When you think about preparing for an interview, your mind probably goes directly to thinking about how you’ll answer the questions. But how much thought do you give to the questions you’ll ask?
The job interview process is a two-way street. Yes, organizations use it to research, vet and identify the best possible talent to hire into their teams, but it’s also the opportunity for you to research, vet and identify how well an organization fits with your idea of the perfect practice.
Being an inquisitive candidate comes with several positives.
- It displays a sincere interest in the position.
- It shows you’re actively seeking the best opportunity for you.
- It indicates you prepare and take the process seriously.
- It demonstrates you’re eager to learn.
- It helps you better understand what it’s like to work at the organization.
- It’s what physician recruiters want!
Those are some of the reasons why you should ask questions, but what should you ask? Specific questions may vary depending on the opportunity and with whom you’re interviewing, but your starting points for identifying those questions can remain consistent:
- Read the job description - In addition to learning the overall role and responsibilities, ask yourself what information is missing from the description. Also, from the information included, what was unclear or left you wanting to know more?
- Research the company - This is a great way to get up to speed on corporate history and its current mission. Look at its website and social media channels, and google the company and specific department to find additional articles that may show how they’re performing and how they’re perceived in the community. Items that are inadequately explained or pique your interest are perfect fodder for questions during the interview process.
- Practice self-reflection - Set aside time to thoroughly contemplate exactly what you’re looking for in a new position. Does it require specific responsibilities? Does it involve an opportunity to advance? Are the location and certain amenities a major factor? Make a list of career aspects that are most important to you, and be sure you get information that addresses them - whether it’s divulged naturally through the process or by asking the right questions.
- Actively listen during the interview - Just as you did when reading the job description and researching the company, make notes on the information shared during the interview. Listen closely to the information being shared. If something leaves you making assumptions or doesn’t make sense, it’s probably a good sign it’s question-worthy.
If you make it to the end of the interview and all your questions have already been answered, then at least acknowledge that. Rather than simply saying they covered everything, mention the specific questions you had and the answers they provided to them. This indicates you 1). Prepared for the interview, 2). Actively listened to them, and 3). Correctly captured the information.
You know why you should ask questions. After your research and reflection, you know what to ask. How do you know who to ask? Every organization’s process is unique, but in general, questions may be appropriate based on the interview stage, but can be adjusted as the situation and process require:
- Physician recruiter preliminary screenings and interviews - These are times to ask about the overall opportunity and overarching details; the organization, including its culture and mission; and information like benefits and perks. Avoid being the one to bring up salary, which usually is discussed later in the process. Instead, research the position’s median income based on location and your experience level so you’re aware of the salary range for the position - and have that information in case the recruiter brings up the subject.
- Staff and leadership interviews - These are times to ask more specific questions about the practice, the role and how it fits into the organization. What’s the practice philosophy? What is a typical day like for employees? What does it take to accomplish your responsibilities that you couldn’t know without working there? How do they define success in the role? What are they looking for in a new physician on staff?
Looking for assistance with your job search preparation? We can help! Contact our Physician Relations Team anytime at PhysicianRelations@PracticeLink.com.