ul><ul><li>How much vacation do I get (generally 2-4 weeks)? </li></ul><ul><li>When can I start moonlighting? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Please Do Not…. <ul><li>Talk badly about other programs, faculty or applicants </li></ul><ul><li>Try to hide something that is in your record </li></ul><ul><li>Lie if asked about whether or not you are applying to a different specialty </li></ul>
  17. 17. What are they looking for? <ul><li>Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to the specialty- demonstrate this with knowledge about the specialty </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm for their program </li></ul><ul><li>The “right fit” </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to talk about yourself and what is on your CV </li></ul><ul><li>Good communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul>
  18. 18. Preparing for the interview day <ul><li>Wear comfortable shoes, conservative clothes, no perfume, neutral make-up, minimal jewelry </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of your weaknesses and be prepared to discuss without using excuses </li></ul><ul><li>Think ahead about what you want to convey (team working ability, passion for the specialty) </li></ul><ul><li>Write a list of questions you would like answered </li></ul><ul><li>Only ask questions in which you have genuine interest </li></ul>
  19. 19. Thank You Notes <ul><li>Note will serve to reinforce the positive impression you made during your interview </li></ul><ul><li>Take blank note cards with you to write after the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Make notes personal (use the names of interviewers) and use key points to remind the interviewer of your time with him/her </li></ul><ul><li>Use professional stationary </li></ul>
  20. 20. Difficult Questions <ul><li>Speak with your advisor about the interview process in your area of specialty </li></ul><ul><li>Handling difficult questions (unethical, illegal, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing for a “back up” specialty </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing for preliminary and transitional programs </li></ul>
  21. 21. Mock Interviews <ul><li>Please check with your departmental advisors about scheduling a mock interview. They are aware of the potential conflict of interest of having you do a mock interview if you plan on applying here. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Let us know how it goes….
  23. 24. Resources <ul><li>Collins, J. “The Residency Interview” Northwestern University Medical Center </li></ul><ul><li>Iserson, KV. “Getting Into a Residency: A guide for medical students” Sixth edition 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Molidor, JB. “Say the Right Thing! Mastering the Art of Being Interviewed” 1997 </li></ul>