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3 Important Things to Do as the Interview Begins

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We’ve been talking about the job interview and how physicians and advanced practitioners can prepare for it in the days and hours leading up to the appointed time. Today, we turn our attention to three things you should remember to do as the interview begins.

Our list was inspired and paraphrased from an article on the American College of Physicians website by Cynthia Smith, MD, FACP, director of clinical program development.

1. Check your cellphone and pager before going into the interview. Make sure both are set to silent.

I would even argue that you should just turn your cellphone and pager off or simply leave both in the car. Apart from an extreme family emergency, of course, there’s no text message, no email, no phone call, no Trivia Crack question more important than the interview that is happening then. Make sure your current job, if you have one, knows that you will not be available during those times. Make sure your family also knows that you’ll be occupied.

The interviewer may notice your attentiveness in this regard or not, but the second you’re distracted by your pager or cellphone becomes the second you show them the interview isn’t your top priority.

And, of course, their mind may wander to the question: Will his job be top priority when he’s here? Will his patients? Or will his day be peppered with extraneous personal distractions?

2. When you meet the interviewer, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and address them by the appropriate name.

And don’t presume on the name you should use. You may know his name is Dr. Marcus Welby, but don’t call him Marcus or Mark or Marky-Mark or whatever. Until he indicates otherwise, call him Dr. Welby. When it comes to positions, the interviewer is your superior, even if you haven’t been hired yet.

3. When introduced to the interviewer’s associates and staff members, remember their names. Then, use their names as you see them throughout the day.

I’m horrible with names. Simply horrible. And when I forget somebody’s name, I feel horrible. There’s a yarn regarding former President Bill Clinton that has been going around for years about his uncanny ability to remember the names of everyone he’s ever met, no matter how many years have separated him from seeing that person.

I wish I had that ability, and if you struggle with names, I’m sure this might be one of the most daunting parts of the interview for you.

Figure out some sort of mnemonic device that will help you to remember the names of people you meet. Start practicing now in your everyday life. Remembering names will show the interviewer that you have an attentiveness to detail, it will demonstrate the value you place on getting to know people, and it might exemplify a team mentality where everyone, from the receptionist to the bigwig, is equally important in your eyes.

Otherwise, on the day of the interview, pray for nametags.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what are some other things to be mindful of as the interview begins?

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