You’ve made it so far. Just think back to when you initially submitted your CV and application. Now you’re sitting in front of a panel of potential colleagues. The questions have been steadily flowing at you for the better part of an hour, or more, and now the whole process is coming to a culmination. While you should always prepare for any questions that get thrown at you during an interview there is one you can guarantee yourself will be asked every single time. That question being, “Do you have any questions for us?”
You’re confident that you’ve established your credibility, shown your worth, and set yourself apart from the other candidates by addressing each question with specific examples that show the committee you are the only option that they should consider. Now is the time to put the icing on the cake.
If you happened to take a career readiness class during your undergrad, or perhaps even a business speaking class, then you already know that the absolute worst answer for this situation is, “No.” Not asking questions about your potential position indicates to the interviewers that you are not actually interested in the job, and/or will bring the same care free attitude to the organization. Either way, it’s just not a good way to end the interview, plus you only have so many years in your career and the interview should be just as much the organization receiving the right candidate, as it should be you finding the right fit for your career.
So, to make sure you nail the final test of the day, ensure you go into the interview prepared, and to help you do just that we’ve put together a list of topics you should cover that will make the conversation that much easier.
If you are in your first interview and you happen to know that there will be more than one stage of interviews, then this might be one that you save for the second round, but if not, you should get an understanding of how accepting this position will impact your career overall. There is nothing wrong with being content at a certain level in the hierarchical chain. If you’re happy then that is what matters the most. But if you are looking to further your career and move up that chain, then accepting a position that has little to no vertical availability is really just a waste of your time.
Often you will find that it is better to accept a position in which you can advance more quickly than to seek a higher initial salary and be stuck in a position with no advancement in sight. In addition, asking this type of question shows the interviewers two things; first, you are motivated and looking to advance your career which in turn will advance their organization, and second, you are looking to find an organization in which you can remain for an extended period of time to both grow yourself and the practice.
Culture and Vision
This organization could potentially become your home away from home. So, this question is mutually beneficial. First, you’re getting information into whether or not this is an organization that you could see yourself practicing. Second, you’re showing consideration in how you can contribute to making the organization better. It doesn’t matter how good the compensation package is; if you don’t mesh well with their culture or don’t align well with their vision, then you will find yourself looking for another position sooner than later.
Good follow-up questions to ask include questions about their practice philosophy, continuing education, and comprehensive care. What are their crisis and malpractice philosophies? Overall, the goal is to get an understanding for what they prioritize as an organization, and consider whether, or not, these priorities align with your own.
The Typical Day
While a “typical” day in the life of a physician might not exist, it’s a good idea to ask for a general idea of what to expect. Hearing what a typical day is like will help you know if you’re going to enjoy the position, how the leadership runs the organization, and how to prepare for success before you walk in with your white coat on the first day. You can follow up with questions about the new hire process or ask for tips from newer staff that might be on your interview panel.
The Weekly Schedule
Just as important as your daily routine, knowing what both your regular and call schedule are going to be will help you understand the demands of the position and if it will fit into the lifestyle and work-life balance that you are trying to achieve. If the interview team doesn’t provide you the specific answers you’re looking for, it is perfectly fine to follow up with specifics regarding your call schedule or days of the week you will be working. This shows that you are actually picturing what your life would be like if you were to join their organization.
So, the next time you find yourself face to face with the final moments of what could potentially be a life-changing event, remember that what you have to offer them is just as important as what they have to offer you. You will be a much better physician if you are in an organization, and environment, that align with your goals and personality. Studies have shown that people who enjoy their job are much more likely to perform better, stay longer, and advance faster than those who don’t. So, do yourself a favor and take just a few seconds and ask a few key questions that could make a huge impact on your life.