Physician Interviews: Interview Preparation

Be prepared for employment interviews by knowing what to look for, what to ask, how to compare and start the negotiation process

Since physicians are trained to practice medicine and not to interview or negotiate, it is common for many to find themselves unsure of exactly what to look for in a potential employment relationship.

A key indicator of this problem is that about 60% of physicians who leave their employer do so within the first five years, according to the 2010 Physician Retention Survey by the American Medical Group Association and Cejka Search.

Employment interviews allow physicians to investigate potential employment opportunities and after locating attractive career options, present oneself as the best candidate for the position.

In order to accomplish the above, physicians must prepare sufficiently for three key stages: pre-interview, conducting the interview, and post interview. Physicians who do so are able to navigate through the potential employment process confidently and with the peace of mind that they are making the proper assessment of available options.

To reduce the uncertainty that surrounds the interview process and to provide physicians with a library of questions to consider discussing with a potential employer, our advisory group has developed an educational resource. To access the online version of this resource, contact us via the link below:

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In addition to studying this educational tool, it is recommended to do a healthy level of research regarding employer types, employment designations and the range of physician compensation, benefits, duties and responsibilities. Conducting research by completing several interviews and receiving multiple offers can be a very effective approach because it not only assists in the research process, but provides you with confidence, perspective, and several points of reference for contract negotiations.

Also, it is imperative that the interviewing physician be informed of each step of the employer’s interviewing and hiring process so that the physician can take the appropriate measures to prevent any potential impression of lack of interest or desperation. Employers who have a lot of experience hiring new physicians typically have a defined process. If it is not discussed, be sure to ask about the process and its corresponding timeline.

Lastly, be prepared for a quick transition from the interview stage to negotiation. Many physicians are caught off guard when this happens and concessions are made before the actual contract is available. If the offer is not anywhere near the acceptable range, negotiations may be necessary before a contract can be considered.

If the offer is within the appropriate range, then it is recommended to hold off as much of the negotiations as possible until the contract is in hand. Only after receiving the contract and engaging the counsel of a physician contract legal expert should the negotiations begin. There are many factors that can get overlooked and it can often be difficult to re-prioritize the negotiations after they have already begun.

For more information on employment interviews or contract review and negotiation services, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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