“Do you have any questions for me?” As a job seeker, this is something you can expect to be asked on your next physician interview. Yet, it’s a time when even some of the most experienced physicians draw a blank.
“After all your preparation, from company research to reference requests, it can be easy to forget that an interview is a two-way street,” says Rachel Walsh, a Senior Associate on ES Healthcare’s Physician Recruitment team. “You need to assess whether you would like to work for the healthcare organization, just as they need to assess whether they would like to hire you. Asking smart questions will not only help you accomplish this, but also make you appear more engaged and interested in the role.”
In order to make an informed decision, you’ll want to go into your next physician interview with some well-rounded questions about the role and the organization. Here are a few to get started with:
About the role
What are the daily patient volumes, day-to-day job responsibilities, and productivity requirements?
If this hasn’t already been addressed, you’ll want to ask about the factors that will impact your workload and overall work-life balance. When asking these questions, be sure to get specific information about:
- Daily hours + weekly schedule
- The volume of patients the facility sees
- Call schedules or hospital responsibilities (if applicable)
What support systems exist? What is the team dynamic and structure?
To further determine whether you’re comfortable with the patient volume and expectations of the role, you’ll want to inquire about support positions. For example, what is the ratio of NPs/PAs/MAs to physicians?
You should also prepare specific questions about the way the practice functions, including their reporting structure. You’ll want to weigh your prospective employer’s answers with what type of environment you are most comfortable with when making your decision.
What characteristics and skills must an incoming physician possess for success in this role?
By learning about the essential traits as well as the clinical skillset needed for success, you can follow up their response by talking about why that makes you a good fit for the role. When explaining this, tell a story about an experience that highlights the skills they’ve mentioned.
If you don’t possess one of these skills, this is a great opportunity to say how you’re looking for professional growth, as well as build your experience in this specific area.
About the organization
What are the long term goals of the department/organization? How can I specifically help accomplish these goals?
This answer to the first question can tell you the general direction in which the organization is headed, which can help you determine if your goals align. Following up with the next one can help you show the organization you are interested in the future of the facility and how you can contribute to their success.
What is the leadership culture like?
Learning more about the leadership team and who makes the top decisions should be one of your top priorities during a physician interview. Does leadership come from a medical or more corporate background? Are any of them physicians? These questions can give you insight into the position’s growth potential as well as the relationship between administration and staff.
How do you measure or evaluate a physician’s success?
It’s important to learn how physicians are evaluated, as your performance—or even job security—could depend on specific metrics or expectations. The employer will appreciate that you want to be successful, and you’ll be able to determine whether you feel like you can meet their expectations.
Plus, this can also give you more insight into the overall culture. For example, if you’re getting the impression that the organization is heavily focused on billing, this could point to a more volume focused environment. This is important information to know if you feel you’d perform better in a different setting.