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The Keys to Successful Emergency Medicine Physician Interviewing

Posted by Lori Carlyle, Associate VP of Recruiting

8/4/14 2:48 PM

The Keys to Successful Emergency Medicine Physician Interviewing | Pre-Interview Preparation

Last month EMrecruits discussed the importance of Self Assessment through the creation of a personal and professional profile.  Now we take a look at the next step in our 7-Step Guide to Successful Interviewing: Pre-Interview Preparation.  

Step 2 | Pre-Interview Preparation: Frequently Asked Questions

emergency medicine physician pre-interview preparationThe job interview is a strategic conversation with a purpose. Each party has a goal, and yours is to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have the necessary skills, background, and ability to do the job and that you can successfully fit into the group/its culture. 

After your Curriculum Vitae (CV), the interview is your best opportunity to impress the group/organization. This is your first and best opportunity to make a lasting impression, so we suggest the following strategy:

  • Prepare a selective presentation of your background
  • Develop thoughtful answers to potential interview questions
  • Create well-researched questions about the group
  • Consider your career goals in relation to what the job offers to be able to discuss both of these topics. 
Interviewing is a skill that improves and becomes easier with practice. If you are an Emergency Medicine resident, doing a mock interview in which you allow someone to ask you prepared questions might be helpful in solidifying your answers.  Take it a step further and tape yourself.  Be careful to not script your answers, but simply prepare how you will answer.

The questions below are common areas that Recruiters focus, and these will help you prepare yourself for the interview.

Background and Motivation

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why did you choose to go into medicine?
  • Why did you choose the medical school you attended?
  • Why are you changing jobs, or why are you interested in this job?
  • Why did you choose our practice location?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you feel you can bring to the group?

Clinical Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Describe your strong points.
  • Describe your weaknesses.
  • Describe your abilities as a team player.
  • How do you describe your clinical judgment?
  • What are your strongest clinical areas?  What makes you say that?
  • Describe one of your most recent clinical triumphs.
  • Describe a clinical scenario that did not go well.

Quality of Service and Patient Relationships

  • How did you resolve a major conflict with a patient?
  • How well do you work with the nursing staff?
  • What do your patients like best about you?
  • What do your patients like least about you?

Personal Attributes

  • Describe your personality (initiative, enthusiasm, stability and consistency).
  • Describe your work habits (difficulty reaching, timely reports, patient interaction, etc.).
  • How well do you communicate by phone when describing patient situations?
  • With what volume of work are you comfortable?


  • What do you feel are the most important contributions you have made to your practice, community, and hospital?

Risk Factors

  • Have you ever come before any committee of a hospital or peer review group for review or had privileges revoked or suspended?
  • Have you ever had any disciplinary actions or problems of professional competence?
  • Are you aware of any claims or investigations against you (past or present)?
  • Have you had any malpractice suits?

Next Steps

  • After what you have seen and heard are you interested in the position?
  • What level of compensation do you require?
  • Do you have outstanding school loans?
  • Do you have a “tail” upon leaving your current location?
  • When can you relocate?
Keep in mind that Recruiters are tasked with knowing all there is to know, including information you may feel is less than favorable.  Honesty and full disclosure in the beginning will always be the best policy.  Remember, the goal is the best match, and the only way to make a good match is by putting all the cards on the table.

Now that you have invested time in understanding what you are looking for as well as preparing for the most common questions, it’s time to put these skills to the test!

Next Time - Telephone Interviewing: Your First Impression

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Topics: Career Advancement