Sample Questions for a Hospital Interview
Why are you applying in this area?
“I ‘m looking for someplace nice like this to settle down.”
“It is a wonderful community setting” or “It is a large city with great amenities.”
“Most of my family is around this area”
“I love hiking and would love to be in the snow”
“My spouse grew up here”
Give them a reason to hire you other than your medical skills!
What do you know about this area? Hint: go to the website and pick out two items that you can mention.
“There is a city opera 30 minutes from here.”
“I can go white water rafting here.”
“This is a great college town.”
“I have lived or trained in this region before and want to come back.”
“I spoke at length with family or friends that live here and they tell me great things about the area.”
“I Goggled all sorts of info and was very pleased with …the info from the Chamber of Commerce…the schools…the recreation…the churches…the weather…the housing market…etc.”
“I have spoken to real estate agents and I like what they are telling me.”
Show that you did your homework and made some sort of effort to become informed about the area as well as the hospital.
Why are you leaving your previous job?
Every body is curious and they will ask! In this economy it is OKAY to have been laid off. Just be up front about it. You may have been doing everything right; but a hospital closed or cut back. DO NOT speak poorly of a previous situation, remember YOU worked there!
If you do criticize your previous job then you will project yourself as a problem employee. Possible answers can be:
“I am looking for a higher volume ER”
“I always wanted to move to a level one trauma.”
“I now have children and these schools are great”
Try to refocus away from the negatives of the prior hospital and focus on the NEW hospital with a real reason for wanting to work there.
FYI: that reason should NEVER be money!
Is there anything in your records that we should know?
This creates a hurdle in credentialing the employee with obtaining hospital privileges or malpractice coverage. Do not lie. Tell your recruiter and ask for advice on how best to handle it. We do this for a living and it comes up more often than you may imagine. While we are not miracle workers, we can advise you and show you how to best explain it. Let us know the truth, as it will save you from many problems later on. Honesty is always the very best policy. Malpractice lawsuits are common in this business and usually you have nothing to worry about. Just say it in a positive way.
“I have been involved in a malpractice suit. I have made extensive changes in my practice of medicine to minimize any chances of lawsuits”.
Turn the negative into a positive. You are now a better physician for it and a higher caliber person because of it.
What do you think about our facility?
Now they are gauging your interest in becoming a part of their EM work force. This is an important factor in offering an employment contract.
Be prepared to answer this question in a positive way without showing desperation to get the job. Point out specific details that you appreciated.
“I am impressed by the professional level of this hospital”
“I like you and feel comfortable with you as my Director. I can learn and grow here”
“I like the idea of treating the patients the way that you do here.”
Show them that if they make the offer they have a real shot at getting you!
When will you be available to start?
Turn this around…show courtesy and respect for the new hospital staff and ask them when will you need me?
Try to work that out from there…be as open and as flexible as you can. Give a little to get a little.
“I am finishing my residency at the end of June. So I am planning to start mid July unless you need me sooner.”
Show them respect since you will be reporting to them.
What are your plans for the future?
Searching and hiring a physician is an expensive preposition in terms of both money and time. Everyone wants a stable employee so keep those dreams of touring with the Rolling Stones, or playing for the NY Yankees, to yourself.
If the Hospital is offering CME or other growth or training please show your interest in that.
“For next few years I want to develop my clinical and practical experience in the field”.
“Currently I am looking for a stable job with strong potential for growth in the future.”
“I have an interest in the business side of Emergency Medicine and feel that I can learn a lot here”
Would you be willing to pitch in during staffing shortages?
People get sick or home crises occur. We all need somebody flexible enough to tide over these minor setbacks. Remember! A hospital does not close early and patients have to be seen. If you say no, then you are not a team player and when you are sick or have a home emergency there will be no sympathy towards you!
“We all have our good days and bad days. If work needs to be done, it will be done.”
Show them you are a team player
How soon can you give a commitment?
As I have said, it is not always the brightest that gets the job. Every knife set needs a butter knife, so it is not always the sharpest knife in the draw that gets the position. If they think you are good enough, they would want to finalize the contract as soon as possible. After all they are eager to wrap up the search and get back to business. It is OKAY to tell a Director that you are impressed and want a contract. The sooner you sign a contract the sooner they will sign it. REMEMBER … It is NOT A VALID CONTRACT UNTIL BOTH PARTIES SIGN IT! Just because you are reviewing a contract, the hospital is NOT holding the position for you.
If you are done interviewing and you know this may be the best position for you then ask them to give you a contract before they see the next Doctor.
Or be polite, show your interest and let them know that you have few more opportunities to explore and once you are done you will let them know.
“I do have couple of interviews to end which I will complete by the end of next month. But I am very impressed by your practice and it will be certainly on the top of my list. I would be able to let you know by next month end.” Please realize that while they may be impressed with you; the position may not be available in a month. It is a risk you must be willing to take.
“ Your group has certainly captured my interest. I do have to think over a few things before I make a decision. But I can let you know in next few days.” This is a much better response!
What salary are you expecting?
You may never get this question as most of the times the compensation is declared to you before you come to the interview. But if you come across this question, never give a number. You can say that you are impressed with the facility and you really like the area, and you are sure the hospital will be fair with you and your skill set.
Also, try to find out what is standard compensation for the position in the area and go from there.
The salary is an issue but NOT the most important one. The most important one is how you can practice medicine. That is the primary reason to take a job.
Do you have any questions?
Well if you don’t, you are not serious and they will pick up on this.
You should ask about the others on the staff that you will interact with.
“Is the head nurse around, I would like to say hello to her”
“Are some of the PA’S available, so I can introduce myself to them.”
“How is the hospital’s patient satisfaction records?”
“How is the support by the local EMT’s and Police?”
“How many patients do you see per month?”
Ask about anything that will support your performance as an ED practitioner.