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5 Simple Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Job Interview

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Throughout our last several posts, we took a painstaking look at the résumé and how to skillfully craft it so it catches the attention of a potential employer.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the interview itself. In this post, we’re going to look at five ways in which you can prepare yourself for the job interview. 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.

As Smith notes in her introduction, “The interview is an opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself and learn about the practice. It's a crucial step in acquiring a position, and one of the best opportunities to determine if you are making the best, or worst, decision of your career.”

Here then are five simple ways in which you can prepare yourself for that job interview:

1. Dress and carry yourself in a confident, professional manner.

Ideally, professional dress means that your suit is not only clean, but also pressed and your cologne or perfume is subtle and sparsely applied, Smith explains.

2. Get plenty of sleep the night before the interview.

For this reason, she writes, you should “never schedule an interview after you have been on call.”

3. Give yourself extra time to arrive at the interview.

This rule is self-explanatory, but medical professionals are just like anyone else when it comes to time management: hit or miss. In planning for the day of the interview, ask yourself such questions as the following: “If the interview is scheduled for 9 a.m., how far in advance do I have to arrive in order to feel relaxed and assured? What is the traffic along that route usually like? How well do I know the route?”

4. Don’t take a backpack or a satchel to your interview. Instead, carry a briefcase.

Personally, I dislike briefcases. Satchels or backpacks are my bags of choice. But no accessory says professionalism quite like a briefcase.

Of course, you might be wondering what you’ll be carrying in that briefcase.

5. Have on hand extra copies of your résumé.

Not only will this gesture enable you to look prepared, but it will also come in handy if the interviewer(s) is in a rush and forgets to bring your résumé with them. Or maybe they can’t pull it up on their tablet for some reason. Or maybe they only brought one copy, but asked two or three other administrators to sit in on the interview. Who knows.

Regardless, have extra copies with you as a safety precaution.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what are some ways in which you prepare yourself for an interview? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from past interviews?

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