You’re a polished MD interviewing for a doctor job. Hopefully, you know not to use profanity to describe your current boss or to eat Cheetos while waiting for the interviewer. What could possibly go wrong? A lot! Avoiding these 10 missteps will help you immensely to secure a desirable new medical job.
1. I don’t remember applying for your position. With the internet, people sometimes apply for numerous jobs and don’t always keep track of where they have submitted their resume. If you receive a call for a phone interview (“phone screen” in recruiter terms), take a deep breath and collect yourself. Saying that you “don’t remember applying” (even if it is true) makes a negative first impression.
2. I forgot whom I am supposed to meet with. Even the smartest person gets nervous and forgets information. Ask the person who sets up your face-to-face interview to email you an agenda for the interview that includes the name and title of the person you will meet face-to-face.
3. Let me tell you about the (boss, co-workers, situation etc.) at my current job. You know not to be a potty mouth, but your current job has become toxic. Keep in mind, what sounds to you like a reasonable explanation for leaving a job, comes across as “venting” to hiring managers. It is best to avoid talking about ugly situations.
4. Just a second (Let me take this call). People applying for medical jobs need to turn off the ringtone before walking in the door. Bad phone etiquette quickly makes a promising interview go bad.
5. A difficult patient? Um, Um. A wise Practice Manager once said, “10% of the patients cause 90% of the problems.” You should prepare an example of when you had to diffuse a situation with a patient who was being unreasonable and outright belligerent.
6. My weakness? I’m a workaholic. It seems like common sense. Doctor jobs = long hours. The problem is that this phrase went stale a long time ago. Your candidacy will be on much firmer footing if you focus on a hurdle you overcame.
7. Can you tell me the specifics about the pay and benefits? While money is important (those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves back), the purpose of the interview is to get an offer. Don’t bring up salary and benefits ever.
8. I have no questions. Some interviewers cover many topics, and it might seem like there are no questions to ask. However, an interviewer interprets a lack of questions as a lack of interest. Prepare a few questions ahead of time. Hint: “How do you define someone who is successful in this position?” is a safe bet.
9. Whenever you make your decision, it is fine with me. I’m not in a hurry. Some people feel it is pushy to ask interviewers when they will make a hiring decision. Keep in mind, a question such as “When do you expect to make a decision?” indicates interest on your part and helps you gauge their seriousness in filling the position. You do not want to waste your time waiting for a decision from indecisive people.
10. Thank you. It was nice to meet you. Recruiters will tell you, if you want the job, come out and ask for it. Don’t end by sounding like you will never meet again. You might close the interview by saying, “I’m impressed with your practice. I would love to join it and prove that I can be a valuable member of the team.” Remember, hiring managers for doctor jobs are trying to figure out what you’re thinking about them. Sometimes it is best to just tell them.